Means of Grace- Prayer
The many ways or means that God uses to bless the Church simply must include prayer. There is not another religion that has a God who answers the prayers of his people as a Father responds to his child but that’s one of the many facets of Christianity.
But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. (Matthew 6:6 NLT)
The privilege of talking with the King of the Universe, coming into His presence with your needs, is truly a means of grace. It is an undeserved privilege, however, sometimes we neglect to take advantage of its benefits. Did you notice that wonderful little phrase at the end of that verse? He will reward you. When you pray you can expect reward for your efforts. I’m not talking about money or possessions; I’m talking about change. Prayer let’s the Father know, even though He already knows, that you are ready for a change in your life. Prayer expresses in words what is on your heart and that’s what He’s looking for in you, the sharing of your innermost thoughts and desires. Now, I grant you, we don’t always see the reward or the answers to our prayers in our time but I can vouch for God’s faithfulness in my life: He will answer you. It will be in His time and in His way but He will answer you.
The Church has always depended on this aspect of God’s character. As it has progressed throughout the two millennium there have been many difficult times but God has promised that “all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” That is a truth that Christians in other nations stand on as persecution arises. That is a truth that individuals stand on when trials come into their lives: prayer. I love it that God, in His desire for a relationship with us, created a way for us to communicate with Him. When I enter into corporate prayer in church with fellow believers something unique happens; God turns His ear to us and listens. As you begin the new year keep these promises on your mind: He hears, He listens, and He will respond, you can count on it!