I read an uplifting story in the Washington Post about a dedicated prayer group. The story is about a group of 100 people in the Washington, D.C., area who are committed to keeping prayer alive.

The Prayer Union Meeting of Washington, D.C., and Vicinity has been meeting since about 1900 when it was started by a deacon from Metropolitan Baptist Church.

My friend, Hamil Harris, who has an eye for good stories of all kinds, penned the article about the prayer union. He wrote:

“For about 110 years, preachers, deacons and ordinary men and women from 28 congregations across the area have come together at different locations on the second and fourth Fridays of each month and every federal holiday for prayer … . The union is guided by the verse James 5:16 in the New Testament: ‘Confess your faults one to another and pray one for another that ye may be healed.'”

The president of the prayer union, Howard Green, is so committed to prayer that the retiree, who now lives in North Carolina, gladly drives the five-hour trip twice a month to pray with the group.

He began praying with the prayer union in 1962. “Our purpose is to keep prayer alive,” he told Hamil. “This is my life.”

To live a life dedicated to prayer is a humbling and amazing endeavor. Scripture tells us to pray always and that the effectual and fervent prayers of the righteous have great effect.

As a believer in the power of prayer, I am on a quest this year to pray more consistently and more fervently as I study and learn more about prayer. I am becoming more alert to what God is doing by prayer through his people and how much more he wants to do through us through prayer.

I am encouraged by the persistence and commitment of this group. I am praying that more churches this year will become houses of prayer and will help their members to seek God and draw closer to him through prayer. We have power in prayer to bring healing to ourselves and our land.

The prayer that Howard Green “roared,” as Hamil described, at the prayer union’s meeting last month is one that we all can pray:

“Thank you! Thank you, Jesus. Thou who knows all about us, help us. Be with us, guide us in your will and your way.”

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb is president of the District of Columbia Baptist Convention. She blogs at Soul Rhythms, where this column first appeared.

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