DEVOTIONAL PAGE - "Brethren, I have written a letter unto
you" (Hebrews 13:22).
September 23, 2019
Prayer Reality Check
Billy Graham noted, “Jesus prayed
briefly when He was in a crowd; He
prayed a little longer when He was with
His disciples; and He prayed all night
when He was alone. Today, many in the
ministry tend to reverse that process."
Here is a perfect reality check for us.
Do we, as
Graham suggests, talk (or write) often
about prayer in public ministry or
conversation and then neglect it in
private? Or do we pray long, sermonic
prayers loaded with heavy devotional or
theological language when around other
Christians and then toss two-minutes'
worth of hurried selfish petitions at
God - with no waiting in His presence,
no worship, no thanksgiving, no kingdom
requests, no interceding for others'
needs - when alone with Him? And that
only when adversities or the demands of
ministry force us to do so?
If we don't watch ourselves, spiritual
hypocrisy will creep up on us until
suddenly one day we wake up and realize
our praying is far behind our preaching.
is through private prayer that we
receive needed conviction, correction,
and spiritual readjustment, and fresh
infusions of Christ's life that keep us
fresh, inspired, and inspirers of the
uninspired. Without this private prayer
life we have no potent ministry life.
explicitly called us to a hidden life of
secret prayer: "When thou prayest, enter
into thy room, and when thou hast shut
thy door, pray to thy Father, who is in
secret..." (Matthew 6:6). He promised
His Father would give private
petitioners public proofs: "And thy
Father, who seeth in secret, shall
reward thee openly" (Matthew 6:6). To
further inspire us to commit to secret
prayer He revealed, "Your Father knoweth
what things ye have need of, before ye
ask him" (6:8). This was Christ's
concept of prayer.
Does this mean we shouldn't pray in
public? Or that all public praying is
Pharisaic and displeasing to Christ? No,
it simply means our house of public
prayer - praying over our meals, in
church meetings, in prayer meetings, in
public gatherings, on street corners, on
radio or television or the Internet! -
should be built on a solid foundation of
visiting and talking with God daily in
the secret place. This authenticates our
public prayers and our preaching on
Paul's concept of prayer adds another
twist: "Pray without ceasing" (1
Thessalonians 5:17). Or "Pray regularly"
(CJB), or "Pray continually" (NIV), or
"Never stop praying" (NLT). And Paul
practiced what he preached! He assured
the Colossians he was "praying always
for you," and again, "we...do not cease
to pray for you" (Colossians 1:3, 9).
This leads us to the focal point of this
Will we submit to this biblical prayer
reality check? Will we be humble enough
to acknowledge any prayer deficiency we
may have and with childlike simplicity,
yet the highest wisdom, adopt Jesus' and
Paul's inspired concepts of prayer?
If so, then
let us pray, this day, every day, at
daybreak, at noon, in the evening. In
prosperity and adversity. In blessings
and tribulations. When ecstatic and when
grieving. When favored by men and when
forgotten. When answers are seen and
when they're delayed. In our offices and
on the go. Before and after ministering.
In the presence of believers and
nonbelievers. Not just publicly but also
in the secret place, in our prayer room,
in our hidden inner sanctum where we
commune with God. Not haphazardly but
habitually. Not just before men's eyes
and ears but daily, hourly, always
before our Father's listening ears and
powerful eyes that sweep the earth
searching for God-fearers - and
responding openly to their secret
requests according to His will (2
Greg Hinnant Ministries
PO Box 788, High Point, NC