Prayer is the practice of the presence of God. It is the place where pride is abandoned, hope is lifted, and supplication is made. Prayer is the place of admitting our need, of adopting humility, and claiming dependence upon God. Prayer is the needful practice of the Christian. Prayer is the exercise of faith and hope. Prayer is the privilege of touching the heart of the Father through the Son of God, Jesus our Lord.
The Bible speaks much of prayer. But, sometimes, too often, we ignore prayer and seek to accomplish in the strength of our own wills those things that we desire to have or happen. For those of us who are too often guilty of this, we need to bow our knees, confess our sin, receive God's forgiveness, and beg that the will of the Lord be done above our own. God is sovereign and loving and He knows what is best for us and others, even if it doesn't always seem to make the most sense.
We so often come to the Lord with legitimate requests for healing, conversions, and needs and yet the answers we hope for often do not come. We wonder and sometimes doubt. Yet, we persevere and praise God. We pray because we know that God hears us and because we desire to see results. We should pray by faith, trusting God. We should pray consistently, trusting God. We should pray for healing, trusting God. We should pray for others, trusting God. We should pray and when our prayers are answered or are not answered remember this: If we knew what the Lord knew, we wouldn't change a thing.
Prayer changes the one praying because in prayer, you are in the presence of God as you lay before Him your complete self in confession and dependence. There is nothing to hide when in quiet supplication we are reaching into the deepest part of ourselves and admitting our needs and failures. In so doing, our hearts are quieted and pride is stripped and we enjoy the presence of God. James 4:8 says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."
There is another benefit of prayer: peace. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus," (Phil. 4:6-7).
I suppose that we can test our prayer life and dependence upon God by the peace or lack of peace in our hearts. In all things we are to seek the Lord and in His continued presence. Peace will surely be our gain.
Prayer is the practice of the presence of God.
Prayer is not merely a collection of words as some think. The prime motive of prayer is to be united with God and His presence. The experience of "praying" in the presence of the Lord is a very special and exceptional experience bestowed upon humans. The greatest blessing man has received is his opportunity to open his mouth ans speak in the presence of the Lord. A person who is not upright can never open his mouth and make a strong prayer in God's presence. Try making a prayer with all your strength while your life is brimming with sins, wickedness and deeds against God. Inability to prolong that prayer will be the end result.
So why is daily prayer so important?
Daily prayer gives us the chance to express gratitude for the things in life that He provides. It is no secret that we must give thanks to the Lord for all the things that He provides and all of the things He does on our behalf. His goodness and loving kindness to us should be recognized on a daily basis. Inclusive of these opportunities it also leads us to the following goodness
- First, daily prayer gives us an opportunity to share all aspects of our lives with God.
- Second, daily prayer gives us the chance to express our gratitude for the things He provides.
- Third, daily prayer provides the platform for confessing our sin and asking for help in overcoming that sin.
- Fourth, daily prayer is an act of worship and obedience. And finally, daily prayer is a way to acknowledge who is really in control of our lives. Let’s take a look at each of these important reasons in a little more detail.
Details of Daily Prayers
AJC Churches promote 5 types of daily prayers for individuals from different walks of life. they are listed below, please click on the links to know more about each prayer, time and place suited for you
It goes without saying that it is quite difficult to be eloquent in God's presence without God permitting the flow of words. How great is the experience to open up and speak in the presence of God who created the heaven and the earth! Much greater is the fact that, such an omnipotent God listens to what we speak in prayer, in His presence. Even greater is the fact that the Lord answers to prayers! At the same time, one act which grabs the most indifference in most people's lives is, Prayer. Today's church is neither aware of the significance of Prayer, nor is conscious about Prayer. Coming to the temple of the Lord and kneeling down to say, "Lord, I have such a need in my life or I have this kind of weakness or this difficulty or tribulation in my life" is fulfilled portion of the experience of authority the Lord has bestowed upon us. Similarly greater is the experience of asking the Lord to send forth His presence to fill the place where we conduct the prayer.
Prayer is important because it makes us more like Jesus and because it reveals to us the heart and mind of God. When we look at the spiritual powerhouses of the past, we know that prayer was immensely important to them.
- Prayer Quotes
- “I pray because I can’t help myself. ... I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God. It changes me.” C.S. Lewis
- “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” Martin Luther
How do ordinary people live up to that, and why should we? Ordinary people can’t be expected to drop everything to pray, right? Actually, ordinary people can’t afford not to pray. Prayer is a gift given to us—and an activity expected of us—by the Lord. The Bible often says, “When you pray,” not “if you pray,” because prayer seems to be assumed of God’s followers.
- Bible Verses about Prayer
- "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people." (Ephesians 6:18)
- "Pray continually." (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
- "Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray." (James 5:13)
- "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." (Romans 12:12)
- "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6)
Praying because we’re “supposed to” isn’t always enough to motivate us, but the truth is that prayer is much more than a rule. Prayer is important because it makes us more like Jesus and because it reveals to us the heart and mind of God.
The Importance of Prayer
Prayer makes us more like Jesus
If we look at the life of Jesus, we see that he prayed—with others (Luke 9:28), for others (Matthew 19:13-14), and on his own (Luke 5:16, Luke 6:12). It was a fundamental part of how he approached each day and every decision, retreating faithfully to spend time with his Father. Clearly prayer was important to Jesus—it was his lifeline and his connection to the Heavenly Father. It equipped him for the battles he was about to face. It kept alive the intimate relationship that sustained him. And it revealed to him God’s desires and direction. If the goal of a Christian is to become more like Jesus, that process should include imitating his actions and living out his words. As we pray, we will become more like Jesus, and we will find that prayer changes us.
Prayer shows us the heart of God
When Jesus prayed for his disciples in John 17, he prayed for those who would believe in him, “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you” (John 17:21). Prayer helps us become one with the Father and have the kind of relationship Jesus had with him. The Bible is filled with stories illustrating God’s desire to have an intimate relationship with his people, and any close relationship involves communication. When two people have no contact with each other, their relationship will never advance. And since prayer is, quite simply, a conversation with God, it is how we get to know him. When we come into his presence, all pretence is gone—there is no longer anything to hide because he sees all and knows all. Prayer humbles us because as we spend time with him, we realize how powerful and able and good God is and how much we need him. And yet, God accepts us as we are—not because he wants us to stay that way, but because he knows that the relationship comes first. As we grow to love him, we will want to become more like him. When we find forgiveness through prayer, God softens our heart and allows us to forgive others. When we experience God’s compassion and mercy, we will share that with others. When we understand that God’s grace is freely given, we recognize that no one is any more or less deserving of God’s love than we are, and it transforms our hearts and our actions, helping us reveal God’s generous love to others.
Prayer reveals the wisdom of God
The best part about prayer is that it’s a conversation that goes both directions. Yes, we will talk to God, but when we spend time with him and are willing to receive, we will also hear from him. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Jesus prayed all night before selecting the 12 apostles (Luke 6:12-16), and he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane to try to ascertain God’s will regarding what God was asking him to do. His time in prayer helped align his will with that of the Father, just as our time with God will do for us. After getting in touch with the heart of God and realizing how much he loves us, we will learn to trust him and value his insight and guidance. As we spend time talking to God, he aligns our will with his, changing the way we experience a situation and respond to a problem.
Sometimes we miss his answers (because we’re not listening or we’re expecting a different answer so we don’t recognize it when it comes), and other times the answer comes through reading the Bible or talking to others, but God will answer. His wisdom far exceeds our own because he sees farther and loves deeper and has his sights set on an eternity with those he loves, not just gratification in the immediate moment. There is no one else who can see and know what he does, and he delights to share his wisdom with us in prayer.
List of Weekly Prayer meets in AJC Churches
Prayer can be defined as talking to God, but it is much more than that. Prayer is an act of worship that glorifies God and reinforces our need for Him. Through living a life of prayer, we respond to Christ’s work of salvation and communicate with the very source of and purpose for our existence.
Prayer is a popular focus in sermons and Christian literature. A few important questions guide and clarify the power of prayer in each Christian’s life.
List of Monthly Prayer meets in AJC Churches
- First Morning Devotion
- Fasting Prayer (Monthly)
- Youth Fellowship
- Sisters Fellowship
- Leaders' Fellowship
Why Should We Pray?
Several truths help illustrate why we need prayer in our lives.
We are commanded to pray
Multiple times we read that we are to be in continual prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Philippians 4:6-7, Ephesians 6:18-19). And in Luke, Jesus “spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1 NKJV).
It gives Him the glory
Prayer is a way to serve God (Luke 2:36-38). Through prayer, we have the opportunity to glorify and praise Him for all He is and has done (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
It helps us overcome
Jesus tells Peter to pray for strength in overcoming temptation (Matthew 26:41). Also, in Luke 6:12-13, Jesus demonstrates the importance of prayer in making major decisions. Prayer helps us face and overcome all types of struggles.
It brings our requests to Him
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you,” Jesus said in Matthew 7:7. This does not mean that we will be granted anything we ask, but when we ask for things that are in His will, He will give those things to us (1 John 5:14-15).
It helps us discern His will
Jesus prayed continually to the Father for guidance. We too can begin to understand His will for us when we stay in communion with Him.
“What is the goal of the Christian life?” asks theologian and Pastor R.C. Sproul. “Godliness born of obedience to Christ. Obedience unlocks the riches of the Christian experience. Prayer is what prompts and nurtures obedience, putting the heart into the proper ‘frame of mind’ to desire obedience.”
We need the power of prayer for understanding, spiritual growth and unity with God. “The prayer does not change God, but it changes the one who offers it,” writes philosopher and theologian Søren Kierkegaard in his book Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing.
How Should We Pray?
- Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
- Paul encourages us to pray for everything with a thankful heart. When we are open and present all to Him, He will protect us with His peace. This passage captures the heart and mind we should strive to have when we pray. When combined with 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we see how we should be in continual prayer — that is, we should always connect with our Lord and Saviour.
- What if we can’t find the “right” words when we pray? “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses,” Paul writes in Romans 8:26-27. “For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” As Christians, the Spirit intercedes on our behalf during prayer.
- Some people tend to focus on less important aspects of prayer. Care should be taken for specifics such as whether or not we close our eyes, what time of day we pray, and the length and number of our prayers. These types of guidelines can be helpful or harmful.
A Life of Prayer
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Prayer should reflect the relationship we have with God. After all, it is beautiful to think that we have been given the ability to communicate with Him. In any moment and from any place, we can thank Him, ask for His strength, discern His will and become more like Christ. As James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Ministry leaders in all settings should model Christian servant leadership to serve others and point them to Christ. The power of prayer can help leaders grow spiritually and inspire other people to communicate with God.
For Christians, Sunday, the Lord’s Day, is a special day consecrated to the service and worship of God. It is a unique Christian festival. It is “the day the Lord has made” (Ps. 117 (118):24). Its nature is holy and joyful. Sunday is the day on which we believe God acted decisively to liberate the world from the tyranny of sin, death, and corruption through the Holy Resurrection of Jesus.
The primacy of Sunday is affirmed by the liturgical practice of the early church. St. Justin the Martyr writing around 150 AD notes that “it is on Sunday that we assemble because Sunday is the first day, the day on which God transformed darkness and matter and created the world and the day that Jesus Christ rose from the dead (First Apology, 67).” Sunday has always had a privileged position in the life of the church as a day of worship and celebration. On Sunday the Church assembles to realize her eschatological fullness in the Eucharist by which the Kingdom and the endless Day of the Lord are revealed in time. It is the perpetual first day of the new creation, a day of rejoicing. It is a day for community, feasting and family gatherings.
List of Services at AJC Churches
- Morning Service [Tamil / English]
- Kids' Church
- Gospel Outreach Fellowship
- Evening Gospel Service
- Late Night Service [DHOP]
As we look at our fellow Christians and our society, we observe that everyone is short of time and stressed. One reason is that many of us have forgotten the meaning of Sunday, and with it the practices that regularly renewed our relationships and lives. More and more Christian leaders see the effects of a 24/7 work life and ask “Where is the time of rest?” As members of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation, gathered October 25-27, 2012, we add our combined voice to their call.
Our purpose here is not to replace or replicate their message; it is to underscore and point to it. Anyone who looks at the 1998 Apostolic Letter Dies Domini (The Lord’s Day) of Pope John Paul II and its cascade of patristic quotations will see there is already a feast of food for thought on the meaning of Sunday. Anyone who reads the recent book Sunday, Sabbath, and the Weekend (2010, Edward O’Flaherty, ed.) will see there is also strong ecumenical consensus on the need to recover the meaning of Sunday-- not just for our souls, but for our bodies, our hearts, and our minds as well.
Sadly Sunday has become less of a day of worship and family and more like an ordinary work day. Shopping, sports, and work squeeze out the chance for a day of worship or rest in the Christian sense. By abandoning Sunday worship we lose out on the regenerative powers that flow out of the liturgical assembly. And when Sunday becomes detached from its theological significance, it becomes just part of a weekend and people can lose the chance to see transcendent meaning for themselves and their lives (The Lord’s Day, 4).
Sunday is more than just the first day of the week. In our faith we see how it is the ultimate day of new beginnings: “It is Easter which returns week by week, celebrating Christ's victory over sin and death, the fulfillment in him of the first creation and the dawn of "the new creation" (cf. 2 Cor 5:17). It is the day which recalls in grateful adoration the world's first day and looks forward in active hope to "the last day", when Christ will come in glory (cf. Acts 1:11; 1 Th 4:13-17) and all things will be made new (cf. Rev 21:5. The Lord’s Day, 1).”
Sunday even unlocks the mystery of time itself, for “…in commemorating the day of Christ's Resurrection not just once a year but every Sunday, the Church seeks to indicate to every generation the true fulcrum of history, to which the mystery of the world's origin and its final destiny leads (The Lord’s Day, 2).” The Lord’s Day is the day after the last day of the week and so it symbolizes eternity as well: what St. Augustine calls “a peace with no evening (Confessions 13:50).” St. Basil the Great in his Treatise on the Holy Spirit writes, “Sunday seems to be an image of the age to come… This day foreshadows the state which is to follow the present age: a day without sunset, nightfall or successor, an age which does not grow old or come to an end (On the Holy Spirit 26:77).”
The apostolic letter of Pope John Paul II calls it a day of joy, rest, and solidarity. Joy there is, because the disciples are always glad to see the Master. God scripturally established a day of rest as a gift to us, and rest there must be for every human person. Rest is built into our nature and also withdraws us “…from the sometimes excessively demanding cycle of earthly tasks in order to renew [our] awareness that everything is the work of God. There is a risk that the prodigious power over creation which God gives to man can lead him to forget that God is the Creator upon whom everything depends. It is all the more urgent to recognize this dependence in our own time, when science and technology have so incredibly increased the power which man exercises through his work. Finally, it should not be forgotten that even in our own day work is very oppressive for many people, either because of miserable working conditions and long hours — especially in the poorer regions of the world — or because of the persistence in economically more developed societies of too many cases of injustice and exploitation of man by man (The Lord’s Day, 65, 66).”
As members of the Consultation, we strongly urge both clergy and laity to work cooperatively within their communities to stress the importance of Sunday for worship and family. Foremost we call for all to render thanks to God and render love towards one another – and be willing to reserve time to do both -- and avail ourselves of the riches of the Lord’s Day. Appropriate authorities can be approached to schedule sports activities after 12 noon in order to give young athletes and their families the opportunity to worship on Sunday morning. We call for our children to live in a timescale that respects the God-given rhythm of the week.
“Yes, let us open our time to Christ, that he may cast light upon it and give it direction. He is the One who knows the secret of time and the secret of eternity, and he gives us "his day" as an ever new gift of his love. The rediscovery of this day is a grace which we must implore, not only so that we may live the demands of faith to the full, but also so that we may respond concretely to the deepest human yearnings. Time given to Christ is never time lost, but is rather time gained, so that our relationships and indeed our whole life may become more profoundly human (The Lord’s Day, 7).”