Long before there was organized religion, before there was a tabernacle or a temple, before Abraham and the Jewish nation, God’s chosen people – before the Law as handed down through Moses and before grace and truth was revealed through Jesus – there was prayer.
A son is born to Adam and Eve called Seth. The Bible states “At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord” (Genesis 4:26b).
Man called out to God in their times of need for they instinctively knew there was a God who loved them and cared for them and wanted to help them. The same is true today for God has not changed. What has changed, however, is we can now personally know this God to whom we pray – and walk with Him daily because of Jesus and the Cross. So, not only do we have the privilege of praying for our own needs we can also join in His plans and purpose as we pray according to His will for others. And, here’s the exciting part, we get to do this with others. It is called a prayer meeting.
We are called to gather together to pray and His promises are sure and true – He will be there in our midst as we pray. More than promising to hear our prayers – He is promising His presence in a special way when we gather to pray together according to His Word and His will. (Matthew 18:20)
That gets my adrenalin flowing and my excitement begins to mount … God promises His special presence and power when we gather together to pray. Whoa! Powerful and exciting, never mundane or boring. A priority in the life of Christians for many centuries.
The Church of Jesus Christ advances on her knees. Prayer is foundational to all we do. Personal prayer and corporate prayer. Both must be a priority in the life of the believer and the life of the local church. And the Lord would say: “Call upon Me and I will answer you”. (Jeremiah 33:3) So, prayer is an absolute must – personal and corporate.
But prayer meetings are not well attended. Many local churches have given up having coporate prayer as no one attends but the pastor and, out of discouragement, the leader simply prays by themselves at home instead of warming up a building, turning on the lights and waiting – only to have absolutely no one show up.
Around North America people and organizations are opening “House of Prayer” locations where believers come to pray – and some are operating 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. And I am sure this is a good thing – prayer always is. But, the Lord stated: “My House (the Church) shall be called a house of prayer for all nations”. So, along with the IHOP movement and houses of prayer in capital cities we need to see local churches rise up and begin to pray for the lost and for the many nations of the world where the Gospel still needs to be established.
I admit – prayer meetings are not always exciting. But they are necessary as the Lord’s will is released upon the Earth when His people pray according to His Word – which is His expressed will (1 John 5). A corporate time of worship and seeking God’s face crying out for the salvation of the lost and the spread of the Gospel of salvation worldwide may not always be dynamic – but the results are always wonderfully thrilling … for the results of our prayer times together is always changed lives.
So, I am doubling my efforts in personal prayer and not giving up about corporate prayer – in spite of recent discouraging attendance and the apparent lack of dynamics in the prayer meetings. I will faithfully pray and push forward in what I know is the revealed will of God for His Church – standing in faith that the Church will truly fulfill her destiny and become a “house of prayer for all nations” once again. Please join with me and stand in faith praying…