The Cinderella of the Church (Part 1)
Prayer, a topic that has been pressed upon my heart; something so timely we need to grab onto it right now considering what is happening in this world.
Leonard Ravenhill, as he peered into the church and saw how she was handling prayer stated, “The Cinderella of the Church today is the prayer meeting. This handmaiden of the LORD is unloved and unwooed because she is not dripping with pearls of intellectualism, nor glamorous with the silks of philosophy, neither is she enchanting with the tiara of psychology. She wears the homespuns of sincerity and humility and so is not afraid to kneel!”
Think about what he said, it is an eloquent and beautiful description of prayer. He likens prayer to Cinderella. The terrifying part is how the church is responding to Cinderella. They are abandoning her. They are locking her away, if you will, in the room far away from their heart and mind. There is nothing about her which they desire.
This is frightening, especially because churches today can fill auditoriums with productions and concerts which people pay to see. My point is not that concerts are bad or that people are being charged to attend. My point is — these events sell out!
I challenge you — take these same venues and offer a night of prayer. Not only will you not be able to charge for that event, but almost nobody will attend because it is “not dripping with pearls of intellectualism.” It is simply not stimulating enough.
Prayer is the most pathetic event the church sponsors today, pathetic in attendance and desire. Ravenhill also said, “The Sunday morning service shows how popular your church is. The evening services show how popular your pastor is. Our private prayer time shows you how popular God is!”
I learned long ago that if you want to know which church members are part of the body, call a prayer meeting. You will find out who the church really is. The true church hungers for prayer. They desire it. They want to pray.
Why is it so hard for Christians to pray today? Intellectually speaking, Christians across the board agree prayer is a good thing; it’s Biblical, it’s spiritual, and we should all pray. But we do not do it.
Prayer is not something we have given ourselves over to. Some of you might say, “Daniel, you don’t understand. My life is complete chaos. I’m being torn in 14 different directions. I have responsibilities and deadlines that need to be met. I do not have time right now. I will get to it later.”
My response is, “No, you won’t.” If you are not making time for prayer now, you will not in the future.
Let’s cut to the chase regarding your time management. Your problem is not lack of time; your problem is you don’t value prayer. It’s that simple, whether you want to believe it or not. I have said it before — the things you value you will invest in; where your treasure is, there your heart is also. People do not do what they do not want to do. We do what we value.
Then you begin to strip it down and peel back the layers. If Christians are not praying because they do not value prayer, why don’t they value prayer? This is where we get into the inner sanctum. In part, the answer is because we don’t understand it or have a true, biblical perspective of the power of what actually happens, what takes place, when we pray.
Personally, for me, the more I pray, the closer I get to Yeshua. It’s incredible! The closer I get to Yeshua; the more I want to pray. This is just how it works. It’s a fundamental law in the faith. Let me be very clear on something. If I were to stand up here and tell you I’m this Elijah who’s been this stellar prayer warrior his entire life, it would be a lie. That’s laughable. What I can tell you, having been on both sides of the track, is not having a real prayer life with the LORD dramatically impacts my faith.
If you give your heart to prayer, and I mean truly give your heart to prayer, it will do things in your life you could not have imagined. All those character flaws you despise, the things you struggle with, the addictions you’re struggling with, and all those bad habits you possess, including all the wrong motives of your heart, will change when you give yourself to prayer.
Try God in it. If you do that, you will be blown out of the water finding out what He will do for you. If you want peace that passes all understanding in your life, you need to learn how to pray. If you learn how to pray, you will be able to go through the storm. You will be able to handle the trials and tribulations face-to-face, and you will have peace.
I believe you can measure a man’s faith by his prayer life. I want you to think about that because it’s another scary reality we don’t want to be confronted with. When you say to yourself, “My prayer life is not that great,” then neither is your faith, and I speak from personal experience. When my faith has been lagging and lacking, when there is a disconnect between God and me, it is because I am not communicating with Him. I am not talking with Him or spending time with Him. I am spending more time in the world than I am with Him. God have mercy; that is not where you want to be! We need to be immersed in prayer.
This is a portion of “Prayer & Fasting Part 1” presented by Daniel Joseph. The full-length presentation can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/420081469.