Some activities have pleasing side effects. We start jogging to lose weight and find that it also relieves tension. We invest in IRAs to avoid taxes but end up with a tidy retirement. We stop to help a family whose car is broken down and end up converting them and becoming friends. Prayer is like that. It has side effects – and they are all pleasant. These are not answers that God gives to prayers, but are extras He throws in to praying churches (cf. 1 Kings 3). You could say God tops off His answers to prayer with additional blessings. In the analogy of building a house (church) of prayer, these crowning blessings are the ceiling and roof.
A Praying Church Will Have Fewer Rebellious and Unruly Members.
Jesus spent more time in prayer than any man in Scripture, and it is not coincidental that He was also God’s most submissive Servant (Matthew 26:39; John 5:30; 6:38; 12:28; 14:31; Romans 15:3). When we pray as He taught us, Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth, and forgive us our sins (Luke 11:2-4), we come away without the baggage of pride, which is the fuel that starts church fires. Our perspective is better on our knees. We come to see ourselves as beggars needing what only God can give (cf. Matthew 5:3). We can better see the big picture when we are small in our own eyes. God is in heaven; we are on earth. God is infinite; we are finite. God sees the future; we have trouble understanding the present. God on His worst day is better than we are on our best day (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:25). The more we pray, the more we recognize that we are impotence kneeling in the presence of Power and need holding a hand out to Supply.
The more time we spend thinking about God, the less likely we are to rely upon ourselves. Jesus, when He was one of us, expressed man’s position: I can of mine own self do nothing, I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me (John 5:30). Job was a man of prayer, and he learned to submit to God whatever the circumstances. At the death of all his children, and the loss of all his property, he still said, the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD (Job 1:21). David spent much time at God’s throne, and came back with the attitude, behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him (2 Samuel 15:26). When Israel saw their true condition, they prayed, do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee, (Judges 10:15). Even though the message was against him, Eli said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good (1 Samuel 3:18).
If preachers taught churches to spend more time in prayer during the week, there would be less arguing with his sermons on Sunday. If elders led their flocks into meaningful prayer, they will have fewer of them disputing their decisions. If we went back to praying as Jesus prayed, there would be no rejecting of God’s Truth for innovations He never put a stamp of approval upon. God tops off the efforts of a praying church with peace and a submissive membership.