There are a few moments that stand out for me in my 22 years of pastoral ministry that are a real joy. It is in the moment where someone experiences a breakthrough in their faith and exuberantly shares it with others.
A couple of times, that breakthrough has happened at a Praise & Prayer night. People feel intimidated by public prayer. They’ve heard Sunday prayers that sound eloquent and flow well. They’ve been around people who pray and put their words together in ways that reflect a lifetime of prayer.
For many people, their experience of prayer has been one of challenge, discouragement, and trial. They find they are easily distracted by other things. They hear the testimony about saints who prayed for hours, getting up early in the morning and labouring and prayer and feel a massive disconnect with their lives.
But then, there are those moments of breakthrough. Something simple like a praise and prayer night, discovering that praying out loud doesn’t have to be long and labourious. I remember two individuals who said to me, “I prayed out loud for the first time tonight!” And it was a glow on their faces. Short sentence prayers.
Sometimes praying together can be overwhelming. But when done well, praying together can fuel a lifetime of dependency upon the Lord. During my college days, I spent most weekday mornings gathering with 2-3 other guys to pray for a revival on our college campus. While I never saw that moment come, I do remember experiencing some chapel services where there was repentance that could only have been wrought by the Spirit.
Prayer has never been an easy for me. In a distracted age, concentrated prayer has been a challenge. Yet my prayer life has been substantially helped by praying with others. Praying with Melanie each morning before the day begins, Wednesday morning prayer times, the directed Praise and Prayer nights. While the temptation exists to let people see our righteousness through long, verbose prayers (Matt. 6:5-8), for me praying with others has encouraged me to pray and helped me to pray biblical, focused, and unstuck prayers.
So what are you doing this Friday night? Why not take some time and pray with others tonight at our Praise & Prayer night? You might just find that this spiritual discipline spurs you on more!
Praying with you,