What is the most important thing a Christian can do in his or her daily life? Attend Church? Read the Bible? Pray? Love others?
While all these are important, I believe the most important is Prayer… and it is perhaps the least likely done.
I do believe that fellowshipping with other Christians is a vital thing we need to do. Love? Goes without saying, but I still am working on this in my own life. Reading the Bible? Almost goes without saying in today’s culture. But remember that the Bible has not been readily available to all until the last 100 years or so. Before that Bibles were hard to come by, expensive to purchase, and of course many could not read. There are still areas in today’s world where Bibles are not available, not translated, or perhaps they are outlawed. Those believers do not have it in print, just in their hearts.
But Prayer. Praying has been available to every believer since the creation of the world. It is the communication to and from God. It does not need another human to pass through, nor does it take a degree, a license to pray, or permission from anyone else.
Prayer is not a formula, although I have seen many preached and taught. It does not need any special words or phrases, although some do help us focus. Prayer is simply talking to God, and listening for The Holy Spirit to answer back.
Prayer does take practice, but even the most child-like prayer can reach the Throne of God. I say it takes practice because it is like a sports game. Although anyone can play sports, it is those who train, exercise, and commit time to practice that become comfortable doing it. Our flesh is weak and will quickly forget, fine other excuses, or just become too busy. In the flesh, we feel uncomfortable praying.
Practice in prayer involves doing it. There are some helps to the beginner, but they are only helps. It is a mistake when we copy a formula and word our prayers in a manner that is not our own. So just do it. Listen to some of the saints around you praying. (This takes Fellowship!) Read some of the prayers in the Bible. (This takes Bible reading!) But PRAY.
I have learned that Prayer can help when a bolt is rusted and stuck. I have seen Prayer actually get the person material things they prayed for. And I have seen Miracle Healing.
On the flip side of that coin, I have seen similar prayers not answered[ . I have gone through times where I felt my prayers were not even getting any higher than the ceiling of the room. I also have once come to the point where I was so spiritually worn out I could not even pray. Luckily, I realized it and called a prayer warrior friend to stand in the gap and pray for me, and pray for my request and needs.
But bottom line. I think the Church and believers have lost the desire to pray. I think too many pray out of obligation but not from love or wanting fellowship with God. Just as the individuals need to begin again to pray, so does the Church. Where are the Prayer Meetings? When is the last time you saw a Group of Believers who actually spent much time in prayer? When was the last time that group was eagerly anticipating God’s answer?
When was the last time YOU actually eagerly anticipated God’s answer?