Culture, simply defined, is the sum total of the lifestyles of a particular group of people. It involves not only our actions, but those unspoken ways that we communicate and interact with one another. It involves those things that we grow up with, and become "second nature" to us without our even thinking about them. The Islamic world, and even the Hindus and Buddhists, pray as a lifestyle. I would dare to say, many Christians pray as a custom or when in need. This mustn't be so any longer! Prayer must become a lifestyle. It must be a part of our culture. We cannot wait for "Life" to happen before we actually begin to pray.Prayer should be the arena where "life" takes place; where the gateways which influence our lives are revealed. A gate is an opening or an entrance. In Scripture, the gates were a very important place because it was where . . . people assembled; the laws were read; proclamations were made; priests and prophets delivered their discourses, admonitions and prophecies; business was conducted. In each of these areas, people assemble and important decisions are handed down to us. Those who are leading in these arenas have great influence over us. What are we supposed to do? I believe we are to go in by prayer and possess these gates.
We strongly believe as adults, we are to contend for nations, however, there seems to be, a true, prayer resurgence among children and teens in many countries as well. A move of prayer in an Indian children's home came after the girls there were challenged to read and memorize Bible verses, and God showed them the truth and reality of his Word. Children see remarkable answers to prayer, as God 'chooses the weak things of the world to shame the strong' (1 Corinthians 1:27), and He values children's humility, openness, eagerness and faith.If many of us will commit to prayer as a lifestyle, we will create a Prayer Culture that will possess the gates of nations! With prayer we can manifest as all powerful sons and daughters of the Omnipotent God; without it, if we were to neglect it, we would accomplish nothing. Prayer is the foundation of any supernatural endeavor. I am moved by Our Lord's habitual attitude of prayer, the way he turns to the Father before beginning his public life, retiring to the desert for forty days and forty nights, to pray. If we really want to be loyal followers of Christ, this is the only way. Excuse my insistence, but it is very important to note what Jesus did, because he came to show us the path that leads to the Father. By his lifestyle we will discover how to give a supernatural dimension to all our actions, even those that seem least important.
I would like us for us today, to make up our minds once and for all that we need to aspire to become contemplative souls, in the street, in the midst of our work, by maintaining a constant conversation with our God and not breaking it off at any time of the day. We will learn to live every moment of our lives with a lively awareness of eternity, and we will understand more deeply man's need for periods of intimate conversation with his God, so as to get to know him, to invoke him, to praise him, to break out into acts of thanksgiving, to listen to him or, quite simply, to be with him. This my friends, will produce a Culture of Praying People!