First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.1 Timothy 2:1–4 (NRSV)
“I don’t believe in prayer. I would rather do something”…was once said to me.
I believe this person speaks for perhaps many others who do not see prayer as doing something but rather avoiding something. The prophet Samuel had a different take on prayer.
23 Moreover as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.1 Samuel 12:23 (NRSV)
Prayer held an exceedingly important place in Samuel’s leadership of the people. This has become my guiding verse as a pastor in the last few years. As tempting as it is to lead by instruction, or preaching, or blog posts, if I don’t first lead in prayer nothing else matters.
We, the people of God, have been given prayer as our work. Full Stop. Do we trust God enough to make this our primary work? That is the question I wrestle with. Maybe a good question for us all to consider?