I’ve gradually come to understand that what happens within me when I pray is as important as what God does for me as a result of my praying.
I’m going to suggest that it’s true for us as congregations too, and then we can talk about it.
What happens within us when we pray
is as important as what God does for us
as a result of our praying.
Do you agree? Here’s why I say it is, these first three are things that happen when I pray individually, and I think would be true of a praying church family also:
In part, prayer is an expression of our dependence on Almighty God. Jesus was clear about that, saying “Without Me you can do nothing”. You can find His rationale in John 15. Prayer hands life’s reins to God. It gets out from behind the wheel and lets God drive. “I’m with You, Lord, and I’ll try not to tell you how to get where we’re going, or that there’s a better parking place closer to the door once we arrive.” i’ve observed that congregations who pray tend to follow the Lord’s leading more readily than churches focused on a master plan written by mortals who have a vested interest in its outcome.
Prayer keeps the conversation open between Creator and created, Lord and servants/obedient friends, Sovereign and finite. Prayer’s ongoing exchange facilitates our staying in synch with divine priorities. We find we’re able to adjust our plans as we discover His agenda. Congregations who pray are able to change their methods as God brings to light a new opportunity or a more effective means, and do so without compromising truth. Prayerless congregations, on the other hand (or those who pray perfunctorily – more on that later), hold tightly to programs and methods and protect them — sometimes to a fault.
Prayer keeps us humble. When something wonderful happens, congregations who pray are quick to thank God for the blessing and rejoice in what HE has obviously done. Credit goes to Whom the credit is due. Congregations who thrive on human drive tend to scramble for the kudos and accolades when something wonderful happens.
Well that’s a start, what other things come to mind? What happens to congregations who pray? You don’t have to describe the opposite as I did, we’ve got you thinking now, right?
I’ll copy/paste from comments into this article as you point out additional benefits and characteristics of church familes who pray together.
Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts and insights. Questions are good too – feel free.