Elder Jonathon Pulliam|
Develop a passion for prayer
It has been stated, "How can one speak to the people of God without speaking to the God of the people?"
In the Scripture every individual of significance had a powerful prayer life. Prayer is how man communicates with God. Proverbs 3 says, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and he will direct thy paths."
Until the pulpit understands the value of prayer, the church will continue to suffer from cold, warmed-over sermons prepared by priests instead of messages directed from God. We must understand that without direction from above we are shooting in the dark. Acts 3 contains an illustration of the power of prayer when Peter and John healed the man at the gate of the Temple called Beautiful.
In Genesis, Abraham pleaded with God to spare the men of Sodom and Gomorrah. In Numbers, God would have destroyed the congregation of Israel for the transgression of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Moses and Aaron fell on their face before God, and God spared the congregation save the transgressors.
In Samuel, David and his men returned from battle to find their families taken by the Amelekites. David prayed to God and God's reply was "Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all."
As we look at the condition of the world, the war in Iraq, drug problems, the tsunami in Southeast Asia and crime, even government officials recognize the need for prayer by setting days aside as National Days of Prayer.
While prayer is much needed, I believe that the true benefits will never be reached until it is taught. In Matthew, Jesus taught that prayer should be done in secret and God will reward openly.
In Luke, one of the Lord's disciples asks him to teach them to pray, and Jesus proceeds with what is known as the Lord's Prayer. He begins with praise to God , then moves to our daily needs and forgiveness, closing with asking God for deliverance.
Praying and a prayer life are two different things.
Many pray when need of finances or sickness have touched their lives. However, a prayer life is not based on conditions. One with a prayer life recognizes prayer is needed at all times.
I like what Dr. Clifton Jones, author of "The Prayer Clinic Manual," said. "Prayer is to your Spirit what oxygen is to your body. Prayer is to your spirit what food is to your body. Prayer is to your spirit what your eyes are to your body. Prayer is to your spirit what blood is to your body."
Elder Jonathon Pulliam, pastor of Apostolic Church of God, is one of several local ministers writing religion columns for THE DAILY. For more information, call Melanie Smith at 340-2468.