Fact or fiction? Is this really true? Les came home recently from a meeting where Phil Spoelstra shared the statistic that 74% of our PAOC churches have plateaued or are in decline. I’m asking God why? I’m sure that there are a number of reasons, but one factor that comes to my mind is perhaps it is a lack of fervent prayer.
I recently read that there is a difference between ‘a church that prays’ and a ‘praying church”.
The church that prays only prays when there is a need or a crisis, but a praying church intentionally and consistently makes prayer a priority. Consider these wise words from E.M. Bounds, “Church activities may so engage and absorb us as to hinder praying, and when this is the case, evil results always follow. It is better to let the work go by default than to let prayer go by neglect. Whatever affects the intensity of our praying, affects the value of our work. . . . . How easy it is to neglect or abbreviate our praying simply by the plea that we have church work on our hands. Satan effectively disarms us when he keeps us too busy doing other things that keep us from prayer.”
Prayer is the key to spiritual success in ministry and Jesus said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer”. Jesus was quoting from Isaiah 56:7, where the phrase is repeated twice, and in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, the Apostle Paul also exhorts us to “Pray without ceasing”. Let’s DO IT, not just talk about it. Plan to pray and then pray before you make any other plans; let prayer lead the way. Pray for a passion for prayer and then pray for a passion for the lost. We can also pray for more prayers – an army of intercessor warriors who are ready to stand in the front lines of the spiritual battle for good and for God.