By Preacher George Ang (True Way Presbyterian Church English Congregation) “Prayer”: What is your understanding of prayer? Different groups of people understand prayer differently. It is not the length of prayer, i.e. the quantity of prayer, that matters to God but the depth of prayer, i.e. the quality of prayer. Not everyone is comfortable with prayer. In a small group, some may remain quiet instead of praying. Some may pray freely with no concern for the people around. They just focus on God rather than on men. Prayer is not natural so one finds it hard to articulate a prayer. Some feel that there are some forms or structures which one needs to adhere to when one desires to pray. Some even feel that one needs to pray long flowery prayers in order to be heard by God. This reflects the misunderstanding that some of us may have towards prayer. Knowing the difficulties involved in prayer, does this mean that one should refrain from being involved in prayer? Not necessarily so! We all are aware of the significance of prayer and also the power of prayer. We know that there are times we are able to pray comfortably but we also know that there are times we just don't feel like praying. When we look at the reality of our own prayer life, we know that we cannot go on in this manner. We know that something has to be done or changed in order for us to get somewhere in our prayer journey. I believe that all of us desire to see improvement or enhancement in our personal prayer life. God has to get your attention in order to drive you into prayer. He needs to shake you in order to move you into fervent, faithful, focused prayers. You cannot don’t pray when you embrace the love of God.
"Pray like never before": Should we not, as beloved children of God, earnestly seek to encounter God in a manner that we have never encountered Him before? When would we wake up from our lethargy and our complacency? When would we wake up from our slumber and slothfulness? When will we be conscious of our spiritual dryness in terms of our own personal prayer life? When we fail to pray, we fail to get hold of that which God desires His beloved children to get hold of. We forfeited the promises of God due to our negligence in prayer! Did you know that when we enter into our prayer closet, our spiritual life will no longer be the same again? In our prayer closet, we meet God in a most special and unique way! We relate with God intimately through the ministry of prayer. Without prayer, our relationship with God is stifled and stagnant. Without prayer, we are vulnerable and weak. Without prayer, we are barren and cold.
In the Bible, we can learn of many great heroes of prayer. I recalled Epaphras whom the apostle Paul mentioned that he always struggled on behalf of the Colossian believers in his prayers for them that they might stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God (see Colossians 4:12). I also recalled our Lord Jesus who spent the whole night praying before He chose His twelve apostles (see Luke 6:12). I also recalled how Moses, the servant of God, interceded on behalf of the people of God, the Israelites, on the mountain of the LORD when the wrath of the LORD burnt hot against them (see Exodus 32:11-14).
Our life will never be the same when we come into the wonderful presence of the true and living God in our prayer closet! How about carving out time in our busy schedule for prayer? When you and I venture into prayer, praying like never before, our relationship with God will deepen and our faith in Christ will strengthen. With prayer, our vision in Christ will be clearer and our mission for Christ will be wider. With prayer, we see the purposes of God revealed and the power of God released!
May I encourage all of us to seriously consider this reality: "Pray like never before!" Ask God to take you to a deeper level of prayer in your own spiritual journey with Him, engaging with Him and enriching by Him. Amen.