The very heartbeat and life breath of Christianity is communion with our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. We can think of all of the blessings that we receive from God but none of them compare to Jesus. Heaven will be a sight to behold, as John glimpsed in Revelation 21, but a heaven without Jesus would be no heaven at all.
James Montgomery (1771-1854) in his hymn, “Prayer is the Soul’s Sincere Desire” reminds us that “Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath, the Christian’s native air, His watchword at the gates of death, He enters heaven with prayer.” Our communion with God is through the channel of prayer. For the Christian prayer is to be like the heart beating and the lungs breathing.
Scripture is full of references to the importance of prayer. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “pray continually” and again in Colossians 4:2, “Devote yourselves to prayer being watchful and thankful.” We all know that prayer is vital in the Christian life. If we are honest though it doesn’t come to us as easily as a heartbeat or breath, it is often hard.
James Montgomery goes on, “Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice, returning from his ways; while angels in their songs rejoice, and cry, ‘Behold, he prays!’” Prayer is the first thing we do in the Christian life when we cry, “Lord, have mercy on me a sinner” and the angels rejoice in heaven over a sinner who has repented. It is also where a Christian confesses his sins, including the pride of not praying, and humbles himself before his God crying, “O for a closer walk with God!”
There is such a need for this in my own life. I need an ever greater burden for the lost in this nation and a closer walk in communion with my God who given everything for me. The nation needs it too. In days when churches are empty or emptying, God’s people need to humble ourselves before God, confess our sins and pray seeking ever closer communion with Him. We need to pray too that God would move and save lost souls.
How wonderful it would be if the angels could say, “Beholds, he prays. Behold, she prays,” as many turn to Jesus on November 30th. Then we would say, “This is the work of the Lord and it is marvellous in our eyes!” That is my prayer and why I’m taking part in the Free Church of Scotland National Day of Prayer. Join with us.