I don’t like to compare ourselves with others; the Bible even teaches us this is a foolish thing to do. However, I do believe we can learn from others. I have personally learned leadership principles from those with whom I don’t agree doctrinally. With that said, I want to take a moment to talk to you about the call to prayer for the Christian.
The Islamic religion has a basic tenet called the adhan, which is the call to prayer. Five times, – yes, you heard me correctly, five times a day – the muadhan gets on the loudspeaker, proclaims it is time to pray, and begins to recite the call to prayer. This is heard throughout the city, and Muslims stop whatever they are doing, place their prayer mat on the ground facing Mecca, and recite the prayer along with the muadhan.
As I thought about this, I wondered how many Christians take time to hear God’s call to prayer. You see, we are without excuse. We don’t need to wait to hear someone call us to prayer – God is calling us each moment of each day. I Peter 3:12 tells us, “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers.” You see, God doesn’t have times when the prayer department is open or closed. He is always open to the prayers of the righteous. He is always calling us to prayer, every moment of every day.
Revelation 3:20 says God is always standing and knocking at the door. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Unlike the Muslims who wait to hear the call of the muadhan to kneel and pray, God is always calling to us to spend time in prayer with Him. He is standing right outside the door waiting on us to open it and invite Him in.
The problem is not in the call going forth to pray, but in the deafness of the hearers. Our carnality, our laziness, our distractions have blocked our ears from hearing the call and responding to it. We have become deaf to the voice of our Savior calling us to rise and pray. We must be careful not to become like the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane. Christ called them to watch and pray with Him three times. He even called them out on the reason why they couldn’t in Mark 14:38, “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.” Finally, Jesus came back to them and told them to “sleep on.” Jesus had the prayer meeting without them. It wasn’t because the call to prayer wasn’t going forth; it was because the hearer didn’t listen.
I encourage you to open your ears today and hear the call of prayer going forth. But don’t stop there. Respond to the call and pray today.
The power is released when we respond to the call. Our burdens are lifted when we listen to the call. Our hearts are changed when we hear His voice. Today, the call is going forth. The only question is, “Will you respond?”