The following devotional is by Dale Crall, who serves as pastor of Calvary Campus Church in Carbondale on the SIU campus. The church not only has a strong presence on the campus, but as a result of its outreach to students and especially international students, has an influence in many places around the world. Under Dale's leadership, the church has developed a strong prayer ministry and an effective discipleship program. For the January 2009 issue of i-LINK, the IDC monthly email newsletter, we asked Dale to comment on why it's important to focus on prayer.
It’s time to pray…because it’s the first week of January and it’s our tradition.
It's time to pray…because our young people are in greater trouble than they realize. Our schools have thrown out not only a Judeo-Christian worldview, but are even teaching the "Communist Manifesto* in numerous high school government classes. It's being predicted that one in three teenage girls will become pregnant before marriage. Our children's morals have sunk to a new low with “sex texting.”
It’s time to pray…because we need to come together in a spirit of family to encourage one another. We need refreshing, refueling, and personal revival.
It's time to pray…because of a new surge of marriage breakdowns since June, as well as the recent Illinois political scandals that have brought national disgrace to our state.
It’s time to pray…because pastors’ marriages and ministries are under assault and need to draw together for strengthening, healing, and renewed vision. Even more, we need to stand in the gap for the sanctity of life and the ever growing plague of pornography that is enslaving so many.
It’s time to pray…because God’s Word is being denigrated by evangelical leaders who say things like, “We put too much authority on Scripture,” and “The Ten Commandments are not relevant to a post-modern generation". Many pulpits have gone silent under a spirit of error, ignoring such themes as true repentance, holiness, heaven and hell, dying to self, and the cross. The church in America is in serious apostasy and lukewarmness.
It’s time to pray…because Matthew 13:39 says that the harvest is at the end of the age. One of Jesus' primary exhortations is "to be alert and praying" (Luke 21:36, Mark 13:34-37). Over 4,000 “prayer furnaces” around the world are praying and worshipping 24/7, preparing the way for the Bridegroom’s return for His Bride.
It’s time to pray…because we pastors are the pilot light that ignites the burners of our churches' prayer furnaces. If we aren’t lit – will they be?
It’s time to pray. "Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving,” (Colossians 4:2).