The Bible says, “Never stop praying,” (2 Thess 5:17) and all throughout scriptures we can clearly see the significance and power of prayer. Phillip Yancey says, “Prayer is a declaration of total dependence on God,” (Prayer: Does it make any difference). In other words, the life of a Christian must be a life of total surrender, especially in prayer. However, I cannot help but wonder if there are times in life when we are most likely to totally surrender in prayer than others.
Mr. Yancey shares a story in his book on prayer about an interview with a Chinese pastor who spent decades in prison because of his faith and ministry. “Every year that pastor led hundreds of people in a prayer commitment on the bank of a river, and everyone present knowing that the act of baptism may well lead to their own arrest and imprisonment.” “What can Christians in the rest of the world do for you?” Mr. Yancey asked the Chinese Pastor, and every time without exception he responded: “You can pray. Please tell the church to pray for us.” I know his answer sounds like a Christian cliché – something we usually say in response to any difficult situation and uncomfortable question coming from another believer. Please, keep me in your prayers – something most Christians say to verbally acknowledge their belief in God’s ability to respond to their current situation. Indeed, it is a powerful statement. However, I want us to challenge our prayer life this morning: How much faith do we really have in that statement? You see, when the Chinese pastor asked Mr. Yancey to pray for them, they had completely surrendered everything unto God. Their own lives were at stake knowing that getting baptized into Christ could very well be their last day of physical freedom, but a new day of freedom in Christ Jesus. Mr. Yancey said, “I have since learned that Christians who have no access to earthly power truly believe prayer gives them access to a greater power.” (Prayer: Does it make any difference, page 117)
With everything that’s been going on these last couple of years, I really hope we, believers in Christ, have gotten closer to God in prayer. Where else can we go but to the Lord? We have access to the greatest power in the universe: “The throne room of God’s Grace.” We need to take advantage of that, because we have no power to face all the storms and challenges of life on our own; therefore, let us stay in prayer and call on God who has all the power in the world to accomplish His good will in our lives (2 Chronicles 20: 12)
Grace, Peace, and Love