Henri Nouwen writes, “Prayer is the center of the Christian life. It is the only necessary thing … it is living with God here and now” (The Only Necessary Thing, 25). In other words, prayer is much more than one aspect of our relationship with God. It is much more than simply talking to God. Rather, it is communing with God, and it is loving God.
When we love God passionately, we will pray passionately and frequently. When Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, he knew that this kind of love would result in a praying people.
At the end of last week’s sermon on loving God and loving people, I was very moved by Calvary’s response to the sermon through prayer. Many of you prayed at the altar, others prayed at your seat, and a number of you came forward to tell me that you would be supportive and prayerful of Calvary’s new worship service and vision. Please know that I was very encouraged by your response.
I think that it is fair to say that many of us are sensing that we are entering an important spiritual season in our church’s life. We want to expand our reach to our neighbors in Little Rock. We want to expand our kingdom impact. We want to be a church full of disciples who make disciples.
So, there is so much to do, therefore there is so much to pray about. For us to be successful with our mission we can fail in many ways and we can make many mistakes. However, we cannot and must not fail to pray. On the other hand, if we pray well, we will know God well and experience his presence and power. If we do this, he will use us and bless us in spite of our missteps, mistakes, or failures.
Remember, God loves to use imperfect people to accomplish his perfect will. God loves to use ordinary people to impact this world in extraordinary ways. But, it will only happen when we pray. So, like one of Jesus’ disciples, my prayer for Calvary is “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1).
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