“I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer.” 1Ti 2:8 NIV
In training Timothy for the ministry, Paul wanted him to understand how the church works. So he began with the important stuff like: prayer. In essence, Paul was saying, “Before you do anything else, pray. Before you teach anything else, teach your people to pray.” Why? Because if God’s not on your side you won’t succeed! Most of us understand this intellectually. We say a quick prayer as we’re running out the door. We say grace before a meal. We open our church services with prayer. But few of us grasp the real importance of prayer, and Paul didn’t want Timothy to be misled or misinformed about the place of prayer in the church. We dare not fool ourselves into thinking we can “make things happen” without prayer. If a church isn’t a praying church, it doesn’t matter how well the pastor preaches or the choir sings, or how nice the building is. For it to succeed, Jesus said, “My house shall be a house of prayer” (Lk 19:46 NAS). Oswald Chambers said, “We look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves: The Bible idea of prayer is that we may get to know God himself.” You aren’t coming to church just to hear a lively sermon or a good song, you’re coming to meet with God. The pastor and the choir are vehicles through which He can speak, but there’s no substitute for prayer. It’s not merely a nice sentiment; your spiritual growth and survival depend on it. So if you’ve gotten out of the habit of praying—this year get back into it!
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