"Prayer can do anything that God can do, as God can do anything, prayer is omnipotent." (R.A. Torrey, "The Power of Prayer")
Many Christian leaders, possibly stating with Augustine, said that prayer is the occupation of the soul. For the mature Christian, their heartbeat is to serve the Lord and, in serving, we are communicating and, in communicating, we are praying. The occupation of our soul is our communication lines with our Holy God. The occupation of our soul is our prayer life with Christ, one of the primary purposes of our existence.
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." (Matthew 7:7)
When prayer is mentioned at most churches, dull, dry, and boring images come to mind. Most Christians flat out do not want to pray and even get offended when they feel they have to spend what they perceive as too much time in prayer, usually over 10 minutes. Yet the Bible is filled with examples of prayer gatherings, which we called to participate with. This is called "corporate prayer," which means praying together as a community of believers. However, this does not necessarily mean praying for big business. What it does mean is a way to express oneness and unity. Yet we do not like to do it! We may spend time with our individual prayer lives but not together or when we do, it turns into gossip and ridicule.
God calls us to seek His presence, as a body of believers with one mind and voice, so why don't we? And if we do get together, it is all about us and our individual needs and desires, which is good as long as we include others and go beyond our own backyard. So we need to find the excitement of communing with our Lord and doing it with each other. We are to focus on the Lord and not ourselves.
When we desire to have a church that is after God's purpose then prayer will be at the heart and core of it. The church cannot function without prayer. To have a church that does not pray is like having a telephone operator who refuses to use the phone or the computer programmer not using a computer in their occupations. Sounds like foolishness? Well a lot of churches do not pray, in fact if you carefully inspect churches as I have over the years, you will be shocked on how little prayer actually goes on, or that prayer is wispy and scarce.
At North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene we gather for prayer each Wednesday evening at 6:30pm. Our church is filled with people who love God and believe in prayer - but I cannot understand why only 10- 15 people come on Wednesday night to pray. God help us! Will I see YOU this evening for prayer?