Recently I read an article on prayer and the church. Are we a praying church? Someone who has done research on the church in the US has said that this is one of the characteristics of a thriving and growing church is the matter of prayer. A praying church is a growing and thriving church I guess would be the sentiment. We find in Acts 2 the church was a praying church. So, here are some of my thoughts on this:
How are we supposed to evaluate that question? Are we to have a prayer counter in the sanctuary so we can count the numbers of prayers and their efficiency? I think some would go as far as to do so.
The preacher can deliver some messages on prayer to spur on a believer’s prayer life. Jesus said in Matthew 6:5…”When you pray”, so its not really an option. Pastors should share their prayer life with others to spur others on through their experiences in their time of prayer. Bible Study Teachers can teach a lesson on prayer which happens several times a year. They can also share their experiences from their prayer life.
What about testimonies in worship of how God answers prayers? We have lost this in our services in giving God the praise and glory for this because of our one-hour time limit. Also, we don’t want to hand the microphone over to John who may talk for 15 minutes because he is preaching a mini-sermon on answered prayer in his life. YIKES!
Determining Factors: David writes in the Psalm….”I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies.” (Psalm 18:3) A church NEEDS to Praise God constantly. Paul writes: “We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers;” (1Thess. 1:2) We SHOULD be praying for each other to give thanks for our brothers and sisters in Christ. And the list goes on…praying for missions, lost folks, specific needs, etc. The KEY is in the RESULTS of our prayers. Even though they may be answered in victory, yes, we praise God, but what if God doesn’t answer or tells us no, yes, we praise God….it is the result of our prayers. But the health of this whole thing….is actually praying in the first place to see and experience results of our time spent with our Heavenly Father whether positive or negative. How is your prayer life?
The Sleepy Disciple, B