2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ – their Lord and ours:

For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:12, 13)

Paul writes about a double-calling. First of all, our Christianity begins with the call of Christ. This is of paramount importance. It precedes our birth even, occurring in eternity past. But as far as we are concerned, we are converted when we call upon the Name of the Lord and are saved (Romans 10:13). Like drowning men and women, we recognise that we cannot resist the undertow of sin. It is taking us down. All we can do is to call on the One who offers to rescue us and is able to do it. We relax in His arms by faith and trust Him to carry us to safety. But calling on the Name of the Lord is not just where Christian experience begins, it is also how it continues – in prayer. It is where the race begins and how it is run. Leonard Ravenhill commented that ‘ The church that is not praying is playing.’ To say we believe in God, and yet be prayer-less is a form of practical atheism. After 44 years in pastoral ministry – although now retired – I find myself scratching my head over how many Christians seem to pay only lip service to the importance of prayer. It is a source of sadness and great concern to

 me. As someone said, ‘The greatest cause of unanswered prayer is unoffered prayer.’

What might happen today, I wonder, if all Christians were to devote themselves to prayer, as at the very beginning (Acts 2:42)?