Friday, July 27, 2012

Thoughts on Prayer

This week was a little discouraging for me.  I found myself in a pity party and feeling ungrateful for God’s provision for us.  I didn’t really want to go to prayer meeting.  But afterward I was so glad I did.  The Lord really used the speaker, a visiting evangelist, to boost my spirits and get my perspective back on track.  The sermon was on prayer.  Everything he said was stuff I already know.  But I really needed to be reminded.

“God is not concerned with our happiness, but with our holiness.  We will have a millenia to be happy.”  My pity party had been focused on my happiness.  I needed to re-align my focus to that which is holy.

“The power source {for the Christian life} has often been short-circuited.  Because of fear of wildfire {or being labeled as charasmatic} we have ended up with no fire.”  I know I have brushed aside many a sermon on the Holy Spirit, but I am finally realizing in my daily walk just what it means to walk in the Spirit.  And I desperately need His power!

“The world continues to be more & more desperate, but the church isn’t.”

“Revival starts in God’s house.  Not the White House, the school house, or the court house.”

We normally break up into groups of two or three to pray together before going our separate ways for the night.  But our Pastor was moved to open the floor to those who would pray – as the Holy Spirit led them.  It was a very moving time.  Many eyes were wet with tears.  Many hearts were touched, I’m sure, as was mine.

I was so blessed that the very first person to stand and offer her prayer was a teenager.  So many teens and so many youth groups today are focused on the fun, and not becoming more holy.

I rejoiced with my brothers and sisters in Christ as we confessed sin, prayed for strength, gave God the glory, and sought the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.  I don’t think I can quite describe how I felt – how I was moved – by hearing my church family pray.  Their words were even more precious when I considered the current or recent circumstances in their lives.  I have seen them grow, be transformed, and claim the victory that is provided for us in Christ.  Hearing them put words to their inner struggles and victories was very touching, and humbling, and I felt so blessed to be able to call them my friends.

Some people don’t make time to attend their church’s mid-week prayer meeting.  Some churches don’t even have a prayer meeting.  But as the speaker said on Wednesday, you can tell the health of a church, not by how many attend on Sunday morning, but by how many show up for the prayer meeting.  We all need the fellowship of our Christian brothers and sisters, and the prayer meeting provides a boost in the middle of our week - the encouragement to keep going, to not be weary in well doing, and to know that others are praying for us.

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