Prayer: Essential for Spiritual Growth

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place.  When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray…” (Luke 11:1).

Prayer is the most vital aspect of a believer’s walk with God.  Bible reading and memorization are extremely important for our spiritual health and growth.  But there are many believers around the world who do not have a Bible, and while significantly hampered, they can still grow.  Fellowshipping with other believers in community is certainly necessary for our spiritual life.  But there are believers who cannot participate in meaningful fellowship, and they still grow.  Listening to preaching and teaching can stimulate us to go deeper in our faith.  But again, many believers do not have the wealth of teachers we in the West have, but they still mature in their faith.  Without prayer, however, real growth does not occur much.

In a given church, there are believers who are growing deeper in their faith and those who are not. In most churches the ratio of growing believers to non-growing ones is probably one out of five or worse.  The difference?  Those who are growing probably have a prayer life, or at least are working to develop one.  Or another possibility: they have someone who is significantly praying for their spiritual growth. 
Lord, forgive me for the many times I have taken for granted the knowledge of Your Presence working in my life.  I have everything I need to grow into the fullness of Christ, and yet I am so distracted by other things.  Give my heart a deep desire to develop a mature lifestyle of prayer so that I may participate fully in Your plans and purposes.

–Adapted from Praying Like Paul (Learning to Pray the Kingdom for Those You Love) by Jonathan Graf 

Prayer Points
Pray that your pastor will present God’s message courageously, whether it is accepted or not (Ezek. 2:3-7). Ask God to help all your church’s leaders to consistently follow God’s Word themselves (2:8).

Pray that the children have hearts open to God’s Word from their earliest years. Ask God to help them keep their ways pure by living according to his Word (Ps. 119:9).

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend