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A CALL TO PRAYER

Today’s Scripture: Philippians 4:6-7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Edward McKendree Bounds, popularly known as E.M. Bounds, was an American clergyman. He was a man of prayer. Bound wrote 11 books, nine of them on the subject of prayer. Claude Chilton, Jr. wrote in the foreword of one of Bounds books, Necessity of Prayer: “As breathing is a physical reality to us so prayer was a reality for Bounds. He took the command ‘pray without ceasing’ almost as literally as animate nature takes the law of the reflex nervous system, which controls our breathing.”

E.M. Bounds echoed the call of Apostle Paul to prayer: “No learning can make up for the failure to pray. No earnestness, no diligence, no study, no gifts will supply its lack.” There is a call to prayer today. This call has become clearer by the current state of our world. The foregoing was corroborated by John C. Maxwell: “The 1990s will be a decade where we must focus on prayer as the main thrust to accomplish God’s will and purpose on earth. The forces against us have never been greater and this is the only way we can release God’s power to become victorious.” If he said that of the 1990s, how much more the 2000s?

As the complexity of our world gets worse, it is becoming increasingly evident that except we acknowledge God and invite Him to take his rightful place in our affairs as individuals, organisations, nations and continents, we will hit our wits’ end. God has the answer to every issue bothering man today. We only need to invite Him through our prayers and He will show up as He has always done. He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). It is therefore our responsibility to acknowledge Him in all our ways, that He may direct our path. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

I believe the first thing we must do if we must heed the call to prayer is to understand the meaning of prayer. What then is prayer? I will like to define it as man’s consistent expression of his agreement with the will of God on the earth. By this definition, I believe prayer must begin with our knowledge, understanding and acknowledgment of the Will of God concerning every area of our lives. The Bible says in 1 John 5:14: “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His Will, He hears us.”

Unfortunately, we are busy with the affairs of this world and so are not able to answer the inevitable call to prayer. It was Samuel Chadwick who rightly said, “The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying.  He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.”

Let us return to the place of ultimate power— the place of prayer. The truth is, God still rules in the affairs of men, so we must deliberately give Him His rightful place. The Lord will help us, in Jesus’ name.

Memorise & Meditate:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”  Matthew 7:7-8

Prayer/Confession:

Father, I thank you for your call to prayer today. I receive the grace to pray for myself, my family, my organisation, my nation, my continent and my world, in Jesus’ name.