”The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered, because they go unasked” (Mark Batterson).
Great movements of God begin with someone praying. God breathes His life into people, the impossible is birthed, the unexpected takes shape – everything changes. Prayer is the source of our spiritual life and power.
But without prayer, a project or scheme is just that. Jesus said, “outside of me you can do nothing” [John 15.5] yet many of us are still trying to – wearing ourselves out in the process!
For Jesus, talking to and hearing from His Father was the key to His whole ministry. We need to do that too.
Of course in practise it can sometimes be very hard to pray. It can feel like an uphill struggle, especially when time is short and change doesn’t seem to be happening as quickly as we want it.
Bill Hybels encourages us to persevere and above all to be diligent: “The time of day we choose for prayer doesn’t matter, so long as we keep it faithfully. Prayer must be part of the rhythm of our daily lives.”
Praying on our own is a crucial spiritual discipline, but so is praying with others, especially if we are in a leadership role. Praying with our teams not only brings God into the challenges and situations we are all facing, but it also models to the team how to pray. Some may have never even experienced group prayer before, or prayed out loud with others.
Why not try an experiment? Make a note of where you feel your spiritual life is up to, and how you feel about that, and ask your closest friends to make the same observation about you (but not to show you, just yet). Then, set aside a specific time and place to pray every day, and stick to that rhythm for three months. You may find it quite challenging! At the end of the three months note where you are at spiritually, and how your feel, and compare that with three months previously. Then, ask your friends to do the same thing again, and read both their sets of observations about you (i.e. before and after). You may find it very encouraging!