A man was circling the block searching for a parking space. Finally, after the third time around he decides to pray: "Dear God, if you help me find a parking space, I will go to church every Sunday and I will tithe a tenth of my income. Amen." Suddenly, a spot opens up and the man says: "Never mind God, I found one!"
The New Year has begun, "It's time to evaluate ourselves and draw near once again, endearing ourselves to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, releasing ourselves... from ourselves through prayer!!
Prayer is the Engine that drives any church! And, as quoted above by Charles Spurgeon, "A Prayerful Church is a Powerful Church! "Do you believe that?" I do!
As a child, I remember the Wednesday night Prayer and Bible Study, more often than not it was a reading of a chapter in the Bible and then right to prayer service where an hour or so was spent at the altar.
Today, there are very few churches that have a time for "prayer meetings" and by that I mean, a meeting that is devoted just to prayer! This might just be one of the causes of the "Spiritual apathy" that we have in our churches today!
For those of us who do not have prayer meetings in our church, it might be a good idea to pray about just that and ask God about what we need to do about it! Beware though, because one of the greatest ploys, and tactics of the enemy... for not having prayer meetings, is the immediate thought that "Nobody will come"!!
This alone, tells us a lot about the spiritual temperature of our churches, it is also a very relative and revealing factor in the church today. I've often wondered, why is it that nobody has a hunger for the Lord our God??
Still, we cannot curse the darkness, instead we have to light a candle!
We need to ask ourselves, "What is the solution"? The point is to start a meeting time that is a a good time for everyone, where people can get serious about calling on God?
However, what happens when the pastor does start a meeting time and no one comes? Pretty soon the meetings die out because no one attends! And, now we have to realize... there is serious work that needs to be done.
It has been suggested... that maybe we can change up the Sunday service, just a bit?? Have a little less singing and a bit less preaching and maybe more time given to prayer in an altar call.
Okay, so what is an altar call, it's just the calling of God's people forward to wait and pray, very simply put it's a "Mini Prayer Meeting"! Oh, but people may think they have to spend two hours with God in prayer to really get serious. NO, they don't! With that thought pattern your "Mini Prayer Meeting" will go absolutely nowhere!!
So, you meet people where they are! Jesus met the people where they were when he spoke to them in parables. We also have to meet our people where they are and slowly take them to the next step that God desires to bring them to.
It might be the cold hard fact that people aren't serious about God... so, now what do we do?? We don't just stand there and say, "Well, the whole world is going to hell in a hand basket" and nothing is going to change that.
That may very well wreak as self righteousness and spiritual pride in anyone interested in a serious, prayerful relationship with God! A shortened Sunday of singing and a sermon might just be the answer to seeking the Lord.
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
And, as God starts answering prayers and a "Spirit of Prayer" comes upon the people, just remember that prayer is really a Spirit of Prayer! Because, without the Holy Spirit, we can't truly pray!
...For we know not how to pray (We, Paul is including himself here... he who wrote so much of the New Testament says...) we, I Paul don't know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26
We don't have the fervency, we don't have the faith, and we don't have the utterance that we need... so we NEED the Holy Spirit and that doesn't come in just one altar call! We have to look to God and learn to wait on God! And, we have to know the needs of the people and this world!
I believe that many... right in our own pews are hurting and need our prayers!!
What a good reason to bring the element of prayer into our Sunday services, for God's house is not called a house of singing, nor a house of teaching, not even a house of preaching, God's house is called a "House of Prayer"!
And, he taught, saying unto them, "Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? But ye have made it a den of thieves. Mark 11:17
How in the world do we have a "New Testament Meeting" without a strong element of prayer?? I immediately think of the book of Acts, but a more specific verse in the Bible that comes to my mind, clearly states one of the many purposes of Jesus Christs coming is to: "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
How is it we have these insipid Sunday Services?? These kind of meetings have been developing with just a reading, a few announcements, songs and lectures that are very similar to the Mormon way of teachings. Then a praise God, an amen and we go home and not one of us has changed... simply because no one has made contact with God!
There is a great challenge to be made by today's church and for us to be led by God Almighty... because there is no perfect formula other than getting down on our knees... and, only we can decide if we have the desire within us to do just that!
While God has to show each man his own way, God is also revealing the temperature of your churches! It isn't meant to belittle us, it's meant to take us to the next level, from "Faith to Faith" and from "Glory to Glory"!!
It may not happen overnight, simply because our churches haven't become this way overnight! Still, we have to start moving in the right direction if we want real change!
I remember the old gospel chorus:
"It doesn't matter where you come from but it counts where you're going... Are You Headed in the Right Direction???
It doesn't matter where you have been, but it counts where you will be... When it's over will you be in Heaven???
God's not impressed by the way you dress, or what you've done or where your from but, only if you'll live for Him!
It doesn't matter where you come from, but it counts where you're going... Are you headed in the right direction!!"
One more thing to remember and ponder: It is so important to sing songs with the name of Jesus, the Cross where the blood of Jesus was shed and songs with the Holy Spirit in them! Remember that the most powerful name, that name that makes the enemy, and the demons tremble... are the songs with the name of Jesus in them!
Friends, we need more of Jesus in our lives and in our churches... especially in these days of self, self reliance, and self gratification!!! Why don't we make our "Parking Spot" at the altar of prayer??
Judy's Jots © 2018 - Look for Judy Myers Weltin to find me on Facebook!