The Ten Days of Prayer scheduled for January 7-17, 2015, as well as Christian Home and Family Week scheduled for February 7-14, 2015 are not accessories on the calendar, but necessities. As a matter of fact, given our current state of affairs in the church and the world, the emphasis on family and prayer comes at an opportune time. By simple observation, one can see the moral and spiritual decline all around us. In order to appreciate the moral and spiritual necessity of prayer and family, one must first understand the function of prayer and family in the society.
First, let us look at the function of family. Inclusive in the function of family are reproduction, sexual expression, socialization, status, economic cooperation, emotional satisfaction, and social control (Charles M. Sell, 1995). If one takes a look at the Ten Commandments, it is immediately evident that they are tied to family function. Hence, the issues of family are moral and spiritual. Examine the major issues of today such as homosexuality, premarital and extra marital sex, abuse of children, abortion, communication, emotional disorder, anger, rebelliousness, drug use, anti-social behavior, divorce, parental absence and low self esteem. These are all connected to unstable and dissatisfying family. Such family has little or no regard for morality and spirituality. Consequently, we have wide spread moral and spiritual decline. The church that addresses family matters contributes to the moral and spiritual strength of the church members and the wider community. So, it will do us all well if every pastor leads his church into Christian Home and Family Week during the period, February 7-14 2015. As the issues facing Christian families and non-Christian families are the same, the church can seize a witnessing opportunity by inviting non-Christian families, or even families of other denominations to attend.
Second, let us look at the function of prayer. The life of Jesus shows us clearly the function of prayer. By becoming human, Jesus bridged the spatial distance by being engaged in constant prayer with His Father. Also, in prayer He received revelations from the Father to prepare Him for ministry the following day. In addition, His physical and emotional energies were replenished in prayer. Further, Jesus received power to resist temptation and evil. Now, if Jesus a perfect person needed to pray, what about us sinners? So, the function of prayer for us is closeness to Jesus, receiving revelations from Jesus, restoring our emotional and physical energies, and seeking power to resist evil and temptations.
Man experiences difficulty in keeping the moral law, hence the refreshing grace of prayer. Prayer is no accessory but a moral and spiritual necessity. In prayer, God makes Himself accessible to us, and from Him through Jesus flows the presence, power, and person of the Holy Spirit to energize us for mission, enlighten us for victorious living, fill us for daily challenges, protect us from evil, and restore us in His image. Prayerlessness precedes all apostasy and fall of human beings. Those who fail and fall in the public did so first by neglecting the prayer closet. Hence, we see the moral and spiritual decline all around us. So get excited about Ten Days Of Prayer. Let all pastors lead their churches to this spring of living water. Remember, prayer is common ground, so let us seize this as a witnessing opportunity. -Pastor Peter Joseph, Executive Secretary & Prayer Coordinator