Have you seen the movie “War Room”? We had a group of almost 70 go from our church the night it opened, and a few more have gone since then. Beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, in the church sanctuary, we will start a five-week Bible study by the same name.
Our church has come to realize that the greatest weapon we have to face each new day is that of prayer. You would be correct if you said we should have figured that out long ago. But it has simply become more real to us. I know that far too many of us live by the motto, “When all else fails, pray.” But the truth is that it should be our first instinct to pray.
Think about it from this perspective. Jesus was a masterful teacher and preacher. He was a performer of miracles. Large crowds followed him wherever he went. But at no place did his disciples ask him to teach them how to teach, preach, do miracles or attract a crowd. But at least two times in the Gospels, they said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
Prayer is at the same time one of the easiest things we can do — and one of the hardest. It is easy in the sense that anyone can do it. You can teach the youngest child to talk to God, whether before a meal or at bedtime. And the prayers of a little one often are the most special you will hear.
But prayer also is hard work. Paul reminds us of that when he tells us in the book of Romans that God will help us by his Holy Spirit when we don’t know the words to pray. Prayer is hard because we don’t know how we should pray, we are prone to be selfish, even in prayer, and we are so easily distracted.
And yet we are called to be faithful and consistent in prayer. Our church’s Vision Team recently led the church to adopt the following as one of our goals for the next few years: “To increase both the quantity and the quality of our prayer life.” We want to pray more often. We want to pray more effectively.
I pray the same thing for you. May you pray with greater frequency and with increasing efficiency! Selah.