Investing in the Kingdom has been the C3 theme for January and as we close the month, I would like to focus on one of the greatest investments we can make for the Kingdom of God on earth: prayer.
Each of us have probably had those who relentlessly prayed for us when we were on a wayward path or in need, whether we realized it or not. When I was in a period of not following God, my mother was the person pleading with God for my protection and salvation. I would learn years later of the investment she made for me in prayer that would bring me into the relationship with my Heavenly Father that I enjoy today. This recognition of the power of prayer and the great dividends that result should encourage us to make the investment of prayer a priority in our lives.
The Purpose of Prayer
Many have been raised to pray before a meal or at bedtime, but what is the purpose of prayer? If God knows what is on our heart, then why do I need to pray? Prayer is the transforming power that allows us to commune with our Heavenly Father and build a relationship with Him that we were created to have. This is not a monologue, but a dialogue that allows us to commune with Him and hear His heart for us.
We get a glimpse of this in Luke 11:1-4, when the disciples witness the prayer life of Jesus and ask Him to teach them how to pray. “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.” There was obviously something different about the way Jesus prayed and their desire to learn to pray as Jesus prayed.
Jesus is not only our example, but through the finished work of the cross, we are able to freely and boldly pray with confidence as outlined in Hebrews 4:15-16, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Jesus is Our Example
When we examine the life of Jesus, we see our perfect example of a front-line prayer warrior. Mark 1:35 reflects how Jesus integrated prayer, or communion with His Heavenly Father into His daily life. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” This is how he was able to say in John 12:49, “For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.” He was able to state this because He spent time with His Father in prayer and was able to discern the will of His Father.
Our daily prayer life can become routine and ineffective if we allow our prayer life to become a monologue versus a dialogue. James 5:16 states the wisdom and power of integrating this practice into our lives, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” This is the powerful and effective example of prayer that Jesus provided throughout the Gospels and should also be employed as we pray for others and the nation.
Praying for Others and Our Nation
When I think about the power of prayer for others and our nation, I am reminded of 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” This is a formula for success as we seek God’s will for our nation, community, organizations, and family.
Join me as we invest in prayer for those in our circle of influence and join C3 in 2020 as we walk out the C3 vision, “connect Christians to transform communities.” As business, alliance, and church leaders in the Christian community work together to accomplish this, we will fulfill Jesus last prayer in John 17:23, “I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
To get more information and join the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce (SC-C3) movement, go to www.sc-c3.org and become a member today!
Jamie Jordan is the State Director for the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce (SC-C3). His passion is to see unity and excellence exhibited within the Christian community. Jamie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.