Yet, the call to pray is often issued in compulsory terms – we must pray! If we are going to see revival and renewal, it will not come unless we pray. That is true. But do we have to frame our understanding of prayer – as a necessary evil? It is a discipline utterly essential, but must it not be embraced with delight? It is as if we were saying, “We wish there was some other way to appropriate these blessings, to call down this mighty revival – without praying. But since this is the only way, well, I suppose we have to spend time with God!” What a tragic perception of both God and prayer. There is no love in this kind of prayer life! It is pure duty with no delight. And with such a disposition, one’s whole prayer life collapses or dries up.
A balanced prayer life must be driven by delight as much as by duty. The greatest motivator is not law, but love! Ultimately, you cannot make people pray. No amount of guilt is a deep enough incentive. No exposure to the pain and problems of the earth, the lost and dying world around us, can induce a lasting prayer life. It is the tender call of God, Himself, the invitation to be “with Him” that makes prayer so precious. It is experiencing His peace.
An except from the book, Transforming Your Church into a House of Prayer