I'm reading a book right now that has been challenging me with the importance of prayer in our churches. It's called Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala.
There was a quote that I stopped and read a few times and then just sat there thinking about it for a while. It's not something that is different or challenging. It was the truth in the statement that made me stop.
You can tell how popular a church is by who comes on Sunday morning.
You can tell how popular the pastor or evangelist is by who comes on Sunday night.
You can tell how popular Jesus is by who comes to the prayer meeting.
It was the last part that really caused me to stop. How many of us actually do get really excited and make it a priority to attend prayer meetings at our churches? Honestly?
We go to church on the weekends. We may even be involved in a mid-week ministry. But, when the church announces a prayer meeting how many people show up compared to other things? How many people make it a priority to be at any kind of a pre-service prayer time? Perhaps there is a large turnout, but I know from my own experience that it tends to be a pretty small group that turns out for these kind of things.
I didn't spend a lot of time on that though. I very quickly moved to a bit more personal side of it all. I started thinking about my own attitudes towards prayer meetings. And that's where my challenge tonight comes from - don't look at the larger church and stop there - make it personal.
What kind of a prayer life do you have?
When a prayer meeting of any kind is announced are you interested? Or do you tune it out right away?
Prayer is how we communicate with our God, but I think in many instances we don't give it as much thought and attention as we need to.
We easily say that we are praying for someone, but do we actually do so? Or do we forget about it as soon as we walk away from the conversation?
Jesus' teaching and other Scripture has much to say about prayer. I wonder if maybe we need to take more time to really get serious about prayer.