This resolution of Daily United Prayer is based on An Humble Attempt, originally put forward by Jonathan Edwards in 1748. Its design is to encourage God's people in the duty of united extraordinary prayer; setting aside some time every day to pray for the revival of His church and the advancement of Christ's kingdom in our homes, in our churches, in our nation, and in the world.
Some of you know that my shoulder has not been well for a few months. I believe it is a torn rotator cuff and it is very painful when moved the wrong way. As a result, over the last number of months my arm has grown very weak because of disuse. This past Monday, my wife and I were called to a neighbor's house to help a friend that had fallen. I was unable to help so my wife had to lift this grown man by herself. I felt awful. I decided it was time to do something about it. I finally started down the path of exercising againâ€”slowly. To my dismay, the muscle in my arm had atrophied so much that I could only use a 10lb weight as I struggled to avoid the pain. But I have stuck with it and little by little I am getting stronger every day. It's not much but it's progress.
I was thinking about our prayer lives and how often it can be just like that. Spiritually, we grow so very weak through long periods of prayerlessness and slothfulness that when we hit a crisis moment in our lives we hardly know how to pray. And we can be so badly "out of shape" spiritually that we convince ourselves that it's simply not possible to change. This is a lie. May I encourage you to start ... somewhere? Even if it is only with a 10lb weight. Don't be embarrassed. Don't be shy. Isn't it time that you started to pray? Don't be like King Saul who, in his moment of crisis, had a desire to pray, but was unable to pray. "The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD." 1 Sam 13:12. May that not be the case with us. Prayer is a spiritual discipline and a holy exercise. Hebrews 5:14 refers to the WORD as strong meat that belongs to them that are of full age, "even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." This can be said of prayer as well. It can be strengthened "by reason of use." You can read books about prayer, you can hear sermons on prayer, and you can post inspirational quotes regarding prayer, but the best way to learn to pray is to simply start praying and to keep praying. Do what the disciples did and ask the Lord to teach you to pray and to strengthen your faith. Come, let's begin this journey together. "Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also." Zech 8:21.
There's a hymn that comes to mind:
How long has it been since you talked with the Lord
And told Him your heartâ€™s hidden secrets?
How long since you prayed? How long since you stayed
On your knees â€˜till the light shone through?
How long has it been since your mind felt at ease?
How long since your heart knew no burden?
Can you call Him your friend?
How long has it been since you knew that He cared for you?
We invite you to join our dedicated and earnest group of praying participants of all ages from around the world that meet every day over Zoom to pray. At the start of each prayer call, a different individual will bring a brief Scriptural meditation. Here's the most recent: