When Prays the Church
I was in my pastor’s prayer time this morning. Every week between 6 and 8 of us gather from different churches and ministries around the area. We pray for each other. We pray for the church. We pray for each other’s churches. The group has been an incredible encouragement to me over these past 4 years. And more than one of these articles has been inspired by something one of them has said in the midst of our sharing.
This week at Shepherds Gate Lutheran Church, 8 of us were gathered in their prayer room. Something else was going on in the building. As we began to pray, this general sound of people talking began to travel down the hallway. One of us got up and closed the door. Soon, whatever was happening at the end of the hall grew in volume until the consistent noise of the crowd was impossible not to notice. It was a gathering of ladies, that much we could tell. The longer we prayed, the louder they got.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 ESV
As one of the retired pastors in the room began to pray, the volume swelled for just a moment. As he continued, the crowd noise suddenly stopped. In the sudden quiet, you began to realize just how loud and distracting it had been. And then about 20 seconds later, we heard the voices of the ladies begin to sing the Doxology:
Praise God from whom all blessing flow
Praise Him all creature here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
I teared up as they sang. As we prayed, the confusion of the dozens of babbling voices ceased. They became a united voice singing the praises of our God. And while the ladies down the hall had no idea that a group of pastors was praying just 50 feet from them behind a closed door, heaven knew.
It caused me to contemplate this…
1. We need to trust God more for what is going on around us. Life at times is a confusing babble. The thousands of bits of advice and bits of information that surround us can be overwhelming. We need help hearing the simple and straightforward voice of God in the midst of it. God speaks through His word. God can speak through other people to us. But the only other place I know where God consistently speaks is in the midst of prayer. God can sort through the confusion to bring about a singular voice of reason in the midst of life.
2. We need to ask more. God hears us. If there is anyone I want on my side working for me and the things that I am doing – it is God. We need Him in the midst of our families. We need His protection over us in the marketplace. We need His direction as we navigate the choices of life. We need His peace in the midst of our hurt and confusion. Asking more gives God permission to move into more areas of our lives. And into more areas of our church.
3. We need those who have walked with God for a lifetime to continue to devote themselves to prayer. I jokingly said… I wish I was close enough to God to pray like that. I can’t get the 3 women in my household to be quiet sometimes. But all kidding aside. Those who have walked with God the longest realize how much of this life is really all about God and how little of the circumstances of life were really all about our manipulation or orchestration.
Church, let me challenge you and I through this season of ministry. Let’s commit more of what we do to prayer. Our church needs the presence and power of God in what we do. As human beings, we cannot schedule that. We cannot program that. We cannot order that on Amazon Smile – even if we use MCC as our designated charity. We can only ask. Let’s ask God to be present in what we do. Take 5 minutes every day this week and lift up your church in prayer.
I am convinced that the more that we take to Him in prayer, the more He can quiet the other babbling voices all around us.
I am convinced that when we pray, God goes to work in ways that may be unseen and unknown to the crowd around us. But He is there.
I am convinced that when we pray we see more of God.
When prays the church…
God hears, God answers, God moves.
Praying with you and for you,