The prayer meeting battle
Tuesday 28th February 2017
Prayer is a battle
If you think about it, prayer is amazing: The thought we can be intimate with the almighty God, creator and sustainer of everything blows my mind. He listen and cares for the things that I’m concerned about!
And yet prayer seems to be such a battle. Why are we so easily distracted when we try and pray on our own?
We are told that prayer is a battle! We know that the enemy will try anything to distract us from prayer. Prayer grows us closer to Him and transforms us as well as having an impact on the world around us.
And so I think that’s why so often when the first evening of the first Thursday of the month comes round (when we have our monthly prayer gathering at Portswood Church), it can be difficult to go.
On a cold and wet evening, after a long day at work, school or university, watching tele and going to bed early rather than venturing out to a prayer meeting seems so much more enticing… That’s the battle!
But a bit like going out for a run, once we get going we remember what a wonderful thing praying together is again! I often feel that rather than it being draining after a long week at work, I feel refreshed and inspired. Re-invigorated. It’s exciting to hear stories of what God is doing in the church family. At heartbeat people share about the things that are happening and it’s encouraging to spend time together to praise and thank God for those things.
But prayer gives us hope too, when we pray together we entrust the things to God, “Here, you know what’s best!”. This often leaves me with a sense of excitement, “I wonder what God is going to do…”
Why corporate prayer?
But do we need to pray together? Couldn’t we just all pray on our own? Why do we even need ‘corporate’ prayer? Does God answer prayer together more??!
Those are interesting questions. Of course, prayer isn’t a magic formula so if you pray together in this way or that doesn’t mean He will give you what you want, that’s not the reason we pray together.
But let me flip the question around, if we are meant to journey in our faiths together as a church, how can we possibly be doing this without praying together?
I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing but we so often see our faith as individualistic, a personal thing. But in reading the Bible we see that’s not at all the way God meant it to be. We are meant to be journeying together. ‘Church’ is His idea and it’s exciting! Not only do we need one another (to encourage and challenge) but we also experience such a fullness in living for and loving Jesus together. There’s a huge richness that we miss out on if we try to live our faith in just an individualistic way.
Of course a personal relationship with God is important too and spending time on our own with Him is a vital way to grow but let’s not miss out the great gift of God’s church to us, living for Him together.
How can we journey together if we’re not praying together? For me that seems absurd. I’m convinced praying together is a basic need of any church family - a bit like a beating heart.
Let me finish with a challenge for you. If you are part of a church family, is corporate prayer important to your church family? Is corporate prayer important to you? How are you involved in it? If you have a really busy week, is corporate prayer the first thing that you’ll decide to drop? How can you make more time and space for corporate prayer in your schedule?