What is the Christian Week of Prayer?

Daily Devotions are Vital to Christian Unity and the Week of Prayer is a Good Reminder to Pray Earnestly

Christians around the world celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity from January 18 to 25, 2009. French Roman Catholic theologian Francois Fanelon (1651-1715) wrote, “Of all the duties enjoined by Christianity none is more essential and yet more neglected than prayer.”

Although eight days of prayer for Christian unity is wonderful and powerful, and having a national day of prayer in the United States is also an excellent tradition, Christians need to be praying daily, and not just for a few minutes before breakfast. King David found time to pray many times throughout each day. “Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.” (Psalm 55:17) The writer of Psalm 119 wrote, “Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous judgments.
The sacrifices offered in the Tabernacle or Tent of Meeting were offered daily, “day by day continually” as Exodus 29:38 states. For the Israelites and the priesthood, worshipping and serving God was not part-time. God is all knowing, all powerful, and everywhere-present. God is in business 24 hours a day, seven days a week, always attending to His people, all around the world.

Psalm 68:19 says, He “daily loads us with benefits.” God is a daily God. Every day is important, and every day matters to God. He is the God of all eternity, without beginning and without end. According to 2 Peter 3 8, “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” God has a master plan, and He sees and knows everything that the future holds. Jesus taught not to worry about tomorrow, but to seek God first. In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus prayed, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Through all of this, the clear implication is to seek God daily. (Matthew 6:33, 11)

The first century Christian church was instantly launched on the day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts 2. After Peter's stirring message that day, about 3,000 people were saved and became new Christians that day. Acts 2:46 through 47 summarizes the activities of the young church, and also established the model for how the Christian church was to operate from then on. “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. So continuing daily, the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” Daily doctrine, daily fellowship, sharing meals together daily and daily prayer, and the Lord added to the church daily.

Ephesians 5:15 urges Christians to walk circumspectly, purposefully, vigilantly, and to redeem the time, or make the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. The Message says, “These are desperate times!” In Luke 18:1, Jesus taught “that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” In desperate times, when the kingdoms and peoples of the world are becoming more and more unstable, and men's hearts are failing them from fear, if ever there was a need for daily prayer to the Almighty God, now is the time.

God be praised for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and for any and all such events, and may God's blessings be abundant and may His power be mightily manifested. Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) was a prominent early twentieth century Scottish Protestant Christian minister, teacher, and author, who wrote, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work, prayer is the greater work.”

Written by: Pete Miller




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