August 1, 2003 • By Ed Wrather
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. - John 14:12-14.
The greater works that Jesus promised we would do in verse 12, will be accomplished through the praying in verses 13 and 14. The book of Acts is filled with prayer meetings. Every move forward, that the early church took; was immersed, and brought about through prayer. They were following the example of their Lord Jesus.
If Jesus could say and do only what He heard, and saw the Father do, then He had to spend much time listening and seeing. There was a pattern to the life of Jesus. He would withdraw to pray, and then go out to minister. We see this pattern in the life of Jesus being repeated over and over.
If this is the pattern of Jesus to pray, spending time with the Father, and then going forth to minister; should we follow this example too? Of course! Without prayer, any ministry effort is doomed to ultimate failure. Without prayer, there will be no eternal accomplishments. Without prayer, we are trying to do it in our own strength, which we know is insufficient to accomplish what requires a supernatural effort. Without prayer, we are just having church for the sake of having church, and nothing everlasting is ever going to happen.
Usually prayer is not thought of as being part of the works that God would have His church to perform. When we think of works, we usually think of witnessing, serving, and ministering to others in some way. But Jesus indicates in John 14:12-14 that the "greater works" will be brought about through prayer. Prayer is not just a request to God to help us do the work. Prayer is the work itself. Prayer was not intended to be a labor saving program. Real prayer, is real work, which will bring about the "greater works” of souls being brought into the Kingdom of God.
Have you done any real work lately?