Okay so this is our 5 to 6 week. It’s the one week a month where Abba House as a corporate body prays from five to six in the morning. It’s becoming a lifestyle now and I must admit I seriously enjoy it. Tomorrow morning might be a challenge though since I will be on my flight. I am leaving Addis in one hour and forty five minutes and it’s almost midnight. I am sitting in the VIP lounge sipping the tea that was graciously served me. And I am thinking what an adventure it has been since we started this week of early morning prayer, but this is the very first time I will spend the prayer time on a plane.
Prayer I must admit is an activity to which I am partial, I learnt to pray early in my Christian life. The church I attended after I came to faith in Christ had prayer meetings daily, you could go any day of the week you chose to, and we chose very often. It was after I moved to Europe that I found Christians who did not think prayer required and should take up that much of their time, or churches where prayer meetings consisted mostly of preaching and a few perfunctory prayers. Back home when we came together to pray, we prayed.
My logic in prayer is simple. Prayer is communication with God. If God is that wonderful, we should want and love communicating with Him. If we do not, there is something wrong, and we need to deal with it. I went to God with this problem years ago when I found I was losing my initial passion in prayer, and told Him I wanted to love to pray, because if He was that great it was abnormal that I not want to hang out with Him. And I began to pray, ‘Lord, teach me to pray’, ‘Lord, help me to pray according to your heart’.
I decided to pray one hour a day minimum. I would set my alarm to go off after one hour, which meant that until the alarm went off, I was not authorized to stop. Initially ten minutes felt like one hour, but gradually I began to find the time too short and began to extend it until I prayed hours a day, and I would experiment to see how long I could go. I would go deeper and deeper into the Spirit and began to experience God in a real and tangible way. And it happened quicker and quicker each time. The presence of God became real and desirable, and even better attainable.
It is worth the trouble learning to break through in prayer, it’s a re-educating of oneself, a developing of fresh appetites. Teaching people to pray, or should I say training people to pray is also highly rewarding. Seeing people who previously could barely manage twenty minutes now pray for hours at a times fills me with joy. Any man who learns to pray will never be defeated in life, will always have a solution even in the darkest places, God will speak to him, instruct him, direct him and deliver him. In our ministry those who would be leaders must be people of prayer.
Prayerlessness is a clear symptom of backsliding. Furthermore, is it not an affront to God to seek to serve Him without communicating adequately with Him or taking instructions from Him? Prayerlessness is pride, a refusal to acknowledge our absolute dependence on the Maker. Prayerlessness is selfish, how many people’s lives would be changed and needs would be met if I would make myself available to pray for them. Prayerlessness is foolishness, it means living out our lives deprived of the beauty of fellowship that Christ gave His life to obtain for us; missing out on the indescribable fragrance the presence of God infuses into bland human existence and shutting oneself out of the place of peace, rest and relationship.
There may be those times when you do not feel like praying, but that is only a superficial feeling for someone who is experienced in prayer. What to do? Ignore it and simply get going. Indeed as soon as you get going, everything changes, the fatigue disappears, you step into the consciousness of the presence of the Holy Spirit and are literally carried by Him. You see, hear, taste, experience things that galvanize , inform and sustain you. You speak and God speaks, He works with and through you, you cooperate with Him in the performance of His will in the earth. It is thrilling beyond words.
Let us pray.