PRAYER – THE FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS
If we really want to be a People doing God’s Works – be it a church, a church planting movement, a mission station – Prayer must be our first order of business, not just in word, but in fact.
You can have great plans, a cool setting, an awesome community of people – but if Seeking God is not at the center of your strategy, how will you build right, build with power, build to last?
Why is it that it is the women who are getting to the prayer meetings and the men doing the work? Work all you want men, but … “unless God builds the house, those who do the work, do it in vain!”
Why is prayer so essential?
- That is where we get God’s priorities and His commands for the day.
- That is where we get the courage, the strength, the wisdom, the grace needed to accomplish what He sends to do.
- That is where Unity is breathed into the community and each member is reassured that this is not an idea of some weird leaders, but God Himself is speaking to us to do this great thing that takes sacrifice and devotion.
Part of the reason we don’t really believe in prayer enough to sacrifice for it, is because we have seldom been in corporate prayer meetings where we have come away sensing a clear direction from God, a cleansing healing, a corporate AMEN, an unplanned revelation of God’s priorities for the day… When is the last time your prayer meeting had even one of these elements?
When is the last time God showed up in your prayer meeting? I don’t mean, “when was the last time people got really excited at your prayer meeting” – don’t confuse emotion with Presence.
Here are my ideas for building a prayer community that makes a difference:
- The leaders must pave the way. It is like tithing – a step of faith. You do it because you believe in it, regardless the cost.
- A room set aside for prayer is important. A place of beauty and sanctity. A place to write your prayers and thoughts and visions. A place where an individual can spend the night or a group can wake the dawn.
- Leaders and formats must not dominate. If God only speaks to the Body thru designated leaders something is wrong. Formats should be our servants, not our foreman.
- The same with the guitar player – don’t allow the worship leader to play the whole time. Allow some silence, some singing, some background music, some spiritual singing… Have several guitars so different ones can lead, and train them to allow at least half the time for prayer and listening and seeking…
- Allow the Spirit to direct. Have someone start it off, but then fade out as the Body gets engaged. When God begins to speak to one member, others can feed off of that with prayer and song and response. Don’t be afraid of silence. We are waiting for the move of the Spirit, and at times our flesh or whatever hinders His move – so we wait, and in the waiting we are refined and provoked. And when He begins to move the heart quickens, the senses are sharpened, the mind is fully engaged, and His Word begins to thunder thru time and space. We all know at that moment that God is in this place.
- Be committed as a People to take the Words seriously – determine beforehand to act on them.