Jan 07, 2022 Devoted to Prayer: One Simple Command, One Gracious Invitation – Words of Grace – January 7, 2022
There is one simple command in the Bible that remains for us to obey at all times and in all seasons. That command is to pray.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12:12 that one of the marks of a faithful Christian and steadfast congregation is to be constant in prayer. That word “constant” implies that undergirding and alongside everything else we do, is prayer.
Once again at Grace Community Church we begin the new year hearing and heeding the command to be devoted to prayer.
The command to pray is clarifying; it tells us what to believe. We believe that Jesus Christ saved us by his grace from sin, set us in right relationship with God, gave us the Spirit to live within, and called us to live for his glory in this world all the days of our lives. We also believe that apart from the ongoing work of grace in our lives, there is no way we can reflect God’s glory on earth. We believe that we are absolutely (not partly, not sometimes) dependent on the Holy Spirit for life, godliness, and witness. And we believe prayer is the earthly activity we engage in to receive power from the Lord.
The command to pray is engaging; it captures our hearts. Being commanded to pray is like being told we must have joy, talk to the person who most loves you, or come to a party where everyone is our best friend. Jesus died to open a closed door. Our sin separated us from God because God is holy, and we are not. God is not kind of holy, he is completely holy. That means unholiness can’t stand or exist in his immediate presence. Jesus removed our sins on the cross. When we pray, we walk through a Christ-opened door into a Christ-secured fellowship with our holy and heavenly Father who loves us.
The command to pray is focusing; it directs what we do. You and I, and our congregation, will do a million things in 2022. But before, during, and after we do things, we will be praying. Prayer may describe an attitude of the heart and include the sense of God’s presence, but it is always something we do.
This simple command to be devoted to prayer is also a gracious invitation to join our God in his great work in the church and the world. The testimony of the Bible and of the church in history is that God works through prayer. God has his reasons for this, and we must leave them to him. It is ours to simply believe him, trust his wisdom, respond to the call, and pray.
God will do more than a million things in 2022. People will be saved from sin, helped in discipleship, guided in work and relationships, and brought to deeper levels of faith in trials and tribulations. Our congregation will be given power for ministry among the people of Grace and in the world. God will be the one who does all of this. And God calls us to join him by praying.
The question is, will we be devoted to prayer as God commands and invites us to be?
This month, I will use the Words of Grace to say more about prayer.
This weekend, think about one way the Lord could be glorified this year at Grace Community Church. Write this down in a prayer request and each day next week ask the Lord to bring it to pass.