Focused Prayer Challenge

By George Martin

George Martin, Jr., urges Wesleyan churches to be intentional about prayer.

Through the parable of the widow and the unjust judge in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus admonishes each of us to always pray and not lose heart. Throughout the gospels, he frequently made prayer his priority, at times praying all night. Although Jesus was extremely busy accomplishing all he had to do in a very short period of earthly ministry, he still made prayer the foundation of his life.

Life is demanding, complicated, with trying circumstances. I am compelled to draw frequently from the well of prayer, to refresh myself in communion with the Father, receive guidance, and seek his help. Although our Lord has commissioned us to always pray and follow his example, are our lives often too “busy”? Are we really consistent, intentional, and effective in our prayer?

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. (Luke 18:1)

Our church ministry calendars can be full with services and ministry activities. And our most willing workers are busy and often heavily obligated. I find it is necessary to place a corporate challenge within the church to carve out times as an entire congregation to offer effectual focused prayer. Prayer in the church can easily be pushed to a secondary status by only offering brief prayers at public gatherings and assuming too much about our peoples’ personal prayer lives.Thus we can lose the sense of urgency and fervency that time set aside for substantial corporate prayer can bring.

Our Lord declared, " house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." (Isaiah 56:7)


I would like to urge Wesleyan churches to be intentional about prayer during the upcoming Lenten season. I would like to challenge any Wesleyan church during the weeks from February 10th to Easter 2016 to set aside an hour at least four times withthe entire congregation for sacrificial, focused prayer, on specific urgent concerns for the congregation, community, and the world. It is a sacrifice, but well worth it! God hears and the prayers will not go unanswered, and also, this has the power to transform the congregation.