A few weeks ago, a few dozen of our Faith family gathered at church and watched the movie “War Room”. The movie told the story of a family that was facing difficult times, for whom prayer was a powerfully transforming practice. When their marriage is failing, there was trouble in the workplace, and when they were feeling more and more distant in their relationship with God, prayer is the only path to healing they have yet to try. The movie gives a powerful example of the purpose of prayer in our lives, the practice of mentoring within spiritual relationships, and most importantly, tells a story of the centrality of Grace within our earthly relationships.
Within our church this movie, and other movements of the Spirit, have begun conversations about how we pray as individuals, as families, and as a congregational family. First of all, in order to continue the conversation about prayer I will be using the month of September as an opportunity to speak from what I see in the scriptures on prayer. We will encounter multiple instances of someone’s need for or use of prayer in our biblical heritage.
Additionally, there will be new opportunities developed through the rest of the year to practically participate in praying for each other and for the work of the Church. The first idea that was spoken about in our post-movie discussion was a way for us to pray for one another during worship. We would like to invite anyone who feels led, to pray for the members, the leaders, and the worship that happens in our church’s “other” service. For example, we would like to invite those who worship in our first service to stay a little later than usual once or twice a month and pray for the second service as it is going on: for the musicians, for the pastor, for the technology, for those participating. On the other hand, we also invite some of our regular attendees for our second service to come a little earlier than usual, and spend some time in prayer for our first service as it is happening: for the musicians, for the pastor, for the technology, for those participating. In this simple way, a small amount of time devoted in prayer for your church family will pay enormous dividends in spiritual renewal, in unity, and in connectivity between our two, diverse church families.
Prayer is the cornerstone of building a life of discipleship. If we engage only in worship, our lives lack depth. If we engage only in ministry and service, our lives lack the Spirit. If we engage only in study, our lives lack heart. If we engage only in fellowship, our lives lack purpose. Prayer is our best tool for connecting and reconnecting our lives to God. It is what gives our worship depth and majesty, it is what focuses our ministry with a spirit of service and sacrifice. Prayer connects our study to our life and our hope, and gives purpose and purpose to our fellowship. Moreover, through connecting us to God, it renews our spirit so that we are better able to participate in all aspects of the life of a disciple. To cease praying is to stop following, stop moving, stop encountering God.
I pray that each one of us, our entire congregation, invests in prayer for our church, for our community, for our purpose, and for our connection to God in the coming months. May we all be changed because of it.
Loving God, we are congregation that loves you and seeks you. We confess to you that our busyness and our distraction pull us away from our prayerful connections to you. We ask that you inspire us to be more passionate, more consistent, and more purposeful prayers so that we might find you leading us more vividly and more intentionally that we have ever before. Hear our Prayers, Oh God, and fill us with your Spirit, through the power of your Son, Jesus. Amen
- When there is no answer (2 Corinthians 12: 2-10) September 25, 2016
- Addressing The Almighty – (Esther 4:16 – 5:8, 7:1-4) September 18, 2016
- Why Prayer Is Hard (Romans 8:14-31) September 11, 2016