Its 4:30 am… been up for a long while… sleep is not a strong suit and is overrated; like eating, a dalliance in comfort and pleasure.
The windows are open, there is refreshing, cool breeze in our spacious flat as the first Muslim prayer call goes out in the sleeping city of Jerusalem.
Prayer is universal in time, in space, and a permanent part of human history (Hunt, 1986). Genesis 4:26, tells us when men first began to call upon the name of the Lord i.e. pray. It didn’t take long; a generation after the fall of man, albeit a long, long generation with a lifespan of 800 years or more… Wow!
Calling upon God is a part of the human existence and is recorded from Genesis to Malachi as well as in our current time, when we realize in our frailty, we need Him. Prayer knows no geographic, racial, or ethnic lines. Psalms 65:2 says, “You are the one who hears prayers. Everyone will come to you”. In the original language it says, All flesh will come to you. All flesh will have need of God. For God is actively seeking fellowship with persons whose hearts are like His. “For the eyes of Jehovah run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him” (2 Chronicles 16: 9).
Meeting together today is a divine appointment. We have been called by God. We come to experience prayer with our living, awesome God and to intercede. The bible tells us in James 5:15-17 that the effective prayer of a righteous person accomplishes much. We desire to be effective. We desire to accomplish much for God’s kingdom.
But more than this why do we pray?
2 Cor 5:20 says, We are a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…we are ambassadors for Christ, divine diplomats making God’s appeal for all to be reconciled to God. For Christ’s love compels us that all be reconciled to God. We pray to reconcile people back to God.
We pray because the world needs God and so do we. God is listening (1 Peter 3:12) and can be found by those who are looking (Matthew 7:7). Whatever we ask, think or imagine, God will do immeasurably more (Ephesians 3:20). And we pray so that the NAME of Jesus will be glorified (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12; 1 Peter 2:12).
So as I walk the streets of Jerusalem, the sleeping city, I pray for you today. I pray that you will know frailty, the essence of mortality and humanity. I pray for you that you will come to know God.
Excepts from the Doctrine of Prayer by T.W. Hunt.