Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Why Pray?

I have always been intrigued and amazed by the significance of prayer and, as many call it today, "the power of prayer". In graduate school at Azusa Pacific University in the early 1990's one of my professors, Don Goehner shared how the President of Mission Aviation Fellowship regularly prayed 3 (yes three) hours a day. He was often seen walking through their headquarters in the early mornings praying the halls, over staff members desks, and at the picture wall of their missionaries around the world. From that day on I have always been concerned that I find the time to dedicate daily prayer for the ministry, the people I know, and what ever God places on my heart to pray about.

I would love to read about how busy executives who travel manage to keep prayer as a priority. Its bad enough trying to keep your exercise routine going much less your healthy diet regiment active when you travel a lot. For me all the above have often been hit and miss. But, as they say, there is no excuse for the present. I find that if I don't write it down, or don't put it in my calendar things often don't get done or addressed. What works for me is having "PRAYER" scheduled the first thing every morning in my calendar so that I am reminded and committed to daily prayer. With today's technology it is so easy to schedule some time like this. Just go to "7am" on any day and hit "recurring daily" and its in your schedule for life. Just a practical idea. I would love to hear other's ideas that have worked as well.

Bishop Desmond Tutu Praying on the cover.

It may not be necessary for me to write something as elemental as to why prayer is important but something that I recently read reminded me again of the relevancy and magnitude of talking with our Creator. Bishop Desmond Tutu, the Noble Peace Prize winner and South Africa priest, sometime during the apartheid in South Africa was visiting General Theological Seminary in New York. While there he met a nun who was essentially what they call a "solitary nun". Most of her time was spent away from people, in solitude, and in the presence of God. In a conversation with Bishop Tutu she shared that, "I live in the woods in California, and my day starts at two in the morning, and I pray for you."

Bishop Tutu responded, "Here I am being prayed for at two in the morning in the woods in California! What chance does the apartheid government stand?" The Bishop went on to say, "Most of us don't take seriously the power of payer. How much we owe to those dear old ladies who faithfully go to the Eucharist every Wednesday morning. They are unspectacular, unsung. We're probably going to discover that some extraordinary things when we get to heaven. We'll be amazed at the number of people who sustained us."

Never, never underestimate the power of prayers!!

*Dedicated to Greg Yova and appreciation to Dan Irving.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Prayer is both specific and ongoing for me. Every thought I form is breathing a prayer to God, but too often I neglect the discipline of prayer that includes listening. You remind me that discipline is a part of the prayer life I am missing. Thank you for sharing.