I started off a church service in this way: “I believe we would have been more successful in our first term of being missionaries had we spent more time in prayer.” They looked at me in shock as if I had meant we were total failures. That is not at all what I meant. We all could probably use a similar statement for whatever our ministry is. We think it and know it, but still do not practice prayer as much as we should.
I am listening to a class online on Church Planting Movements. Dr. Don L. Davis says that in the church planting movements there is a heavy emphasis on prayer. In South Korea I have heard that the church meets in a stadium in the mornings for prayer. Not a side SS room of a church; a stadium. If we are serious about a Church Planting Movement, or Missions really happening wherever we are, US or abroad, we need to be more serious about a dedicated prayer life.
Wednesday night prayer services are becoming less common, and in the churches that have them, I have seen that it is more a time for another message than a time for prayer. I am not against less services or preaching; I just want to be for prayer. In the busyness of our schedules, we have excluded prayer. Why can’t we think like Martin Luther who said his schedule was so busy he needed to wake up earlier and spend his first three hours in prayer.
Prayer shows our dependence on God. Just like when we fast (for the few who do fast); we long for food so much that we must depend on God to make it through the day. When I am fasting, I think about food so much and when I do, I pray a prayer of dependence on God to survive the day! Our attitude in prayer must be the same. My 3 year old girl used to say a lot, “Momma, I neeeed you, momma, I neeed you...” so we must say to God, “I neeed you.”
Recently I have been to three evening prayer services. One went from 10PM to 7AM. (I only lasted until a little after 4). In each service I went away with a huge blessing and a huge lift spiritually. There was mixed worship, devotionals and a heavy emphasis on prayer in each one. I pray that they continue to happen as we focus more on prayer.
Prayer emphasizes our need of God in His work through us. It takes away our dependence on ourselves. What can you do today to put more emphasis on prayer. I am guessing that if you are like me, it needs to start with your own personal prayer life; but I encourage you to set up group prayer times that will benefit your individual time as well.