Ever wonder if you are attending a prayer meeting or if you are witnessing a bunch of kittens resisting being herded?
“It’s easy to follow when we want to go where the leader is taking us, but what about when He takes a turn we’re not in favour of?” – Lisa Barry.
Lori eagerly arranged her notes as she walked into the weekly prayer meeting a few minutes early. Stationing herself by the only entrance, she greeted each attendee with a copy of her prayer list with a smile. “No need to thank me, this way, you won’t forget my requests. Please take particular note of those I highlighted in yellow.” Mark smiled right back as he snatched the paper, then settled into his favourite chair with a dangerous glint in his eyes. Barely scanning Lori’s outline, he shook his head in doubt. “Well, maybe, after we get through all the people I want God to deal with, we might have time for your little list.”
Nudging Patti with an elbow, Susan rolled her eyes as she listened to the by-play between Lori and Mark. In a stage whisper, Susan confided. “Well, I know which way I’m going to pray, and I’ve got the scripture to back it! Those poor little orphans in Romania, why, that’s where we should be praying!” Patti tried to mask her dismay by looking at the clock on the wall. She was clearly not in the mood to sit through another long prayer meeting. With the hope to rally the troops behind her, Patti energetically declared, “We’re going for a prayer walk! While we’re walking, I’ll figure out how we can reach our neighbourhood. I know just the place to go…” As she tugged her coat back on, Patti stormed out of the room, fully expecting the rest to fall into line behind her. “Let’s go!”
If you polled the members of this hypothetical prayer group, I think you’d find most within the little group felt dissatisfied and frustrated with the lack of answered prayer resulting from their faithful weekly meetings. I would imagine that, over time, their numbers dwindled to a few bewildered people. Those who left the group probably concluded that prayer just wasn’t for them. Those who stayed did so with the assumption that the group’s ineffectiveness was due to everyone else’s refusal to get with the program – their program!
Unfortunately, this little prayer group never discovered the importance of coming together in unity. They never experienced the power of quietly waiting on the Lord for His agenda by laying down their personal agendas at the Cross. As a result, their prayers scattered, and they rarely hit the bullseye.
The Lord reveals His strategies to His children who come together in anticipation that He will speak if they listen. As we surrender good intentions and pet projects to him, God has the freedom to take over the leadership of our times of corporate prayer.
Over the years, I have found great joy in being part of several prayer meetings that grasped this truth. There is enormous power released through mutual submission and the laying down of our wishes and desires. As we wait upon the Lord for His agenda, then carry out His strategies, our prayers become harmonious. United, we become a powerful instrument in God’s hands. We will see nations reached, cities transformed, families restored, and bodies healed. Participating in a prayer meeting where hearts truly meet together is a glorious thing.
Psalm 133:1 (MSG) – “How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along!”
Think back to a prayer meeting where you sensed God’s stamp of approval. Then think of a time you walked away from a meeting feeling frustrated and discouraged. What encouraged you? What discouraged you?
Are you uncomfortable with periods of silence in a prayer meeting or during a time of worship? What makes you nervous? Breathe deeply in those natural times of quietness and focus on God’s presence. Invite Him to draw nearer. If your mind is distracted, promise yourself that you can think about whatever is distracting you later in the day.
Every Monday at 5:30 PM MDT, I host an informal discussion group on the Zoom platform. You are most welcome to join us. We are currently beginning a series on prayer. Please use the contact form to message me with your email address and a brief explanation of why you’d like to join in if you have not contacted me already. I will have a waiting room enabled. If I don’t recognise you, I won’t add you to the call to ensure the safety and privacy of the group.
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From November 2020 forward, all Bible verses attributed to the NASB version unless otherwise indicated.
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Until Next Week,
©2021 Katherine Walden