As we look at the American Church today, it is important to realize that wherever God is working, the devil is also present to oppose. Whenever God’s people say, “Let us rise up and obey,” the devil and his demonic cohorts are right there, shouting, “Let us rise up and oppose them.” Brothers and Sisters, that is exactly why we must engage in spiritual warfare. We must be ready to fight the good fight. There is no progression in our spiritual lives, both individually and corporately, without opposition from the evil one. There is no progress without warfare. For that reason, we must prepare ourselves for an attack and discipline ourselves to keep our guard up at all times. That begins, after a salvation experience, with Bible intake and prayer. Most of us practice Bible intake in our lives to a certain degree. But our study and practice of prayer comes up woefully short! Andrew Murray refers to a sin called the sin of prayerlessness. He asserts that this sin is prevalent among Christians in our modern era. If this is true, then how can we afford to neglect the study and practice of prayer when it is so central in the Bible?
Throughout the Old Testament, prayer played a major role in determining the obedience of the believer. In the Gospels, Jesus taught and modeled the importance of prayer in places like the Sermon on the Mount and the Garden of Gethsemane. His last words upon the cross were prayers. In Acts, hardly a page can be turned that does not contain a prayer. The church was born out of a prayer meeting in the upper room. The deacon ministry was established as a means to relieve the Apostles from ministerial duties so that they might give themselves totally over “to prayer and the ministry of the Word.” Saul was commissioned as he and Ananias responded in obedience to instructions that came to Ananias through prayer. Cornelius was saved as he and Peter prayed. Christian Missions began in prayer. Stephen prayed just before becoming the first Christian martyr, an event which would spread Christianity throughout the world. Paul spoke heavily about prayer. So did Peter and James, as well as others. The Bible is full of prayer. How can we neglect the study and practice of prayer when it is so central in the Bible?
Brothers and Sisters of Poovey’s Grove Baptist Church, beginning Wednesday night, April 6th, during our Wednesday evening service, we are going to shake things up a bit. We are going to have a focused time of prayer followed by a study through the book of Acts! If you have been interested in what happened in the first days of the church, then you will not want to miss a single night! Let us pay close attention to the practice of prayer in Acts. May God grant us hearts that are willing to bow before His throne of Grace more and more each day. Prayer is such a wonderful place to begin to do the work of God! We can do a lot of things for God after we have prayed, but we can’t really do anything for Him until we have prayed. May Poovey’s Grove Baptist Church be known as a church of prayer and service throughout our community and world! Remember that prayer really does change things, the most important of which is ourselves. Prayer changes us from the inside, out! Hope you will be able to join us for prayer and Bible study every Wednesday night! May God bless you all as you seek to be follower of His Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ! Let us not neglect the study and practice of prayer, especially when it is so central in the Bible!