“He will listen to the prayers of the destitute. He will not reject their pleas.” — Psalm 102:17
As a very young man, I once wrote, “Prayer meeting is the Cinderella of the modern day church. She struggles on, being despised and destitute–scorned by lesser souls for her beauty and potential. A. W. Tozer was influencing my life greatly at that writing, and his vision, and mine, has been born out as true. Prayer meeting attendance is the barometer of spirituality for any church or individual.
The great sin of the church in the 20th and 21st century has been prayerlessness. We have not because we ask not. Paul said in Ephesians 6:12, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world…” A more accurate assessment of our time is, We are not fighting! (spiritually speaking)
It is not the heathen, but the prayerless Christian that is beating up on Cinderella. I will be so bold as to say that prayerlessness is a rebellious attack on God and on His purposes. There is no power in the pulpit and no fire in the pews because we have made prayer the Cinderella of our house.
The inscription for Psalm 102 says, “A prayer of one overwhelmed with trouble, pouring out problems before the Lord.” I remember 36 years ago when I became a Christian, this inscription described many of the believers I knew. They were broken, contrite and dependent upon the Lord for His deleverance and mercy in their lives. Many I knew then were helpless and needy.
God promises, “He will listen to the prayers of the destitute.” I am not sure we are convinced of our state of destitution. We think everything is O.K. We think, “Things will work out…we’ll be just fine…after all God loves us and won’t let anything happen to us…after all, we’re America!”
With blindness to our desparate need, we are beating up on Cinderella. Is there any hope? Yes! When we see our need and come to God in repentance and desparation, He gives us this wonderful promise: “He will not reject their pleas.”
God is working and ready to change your life. He desires that His glory be seen through us individually and in His Church corporately. His power and His presence can be experienced in our lives today!
How? How can this happen? Stop beating up on Cinderella! His House is to be called a House of Prayer! When God’s face is once again sought in prayer (2 Chronicles 7:14), His presence, power and purpose will be revealed in and through us!
Our absence in prayer reveals our true belief about prayer. We say, “prayer works” but then we shun times of corporate prayer together. There is a theological term for that confession: baloney! We live what we truly believe, everthing else is just religious talk!