A man has nothing to say until he has prayed. This is certainly true of pastors. Each Sunday we stand in the pulpit to lead our churches in the worship of God through the opening of the Scripture. Whether this moment in worship is called a sermon, talk or homily it is a sacred moment and one for which we find ourselves accountable before God. In light of such a moment the necessity of prayer cannot be overstated.
Do you know how much your pastor prays or doesn’t pray? One sure indicator is how much prayer is included in your worship service. Another clue is how often your pastor leads in public prayer. A further evidence of the health of his prayer life is whether there is power, faith and humility in his words when he prays.
Does your pastor speak much about prayer? Is it an obvious priority in his life? Does he make it a priority in the life of the church he leads? Does he attend prayer meetings? Is there an obvious passion for the Lord when he prayers during such meetings?
“Ministers who do not spend two hours a day in prayer are not worth a dime a dozen – degrees or no degrees.” — Leonard Ravenhill
The greatest tragedy in the western world is a weak and anemic church. Political leaders often shoulder the blame for the problems in these countries but the real culprits are the dead pastors preaching dead sermons to dead parishioners. The reason for such “dead-ness” is the lack of prayer from any of them. Where there is an absence of prayer there is no life.
A pastor can never lead his church to do something he himself is failing to do. If you are in a church with a pastor who spends little time with God in prayer it is time to look for a new church and a pastor who will. Saddling yourself to a dead church led by a dead pastor is a tragic mistake too many are making in our entertainment driven world. Flash, smoke and marketing are no substitute for spiritual power; a power only attained by grace through faith demonstrated by prayer.
Prayer lines our life up with God’s heart, mind, will and purpose. Prayer creates intimacy and is the primary means by which we abide with God. There is never any spiritual fruit apart from a life which abides with God. If the leadership of your church refuses to abide with God you are deprived of the fruits of ministry God would produce through leadership who does.
Millions are searching for a relationship with God and the power of a life united to Him. There are many churches but fewer and fewer of them are actually led by men who pray and abide with God. Such men may preach “life change” but their own life lacks the reality of the language they speak. A life changed by God is passionate for Him. Such passion is demonstrated in prayer.
God is real and it should be the desire of anyone who actually knows Him to spend time with Him! If you are in a church that doesn’t pray or in a congregation in which the pastor doesn’t pray it is time to begin asking the question, “why?”
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