Friday, April 02, 2010

Building A Culture of Prayer Part 2

I've been to my share of dry, boring prayer meetings. You? Not that God is boring or dry, but we are with our weary souls, amused minds, harried hearts.

After a long day of working, or dealing with kids, a prayer meeting is the last place we want to be. We'd rather turn on a sitcom, a sports event, catch up with American Idol and escape our own cares.

Sitting in a quiet prayer meeting only accents our trials, gets our minds churning, and if we're not stirred up, we've gone the other way, nodding off, jerking awake when our chin bobs to our chests.

But prayer is a corner stone of our faith.

Romans 12:12, Paul writes, "rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer.

Jesus reminds us in Matthew 21:13 "And He said to them, "It is written, ' MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER'; but you are making it a ROBBERS' DEN."

Colossians 4:2 "Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;"

1 Thessalonians 5:17"..pray without ceasing;"

1 Timothy 2:8 "Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension."

1 Peter 4:7"The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer."

Jude 1:20"But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit."

Revelation 5:8"When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints."

Revelation 8:3 "Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne."

Far too often we lose sight and vision for prayer. We relegate it to the here and now ONLY. Prayer for the sick. Prayer for finances. Prayer for a co-worker or family member. All very important issues to keep before God in prayer, but we are also to partner with Him for His divine plan, for His return!

What will the world look like just before He returns? Prayer prepares us. Prayer impacts culture and governments.

We must fill the bowls of heaven with our prayers. God adds His own fire and incense and hurls our prayers back to earth!

We are partners with Jesus for His Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.
We are loved! We are not just pawns on a chess board for the Lord to ignore or manipulate, we are robed in the righteousness of Jesus and part of His plan.

Building a culture of prayer is about strategically joining together with your church family, with churches in the community, for the express purpose of praying for God's will to be done in our cities, churches, schools and nation.

We are not to be out of culture, but influencers of culture. We gain God's heart for education, for government, for the church, by being in a place of prayer.

There are over 22 "houses of prayer" in the state of Florida. Some meet daily, some weekly, some monthly, for the express purpose of partnering with Jesus for His Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.

We've learned lately how to weave worship, the Word and prayer so meetings are alive and people are engaged. It's hard to fall asleep in these meetings. And with a little bit of focus, it's difficult to remain churned-up from the cares of the day.

Prayer is purposeful. Focused. Those in attendance are encouraged to sing along with the spontaneous choruses of the worship team which often come from scripture or a prayer that was prayed.

The room engages and becomes about putting something in the bowl, about touching the heart of God.

A prayer leader makes sure prayers are direct an on target. Did you know we can actually administrate prayer! And not grieve the Holy Spirit. We can!

Praying folks are not allowed to share, or prophesy, preach or teach. Just pray. Preferably from Scripture.

A key component those is understanding our "rights" as the Bride of Christ. We are invited into the Beloved. We're clothes in the righteousness of Jesus. We are Kings and Priest. We can boldly enter in.

Hebrews 10:22 admonishes us to "draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith."

Pray is laboring with Jesus, the great Intercessor. It's not always easy or fun. Rarely convenient. But if we work together to build a culture of prayer, it will become a part of our spiritual DNA, a part of our tapestry, our lives and our children's lives.

If Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father making intercession, (Heb 7:25), how much more we should seek to be with Him there.

Prayer is not an option. It's not for "the other guy" and it's not for the "intercessors." It's for each and every believer.

Is there a corporate prayer meeting in your church with a specific prayer focus and leadership? If not, can you start one? Or partner with someone who has the burden?


Alison Strobel Morrow said...

Wow. Your prayer posts are really speaking to me. Thank you for these.

Sharon Hayes said...

Thanks Rachel - been looking for Part 2