Once again, our adult Sunday School class was studying prayer in the Scripture this morning and my mind was taken with the many directions of our conversations with the Scripture. But one thing that came to me in all of this discussion was that prayer is not important.
Prayer is not important…it is essential. We live and breathe by the mercy and gift of Almighty God. We are kept from sin and sanctified to His purpose by His Holy Spirit. We are clothed with His power, by abiding in His presence. Prayer is essential! It is not simply “important”.
While meditating on this (after morning worship), I happened upon a brief article entitled: “Is Prayer Essential?” (by Walter Raymond Beach in Ministry: International Journal for Pastors [April 1968]) which spoke volumes in its short message. The following was particularly poignant:
“We must not conceive of prayer,” wrote the saintly Trench, “as an attempt to overcome God’s reluctance, but as laying hold of His highest willingness.”
Prayer is not designed to change God, but to change us. The chief aim of the prayer is for the supplicant to come so completely into harmony with God that God’s will becomes his. Then the supplicant becomes a partner with God and is ready to cooperate with Him in whatever God wants. He identifies his will and purpose with God’s will and purpose. Then God, if need be, can lift his mind from what he prayed for, to something better. The supplicant will realize that God is working on His plan and that all things will work together for good.
And certainly, our prayers should be involved more with spiritual blessings than material blessings. Origen recalled this word from apostolic days: “Ask the great things and the little things will be added unto you; ask the heavenly things and the earthly things will be added unto you.”
You can read the rest of the article HERE.
* Originally blogged by me at bluechippastor.org on February 17, 2013.
Some of My Publications
Community: Biblical and Theological Reflections in Honor of August H. Konkel
Pentecostal Theological Education in the Majority World: The Graduate and Post-Graduate Level. Vol. 1
Receiving Scripture in the Pentecostal Tradition: A Reception History
A Theology of the Spirit in the Former Prophets: A Pentecostal Perspective
"Emerging Homiletics: A Pentecostal Response" in
"N.T. Wright's Justification and the Cry of the Spirit" in
- Concerning Contexts for Interpretation of Scripture February 19, 2022
- Hearing the Prophets on Justice: A Response April 27, 2021
- Proverbs 31 and the Virtuous Woman March 11, 2021
- Genesis 2.18 and the “Not Good” of Creation: Random Reflections February 3, 2021
- A Quick Exodus: A Brief Response January 4, 2021
- baptism in the Holy Spirit
- Biblical hermeneutics
- Biblical Interpretation
- Christ Jesus
- Holy Spirit
- literary interpretation
- Old Testament
- Society for Pentecostal Studies
- Trinity Bible College
I like that statement…We are not trying to overcome God’s reluctance…but lay hold of his willingness.