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
I think we would all agree that prayer is important. We would say prayer is imperative for us individually and corporately (as a church). However, when most churches have special times of prayer, the participation is often considerably lacking. What we notice in the Book of Acts is that the early church was dependent upon prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit. They regularly gathered for prayer and God did some amazing things.
Someone said that it seems like the church treats prayer more like the spare tire rather than the steering wheel. Could it be that we believe better than we behave when it comes to praying together? Could it be that we believe prayer is important but gathering to actually pray is sometimes viewed as optional, extra, or even vain. I suspect God sees us spinning our ministry wheels sometimes and wonders why we didn’t just ask Him.
In Luke 10, we read about Jesus’ visit to the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Martha got busy with preparing a meal while Mary decided that spending time with Jesus was more important. Martha was frustrated with Mary’s choice of devotion instead of meal preparations. Jesus pointed out to Martha that Mary had made the best choice. Maybe we need to be reminded that the best choice we can make is to spend time with our Savior. Maybe the church gets so busy with the details of ministry that we neglect the most important thing which is living in dependence upon God (manifested in our praying together).
As I think about the importance of prayer and the fast pace of life, I realize that the enemy loves to distract us and keep us busy all the while we neglect our time with the Lord. We miss out on the presence of Jesus and we end up laboring in our own strength instead of enjoying God’s power. Jesus was pretty clear when He said that “apart from me you can do nothing.”
Yes, we want to see God move in some big ways this year and we want to see a great harvest. We must labor in the harvest but we must labor in His power. I love Acts 4:31. It specifies that “when they (church) had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. Wow. Wouldn’t you like to gather one evening for prayer and God begin to shake the place with His presence. That would surely wake up the church. Let us be reminded of the necessity and blessings that come from praying together, united in one heart. Let’s plan on gathering again on Mon. Feb. 3rd at 6:30 PM to pray for all of our “ones” we are asking God to save this year. If you would like to fast that day for the lost that would be appreciated! All are invited! Keep praying for your “one” and our “52.” Bro. Harold