Let's Learn to Pray, Again!

On a small ranch in Wyoming a man went out to protect his cattle from an approaching tornado as his wife and child looked on. With a sudden turn, the tornado moved directly toward him. His wife excitedly turned to their son and said, “Johnny, quick! Get on your knees and pray!” Johnny instantly fell to his knees and began to say: “Now I lay me down to sleep…” It was the only thing he had ever said to God! This fictitious story should remind us of the importance of teaching our children to pray. Without proper understanding, they cannot pray effectively. Many of them learn to recite a model, but don’t comprehend how to communicate with Jesus Christ. We need to help them realize that God desires a relationship with them and it is not just our children who need to understand the power of prayer. The foundation of nations is built on prayer, therefore we as adults need to learn how to pray for our church – our land – is need of revival as perhaps never before and only in prayer will we find restoration and revelation.

Relationship is the core of effective prayer. Each of us has been given the ability to come before God’s throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16) at any time to communicate with our Creator. This is one of the truths that makes our faith unique, but it can be difficult for young minds to grasp. On an earthly level, we are not accustomed to this kind of unlimited access to those in authority, but God is different. We can approach Him in an instant. He wants to hear from us and is pleased when we call! He will never put us “on hold,” tell us He will respond later, His “phone” off the hook or let an answering machine take our message.

Jesus Christ wants a relationship with us that is built on time spent in His presence and through reading His Word. On a personal level, we can speak to Him about anything and everything. And yet, although prayer is simple, its principles must be learned. Even the disciples asked their Master to teach them to pray.

There is no underestimating the importance of prayer in a family or its influence and vital importance in our nation. I feel this very strongly because it was so decidedly absent from my own early childhood experience. The little girl that I once was grew up in a troubled home where daily prayers were unknown and the sounds of joyful praise were never heard. I’m aware of what family-centered spiritual training can mean to a child because I “discovered” it for myself when I was about eight years old. What a contrast to the rich spiritual heritage of my husband’s family! He has often told me how his grandmother used to gather the six children around her for daily devotions. She prayed, “Lord, it is my most urgent request that each of these children will come to know You personally. If one of them fails to make that commitment, it would have been better that I never had been born.” This is the priority she gave to her spiritual responsibility. Her prayers made such an impression on Jim’s dad that he referred to them throughout his life. This is the example our children need to see in us. But it is more than a model. Prayer and reverence for God must permeate every aspect of our lives and become a natural part of our life.

We need to learn how to become a people of prayer once again. Then and only then will God hear us from heaven and restore and heal our land. This past weekend, we held a 27-hour concert of prayer with over 60 of the foremost teachers on prayer. If your schedule allows, please take time now to view the many sessions of prayer and prayer teaching that took place. Together, they challenged, inspired and motivate us to be united as one voice as perhaps never before. Click here to watch now

- Shirley Dobson, Chairman