The Spark Flame Fire of Prayer by Hanies Henning Co-Authored By Louis Blom, Peter Howe


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The Significance of Prayer in the Church

The topic of Prayer has been the subject of many books, sermons, and discussions. Within the context of the church, prayer has always and will always play a prominent role. In most denominations, prayer will be an integral part of the service. Many denominations include the “Lord’s Prayer” in their liturgy as well as a benediction.

Teaching Prayer from a Young Age

From a tender age, children are taught by their Christian parents simple and easy prayers to remember. For example: “Now I Lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.” When Jesus taught his disciples how to pray, He began with the well-known and wonderfully familiar words: “Our Father.” These words alone should indicate that prayer is so much more than a formula or, in most cases today, an introduction to God with a long list of requests.

Prayer as Intimate Communication with God

These words – “Our Father…” – indicate an invitation to an intimate communication with God. Herein lies the difference between religion as an institution and a relationship with God. Jesus Himself set the example on many occasions as recorded in scripture, where He separated Himself from His disciples and crowds, went to a quiet place of solitude (often a mountain), and there communicated with His Father.

Following the Father’s Lead

He did this because He saw His Father’s intimate relationship with Him, and because of that, He could say, “I only do what I see my Father doing because the Father loves me and shows me all He does.” (John 5:19-20)

A Display of Intimacy at His Baptism

At His baptism, we see the intimacy between Father and Son in the words: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)

Ritualistic Practice or Vibrant Relationship?

Having said all this, the question to be answered is, “Is my prayer life that of a ritualistic religious practice, or is it indicative of a vibrant relationship between God and myself?” This book embarks on a journey to explore this dynamic relationship.