Why I am hesitant in regards to national annual prayer events, or seasonal pro-life prayer events
By Chaplain Bill Rhetts, MA
I pray this honors Christ (the Bridegroom) and edifies his church (His bride). I understand that there may be a time, place and purpose for nationally recognized Christian events. But I am no longer a proponent of our westernized annual prayer events.
Most of America’s postmodern annual prayer events remind me of when I was a Roman Catholic. On Ash Wednesday (or Lent) we tried to get right with the Lord, but we lived like hell the rest of the year.
Most of today’s Protestant prayer events are similar. They may look good to man, and they may make you feel good for a moment. But are they truly good in the sight of a Holy God?
Often times they will even pray repetitive prayers, or prescriptive prayers which sound more like a religious penance, séances or chants. Which means often times they are not even praying in the Holy Spirit.
Though I will not judge a man’s motive for these, I do believe that much of it is an affront to a holy God. It sets a precedence of compromise before the world, His Bride, and gives an appearance of Theological impropriety.
I fully understand that we all have convictions that may not be shared by others. But celebrating a national prayer event to me now, is as offensive as a national day of repentance. What are we going to be doing the other 364 days of the year?
Fact is we must be praying 365 days a year, 24-hours a day. And perhaps in some cases 60-minutes an hour, and even 60-seconds per minute.
Paul told us to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
These words ‘without ceasing’ is the Greek word ἀδιαλείπτως (or adialeiptōs). It is an adverb which means to pray without intermission, incessantly, without ceasing, with nothing left between i.e. without any unnecessary interval.’ This word is used four times in the Scriptures (Rom 1:9, 1 Thess 1:3, 1 Thess 2:13 & 1 Thess 5:17).
Colossians 4:2 says to “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
This word ‘continue’ is the Greek word προσκαρτερέω (or proskartereō). It is a verb which means ‘to adhere to one, to be his adherent, to be devoted or constant to one. To be steadfastly attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a thing. To continue all the time in a place. To persevere and not to faint. To be in constant readiness for one, to wait on constantly.’ This word is used ten times (Mark 3:9, Acts 1:14, Acts 2:42, Acts 2:46, Acts 6:4, Acts 8:13, Acts 10:7, Rom 12:12, Rom 13:6 & Col 4:2).
Romans 12:12 says “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;”
This is the same Greek word proskartereō used above.
In Ephesians 6:10-20 Paul admonished the church (born-again Christians) to “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
We’re to wear and apply the whole armour everywhere, all the time. And apply it all the time everywhere.
A portion of that armour is prayer. Verse 18 says, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”
This word ‘always’ is the Greek word πάντοτε (or pántoté). It means to pray ‘every when, ever, at all times and always.’
Brothers and sisters in Christ. I am not saying that participating in these annual prayer events is unbiblical. But I am saying that we ought to be more Biblical. Though we should never forsake the gathering of the saints. Let us be orthodox, and not emerge forward in progressive thinking. Truth is none of us pray enough, myself included. Let us repent and pray adialeiptōs, proskartereō, dia, and pántoté.
As always – Ye must be born again. Repent – be salt and light – be holy – be sanctified – fear God – pray without ceasing – keep His commandments – walk circumspectly – believe in and trust Jesus – obey the Gospel – share the Gospel – preach the Gospel – contend for the faith, – hate the things that God hates, and love the things that God loves – keep the faith, work-out your salvation, and endure to the end!