The Importance and Need for Prayer in Our Church
This weeks devotional is by Katie Moon. Weekly prayer meetings at TFL will begin Tuesday the 16th, at 6pm.
Truth Fellowship Live is undoubtedly a work of God. We would not make up this local church if God had not planned it, prepared our hearts for it, nor moved in profound ways (both exciting and difficult) to bring it to be. As time moves forward, and we continue on in our efforts to be the church God has called us to be, God has increasingly impressed on my heart the need for a higher level of prayer to be happening for our church and in our church. During our wonderful, yet fairly brief time of prayer after service a couple of weeks ago, I was struck with a fresh realization that our ministry potential is incredible. The gifts found in the individual member of this church is surely uncommon. Coupled with each one’s heart for reaching the lost, again, our ministry potential is huge!
I believe Satan knows this about us. As is common to start up ministries, Satan wields his warfare in an effort to stop, or at least delay, greater glory given to God! The greater glory God will receive, the greater warfare upfront. This church has undergone no small amount of hardship due to spiritual warfare. As a corporate group, we may look at certain obstacles and any seeming “lack” with great discouragement. As individuals, many have and are still paying a high personal premium for stepping out in faith to start this church. Thank you, so deeply, for your willingness to do as Paul called Timothy to do, “As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Tim 4:5). What you are persevering through is very much a part of fulfilling the ministry you have been predestined for!
Brothers and sisters, I believe it is time to enter into this battle as an army of united believers. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God…” (2 Cor. 10:3-4). We know that two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor (Ecc. 4:9). Consider the battle we could wage as an army in prayer! Consider the “noise” we could make together, in the heavenlies, at the very ears of of our Lord!
In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears. (Ps. 18:6)
The Lord Jesus is in this church. It is apparent every time we worship together! It’s not the great music DVD’s, the message of salvation, or the excellently exegeted sermons that make our time together profound. Those are undoubtedly wonderful! But, it is the Lord Jesus and, I believe, His favor, in our midst that continues to make our time together special! As is the character of God, He desires relationship (seen, firstly in His triunity!). Jesus, desiring to work for His continuous glory in our midst, will even wait to be glorified to a greater degree, in order to draw us to our knees first. None of us would say we can do this without the Lord. And all of us are praying, I am sure. But what if we joined together, regularly, to make Truth Fellowship Live a house of prayer!?
“these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar, for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples” (Is. 56:7)
And [Jesus] began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS ‘? (Mark 11:17a)
Charles Spurgeon once said, “The condition of the church may be very accurately gauged by its prayer meetings. So is the prayer meeting a grace-ometer, and from it we may judge of the amount of divine working among a people. If God be near a church, it must pray. And if he be not there, one of the first tokens of his absence will be a slothfulness in prayer.”
Why is it expected for weekly prayer meetings to either fail to exist or be poorly attended?
Take some time to consider this statement made in Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, a book written by Jim Cymbala (a book I encourage each of us to purchase and read!!), the pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle in Brooklyn, NY: “You can tell how popular a church is by who comes on Sunday morning. You can tell how popular the pastor or evangelist is by who comes on Sunday night. You can tell how popular Jesus is by who comes to the prayer meeting.” At this point in their church, when a visiting pastor shared this with them, they were a struggling congregation of 20. Shortly after this, the church seriously committed to praying together every week. They have not ceased their weekly prayer meetings for around 30 years and are now 10,000 strong! Their story is an absolute testimony to the power of the God who hears our prayers!
Is God calling Truth Fellowship Live to be 10,000 strong? Maybe. Maybe not. That isn’t the question, nor the focus. But this I know: God is calling us to call on His name, for His glory, for His people, His Church, and the lost whom He created! I wonder if you’ve sensed this calling too? With a persistent, persevering, and deliberate corporate prayer life, I believe there is no telling what God will do in us and through us!
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Eph. 3:20-21, NASB)
Next Tuesday, the 16th, at 6pm, we’ll start our weekly prayer meetings at our normal location. I encourage and even challenge every one of us who considers TFL our home church, to seriously commit to making these weekly meetings. I challenge you to keep them as high-priority as Sunday worship. If you do not attend TFL, perhaps your church has a weekly prayer meeting you could attend. If not, perhaps this might be the time to find some others to join you, and start one!
Now in the morning, when He was returning to the city, He became hungry. Seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He said to it, “No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.” And at once the fig tree withered. Seeing this, the disciples were amazed and asked, “How did the fig tree wither all at once?” And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (Matt. 21:18-22)
February 18, 2013 (10:49 am)
2 Cor. 10:3-4 is a verse we must truly grasp and live by. That is one of my top 5 favorite verses. If we pray to God and follow His guidance we allow the Holy Spirit within us to break down our struggles with sin and allow Him to overcome for us in our battles. We then will succeed and prosper.
February 18, 2013 (3:00 pm)
Hi Roger. I agree, I love these verses too. It really corresponds nicely to the last couple sermons Pastor Terry has given regarding the armor of God. The divine weapon(s) those verses mention are found in Ephesians 6:17b-18a: “and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit” The Sword of the Spirit (Word of God) is the only non-armor item in the list. It is our weapon. Our divine and powerful weapon at that! Verse 18b which says “with all prayer and petition at all times in the Spirit” may be our other weapon. God’s Word replaces the deceit of Satan with God’s powerful and living Truth. And prayer certainly helps demolish strongholds as well. I tend to believe it is our other weapon for fighting battles of sin and strongholds. Another idea: What if we put them together and prayed God’s Word? Turning Scripture into prayer. God’s Word (of course exegeted in context) is His will. Praying God’s will is a powerful and important thing. It’s key to “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”(Matt 21:22.) I wonder what kinds of answers to prayer we’d see if we used Scripture more often as our guide to prayer, petitioning, and praising God.