Mervyn Morelock ,Lt. Colonel
One of the great blessings we enjoy as believers in Christ is the privilege and power of prayer. I’m often encouraged by new men at the Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) who express their awe that God is answering their prayers! Several have said they never really prayed before, but did pray some emergency prayers: “God help me out of this mess.” “God, don’t let me lose my girlfriend.” “God, don’t let me get caught!” “God help me get another fix.’”
These were all “fox hole” prayers.
Many now say their prayers are different since asking Jesus to come into their lives. Now the prayers are about a lot of little things, and they feel they can talk to God, not only about troubles and needs, but with gratitude for his love and being clean and sober.
Anyone who is having troubles should pray. Anyone who is happy should sing praises. Anyone who is sick should call the church’s elders…and the prayer that is said with faith will make the sick person well, the Lord will heal that person. And if the person has sinned, the sins will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so God can heal you. When a believing person prays, great things happen (James 5:13-16 NCV).
Be full of joy in the Lord always. I will say again, be full of joy. Let everyone see that you are gentle and kind. The Lord is coming soon. Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:4-7).
When God says to pray, he really means it. To pray is the most commonly mentioned command in Scripture. It is mentioned more than “love your neighbor,” more than “go to church,” and more than “evangelize.” More than anything else, God calls us to pray.
In The Inspirational Study Bible, Max Lucado writes:
“We should be people of great prayer. We should be prayer warriors. We should be people who use the ministry of prayer to its fullest capacity. The highest and greatest calling of Christians is the ministry of prayer.
“You know, we really don’t know what to pray for, do we? What if God had answered every prayer that you ever prayed? Just think who you’d be married to. Just think where you’d be living. Just think what you’d be doing!
“God loves us so much that sometimes he gives us what we need and not what we ask. Prayer is the recognition that if God had not engaged himself in our problem, we would still be lost in the blackness. It is by his mercy that we have been lifted up. Prayer is that whole process that reminds us of who God is and who we are.”
I believe there’s great power in prayer. Pray continually—live in a spirit of prayer.
Father, when you were on earth, you prayed. You prayed in the morning, you prayed at night, you prayed alone, you prayed with people. In your hours of distress, you retreated into times of prayer. In your hours of joy, you lifted your heart and hands to the Father in prayer.
Help us to be more like you in this way; help us to make prayer a priority in our daily lives.