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Historically, a praying church has been a spirit-filled and consistently growing church. An example of such a church is found in Acts 2. It is stated in verse 42: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of break and the prayers.” The people that this verse is talking about are the new converts, ; the three thousand added. Through prayer the apostles asked for the entire house of Israel to know that God has made Jesus Christ Lord and Messiah, and because of this, three thousand converts were added to the group of apostles. The new converts did not pray for a few minutes a day, they devoted themselves to prayer and to being taught by the apostles. Many churches in the postmodern era wonder why they are not growing in congregation members, and the truth is because they simply are not asking God for it. It says in God’s Word, “You do not have, because you do not ask (James 4.2).” The church is not growing because it is neglecting the holy communion with the Lord. 
From Christ, it is expected that Christians will pray to God. This is seen in the Bible multiple times, for example: the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6.9-15).  This is the prayer that Jesus tells while preaching the Sermon on the Mount to the crowds; it is a concise way that shows people how to pray. Another example is found in Luke 18.1, where Jesus tells a parable about how people need to always pray and to not give up on anything. Because Jesus was so forward about the need for prayer, Christians should give heed to prayer time in a more disciplined fashion, and definitely more often. Prayer should ideally be constant communion with God; it is never losing sight of the fact that one needs to turn their attention to God.  It is a way that Christians can become more like Christ; by spending time with Him. It is important that Christians are prayerful people because if the Holy Spirit were to come into one’s life, it would be through prayer, and also because if the Holy Spirit is going to work in or through a person, it would start by prayer.  It is also very important that when a Christian is praying, that they are praying in the Spirit. Because the Spirit prays in agreement to the will of God, there is a one hundred percent chance that the prayer will be answered.  Prayer is the key that will unlock God’s grace and power. 
Ephesians 1.3 asserts that God has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. In order to get a hold of those gifts and blessings that God has placed within each of us, we must first ask for them with eager desire through prayer.  It is
confirmed in James: “The power of the righteous is powerful and effective (James 5.16).” In other words, prayer actually works. Prayer brings the power of God into His children’s work. It is a supernatural gift and ability that can even save peoples’ souls, as said in 1 John 5.16. 
Donald Whitney positively asserts: “To abandon prayer is to fight the battle with our own resources at best, and to lose interest in the battle at worst.”  Without asking for God’s grace during times of struggles or even times of prosperity, they are not fruitful. In order to truly learn how to pray, one needs to meditate on the scriptures. By reading God’s Word, meditating on it, and then praying about what one has meditated on, the Holy Spirit teaches the follower how to pray.  When we pray, we are speaking to God. It is a privilege to be able to speak to our Maker.
It has been so fruitful and productive to study everything about the spiritual discipline of prayer. This year I have decided to take a more orthodox view of Lent, and so I have been studying that in my spare time as well. For Lent, I am going to refrain from sleeping in on school days. I am going to wake up at 6:00 to pray for at least an hour, along with reading the Bible. (good for you Mackenzie) After Christmas this year, when I had come back from my home (in Belgium), as I was jet-lagged, I would be awake at 5:00 here. I read for several hours and prayed each morning for those few weeks, and they were very productive days and I grew intimately with God. I would like to spiritually discipline myself to be able to wake up early in the morning to be with God, and I hope that He will see the yearning in my spirit and will give me the grace to wake up to pray to Him.
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