I attended a pastor’s prayer meeting where we actually spent more time praying than talking about praying. It was refreshing to meet with men of God who passionately sought the heart of the heavenly Father. The meeting moved me spiritually. Too often, prayer is a last resort or a few words we mumble over a meal.

A week after the prayer seminar, Calvin Hancock, the pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, visited me. He too was stirred by the prayer meeting and asked if I would join him in a prayer initiative. I, of course, was honored that an esteemed man like Pastor Hancock would include me on this journey. Over the years, God has used Pastor Hancock to touch countless lives in our community, including my family and me. I count his friendship as one of my biggest blessings.

Before the Lord called him home, we met together regularly to seek God’s face. Laying aside all pretense, we humbly asked for God’s divine will in our lives, homes, churches, community and world. We sought His favor. We asked for His help. We prayed for you. Thankfully, our group of prayer warriors still meet and pray.

How important is prayer to you? Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. He was facing the cross; His betrayal was just hours away. As was His custom, Jesus brought His disciples with him. He asked them to pray for Him while He spent time with the Father. Jesus desperately wanted and needed their prayers.

As Jesus prayed, He spoke with such intensity that blood dripped from his face. After he finished praying, he went back to where he left the disciples, expecting to find them praying. Instead, they were asleep. Disheartened by their lack of persistent praying, Jesus said, “Could you not pray with Me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40).

When you stand before Jesus, what will He say about your prayer life? Make prayer a priority. Seek the Lord daily for yourself and the world around you.

Allen Tilley is senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Carthage.