Prayer works. Last week I was meeting with my team leaders to organize and plan; early one morning, one of them went into a room to pray; I was at my desk in my office and could hear them. They were disturbing me because they were praying loudly with great intensity. For one fleeting second it occurred to me to tell them to be quiet or should I say, in charismatic parlance ‘the devil told me to stop them’; but I could not bear the thought of doing so. Absolutely not. They are living proof that prayer works.
Two years ago when they arrived we had to endure their silence prayer meeting after prayer meeting, they could barely pray, and that was not their only problem. They were depressed and were chronically late for church, as in one hour, one and half hours late. Once, they told us last week, they were so late that by the time they arrived, the service was over. And when I ventured to try to give them a job to do in the church, their response was ‘Pastor, I am not a dependable person’. It made me sad that someone would have such a diminished view of themselves.
But as they kept coming to prayer, gradually God began to move mightily in their life and deal with many deep seated issues; He gave them a heart to pray and I honestly do not remember them ever in two years missing one prayer meeting if they were in town. There have been many ups and downs in their life, but once they got their act together, they proved to be extremely reliable, much more so than some of the good looking people who showed up in our church claiming to have a special private line to heaven before recklessly skipping off again.
Prayer works. And God continues to work on us as we pray and work through us. Are they all there? Most certainly not, like the rest of us, they are still a work in progress, and very much so too. But I look at the road travelled and I think that the best is yet to come and pray that they will maintain their focus and faithfulness. Transformed lives are the reason we pray, that the power of God will be so evident in our midst that people will be broken free, set free and raised up. So we pray and require everyone to pray.
It’s quite simple really, if you walked into our ministry and God changes your life, it is because someone prayed before you got here and after you did. Having received, it is time to give back, how? By joining in the prayer effort of the ministry so that others can benefit. And one of our prayer efforts is our five am prayer week, first Monday of each month. Now we are taking it to another level because after the first week we will now have a prayer watch, whereby we take turns to pray at five am for the rest of the month; essentially keeping God company every single day at five am.
I long to see a company of people who are dedicated to prayer as a way of life, because prayer works and we can do nothing pleasing to God without it. Some would rather complain and criticize than pray, we tolerate them for a season and if they will not change, ask God to remove them. Would that more people desired to pray rather than preach, would that more people desired to lock themselves in the prayer room rather than parade themselves in the pulpit. Would that more people prayed for leadership rather than castigate leadership.
God is all about transforming us. And I delight in seeing lives thus transformed. So as their loud, intense praying traversed the wall and came to disturb the quiet of my study hours, I decided I could live with it. After all was it not the fruit of my praying?