December 14 I Saturday
“Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” —Matthew 6:10
Why did Jesus spend all night in prayer? Why does Paul say, “Pray without ceasing?” Prayer is not only vitally important to our lives, but necessary. God gave humankind dominion over all the earth, and in the exercise of it we can either keep God out or bring Him in. God’s sole strategy in this world is through people, and He works through people whose line of communication is always open to Him.
Subjective prayer changes us. It brings us in line with God’s purpose and deepens our relationship with Him, but objective prayer has far reaching effects. Somewhere in Africa an abandoned child is receiving food, clothing, shelter and love because of prayer. Somewhere in a faraway place, a frightened teen is returning home because of prayer. Somewhere on a busy highway a tragedy is being averted because of prayer. Hospitals, housing, churches, schools and clinics are being built in desperately needed places because of prayer, and all over the globe, hearts are submitting to Christ because of prayer.
Objective prayer is for the benefit of people we may never meet and for countless organizations seeking to do the will of God. Heaven is waiting to loose on earth what is good and to bind on earth what is not good, and it is done through prayer. Praying without ceasing involves a perpetual awareness of God’s presence and sovereignty in all things. It is bringing God into every situation, not to get Him to serve our interests, but so that His will might be fulfilled in every circumstance.
Contrary to what many believe, prayer is not powerful. God alone is powerful and prayer is our lifeline to Him. It is disheartening to hear people say, “Well, all we can do now is pray,” as though prayer was their last resort when, indeed, it should be their first. There are wonderful possibilities through prayer, but it involves intimate communion with God. A quick routine of “God bless the missionaries and feed the hungry,” will prove to be empty rhetoric that leaves us with little, if any, anticipation of God working. As busy and hectic as our days may be, it is essential we take time to present our thoughts to God from the deepest recesses of our hearts.
Prayer is how we build, solidify and enrich our intimacy with God. Constant communion with Him sets the Holy Spirit in motion in response to prayer. Through prayer, we touch the heart of God, sharing His love for this world, and in our intercession with Him on behalf of others we can reach the world and make a difference.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I want to pray for all those around the world who have dedicated their lives to Your work. May Your Holy Spirit continue to strengthen and encourage them in accomplishing Your will. Thank You, Lord.