A poster in our church vestibule announces:
Let’s pray together!
Sometimes it feels like we need a billboard to advertise the value in prayer. It seems like we don’t realize the potential disintegration of Satan’s realm when we join together in prayer. Or, perhaps we don’t realize how much Satan has us in bondage, a sneaky bondage that makes us feel okay about our spiritual lives.
Last year, however, a group of people at my home congregation (Pleasant Hill Church) got together to discuss the problem. It was agreed that the format could be keeping people away from coming to pray corporately as a church. Our prayer meeting setting was a little intimidating — sometimes it just felt too formal sitting in rows of benches and having a leader up front. So what did we do?
Thankfully, this group took immediate action and presented it to our church council. Visions were shared of how coming together to pray would be very encouraging for us. It was decided that we would change things up and try something new! Change is often difficult to deal with in traditional churches, but thankfully we are learning that positive change can be accomplished in an appropriate and God-honoring way.
Change is still a difficult thing to make happen, especially for me. I know I tend to get set in my ways and go with the routine of life. Do you realize how awkward it is to show up at a midweek church service when you have never done that before? I found out that it isn’t awkward at all. Someone may say, “Oh he’s here!” But trust me. That doesn’t hurt.
To think that someone would be surprised by me showing up suddenly made me realize that I needed to make a distinct, small step towards something new — going to Prayer Meeting at least once a month. Every week is difficult for me to commit to, and I don’t want to get worn out. But once a month? I can do that! Can you?
One of the visions I have for Prayer Meeting is a great coming together of our church members into bonding relationships as we pray. I see this as a time of talking to God about our lives, sharing our struggles with our friends, and interceding on each other’s behalf. It is a time of smiling praises, fervent prayer, honest confession, needed encouragement, and sweet bonding. It is worship!
These are the last Wednesdays evenings of the month for the rest of the year that will have the small group format. I do plan to be there at least for these and I hope to see you come out as well!