"Prayer bridges the gap between people. You can be here and they can be way over there, and through prayer you can bridge the gap that separates you. Prayer spans the miles that separate us. Prayer overcomes the misunderstanding that separates us. Prayer leaps across the bad memories that pull us apart. Prayer nullifies the estrangement that keeps us from speaking. There can be bitterness and anger between you, even years of alienation. But that doesn't matter when you pray because prayer bridges the gap between you and those you love. Your heart can touch their heart by the simple act of praying. What starts in your heart goes first to the Father's heart, and purified by the sunlight of his love, your prayer falls like an arrow in the heart of the one you love. Prayer can do that! It enables you to touch people you can't even speak to... If you love someone, you'll pray for them. If you don't love them, you'll stop praying eventually. Because when you pray, one of two things will happen: You will either start loving or you will stop praying." "O strongly rooted in the human heart as this." Philip Bailey, the English poet of yesteryear, described it "as a coal [that] comes hissing hot from hell."
Prayer is perhaps the most unselfish thing we do in the body of Christ. We can teach, sing and even serve, and in each of these there can be an element of self-service or pride if we are not careful. Not so when people come humbly together to pray. First and foremost, prayer is and should be about God...praising His name...praising Him for His wonderful works, including the sending of His son to this earth. Secondly, prayer, as Pastor Pritchard says, is about others. It is about love for those who are hurting and needy -- even those from whom we have been alienated. But also, it is a measurement of our dependence upon God. And God loves it when we depend on Him. This fall, let's not underestimate the importance of our praying for each other and our church. One of the great places to do that is by joining a small group. Also, soon you will hear us calling all to more prayer. I hope you will join in.