Doorways to Prayer

The Lord leads us to pray by many avenues.

“‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’” Jeremiah 33.3

God wants us to pray, and He has several avenues to lead us to prayer.

To the modern ear, verses that exhort us to pray without ceasing seem unreasonable (cf. 1 Thess. 5.17; Lk. 18.1). What might have seemed appropriate for the early Church, now seems irrelevant and inapposite to the social media age.

But our indifference to prayer, or even outright unwillingness to pray, should seem reprehensible, given the doorways God uses to draw us into prayer. Since God is ever presenting us with doorways to prayer, we are churlish to ignore such summons.

One such doorway is our wonder of the character of our Lord:

Give to the LORD the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come into His courts.
Oh, worship the L
ORD in the beauty of holiness!
Tremble before Him, all the earth. 
Psalm 96.8, 9

God is continuously revealing Himself in the things we see all around us (Ps. 19.1-4). Reflection upon His attributes should draw us to prayer and praise.
Next, more directly, we are commanded to pray. Paul’s admonition to the Thessalonians to pray without ceasing (I Thess. 5.17) was just that. An admonition.

Three times Jesus uses the phrase “when you pray” in Matthew 6 – when, not if. Jesus took it for granted that disciples of His would be in prayer. Indeed, He said we should always pray, and not tire of it (Lk. 18.1).

Struggling with our own sinfulness should compel us to pray (Rom. 7.24, 25). As we fill our minds with thoughts of God’s goodness, our pitiful shortcomings should drive us to our knees.

Compassion for others and their own struggles against sin should encourage us to pray. Those who have endured long struggles with their obstinate hearts know sin’s destructiveness. Seeing the pain and suffering sin inflicts upon the world should encourage us to pray.

The intense suffering by many in the persecuted Church should impel us to pray. Their sufferings of injustice, trials, persecutions, torture and death should not go unnoticed. Neither should the racial and social division, the plight of the poor and broken, and society’s assault upon the unborn and aged.

Being recipients of God’s grace should spur us on to pray for others. Since every good and perfect comes to us from God, it is appropriate for us to acknowledge these, as often as we can (Jms. 1.17; Ps. 103). This is what we most often naturally think of when revival has begun: God’s people overflowing with repentance, faith, and gratitude.

But a church caught up in revival will use each of these doorways to engage the Lord in prayer.

Let us not be a church that is content to stand outside. Doors to prayer are before you at every moment. Enter a door and lift your voice to the Lord.

Ralph Lehman, Men’s Prayer Coordinator
T. M. Moore, Principal

Help us get the word out about Men at Prayer and our movement to enlist and equip men for prayer. Watch this brief video, then wait on the Lord to guide you into your next steps in taking your place on the wall for prayer.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

Ralph Lehman

Ralph Lehman, JD, CFA, CAIA, is an investment adviser after having spent nine years in a discipleship-focused ministry, Worldwide Discipleship Association, where his ministry focused primarily on college students and inner-city work. Ralph resides in Knoxville, TN with his wife Charlotte and he is a Board member for the Fellowship of the Ailbe.

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