Prayer is never a waste of time.
Have you ever visited someone, or had someone visit you and the time spent seemed like nothing more than a waste of time? Have you ever watched a movie and afterwards wondered why, why, why did I sit here for the past couple of hours? I am confident to think all of us at one time or another feel as though we have wasted time. Sometimes we may regret spending time this way or that. However, time spent in the presence of God through prayer is never a waste of time.
Well, as we continue to focus on prayer in the morning services there is going to be a deliberate and unrelenting encouragement to heighten our awareness of the importance and power of prayer. It is my hope and my prayer that as a congregation we are not only known as people of love, but also, as people of prayer.
Prayer should be one of the defining characteristics of God’s people. God entreats us to be a people of prayer. Tim Chester in, The Message of Prayer writes (pg27),
“To understand the tremendous privilege of and import of prayer we need to see it in the context of God’s purpose to have a relationship with his people. It is not possible to say, I will pray, or I will not pray, as if it were a question of pleasing ourselves: to be a Christian and to pray mean the same thing, and not a thing that can be left to our own wayward impulses. It is rather, a necessity, as breathing is to life”
In Celebration of Discipline Richard Foster writes (pg42), “Prayer catapults us on to the frontier of spiritual life. Of all the Spiritual Disciplines prayer is the most central because it ushers us into perpetual communion with the Father.” Shortly after he adds, “to pray is to change. Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us. If we are unwilling to change, we will abandon prayer as a noticeable characteristic of our lifestyle.”
17 For I cried out to him for help,
praising him as I spoke.
18 If I had not confessed the sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
19 But God did listen!
He paid attention to my prayer.
20 Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer
or withdraw his unfailing love from me.