What a week this has been! My daughter was at drama (day) camp, which she loves, and that gave me the first good chunk of time for writing that I have had since school ended 4 weeks ago. I am happy to report that I figured out some technical things with the blog (notice the new header image), added a page, finished my e-book manuscript and lined up some advance readers (more about that soon!), and wrote a test article for a company that I hope will lead to ongoing, paid writing assignments. Compared to the way I’ve been limping along with my writing for the last several months, I feel like I accomplished a lot!
But that’s not the point of this post, I just had to share it because it’s exciting. This week, my church restarted its weekly prayer meetings. On Wednesday night, 10 of us met in our church’s parlor to seek God’s face together and intercede for our church, its members, and whatever else was brought up for prayer. We had previously had weekly prayer meetings, but for whatever reason, they had stopped.
Jesus says in Matthew that where two or three are gathered in His name, He is with them (18:20). This is said in the context of asking God in Heaven for something, as we do when we pray. It underscores the importance of praying together.
I don’t know what your experience with prayer has been, but there is something special about praying with others when it is sincere and heartfelt. I have had some great prayer times, praying alone to God. No prayer time is bad or wasted, even if my mind wanders or I fall asleep. But prayer with others can be an energizing time that can bring us into the presence of God like nothing else.
When we pray together, we get to share our experience of God and to share in the experience of others as well. It feeds something deep within me to hear others share their stories, their needs and their answers to prayer. It is so exciting to see how God works through the prayers of His people! Having experienced the presence of God and joined our hearts together in prayer, it adds a dimension to the relationships within the church.
Jim Cymbala, the pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle in New York City, speaks often about the importance of a prayer meeting within the church. His church has seen firsthand the power of prayer in everything from the growth of the church from 20 people to 10,000 people (not including numerous church plants and outreaches) to healings and other miraculous events, even some that took place halfway around the world. Here is a video clip where he talks about the importance of congregational prayer:
I hope it is as exciting and inspiring to you to hear about the power of prayer and to imagine what God will do in my church as we continue to pray to Him. If your church has a weekly prayer meeting, I encourage you to go. The church needs you to join your prayers with others. God works through people, and praying together is a big part of that.