It is evident from Genesis 4:26 that at the birth of Enos saome remarkable changes took place in the manner by which the people of God paid their homage to God to Him. ( And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos; then began men to call upon the name of God Genesis 4:26 ).
Prayer is our need crying out for help.Prayer is the voice of faith to the Father.Prayer is the Living Word on lips of faith.Prayer is the channel through which all good flows from God to man,and akk good from men to men.Prayer is a privilege,a sacred pricely privilege.Prayer is a duty,an obligation most binding,and most inperative,whichshould hold us to it.But prayer is more than a privilege,more than a duty.It is a means,a instrument,a condition.It is the appointed condition of getting God's aid.It is a avenue through which God supplies man's wants.
It is time to ask the Question,What is prayer anyway?But why now,why this late in the study? I havean idea we are not really ready for the answer to that question until we are convinced of the importance of Prayer in the first place.I have already said that prayer looks out on three worlds.We shall deal with the nature of prayer from this vantage point.We will discuss prayer as worship;prayer as work;and pryer as warfare.
PRAYER AS WORSHIP
We should be reminded that prayer is not just a means whereby we may come to know God. Prayer,in its primary essence,is worship.Worship is the recognition of worth,the fitting of God into the overall picture of our lives,in His proper perspective.Without prayer there is no worship.By prayer we enter into God's holy temple,and penetrate at once to the throne of grace.Prayer is not only the shortest distance to God's mighty throne,it is the only way in.
To think that this supreme wonder would take place so suddenlywith one bold, blood bought step!There we see the Lord Jesus ever living to pray for us,and ready to give us of His own praying by His Spirit.The veil of sense and space that hides Him within His temple universe is suddenly removed as we pray.We enter into His temple with Thansgiving and Praise and lo.we are before His throne,Priests before our great High Priest.There too,we are suddenly in the presence of angels and archangels,and with all the company of Heaven,we worship and adore Him.Only there do we discover the wonder of worship,that worship is before work,and that all His works are done in the spirit of worship.There are many churchgoers but few worshipers,because there are few prayers.So as prayer looks toward God,it is worship.This is His primary essence.There are only two ways to get to know God,thru His Word and Prayers.But the fact is that while the Word contains facts about God,only prayer and prayerful use of the Word can we use it to get to Know God.
PRAYER AS WORK
Verily,verily,I say unto you,He that believeth on me,the works that I do shall he doalso;and greater works than these;...because I go to My Father.And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name,that will I do,that the Father may be glorified in the Son.If ye shall ask any thing in my name,I will do it (John14:12-14).
Unfortunately in our modern day,in practice if not precept,prayer is pitted against work as its foe.Prayer does not fit us for the greater works;prayer is the greater work.The disciples, after seeing Jesus perform the miracle of feeding the thousands,asked a very significant question,What shall we do that we might work the works of God (John6:28).Jesus simple answer was;This is the work of God,that U believe on Him whom He hath sent (John8:29). How eager the disciples were to do the work of the kind they had seen Jesus doing.And so it is with us.But much of the work that we are doing has little of the ring of a work of God.It may be a work for God,but it is surely not the work of God.There is a vital difference,I am convinced that the work of God is simply God at work in us in unhindered capacity and that all else is simply man's work for God which shall come to naught.Now the significant thing about this is that prayer is the means by which this is implemented.Prayer is work,and with out prayer there is no work.Prayer is not the foe to work;it does not paralyze activity.It works mightily;prayer itself is the greatest work.
We have in John14:12-14,five great considerations of prayer as work.
;there is the declaration of the greater works.
It is both impressive and revelant that as Jesus prepared His disciples for His own absence from them He informs them that the works of God will not cease with His leaving.There is only one qualification,he that believes on me.
;there is the dimension of the greater works.
He said that we would do the same works as He and that we would do those surpassing his work.He further adds we are to ask anything in His name and we can expect to receive it.
;there is the designation of the greater works.
And whatsoever you shall ask in my name.we are literally taking His place in prayer,standing in His stead as He stands in ours.This is the designation by whichwe are to pray.That name represents all that He is,all that He has done,and all that He desires!
there is the dynamics of the greater works.
Twice in this brief passage Jesus says,I will do it!that is the dynamic of our work-His doing!
Prayer is releasing Him in us to do that greater work.
there is the design of the greater work.
That the Father may be glorified in the Son.There is no doubt about the the final design behind it all.The glory of God is the chief end of man and the final design of the universe.The location of all this is in the Son.
Thus we see that prayer is work.Man prays and worships God.Man prays and works toward kingdom consummation.There is a sense that as man prays he looks at God in worship,and from worship serves the Lord in prayerful work toward others.Jesus reveals the secret of His work.But Jesus answered them,My Father worketh hitherto,and I work...Verily,verily,I say unto you.The Son can do noyhing of Himself,but what He seeth the father do:for what things soever He doeth,these also doeth the Son likewise(John 5:17-19).Jesus simply did what He saw the Father doing.That was the full nature of His work.Later in the same chapter He said, I can of mine own self do nothing:as I hear,I judge;and my judgement is just,because I seek not mine own will,but the will of my Father who hath sent Me.He not only did what He saw, but He said only what He heard.Now,that is a simple relationship.And He expects nothing more ande nothing less of us.He did nothing He had not seen,and said nothing He had not heard.He saw what God was up to and got in on it.He heard what God was saying and repeated it.And thus He did the works of God.Jesus communicated with the Father in constant prayer.He was first and foremost a erson of prayer.The disciples recognized this when they ask Him to teach them to pray.We ask a person whomwe recognize as an expert to teach us to do something.It is with our praying that God works.All that God does,He does thru the agency of prayer.Thru the means of prayer we find out where God is working and join Him.Prayer was the main work of Christ while He was on earth.It is the main work of Christ now.He ever liveth to make intercessions for [us] (Hebrews 7:25).It is the main work of the Holy Spirit in us to intercede according to the intercessions that are being made for us in heaven.When we pray we are merely cooperating with diety.We are always saying let us pray and get to the work,When we pray we are to the work,the main work of the ministry.When we recognize that and further recognize that until we learn to pray we shall do no work which is God's work,we will be determined to pray!Find the secret of working with God in prayer.
PRAYER AS WARFARE
Prayer is not only worship and work,it is also warfare.It is the missing facet in most praying that makes it empty ritual at worst and pious platitudes at best. The greatest agency put into man's hands is prayer. And to define prayer one must use the language of war. Peace language is not equal to the situation. The earth is in a state of war and is being hotly besieged. Thus one must use war talk to grasp the fact with which prayer is concerned. Prayer from God's side is communication between Himself and His allies in the enemy country. When we pray, we give God a footing in the battlefield. The devil has no defense system against prayer, for prayer throws the battle to the Lord, an engagement the devil has no stomach for. It is not Christian work that gets to the devil, it is prayer. It is only in prayer that we engage the devil. But before we panic at this fact, please be reminded that as you face the engagement it is with a victory already won for you on CALVARY. You are in a very real sense sense simply updating a victory already won. You are standing in the incontestable authority of the crucified, risen, and ascended Lord and storming the battle lines of the enemy. If there is no prayer, there is no warfare. The only hope the devil has is to stop the praying. When the praying stops, the warfare stops and the devil acts unhindered to seek to thwart the Kingdom enterprises. The prayer closet is the arena which produces the overcomer. The world is a laboratory in which thosed destined for the throne are learning in actual practice how to overcome Satan and his hiearchy. This means that redeemed humanity out ranks all other orders of created beings in the universe.