Whatever happened to the prayer meeting at the church?
Most people who know me, know that I became a Christian as a teenager…in the 90s. I remember regularly hearing about a prayer meeting at the church – if not weekly, definitely monthly. Depending on where you were, it took different shapes. Some small, some large, some with a praise component, some with times of quiet.
All of it was good.
I might be wrong on this, but it seems like we have shifted dramatically away from this. I recently heard of a church hosting a prayer meeting when I was doing Sunday fill-in, and someone tried to give me the credit for it from an earlier sermon (I’m not sure I can really take credit for it…). Before this, I can’t remember the last time I heard one happening.
Prayer is good for us – as individuals and as the local church.
We shouldn’t leave prayer to just when we gather the regular Sunday liturgy. Something happens when a group of believers gathers to pray for the needs of the group, the church and the community – far beyond too. Has the prayer gathering become a casualty of the pandemic?
I hope not.
Prayer changes us. And we need some changin’.
If we believe what the Scriptures say, and many claim to – we should be ready and prepared for prayer to kick things into gear.
- God likes prayer: Psalm 66:16-20
- Prayer cues the Heavens into action: Daniel 9:20-23
- Prayer brings freedom: Psalm 32:1-7
- Prayer changes: Job 22-27-30
- Jesus showed us that prayer (talking with the Father) is natural and a lifestyle that all should strive for.
I’ve lost count of the number of stories I’ve heard of people who gathered for years praying about a situation – some never live to see the fruit of those prayers. But that didn’t stop them. They faithfully believed that God would hear and answer.
Have we stopped trusting that God is listening and wants to hear from us?
Lately, I’ve spent a lot of time talking with people who are concerned about the future of their congregation. People want to know the 7-step plan to turn things around.
Good news – there is just one step!
I really think if a group of people gathered to sincerely pray for God’s blessing and to listen to His voice, things would radically start to shift. We don’t need large numbers and it doesn’t need to happen on a Sunday morning. Got at least one other person (Matthew 18)?
I think it’s time for us to pray.