Prayer, The Greater Work in Ministry

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“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” ― Martin Luther

Late one afternoon as I was walking down the sidewalk, intent in completing my errands for the day a young man yelled out “Chap, pray for me!” As I heard him, I quickly gave him my usual response “I will.” He responded just as quickly as I had, with a question that made me stop in my tracks, “How are you going to pray for me, you don’t even know my name?” I looked up at him and realized that I had become too busy with all the things that Chaplaincy brings and had failed at the most important part of ministry. This young man had a need and wanted someone to pray, but my errands had taken priority. Embarrassingly enough he was right, if he hadn’t stopped me his request for a prayer would’ve probably went unsaid that day. Instead I apologized to him, asked what his name was and what some of his prayer needs were and there on the sidewalk I prayed for him. Praying with someone is the one of the greatest privileges we have, yet it can often be our greatest neglect. We so often become busy doing the work of ministry when in reality the real work is prayer.  I love what Oswald Chambers said, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” I was challenged that day to make an effort in making prayer for others a priority in my daily routine.

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