Practice of prayer a great privilege and resource

Dr. David L. Chancey's picture

A young man went into a drugstore and bought three boxes of chocolate: small, medium and large. When the pharmacist asked him about the three boxes, he said, “Well, I’m going over to a new girlfriend’s house for supper. Then we’re going out. If she only lets me hold her hand, then I’ll give her the small box. If she lets me kiss her on the cheek, then I’ll give her the medium box. But if she lets me do some serious smooching, then I’ll give her the big box.

The pharmacist rolled his eyes as he made his purchase and left.

That evening as the young man sat down at dinner with his girlfriend’s family for the very first time, he asked if he could say the prayer before the meal. He began to pray, and he prayed the most earnest, intense, sincere prayer that lasted more than five minutes. The food was getting cold.

When he finished, his girl friend said, “You never told me you were such a religious person.”

He said, “You never told me your dad was the pharmacist down at the corner drugstore.”

This man gave new meaning to Luke’s statement, “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1).

Too often we wonder why we’re weary or spiritually anemic. It’s because we neglect the practice of prayer. Prayer unlocks the power of heaven that fuels and energizes our lives. We ought to pray and not grow weary.

A.J. Gordon said, “You can do more than pray after you’ve prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.”

Andrew Murray said, “God’s child can conquer anything by prayer.”

R.A. Torrey said, “Nothing lies outside the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the will of God.”

Jesus assumed His followers would pray. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus three times said , “ ... when you pray ...” (Matthew 6:5, 6, 7). In His own life, Jesus often slipped off to pray. He prayed in the morning (Mark 1:35); He prayed at night (Matthew 14:23). He prayed all night (Luke 6:12). Jesus prioritized prayer, and He assumed we would follow His example.

Jesus assumed we would pray because scripture commands prayer. For instance, Jeremiah 33:3 reads: “Call unto me, and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you know not.”

Jesus assumed we would pray because He knew believers need God’s help. We need to pray because we need God’s strength, wisdom and direction. In fact, we need God Himself. As Jesus said in John 15:5, “Apart from me, you can do nothing.”

As Oswald Chambers wrote, “Our understanding of God is the answer to prayer . . . As long as we get from God everything we ask for, we never get to know Him. We look at Him as a blessing machine. Your Father knows what you have need of even before you ask Him. Then why pray? To get to know your Father.”

That’s what God wants most for our lives. How well are you getting to know God? What role is prayer playing in your life?

As the great hymn states: what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. Is prayer a priority in your life?

Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, in Fayetteville. The church family gathers each Sunday at 352 McDonough Road and invites you to join them this week for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at

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