“Audacious prayer, which perseveres unflinchingly and ceases not through fear, is well pleasing unto God,” wrote Luther. “As a shoe maker makes a shoe, or a tailor makes a coat, so ought a Christian to pray. Prayer is the daily business of a Christian.” Martin Luther
“God does nothing but in answer to prayer.” John Wesley
Prayer is central to our identity as Christians. It is a distinctive that speaks volumes about the singular nature of our faith. We have personal communion with the God of the universe. Our prayers are not issued into the void in hope that some anonymous deity will take pity upon or show favor toward us. We speak directly to God and he will speak to us.
No spiritual discipline has meaning without prayer. Training ourselves to pray effectively is a primary step that is to be mastered before the other disciplines are attempted. When we live a Christian life without prayer we deprive ourselves of the strength, power and transformation that any other discipline might bring about.
To pray is to change.
A foundational truth regarding prayer is that it is simultaneously natural and unnatural. We do not naturally come to prayer and we must be intentional about pursuing it. Prayer requires effort and a long period of apprenticeship. Unlike the apprenticeship of a silversmith however, our initial prayer has power and effect. God knows our abilities and His grace extends his patience with our first, faltering words.
We must sit at the feet of the Master and learn to pray just as His first disciples did. One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1) These will be our words as well, Lord teach us to pray.
Grace and peace to you.