by Jasmin Smith
As Apostolics, we are called “to give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). We are to pray for all men, according to 1 Timothy 2:1-2, which included our neighbors, our brothers and sisters in Christ, our spiritual leaders, those in authority over us in the world, and those we have never met. Our prayers are important, not just in connecting us with Christ, but also as a means to reach and intercede for our world.
It is important to connect with Christ in prayer in order to know Him in a deeper and more personal manner, to be renewed and strengthened by His spirit, to keep us humble, to build our faith, to develop our trust in God and His trust in us, and to increase our spiritual sensitivity allowing us to be used of God for the miraculous. The latter includes the effects our prayers have on those around us, especially in terms of intercessory prayer.
A regular, consistent prayer life is one of the keys to a strong, vibrant walk with God. Without the discipline of prayer, we cannot grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth as the Lord intended us to. We can study the subject of prayer, read books about it, and attend seminars exploring and detailing its glories. But the reality is that no matter how much we may learn about prayer, we are benefited more by a single hour of time spent communing with the Master than by many hours of the best instruction on prayer.
- “Spiritual Disciplines: Essential Practices of the Christian Life” by Robin Johnston & Karen Myers
As an Apostolic, we are called to minister one to another, and as ministers it is important that we are “prayed up.” Not only does our consistency in prayer affect our personal walk with Christ, but it also impacts our ability to minister to others. If we are truly fulfilling Acts 6:4, and praying “continually,” we will develop the disciple of prayer and in turn a knowledge of the Truth of the Lord (also discussed in Spiritual Disciplines) necessary to minister effectively.
It is only when we develop that disciple of prayer through continued communication with Christ that we are able to be truly spirit led, as it hones our sensitivity to the voice of the Shepherd.
Yes, we can and should bring our personal needs to the Lord in prayer, whether they be great or small. Our prayers, however, should not only be for ourselves. As we have read in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, our prayers are meant to be for all men, as well. Especially, in these last days we must be dedicated to praying for our lost world and its leaders, as well as our brothers and sisters in Christ and our spiritual leaders.
If we wish to see the revival we have been praying for in our churches, in our youth groups, in our families, in our communities, we must be willing to commit to intercessory prayer. This type of prayer is not just simply asking for God to reach the lost, it is prayer that exceeds the boundaries of human compassion and reaches into the realm of divine love and burden.
As Apostolic ministers, the call to prayer in Acts 6:4 and 1 Timothy 2:1-2 go hand in hand the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4), in order to reach our world and see revival. We have an obligation to pray, to remain connected to Christ, to increase our sensitivity to His spirit, and to intercede for our world. Our souls as well as the souls of others are depending upon it.