I want the times we live in to be praying times. I want the Christians of our day to be praying Christians. I want the church to be a praying church. – J.C. Ryle
With the words above, J.C. Ryle concludes his little book A Call to Prayer. Can we say that we have the same desire that he has? A desire to see this generation be the most prayer saturated since the day of Pentecost? To see the church of today be the most committed to praying?
What about in your own personal life? Can you strive and labor in prayer like never before?
Pray boldly for what God has already promised and for what he is already doing. Pray for sanctification. Pray for spiritual growth. Pray for gospel witness. Pray for mission. Pray for these things because it honors God when we pray about what he has told us he will do. Why? Because this is the prayer of true faith. Faith in what God has said to us.
Also pray humbly for what you cannot accomplish. Pray for the growth and change of those you love, those you serve, those in your small group or class. Pray humbly, knowing that you too are in need of the same blood of Christ and the same Spirit of Christ. Pray humbly for those who are lost. Pray humbly before the God who welcomes you in but who did so at great expense. Never forget what it cost God to open the door to his throne room.
For those of us who often feel too unworthy to pray or who feel guilty about our lack of praying, and for those who are easily distracted while praying, may I remind you that it is the blood of Jesus that allows you to pray, not your own level of self- discipline. By God’s grace you are never distant from God. You are always close enough and clean enough to pray. No matter how much you have not prayed in the past, or how many times you have fallen asleep while praying. No matter how many sins you have or have not committed today, you can pray. It is Jesus alone, not ourselves, that opens that door. Pray in his name, in faith, believing- that is, pray from his work on the cross. His authority. Because being in Christ means it is now our authority and access.