I invited a bunch of friends to my house a few weeks ago to play some games and just hang out. Yet I spent a large part of the evening thinking, If I could be doing anything in the world right now, I’d dig praying with these people. At the end of the night, everyone left except one guy. We ended up chatting for a long time and then praying together for each other. It was incredible—such a real sense of God’s presence was there. What my friend said to me and prayed for really helped me with something I had been struggling with for weeks.
Awhile back, I used to be a part of a group of a bunch of pretty decent Christian people who hung out a lot, but never did I feel comfortable enough to say, “Hey guys let’s pray!” on a Saturday evening when we were hanging out. We spent many evenings playing cards, watching videos, drinking coffee, playing board games, fellowshipping and doing lots of good stuff, yet it just seemed to be so unnatural to say, “Hey guys, let’s spend some time in prayer for each other.”
Why is it that prayer often feels like such an “unnatural” thing to do? I think perhaps we have the mindset that church or Bible study our personal quiet times are the appropriate places to pray, but it feels weird or seems out of place to do it anywhere else.
But I’m tired of that whole mentality. I want to surround myself with people who are passionately in love with Jesus and who want to spend time in prayer and fellowship together. I want to spend time with God and with people who want to spend time with God as well. Often I get that at my church, but I want to take it even beyond that to my social time with friends. As Christians, we share our love for God and desire to serve Him and keep Him as the top priority in our lives—surely praying together should be so natural, so real, so right.
We get together and watch movies, we get together and play games, we get together and watch sports or eat, and so on and so on. When will we start getting together to pray? When will we get together to have a worship session that’s not organized by the church?
We need to begin naturalizing prayer. The Bible says where two or more are gathered in His name, there God is—that’s pretty awesome stuff. We need place this issue before God and ask Him to lead us to people who are amped about prayer. And if we’re not amped to pray, we shouldn’t feel guilty or condemned—we need to just pray that God will place a passion for prayer and a longing to spend more time with Him within us.
Why don’t I feel close to God? Why aren’t people getting healed? Why doesn’t the stuff that happened in Bible times happen in my church today? Why isn’t this person in my life saved yet or getting any closer to God? Why do I struggle to hear God?
And the questions go on. I don’t know the answers, but I really believe that the best person to answer them is God. And maybe if we were coming before him in agreement, as a community, we’d start to see things happen. So let’s go for it.
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