Acts 1:14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Acts 6:4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.
Romans 12:12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,
Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;
Why was the early church so deeply devoted to prayer and praying? There are a variety of good reasons why one should pray. There are multiple motivations that should cause one to pray. But one of the main reasons to pray is because we need God. Do you and I truly understand our great necessity for Jesus Christ? Do we realize our essential want for our Triune Lord? We know we need God and therefore we pray (or so we know we should).
And yet I suppose that in every generation some have this thought that prayer is going out of fashion, that it is not as necessary as it once was. But I also think that our present generation has some particular challenges when it comes to encouraging God’s people to pray.
We are a self-reliant lot, which is part of living in a fallen, sinful world. Yet the distractions that keep us from consistent heartfelt prayer seem to bombard us at every turn. From Twitter to Facebook to smart phones to earphones, from laptops to desktops to having a TV in every room of our house, we are constantly plugged in. All of the above and more can easily dissuade us from the great goal of prayer. And I know that the temptation to skip prayer for other more productive activities is nothing new. It’s just crazy easy now to find distractions around every corner.
We appear to be losing sight of the fact that God chooses to use weak and sinful people like you and me, and that He uses them only by means of His grace. God doesn’t use people because they are gifted. He uses people because He is gracious. Do we actually believe that? If we do believe it, then we will pray.
We will pray before we speak. We will pray before we preach. We will pray for boldness and clarity before we present the gospel. We will pray for others before they speak. We will pray for Christ’s church to grow. We will pray for disciples to be made. We will pray that our faith in Christ alone will increase. We will pray for God’s love to abound. We will pray corporately as a family of God. We will pray privately as a child of God. We will pray for a true community to be formed and shaped into Jesus Christ. We will pray for God’s Word and Spirit to control us. We will pray for true hearts of humility. We will pray for forgiveness and repentance. We will pray and then we will pray some more . . . all to the glory of the One True God of the galaxies!