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Prayer Meeting 8:15pm


Prayer is the communion of the heart with God. According to the Westminster Shorter Catechism “Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, for things agreeable to His will, in the name of Christ, by the help of the Spirit, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgement of all His mercies” (WSC Q98).

To many, prayer is a paradox. It is a spiritual exercise that is complex yet simple. “It is the simplest form of speech that infant lips can try, yet the sublimest strains that reach the Majesty on high. … It is submissive and yet importunate. … It can be focused on a single objective and it can roam the world … It invests puny man with a sort of omnipotence” (Effective prayer – J Oswald Sanders).

Let us consider some general aspects of prayer:

o Object of prayer

Prayer must be offered to God alone, and no other because He is the omnipotent God Who is able to do all things: “For nothing is impossible with God” (Lk 1: 37). No prayer is beyond His ability to answer. He is also omniscient or all-knowing – He searches our hearts and knows not only the desires but also the thoughts and intents thereof (Ps 139: 2-4; Ps 147: 4-5; Heb 4: 12-13).

Another important attribute of God that relates to prayer is His sovereignty. He is in control of all that happens in our universe. Nothing happens without His knowledge and none can thwart His plans and purposes. So when we pray, we are fully assured that He will work out His sovereign will for us (Rom 8: 28).

Writer Warren Myers elaborates: “Who is this King to Whom we come in prayer? He is the eternal God, Creator and Sustainer of everything, everywhere. He reigns over the celestial universe, guiding the stars and planets in their courses, calling each star by name. He also governs the microscopic universe, holding together every atom in every cell of our bodies. He numbers the hairs of our heads. He cares about us … To such a God we can never bring requests that are too large or too small” (Pray– How to be effective in prayer?).

o Exhortation to prayer

Prayer is the believer’s privilege and blessing. God, our Heavenly Father, invites us to draw nigh to Him in prayer: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (II Chron 7: 14); “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry” (Ps 34: 15).

The prophet Jeremiah called upon the people of His day to seek the Lord: “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jer 33: 3). Jesus Himself challenged His disciples to bring their needs before their Heavenly Father Who would attend to them: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matt 7: 7-8).

o Access through Christ our Mediator

Believers are exhorted to pray. But how can we, weak and vile sinners, approach the holy God, the King of Heaven? How do we gain access to His throne of grace? Paul, the author of Hebrews, tells us that it is through the shed blood of Christ our Saviour: “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God” (Heb 10: 19-21). This access into God’s holy presence is symbolised by the rent veil of the Temple at Jerusalem when Jesus died on the cross of Calvary: “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent” (Matt 27: 50-51).

The throne of grace is a place of refuge and rest for the Christian. It is here that we unload our burdens (I Pet 5: 7) “and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4: 16).

o Means of grace

Prayer is one means of grace made available to the believer. The Bible records many examples of God’s people who availed themselves of this blessed means of grace.

Moses, Israel’s deliverer from Egyptian bondage, often called upon the Lord in the wilderness when he felt overwhelmed by his burdens of leading the people (Ex 15: 24-25; 17: 2-4; Num 11: 1-15, 21-23). When the early disciples were forbidden to preach the Gospel, they “they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is” (Acts 4: 24). Acknowledging His sovereignty, they asked for boldness to preach the Gospel: “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word” (v 29).


Prayer is one of the greatest blessings in a Christian’s life. It is a special privilege extended only to those who belong to the family of God, who have been washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, the perfect Lamb of God. Thank God for this wonderful means of grace. Let us resolve to draw nigh to the Lord in prayer. (… to be continued)

– Pastor