In my last post, I talked about how God had blessed my family in the last several weeks. It seems the blessings have also come in the way of blog topics for me. This topic comes out of a discussion I was in last night during a women’s Bible study I attend. Among this group of women, my sisters in Christ, there is a longing to see more collective prayer time in our church. More time on our knees praying for needs, praying for the will of God to be done, praying for our community and our world.
When did that stop? Not just in my church, of course, but in the collective church of today. Yes, there are some churches that are very good about prayer, but, for the most part, I believe the church of today does not understand the true power of prayer. There are many people more theologically literate than me that could explain this better. This is my take on it though. One reason that churches might be distracted from prayer is the number of distractions in our world today. They have multiplied exponentially from even when I was a young person. (though my son does say I’m old) Our society tells us that there are things we all need to be doing or should want to be doing, and if a person, a Christian, is not careful, these messages can drown out what God is telling us we need to do.
Another reason could be that we don’t understand how to pray. Prayer is just a conversation with God, but so many people don’t understand this. They believe that God wants to hear elaborate words, that our prayers need to be said a certain way. It’s not the case at all. Now, I haven’t always understood that myself. Don’t get me wrong. I used to think you had to pray like that to get God to notice you. But, I don’t think that way anymore. My relationship with God, especially over the last two years, has become more personal, more rooted, and that has helped me understand what prayer is supposed to be.
Prayer needs, at times, can also be overwhelming. There can be so many things to pray for. So many needs. So many things to do to assist with those needs. But, if those needs aren’t bathed in prayer first, they might be met, but they won’t be met the way God wants them to be met.
So, what can be done to become more of a praying church? I think we need to realize that we, as Christians, need to live in community. We need to trust each other, and we need to trust that the wounds we have won’t be judged by our Christian brothers and sisters. I know that is a hard one. I could tell you of the many times I have been wounded in the past because I was judged by someone who claimed Christ as Savior. It has brought me to a true understanding now though of how we are not supposed to judge each other. Of how we are supposed to love others in Jesus’ name no matter how they have been wounded.
We also need to be willing to change. If we are not relating to someone on their level, if we are only loving someone in a way that’s familiar to us because we don’t want to love differently, they will never see Jesus in us, and that would be the saddest thing of all.
And finally, we need to remember God gave us prayer for a reason. Acts 1:14 says, “They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” Powerful things happened in Jesus’ name during the time of Acts. There’s no reason they can’t happen now if we, as Christians, would only recognize the power of prayer.
God’s blessings on you today!