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Joy of Prayer


No Substitute for Prayer

Substitute means that something is taking the place of something else.It's not a particularly kind word. In today's market place, there is a substitute for almost anything. In the sports world, substitutes line the benches waiting to get a chance to go into the game. If you take a doctor's prescription to the pharmacy, chances are that a generic drug will be substituted for the name brand prescription drug. In the grocery store, the counters are lined with substitute products.

But, what about in the area of religion and the church? There are some things for which there is no suitable substitute. Oh, we have tried no doubt, but we have failed! There is one thing that cannot be replaced, and that is PRAYER. You can try to substitute 'busy work' for prayer and all you get is tired. You can sit around and plan program after program and what you end up with is ideas with no feet! Don't misunderstand me. We need to plan. We need to stay busy in doing the work of God. But, if what we do is not begun with prayer, then it is probably destined to fail.

I believe that we can do the work of God and be out of the Will of God. We can teach, preach, witness, and do other godly work, but it has to be done in God's timing. It is through prayer that the Spirit of God guides the work we do. When we are involved in doing God's work according to His Will, then the results are in his hand. Someone has said, 'we don't tell God what to do or how to do it, our part is just to show up for work.'

Through prayer, we discern the will of God for our lives. Through prayer lives are changed. What would happen if we had people praying for the church and for the people each Sunday morning? What would be the result of intense prayer for the following: Ministers? Choir? Children's Church? Musicians? Ushers? Church finances? Spiritual life of the church? For forgiveness and salvation? For people in the pews? For the needs of the congregation both known and unknown?

Prayer does and will make a difference in our lives and in the life of the church. There is no substitute for the gift of personal communication with God.

by Rev. Bob Willis



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