In Acts 6:4 we read the words of the apostles, “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer…”. This phrase “give ourselves” implies a personal action and responsibility. It says that they “gave” not that it was given to them or that it came natural to them. They had to make the effort and take the time themselves to press into a life of continual prayer and studying the scripture. They were diligent to give themselves to the Lord. They found faithful men to serve and care for the physical needs of the people, so that they could spend more time alone with God. These leaders understood that there were deeper levels and depths of knowing God that they must attain to do what they were called to do. Therefore, it was essential for each of them to press into God so that they could meet the spiritual needs of others better. They knew before they talked to man about God that they must first talk to God about man.
So often I hear people say, “if I had more time” or “if it was my job” I would spend more time seeking God in prayer and the studying of the Word. But the apostles were as busy as anyone else if not more and they didn’t use those excuses. Instead it says that they gave themselves to prayer and the word. They didn’t allow anything to distract or to keep them from pursuing more of God.
In Paul’s epistle to the Thessalonians he exhorts the believers to “pray without ceasing.” (1 Thess. 5:17) This isn’t just for leaders, but for every Christian. In Luke 18:2-8, Jesus shares a parable of the unjust judge and the persistent widow where He brings out the overlaying message, “That men always ought to pray and not lose heart,” (Luke 18:1). So many believers seldom pray or they fizzle out when they haven’t seen the results they are looking for quick enough. We have become a society that demands instant everything, instant food, instant banking and instant messaging. This same attitude has flowed right into the fabric of the church and our relationship with the Lord. God wants us not to lose heart in our pray life.
We Must know before we talk to man about God that they must first talk to God about man. (Click to Tweet)
Jesus and the Apostle Paul exhort us to pray. It’s about as optional as breathing is to your body. Paul stirs young Timothy in his letter, “I desire therefore that men pray everywhere,” (I Tim. 2:8) and then to the believers at Colossi he says, “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2).
In James 4:17 we are warned, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” If we know that we are to pray in an attitude of continuous prayer and we aren’t doing it we are in sin. Samuel declared it was a sin for him to cease from praying, “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you,” (I Sam. 12:23). Isaiah declared, “And there is no one who calls on Your name, who stirs himself up to take hold of You…” (Isa. 64:7).
A Christian who does not have a disciplined prayer life is disobedient and powerless. The Lord grieves when His children are in such a state. He loves His children and wants to see them walk in victory. The Holy Spirit is always wooing His children to come in communion with Him not just occasionally but to walk in an attitude of continuous prayer.