Have you ever been dissatisfied with the seemingly fruitless and dry times you spend in prayer? I have. There are many books written on prayer and many rich promises in Scripture concerning prayer. “If you ask anything in My name,” Jesus said, “That I will do.” And in another place, “Hitherto you have asked nothing in My name; ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.” There are other promises as well.
When I read about prayer or hear sermons urging believers to pray, it may get me going to my prayer closet for a few days, but then it seems I am soon back to that same old dry place again.
Thank God, our heavenly Father knows our needs. He knows we need inspiration and not simply a set of rules.
So it is that the Lord gave me a parable to show me the importance of prayer. He likened prayer to the human body with its bones. Just as the bones are necessary to our physical bodies, prayer is of utmost importance to the Body of Christ.
When we think about the skeletal system we see, first of all, that prayer is a private matter between the believer and God. Jesus made this clear when He spoke of prayer. It is not a public affair to show off how spiritual we are (Matthew 6:5-6). For example, if people see a bone sticking out of my leg or arm, they know something is wrong. In the same way, a life of prayer is a hidden life. People do not need to see it to know it’s there.
If we look at the functions or special work that bones do, we see a picture of what can be achieved in the prayer closet or through intercessory prayer groups.
1. Bones give the body its structure and support.
The shape of our physical body depends on our skeleton. So it is with the Body of Christ, that is, the church. The bones of prayer support the body. These bones need to be strong, whole, and in good working order. Have you ever noticed how the skeleton is designed to lift the head? Our Head is Christ; we are to lift and exalt Him.
2. Bones protect the vital organs.
If we look at the body the Lord has given us, we can see the vital organs – the brain, heart, lungs, etc. – are well encased in bones. The skull protects the brain; the ribs protect the heart and lungs, and so on. In the same way, we must add protection around our spiritual leaders (and government leaders) through our prayers. Let’s not leave these important organs of the Body of Christ open to attack by the powers of darkness that would seek to injure them.
3. Red blood cells are produced in the marrow of the bones.
This is an especially interesting function of bones. We know that blood is the life of the physical body. What an important responsibility bones have, generating the red blood cells that carry nourishment to every cell in the body and carry away waste. It’s been said that “the life is in the blood” and in a very real sense the very Life of Christ is brought forth in the Body of Christ through our prayer life.
How important are bones to a physical body? That is how important prayer is to the Body of Christ.
Written by Ed Newman