Prayer is one of those practices that nearly every Christian admits is essential to walking with God. Prayer also happens to be a practice that most Christians struggle to do on a regular basis. Prayer seems so inefficient—there’s nothing tangible to show for it. It feels awkward—you are talking to someone who is not physically there.
The Need for Prayer
And yet, you know when I tend to see people awakened to the necessity and potential of prayer? When there is a need that cannot be met by human effort. The great teacher on prayer, E.M. Bounds said, “Prayer is the language of a man burdened with a sense of need.”
Can I ask you, are there needs in your life that seem beyond your ability to meet? Do you feel the burden of the needs within our church? Do the needs of our nation and the world weighing on you? If the answer is yes, and I suspect it is, then my invitation to you is to join me in prayer.
The Need for Corporate Prayer
Personal prayer is vital to knowing and growing with God. But, did you know corporate prayer is vital to your Christian life as well? Corporate prayer cuts against the assumptions that Christianity is an individualistic faith. When we pray together, we are reminded that God wants to heal, build, strengthen, purify, and equip his people corporately. Participating in corporate prayer helps us understand that our lives as Christians are tied up with one another’s. “So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:5).
When we pray together, God responds. Not because he is a genie in a bottle, but because he is a gracious Father who gives good gifts to his children. I can tell you firsthand that I have seen God work in unbelievable ways recently through the times of prayer in my small group. There have been challenges and struggles that seemed insurmountable. We didn’t even know what to pray for. But, we prayed desperately for God to move, and move he did. In spectacular and supernatural ways! To quote E.M. Bounds again, “Four things let us ever keep in mind: God hears prayer, God heeds prayer, God answers prayer, and God delivers by prayer.”
An Invitation to Pray Corporately
Join us for our Night of Prayer, this Sunday, October 14; 5pm at Jireh Place. We will spend an hour praying together, sharing together, and loving one another. This will not be a time where people share personal needs. Those are important and should be prayed for in settings like small groups. This will be a time where we pray for the corporate needs of our church family. Do you think we need to grow in evangelistic fervor? Do we need help to be more devoted in our pursuit of holiness? Are there global needs that are burdening you? These are the kinds of things that we will prioritize in prayer.
Jesus said, “"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). Do you believe this? What if we took him at his word and did the asking, seeking, and knocking corporately? I hope you feel the great sense of need for our church to shine the light of Christ in a world full of darkness. If you do, I urge you to prioritize this time of corporate prayer. May prayer not be our last resort but our first choice in responding to the needs among us. Join us this Sunday night as we humbly seek the face of our Lord together.