The nation's prayer meetings are getting smaller and smaller, but is joint prayer, with other Christians, more important than we give it credit for?
Donald Trump is one of the most controversial and divisive characters in world politics in a very long time, but definitely in my lifetime. Having said that though, his policies often point towards the desire to reinstate Christian principles back into the heart of Americans.
This was seen last month where he reinstated the observation of a National Day of Prayer, to be held annually in America. Although a commendable step towards a more ‘Christian’ nation, the idea of holding a National Day of Prayer is not new. On 26th May 1940, King George VI urged men and women up and down the country to pray for the deliverance of the British Army that was trapped in France.
Hundreds of thousands of people headed to churches and chapels, with the purpose of praying for the soldiers who were trapped at Dunkirk. The original estimation was that the Royal Navy would be able to get 20-30,000 men off the beaches, but after the evacuation was complete, that number stood at more than 300,000.
The National Day of Prayer, one of the largest demonstrations of corporate prayer that we have ever seen, was heard by God.
But that was over 70 years ago, and prayer meetings up and down the country are getting smaller, but are they more important than we give them credit for?
When Paul was in prison, writing to the Philippians he said, “I know that through your prayers and the help of the spirit of Jesus Christ, this will turn out for my deliverance” (Phil 1 v 19).
But Paul was not just talking of an individual’s prayers in their private time, but also of the prayers of the church for Paul, about the interceding prayers of the Philippians. This leads to the question that we must ask ourselves, can we insert the name of this church into the sentence: “I know that through the prayers of Wigmore Free Church” God will act?
I urge you to join us on Tuesday nights here, at the church, between 7.30-9pm, to join together with your brothers and sisters in prayer and to study God’s word further.
This post was orignally written and archived from our previous website. Dates may not match the actual date written
What makes the prayer meeting missable? Why is it low on the order of priorities? Why does it seem to some it not that urgent, not that important? To what extent is there the connection between Spiritual blessing and prayer?
This is to me personally a very important issue and to all engaged in the Lord's work.
1) Prayer comes before spiritual blessing. Prayer is seeking God. It is enquiring of the Lord. Trace through the history of the Bible and the history of the Church, and see if you can discern any spiritual blessing that has come which was unheralded by prayer.
2) Prayer is the representative of spiritual blessing. When a king or queen is due to appear, there is often a fanfare of trumpets. When the new Parliament is opened, before the Queen comes, the trumpets herald her arrival. Thus before the Lord comes in blessing, prayer is the herald, the representative of blessing. What a mercy of the Lord to say here in Ezekiel 36 "I will yet for this be enquired of by the House of Israel, to "do it for them; I will increase them with men"".
3) Prayer is an expression of spiritual blessing. We cannot but feel that if God has given a heart to pray, then he has blessings to give generously. There is a very strong connection. We pray. God hears and blesses. How come? He has ordered it to be so. He delights to hear prayer. And he measures out his blessings so that we come again and again and ask him. When we are burdened beyond our ability to cope, and we follow the injunction of 1 Peter 5 v 7, God answers even in the midst of our praying. Prayer is neglected because we have no sense of need. That is natural to us to not feel any need of the Lord. A sense of need is a divine gift. No pastor, no preacher can nag his church into this. It cannot be done. I’ve tried as a pastor and failed in this respect. I think this is where we are lacking. We need to plead for this.
Imagine this – if we received blessings without prayer what would happen?
i) we believe that those blessings were common things, and that somehow we deserved them.
ii) We would take them for granted.
iii) God would not be sought earnestly.
4) Prayer is God's will to grant spiritual blessing. We need not ask if we are doing what the Lord wants us to do, in seeking him. The time is never wasted as we come to prayer. Can churches make greater use of the time afforded? It should be lively! We need to ask ourselves some questions at this point. Do I discern those areas of special need of prayer? Why is it that some prayer meetings can be 'heaven on earth' and others simply drag? Do cold hearts help or hinder? What can I do to realise the purposes of God for me in terms of prayer? Have I made it an idol? This needs some honest reflections and self examination at this point. If the Lord does not give to us a spirit of prayer, we are in dire straights.
Remember it does not come through nagging, but Him giving.
~ Geoff Gobbett