LIFE: Pray

At the beginning of our John sermon series, Pastor Nate encouraged us as a faith family to three challenges: Be Present, Dig In and Pray. In this blog series, we are exploring those challenges.

“Powertrain” Prayer

The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. Psalm 145:18

Me writing a blog post on prayer is about the same as me instructing Michael Jordan on how to shoot a 3-point jump shot. The biggest difference is that even though I am still a novice, I can actually improve at prayer!

Our faith is in a trinitarian God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All three have powerful involvement in our prayers. In Ephesians chapter three, the Apostle Paul prays to the Father for the Spirit to strengthen us so that Christ may dwell in our hearts. Some have called this the “powertrain” in the engine room of our prayers.[1]

Acts chapter two is the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise in John 15:26 that the Spirit would come. And those of us redeemed in Christ now have the Spirit living in us. In Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1, we learn that because of the Spirit, we have the same power in us that raised Jesus from the dead.

We have that divine power in us and yet so often so many of us don’t tap into it. James 4:2 tells us that “we have not because we ask not”. Paul Miller puts it this way, “We recoil from the ministry of prayer because of fear of boredom and our not knowing how it’s going to work.” We must hang in there in our praying. The Spirit’s power overcomes our weakness. In John 7, Jesus tells us that from the Spirit in us, out of our hearts will flow rivers of living water. Friends, blessings await.

Prayer in Community

So, what does this mean practically for us at Radiant Bible Church? Does prayer really change anything? Why pray if God is sovereign?

In communities that devote themselves to prayer, things out of the ordinary begin to happen. It’s not always the big fancy things. Some of the most significant ministry of prayer is not showy. The beauty of Jesus begins to emerge in the body of Christ when the church prays. As we enter the world of thoughtful, regular community prayer, we begin to discover that God does absolutely amazing things. Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3 concludes this way, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Some may say, “But I don’t know how to pray. I don’t know what to say to God.” Prayer is simply a conversation with God. A child talking with his or her Father. Pastor Nate puts it this way, “Prayer is dependence on God expressed in communion with God.” The best way to learn to pray is to pray. The single biggest obstacle to a vibrant prayer life is simply not doing it.

When we pray with the power of the Holy Spirit in us, we begin to experience our hearts aligning with His. That’s the essence of what Jesus meant when He said, “Ask anything in My name.” 

Unceasing Prayer

One of our pillars at Radiant is Unceasing Prayer – believing firmly in the power of prayer. Let’s heed Pastor Nate’s challenge to be present, dig in and pray. Pray for one another. Ephesians 6:18 says, “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”

When the church prays, a spiritual army is unleashed, a sleeping giant awakens. When the “powertrain” is engaged, the whole church comes alive.

[1] Paul Miller, TGC23 Micro Event, The Church Runs On Prayer, 9/25/23