Bookman Old Style – I was all ready to talk about the importance of doing things in the name of Christ. Then I realized that I would make the same error that our culture has in general. We talk about the misson trips, the acts of service, the running into somebody that needed our help, really, the whole system allows for us to do things, stand up in Church, and talk about it. In fact, many of our leaders, in and outside the church, encourage us to do things for God rather than to pray to Him, as if talking to God is of secondary importance in everyday living. The thing of it is that the more things we do without relying on God, the less it’s going to matter, because then everything we do would only be about us and how good it makes us look to everybody else. It just won’t be as effective. Let’s not kid ourselves, Christians shouldn’t say, “I’d bring that homeless man a meal if I wasn’t too busy praying for his salvation.” But no Christian should say, “Lord, I’m going to do this or that so bless it if you’re happy with what I’m doing.” What sort of testimony to God is that? What is He to you then? A good luck charm?
Prayer is important. Not having it is kind of like not having an essential ingredient. Whatever you’re baking might turn out, but it would have turned out better had you had it. Then again, not having it might lead to failure, alltogether and we don’t want that. The Acts 2 church devoted itself to prayer, among other things, and the Lord himself added to their number people who were being saved every day. The Lord sent Peter to the home of Cornelius, a man of prayer. His preaching resulted in an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the man and his household. When Peter was put in prison, the church prayed for him. After his miracle of an escape, he went to a house where many members of the church had gathered to pray for him. Saul was sent off to do the Lord’s work with fasting and prayer. We all know how that turned out.
Don’t dismiss the power of prayer. Could all of those things had turned out without much prayer? Maybe, but then it would be a church of people and not a house of God. Prayer is supposed to be a constant thing, but until we get that down, it’s equally important to set aside some time for prayer, some time to talk to God. It’s not about trying to change the things He has in mind, whether good or bad, but to change ourselves so that we recognize that anything we do without Him, without consulting Him, without going to Him first doesn’t honor him. Our culture will not encourage us to pray. The average American gives out of his week only seven minutes to God a day. Seven minutes. That’s not nearly enough time to honor Him as being most important in our lives since many households don’t turn of the television as long as the sun shines. One thing is for sure, if we really did back up our actions with the power of God, then we would live in a changed world that wouldn’t really need anything, because all needs would have already been taken care of.