Let us pray
By Hal Brady
Owner & operator of a Christian ministry in Decatur, Georgia
How often during the passing of the years have we heard a minister say, “Let us pray.” In the sacred moments that followed, some with unbowed heads remained unconcerned, others followed along, but only a faithful few actually joined the minister in prayer.
What a tragic picture arises as we visualize this scene in thousands of churches every Lord’s Day.
There’s a little boy in a cartoon down on his knees in prayer. He’s saying his prayers, and he is almost out of patience with the Almighty. He says, “Aunt Stella isn’t married yet. Uncle Hubert hasn’t got a job. Daddy’s hair is still falling out. I’m tired of saying prayers for this family without getting results.” Most likely, that little boy in the cartoon was speaking for more than we know.
But to my knowledge, the scripture does not present prayer as an adventure in magic. Rather, it presents prayer as a way of thinking and living in the presence.
Let us pray. On the other hand, this is an invitation like no other. Prior to cell phones, a well-known minister said that he had a private phone line that rang right on his desk. He stated that he had given the number to a few colleagues to use in emergencies and to his wife and children. He went on to say that he told his children they could call him anytime for any reason. Let us pray. Just want to share a few other thoughts with you.
First, perhaps the best evidence for believing the reality of prayer is the prayer life of Jesus. To Jesus, God was his father. The biblical record makes clear that Jesus prayed to his father, and his father answered him. Therefore, to me, it seems reasonable to believe what Jesus believes about praying.
Second, life often presents us with circumstances that we can’t control. Our minds are insufficient to understand, our language becomes mere babble, our insight is out of balance, and we are stuck with the “why” question. In such a time we discover through the power of prayer that God receives us in our ignorance, hurt, despair and desperation.
An acquaintance approached me yesterday in another city and asked if if I would pray for his son. He drew me aside and shared that his son’s best friend had been murdered. He thought it was gang related, and his son was devastated. The son was under going counseling, but he was still having it rough.
What is the alternative in this situation? It is the best efforts of humankind and the courage, comfort and strength of a God who loves us, hears us, and responds to us.
Third, our most profoundly need-to know that we are known and loved by God—drives us to prayer. Prayer is the context of our regaining perspective about our circumstances.