Senior Pastor Duane Mabee's weekly Pastor's Pondering can be read here, as seen in the printed church bulletin weekly.
Praying Togetherby Duane Mabee on February 14, 2019
Donald Whitney, in his book Spiritual Disciplines within the Church talks about the large percentage of people who say they pray regularly. Six out of ten people say they pray every day. Two-thirds of those who never go to church say they pray. But with all that praying very few even in the church are willing to pray together. The focus, particular among us independently minded Americans, is almost exclusively on individual praying.
Gene Getz observes, “We have not been taught to think in terms of we and our and us. Consequently we ‘individualize’ many references to corporate experience in the New Testament, thus often emphasizing personal prayer, personal Bible study, personal evangelism, and personal Christian maturity and growth. The facts are that more is said in the Book of Acts and the Epistles about corporate prayer, corporate learning of biblical truth, corporate evangelism, and corporate Christian disciplines.” We are meant to do prayer and the Christian life together. We are meant to pursue Christ in the context of community.
In Matthew 18:19-20, Jesus promises to be present when two or more pray together. He is promising more than just His physical presence, because Jesus is always with us even when we are alone. He is giving us the “added promise of power that comes when God’s people unite in their requests to Him,” (Whitney).
“From its earliest days, the church has always been at its best when its people have knelt together. It is very important for us to work in the church so it can prosper. It’s imperative that we give so that the needs of the church can be met. But our work and our money can never do for the church what only the power of God can do. And the power of God never comes upon the church as it does when the church prays,” (Whitney).
Charles H. Spurgeon said, “Brethren, we shall never see much change for the better in our churches in general till the prayer meeting occupies a higher place in the esteem of Christians.” A study of the times when God moved with power and revived a church or a nation demonstrates that it almost always happens in response to consistent, unified, corporate prayer. Praying together is powerful, whether it is as a church or as a family.
Church, if we want to see God move in powerful ways in our church, in our lives, in our families, in our community, and in bringing people to salvation, we need to learn to pray together. One step in that direction could be the new prayer cells. I encourage you to take the risk. Sign up for the prayer cells and spend some time over the next four months learning to pray together in a new and deeper way.