Repost: Our Chief Work: Prayer

Our son Robert and daughter-in-law, Janice, often call Kathleen and me on Sunday afternoon, as well as other times during the week. On occasion they tell us as they are saying goodbye that they are about to join a Zoom prayer call with other members of the Board of Trustees of Greenville University.

This particular effort is an initiative of longtime friends, Doug and Margie Newton, whose ministry for many years has focused on prayer. Robert tells me that this group of trustees has been praying faithfully together every week for well over a year. Many others both on and off-campus are praying, too.

This reminds me of various occasions across my lifetime when the people of God prayed in a sustained way together.  

I remember a gathering of twenty or thirty people every morning during the week of a Bible Conference at Light and Life Park in Lakeland, Florida. 

Or another time when the people gathered to pray thirty minutes before the evening services during a spiritual awakening week at a midwestern church.   

We have the example of Jesus to guide us. He interspersed his great miracles with retreats to pray and to renew his own spiritual resources. He taught us to pray.

For Christians, prayer begins and ends to some degree in mystery. We pray not because we completely understand the dynamics of this spiritual exercise but because God has revealed himself to us as a mighty, caring Father and our hearts are moved to respond in praise, petition, and intercession.

And when God’s Spirit moves his people to pray, He sometimes responds quickly. As a result of the prayer services in that midwestern church mentioned above, a man came to me privately to confess that eleven years earlier he had been a church treasurer and on one occasion had taken $25 from the offering, intending to pay it back. But he never did. Meeting with others for prayer had awakened his conscience. He wanted to pay back what he had taken with interest. Who can put a value on the awakening of conscience in just one human heart?

In the case of the Bible conference, who can know fully how God heard those prayers and responded?  

And at Greenville University, Robert and Janice tell us, God appears to be on the move in strengthening the institution and by working in the hearts of faculty, staff, community, and above all, students.  Who can know the eternal consequences that might go out from Greenville University in all directions?

Thomas Hooker was an English Puritan of the early seventeenth century. He was called the father of Connecticut.

He was a clergyman of great influence and achievement. Yet he wrote, “Prayer is my chief work, and it is by means of it that I carry on the rest.”

Photo credit: home thods (via flickr.com)

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2 thoughts on “Repost: Our Chief Work: Prayer

  1. I was privileged to attend the inauguration of Pres. Davis and to hear her emphasis on the upholding of Christian & Free Meth. values. I, also, met your daughter Carolyn at the football game. Good to hear the emphasis on prayer by your son and other trustees.

  2. Thank you for being so faithful in the Ministry God has laid out before you…all these years past….today and in the days ahead 🙏 ❤.

    On Mon, Nov 1, 2021, 7:05 AM Just Call Me Pastor wrote:

    > Donald N. Bastian posted: ” Our son Robert and daughter-in-law, Janice, > often call Kathleen and me on Sunday afternoon, as well as other times > during the week. On occasion they tell us as they are saying goodbye that > they are about to join a Zoom prayer call with other memb” >

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