by Mervyn Morelock, Lt. Colonel –
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God…Show me your ways, O Lord, teaching me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Psalm 25: 1,2,4 & 5).
The title of a recent article in The Washington Post said: “Many drift away from their faith.” It reported on a study by the “Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life” on why many Americans have drifted away from their faith, changed their religious affiliation, or now have none.
The study suggested what leads people to leave their faith is that, somehow, for some reason, “it isn’t meeting their needs.” The results surprised the researchers, who had expected that policy disputes or disillusionment, or internal scandals played more of a role in people’s decision to leave a faith. But it wasn’t it. The study suggested that “it wasn’t meeting their needs.”
I wondered—just what were their needs? What were they expecting from their church affiliation.
It seems that when we put our faith in institutions or people rather than in God, we will be disappointed and it becomes easy to just “drift” away. But, when our faith is in Jesus Christ who loves us and gave himself for us, we have reason for faith and hope. And when we use the awesome power of prayer, we will never be disappointed.
I’ve been encouraged with the results of prayer that have come to my computer this week. In one day there were six glowing praise reports—all direct answers to prayer!
In order to keep our faith alive and growing, we need to pray. I’ve observed that people who keep prayer journals experience a deeper sense of the awesome power of God—more than those who haven’t seen the correlation between prayer answers and their prayer petitions. They have recorded their prayers, and they can see in writing that God is answering prayer.
A few years ago our Territorial Commander wrote in New Frontier: “We firmly believe that god has called us to be an Army of people committed to prayer. God wants us to be people who spend time regularly before his throne. God wants us to be a people committed to mountain-moving prayer. We call on all Salvationists of the Western Territory to recommit themselves to prayer.” And so was born the Call to Prayer ministry.
How do we keep from drifting? By maintaining an active, faithful prayer life. A Christian writer once asked this question: “What if there are some things God will not do until people pray?” God has called us to be active participants in the fulfillment of his kingdom, and we do this as we pray. The list of praise reports grows every day. There is power in prayer!
In Ephesians 1:15-20 (The Message) Paul writes:
That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the Christians, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you…every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for Christians.
No drifting—just praying and praising!
See the Call to Prayer web page: saprayusw.com.