Thursday, May 7, 2015

importance of prayer

Psalm 28:2  NLT
Listen to my prayer for mercy as I cry out to you for help, as I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary.

Today is the National Day of Prayer across our nation.  There will be presentations, activities, bog and small events and times of prayer in many different places.  Please chose an event to be part of as well as spend time seeking the Lord for the salvation and mercy toward this nation, our leaders and all the way to our families.

Each of us has been influenced by people who pray.  Some of those are prayer warriors who lead by example and by their passion.  Others of those are people who call us all to spend time seeking God through prayer.  They may be leaders of the church or leaders in government.  What links all of is the understanding that we must pray.

Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.

This evening I will be part of a group that leads people across Martinsville and Henry County to pray.  My task is to share about the need in our families to pray.  I will talk about the roles we play in our homes: fathers, mothers, children, neighbors, Christ followers.  Each person has a role.

We will gather at our local community college’s gym between 6 and 8pm to hear and to pray.  You are invited to join in.  Prayer is not intended to be a yearly or even weekly event.  Prayer is to be a way of life, every day life.

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

There are several different people who have influenced my life through prayer, and I would like to introduce a few of those to you.  You just might have been impacted by one of these of someone similar.

Growing up my youth pastor had an incredible impact on my life.  That is because Phil Dietz was a man who lived out his faith.  He taught me and those around him to pray for and serve others out of a genuine heart warmed by God.

Another man who influenced me was one of my early Sunday School teachers.  I cannot even remember his name, but I do remember some of his prayers.  He was missing one or more fingers, and it was evident as he would place his hand on our shoulders, the boys in our Sunday School class, that his prayers were powerful and real.

Again, when I was young I met a man who made prayer part of his every day life.  His name is Harry Thompson.  He led an early morning prayer meeting of men at my home church.  To this day I know that Harry prays for me.  I am challenged and encouraged by his love and prayers.

Cornelia Fowler rented me a room in her house in Vidalia, Georgia where I moved to in 1991.  She was a little old lady who loved people and was part of the church I was working in.  One night I remember walking through the hallway toward my bedroom, and behind her closed bedroom door I heard her praying.  This was a common occurrence, but what was uncommon was that I heard her praying for me.  That impacting me in big ways.

Early in ministry I learned that stopping to pray when you see a need is important.  I heard how important this is by having a lady tell me how an immediate prayer in a critical situation meant so much to her.  Her name was Dr. Bobbie Pope, and she attended the second church I pastored.

Some others who have influenced my prayer life include some of my family members as well as a host of friends and leaders I have met on my life journey.  God has used these people to shape my life.

You and I influence others every day.  Let’s make sure we influence people for the cause of Christ.  See that your life, your prayers and your being help others be better and stronger people because they have come in contact with you.

Make sure that this National Day of Prayer finds you spending time with the father in prayer!

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

Pray for our leaders … local, statewide, nationwide, global.  Pray for the church and her leaders too.  Pray for our homes and families.

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