“Never stop praying.” - 2 Thessalonians 5:17
For almost 15 years, the FCA National Support Center in Kansas City has incorporated a daily practice into our schedule. At 8:30 am, we have an optional prayer time for staff for thirty minutes called Morning Glory. It is a time of interceding for our field staff, praying for needs of the ministry, and lifting up personal requests. Some days we have a couple of people and others days we have more. We also have incorporated Morning Glory into meetings or conferences we have outside of the office.
When we recently gathered with our International FCA leaders in Thailand for a leadership conference, I quickly learned how they view prayer. Not an option. Non -negotiable. Must do. Prayer for them is the life-line that they run to daily. I would call it desperate prayer. Every morning at Morning Glory during our conference, everybody showed up. Nobody was missing! They came ready to prayer, and we prayer with intensity, fervor, and passion.
They viewed prayed as the work of the ministry, not something they did to bless the ministry. It challenged me deeply as they all showed up each morning to do the work of prayer. They valued prayer and carved out the time each day to make it a priority! Prayer for them was not a last resort, but their first response.
Prayer isn’t something to rush through to get to the work.
Prayer is the work!
Martin Luther was once asked what his plans for the following day were, and he answered, “Work, work, from early until late. In fact, I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” The busier he got, the more he prayed. For us, that is counterintuitive. For our international leaders, that makes sense. When we get busy, we reduce or eliminate our time with the Lord. For them they prayer longer, because they understand desperate prayer – it’s non-stop!
Prayer needs to be the driving force in our lives.
Prayer is our greatest weapon. We need to move from mini prayers to mighty prayers, short prayers to long prayers, occasional prayers to often prayers, and shallow prayers to deep prayers. Prayer makes us. Prayer molds us. Prayer matures us. In 2 Thessalonians 5:17, Paul encourages us to pray without ceasing. He tells us to keep the lines of communication with the Father open at all times in every circumstance. It’s a 24-7 thing. Paul’s encouragement is for us to have a life of prayer.
I learned from our international teammates that we shouldn’t just pray for the work, instead prayer is the work. Prayer matures a leader, and a leader matures in prayer. Let’s discover what desperate prayer is all about!
“Father, please help us to understand the power of prayer. Help us to always be quick to pray but not to pray quick. We don’t want to dishonor You by always rushing when we speak with You. May we learn what desperate prayer is all about. Teach us Lord to pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”