Pray Continually (Thought for January 2024)

January 13, 2024

in Monthly comment

“pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) This verse formed part of our motto text for 2023. Although I have not chosen one for2024, this verse could well be a candidate. For it speaks of what is my great desire for us as a church: that we would “pray continually.” Allow me to give 3 reasons for this.

First, as you see from our verse, we are commanded to pray. That God commands his people to pray reveals a heart-warming, prayer-inspiring truth: God wants to hear his people pray! The Bible assumes that we will be praying individually (Matthew 6:6), in our families (see Job’s example in Job 1:5), and corporately in our churches (Acts 2:42). If I can be of any help or encouragement to you in your personal and family prayers, please let me know. And as a church, let us devote ourselves to praying at the Early Morning Prayer meetings on Saturdays —making it a “sweet hour of prayer” (even if it’s not an hour long).

Second, we need to pray. I don’t know if there is anything more expressive of our creaturely dependance on God than prayer— with the possible exception of sleep. “I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord” is more than a nice lyrical expression — it is Scripture truth. For when we, his people , pray, we delight in God being God, and us being his creatures; more than that, the sheep of his pasture (Psalm 100:3) We ask God to do what we cannot do, go where we cannot go. Without him we can do nothing— oh how we need to pray!

Third, God promises blessing to his praying people. There is a famous verse that is customarily quoted in this regard: “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) We will look closer at this text on 7th January, but for now, please note the condition for God blessing: “if my people … pray”. This is not about bribing God into doing what we want. It is taking the posture that is fitting before him. It is to people in that posture that God comes with blessing. Let us, then, my dear br other s and sisters, devote ourselves this year to pray. And may the Lord be pleased to add his blessing to this praying church.



January 2024

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