What do you want your generation to be known for? A generation that judges? A generation that complains? Or a generation that loves God and is on fire?

Whatever it is, you need to be a generation that prays. Whatever dreams you have for God, the starting point of that, the fuel for that, the baseline for that, the root for that must be a place of prayer.

Forget about what other people think when they see you pray. Imagine what God is thinking when He sees a generation rising up in prayer. That’s the most important thing.

From that, questions will be answered, ministry will be fuelled, and dreams will come if you learn to be a generation that prays.

Many of you are second-generation believers. As a result, our faith risks being:

  • Intellectual – Unfruitful debate, not effective witness
  • Institutional – Dogmatic ideologies, not true disciples
  • Imbalanced – Over-emphasis on one aspect of faith over another
  • Inactive – No passion for proclamation
  • Impassive – No passion for prayer

While there are many good and important things to do to win the youth, it is my firm belief that the real key to church health is by reclaiming the passion for prayer. 

Prayer is both the sign and the source of a healthy Christian and a healthy church. Without prayer, whatever we do is without partnership with God.

Therefore, here are 7 reasons why your generation must make prayer your top priority:

1. Every church is called to be a house of prayer

God first said this in Isaiah 56:7, and then Jesus Himself repeated it in Matthew 21:13 at the temple in Jerusalem: “My house shall be called a house of prayer.

If your church is the house of God, it must be a house of prayer.

2. Every church was told to pray

Paul said it to the Colossians (Colossians 4:2), the Ephesians (Ephesians 6:18), the Philippians (Philippians 4:6), the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 14:15).

To virtually every church he started or mentored, he reminded them: devote yourself to prayer. Be vigilant in prayer. Pray without ceasing. Pray always, with all kinds of prayer in the Spirit.

Every church was told to pray. Your church and your generation are no exception.

3. Without prayer, your church is just another Godless building

Solomon had just finished building a beautiful, majestic temple unto God. When finished, they prayed to consecrate the Temple.

Every church was told to pray. Your church and your generation are no exception.

Then God responded: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices …” (2 Chronicles 7:12).

God made it His temple not because of the grand building, or the fact that it had been built by a king. God filled that place with His presence because He had heard their prayers.

Without prayer, your church is just another godless building.

4. Failing to pray for others is a sin

All the people of Israel looked to the prophet Samuel for guidance. Before he passed away, he revealed the key to his leadership.

He told the people: “Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you” (1 Samuel 12:23).

Failing to pray for others is a sin! This is echoed in Ephesians 6:18: “Always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Keep on praying for one another! Don’t fall into the sin of failing to pray for one another.

5. Our prayers are especially important in the end times

Twice in the book of Revelation, in chapters 5 and 8, it talks about a bowl or a censer full of incense.

These “Golden bowls full of incense … are the prayers of God’s people” (Revelation 5:8, 8:3).

These are dark, terrible times. Many of us even feel we are in the end times. We can’t predict exactly when Jesus will come again. But we know from the prophecy of the book of Revelation that our role in the end times is to fill these bowls with the prayers of God’s people.

That’s me. That’s you. Now is the time to add your prayer to these heavenly vessels.

6. When Jesus comes again, He wants to find us praying

In Luke 18, Jesus tells the parable of the persistent widow, which is a parable to show the disciples “that they should always pray and not give up” – that we should learn how to “cry out to God day and night”.

He closes the parable by saying: “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).

Read in context, it is very clear: the faith Jesus refers to is faith that prays, that cries out to God day and night.

When Jesus comes again, will He find us praying here on earth?

7. God wants everyone – “multitudes” of believers – to gather to pray to Him

King Hezekiah had decided to honour God by celebrating the Passover. However, 2 Chronicles 30 tells us that they had to postpone the festival by a month. Why?

They could not keep the Passover at that time because the priests had not consecrated themselves in sufficient number, nor had the people assembled in Jerusalem … the multitude of people did not do as it was written.” (2 Chronicles 30:3-5)

Only when they finally did so did “their prayer reach heaven, his holy dwelling place”. Only when they gathered in the multitudes did God choose to hear them (2 Chronicles 30:27).

Today, under the New Covenant, we understand that Jesus is the Passover Lamb. Yes, we celebrate Him individually and personally. But we are also called to celebrate Him as a collective – as the church. We are the Body of Christ.

What we learn here is God wants everyone to gather to pray – in numbers, multitudes of people. It pleases God’s heart to see us set aside our differences, overcome our inconveniences and personal preferences, and unite in prayer.

There are two types of Christians. Some Christians are natural prayer warriors. But for the rest of us, if we can’t be natural prayer warriors, then we will have to become intentional prayer warriors.

Will you join me and repent for our prayerlessness and our lethargic prayer life? Will you prioritise prayer in your life and your church?

Don’t be stiff-necked. Return to God. Submit to God. Come to His sanctuary. He will not turn His face from you if you return to Him.

It’s July and the 40.Day Season of Prayer is underway! Take the first step to prioritise prayer by spending time with the daily devotions here.