Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
For the last several years we have had a tradition at Christ Church in which we end the summer and begin the new ministry year by partnering together in 24 hours of unceasing prayer. This is one of the most important traditions we have as a church. Christ Church NYC is God’s church. This is ultimately God’s ministry. We are fully and joyfully dependent on God for everything. Therefore, prayer is vital.
Our 24 Hours of Prayer this year will take place from 6 PM, August 24 through 6 PM, August 25.
As we reflect this month on the importance of prayer, we offer you these three ‘Questions and Answers’ that come from the Heidelberg Catechism (1563). May the Lord make us an increasingly prayerful people.
Question 116: Why do Christians need to pray?
Answer: Because prayer is the most important part of the thankfulness God requires of us. And also because God gives his grace and Holy Spirit only to those who pray continually and groan inwardly, asking God for these gifts and thanking God for them.
Question 117: What is the kind of prayer that pleases God and that he listens to?
Answer: First, we must pray from the heart to no other than the one true God, revealed to us in his Word, asking for everything God has commanded us to ask for. Second, we must fully recognize our need and misery, so that we humble ourselves in God’s majestic presence. Third, we must rest on this unshakeable foundation: even though we do not deserve it, God will surely listen to our prayer because of Christ our Lord. That is what God promised us in his Word.
Question 118: What did God command us to pray for?
Answer: Everything we need, spiritually and physically, as embraced in the prayer Christ our Lord himself taught us.