Why Prayer is Vital for Christians
- Megan Hill
- 2016 4 May
This post is adapted from Praying Together: The Priority and Privilege of Prayer: In Our Homes, Communities, and Churches by Megan Hill.
The Most Normal Thing
How many times have you been privileged to say or hear those words? Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “It is in fact the most normal thing in the common Christian life to pray together.”  That has been my experience. Maybe that’s your story too.
Like many people who grew up in a Christian home and in a gospel-proclaiming church, I learned from childhood the practice and importance of praying together in the ordinary places: our dinner table, my bedside, the church sanctuary.
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Early on, I internalized the Westminster Shorter Catechism’s memorable definition of prayer: "Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, for things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgement of his mercies." 
There is a vital work for us to do—for the love of Christ, for the exaltation of his name, for the glory of God. For the good of Christ’s church for whom he died. For the good of our neighbors both local and global. For the good of our own souls.
Work We All Can Do
This is a work for all of us. This great kingdom work that we have been given is open to all—to all who have been lost and found. Pastors and elders, yes, and the people in the pews too. We can start together this morning, or over lunch, or anytime tomorrow. This is work for those who travel the world and those who spend their days in a wheelchair. We can do this work anywhere. A church building is great, but that third-world street corner or this suburban living room will do just fine too.
There is work for all of us to do together. This is a work for mature believers—those for whom trends in Christianity are on their third or fourth replay—alongside the newly reborn. This is work for all those whose sins are big and whose Savior is bigger. It’s for the academic and the mechanic and the mother of five. There is an important place in this work for the ill, the weak, the old, the tired. There is a place for the strong.
All who belong to Jesus, come and join us. You who are male and female, come. You adults and children, come. Invite the millennials—and the amillennials and premillennials too. Come, you who struggle to buy gas for your car, and you whose car uses no gas at all. Come, you who oversee charities and fund ministries, come sit beside this one whose mind and body are passing away but whose soul never will. Come together to this great privilege, this heavenly gathering, this means of grace, this vital task. Come.
Brothers and sisters, let us pray.
 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together (1954; repr. New York: Harper & Row, 1976), 62.
 Westminster Shorter Catechism, in The Confession of Faith Together with the Larger Catechism and the Shorter Catechism with Scripture Proofs, 3rd ed. (Lawrenceville, GA: Christian Education & Publications, 1990), Q&A 98.
SEE ALSO: What Does It Mean to Agree in Prayer?
[Editor’s Note: Content taken from Praying Together: The Priority and Privilege by Megan Hill, originally appearing on Crossway's blog, ©2016. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, Il 60187.]
Megan Hill is a pastor’s wife and a pastor’s daughter who has spent her life praying with others. She serves on the editorial board for Christianity Today and is a regular contributor to Her.meneutics and the Gospel Coalition.
Publication date: May 4, 2016