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Prayer is an indispensible part of Christian faith. Without earnest prayer, we can achieve nothing. Though invisible, prayer has a miraculous power to make the impossible possible.

Communicating with God by prayer

Let me tell you a story of an American family who had a problem with their telephone. The family's telephone worked well during the daytime, but during the nighttime it did not work at all.

Such a situation repeated itself for a long time, and they had to call the repairman to fix it. The repairman was at a loss for words when he found out the reason for the trouble, because it was such a stunning one. When he disassembled the telephone, he found lines delicately disconnected, although they looked like a line without any gap. So during the daytime, when the temperature went up, it was possible for them to use the telephone since the gap was filled up by the expansion of lines due to the heat. However, when the temperature went down during the nighttime, the gap between the two lines reappeared due to the shrinkage of the lines. As a result, they could not use the telephone during the nighttime.

As the family could communicate with others when the telephone lines are connected, so we can communicate with God when God and we are connected by prayer. In order to deliver our will and hope to God, prayer is absolutely necessary.

George Washington, the first president of the United States, held on to God day and night for the independence of America. Thomas Edison, the genius of invention, did not spare thousands of prayers for a single invention. That was why God gave him many ideas beyond human thought, so that he could contribute greatly to the civilization of mankind. The light bulb that lights up the darkness is one of the results of his prayer.

When we study the histories of the Bible, we can see many examples of the people who achieved great works by prayers. Israel enjoyed national prosperity under the reign of King David because he earnestly prayed to God all the time (2 Sa 7:18-29). King Solomon, the son of David, also received many blessings through a thousand burnt offerings (1 Ki 3:4-13). Nehemiah was able to reconstruct Jerusalem by earnestly asking God's help for his fallen nation (Ne 1:1-11). Daniel did not only save his own life, but also made the king of Babylon repent who worshiped a foreign god, by interpreting the king's dream through his sincere prayer to God (Da 2:17-19).

When we talk of prayer, we cannot exclude Jesus. He set an example of praying day and night to accomplish the gospel work for our salvation. He had the power to achieve our salvation without prayer, but to set us an example He prayed earnestly to God, saying that God listens to the sincere prayers (Lk 11:9-13).

When we read all 66 books of the Bible, we cannot find any book that does not talk about prayer; all the stories in the Bible contain prayer. This shows how important prayer is in our faith.

High level of prayer for high level of desire

However, sometimes we do not pray as often as we should, even though we feel the necessity of constant prayer. This happens when we do not set a higher standard or establish a higher level of hope in the process of pursuing eternal heaven.

Let's think of mathematics which we felt in our school days was difficult. In those days, you might question why you had to learn confusing differentiation, integration, permutations and combinations, even though only four arithmetical operations-adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing-would be enough for everyday life. How-ever, the higher mathematics is necessary to the people who have an aim at a higher dimension and have the spirit of inquiry. Ordinary people need only ordinary mathematics. In order to launch rockets, build space stations, or shoot up artificial satellites to outer space for taking a view of the earth, higher dimensional mathematical calculation is indispensable.

A person with a higher goal needs a higher level of mathematics. In the same way, if we have a higher level of hope in the religious life, we should not just stay at the level of conventional prayer such as just thanking for daily bread or thanking for allowing us to attend the church without any problems. Rather, we should offer more various and higher level of prayers.

When I first received the truth, I prayed just because the Bible said so; I prayed during the prayer weeks of the feasts; I offered just formal prayers when I woke up in the morning; and before I went to bed, I prayed to God, thanking Him for keeping me safe all day. It would be the same for everyone at first. Now, we should not merely stay at this level of prayers. We should set a high goal and pray for it endlessly as our faith grows.

We cannot launch a manmade satellite just with the four arithmetical operations, nor can we build a bridge over a river. In the same manner, whoever has a higher goal and tries to dedicate himself to the great gospel work, the corresponding prayer is required. Since we are planning to accomplish the worldwide Reformation, we must continually ask God with various and higher dimensional prayers.

Pray always and continually

There is a proverb, 'Too much is as bad as too little.' Likewise, it is not good to be excessive on anything in this world. However, prayer is an exception. The Bible enlightens us on the importance of prayer, saying, "Pray always" or "Pray continually."

Lk 18:1-7 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!'" And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? ..."

Jesus told us not to be disappointed or give up easily even if we do not get any answer after praying once or twice. Jesus said: "Will not God bring about justice for his beloved children, who cry out day and night, when even an audacious unjust judge vented the widow's spite after the continuous plea?" Even a vicious man can't refuse an earnest plea but listens to it. How much more will God answer the prayers of His children asking His help for righteous things?

If we pray wholeheartedly and continually until our prayers are answered, God will surely listen to our prayers. If you feel that God has not answered your prayers yet, pray once more right now. Do not ever think that your prayers will not be answered. If you pray about everything and have a firm belief that God will answer your prayer, you will experience amazing miracles just like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did.

Whenever we pray, we should remember the word, "Pray always, without ceasing." God is bringing about justice for His children, and He is spreading the gospel without rest even to the ends of the earth. So, let's continually pray to God until we find all members of our heavenly family scattered worldwide, 'Please help us to find all our lost brothers and sisters.'

1 Th 5:16-25 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus ... Broth-ers, pray for us.

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; give thanks in everything. This is God's will for us. His will for us is to pray continually, not to give up, even though our prayers are not answered after trying once or twice. We are to continue in prayer until we find all the 144,000.

Prayer for our lost brothers and sisters

The best gift for a brother in Zion is to pray for him. If you see a brother of an ungracious disposition, please pray for him.

For the past 20 years, I have constantly asked God to help us find all of our heavenly family members. I am sure that it is the same to you. As a result of prayer, many people from different countries are now rushing into Zion.

Since the same prayer has been repeated for the past 20 years, I can actually feel that God is answering my prayer: He is helping us to set up our Churches in many faraway countries; people who are dead without knowing the glory of Zion come to life as soon as they receive the word of God; wherever the good news of the new covenant and the new name are delivered, all become alive.

As the result of our prayer, God has helped us to find many of our lost brothers and sisters in a short period of time. If we have given up after praying once or twice, God might have not answered our prayers, thinking that our will is weak and that we are still not worthy to receive what we ask for. We have been praying persistently, and God has answered our united prayer; He has been continuously sending us our spiritual family. We should always pray and not give up.

If we pray before trying to do something, God will lead us to the right way and change all the bad conditions into the beneficial ones. Since it is God's will for us to pray continually with all our heart, we should never stop praying until the day our Father comes back; we should ask God to help us to preach the good news even to the ends of the earth and find all of the lost ones.

Let's pray earnestly to our Father. The unjust judge answered the widow's prayer because she asked Him day after day. Then, will our heavenly Father not listen to our prayers if all of us ask Him earnestly day and night? He will answer all His children's prayers even though He may need to change the cosmic system slightly.

God answers His children's prayer

It is shameful for me to say, but when I was young, I used to press my parents. They granted almost all my requests when I pestered them. When I pray to the heavenly Father, I often ask Him importunately: "Please make this fulfilled within a year." As a result of pressing God in this manner, He has answered almost all my prayers even before His intended time for it.
It was not because the widow was fluent or respectable that the judge gave her legal protection, but because she kept bothering him day after day. Nobody can compete with a person who keeps bothering him every day.

Lk 11:5-13 " ... Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

It is natural for parents to become softhearted toward their children when they continue to pester them. Why would our heavenly Father not give the Holy Spirit to the children who continually ask Him for it? Ask God earnestly, and all your prayers will be answered in accordance with the love and grace of our heavenly Father and Mother.

Let's make it a habit to pray before doing even a very trivial thing. When we drive, let's pray before start. When we preach the gospel, let's pray first, then we will get a much better outcome.

Those who do not pray work on their own. However, those who pray always depend on God's help. What if a farmer still uses a plow to cultivate even though many effective machines have already been invented and used for the job? It may take more time than a week or ten days at least for him to finish the job by using the plow. However, it can be finished within a day when a machine is used.

The most effective way to fulfill the gospel is prayer. Through prayer we receive strength from our Father and Mother so that we can work effectively and powerfully.

In the Early Church, a powerful evangelization was accomplished through prayers. The saints in those days did not rely on themselves but mobilized the power of God through their prayers. We are to learn the effective method used by the saints about 2,000 years ago.

Let us remember the words of Jesus in Luke 18. If God has not answered our prayers yet, it is because we have not prayed enough. Let's think over this fact once more, and try to store up the spiritual power through our earnest prayers. Even the unjust judge granted the request of the widow. How much more will our God, who made our ears, give ear to our prayers and care for us when we are troubled! He is indeed listening to all our prayers and watching over us all the time.

It is our Father's will for us to pray continually. Let's pray diligently, especially for world evangelism, so that the gospel may be preached in the whole world. When we pray together with one mind and go into all the world, God will surely and quickly accomplish the gospel in these last days. I hope all the members of Zion will continue to pray, always asking our heavenly Father and Mother to find all of our lost brothers and sisters.