I’ve noticed a disturbing trend among Christians. We are not a praying people.
Oh, we love the idea of prayer. We love sharing memes about it and ranting on social media about prayer in schools. We love organizing prayer vigils after some awful tragedy has struck. We follow the same predictable patterns of making prayer low priority until we have absolutely no other recourse but to turn to the God of the Universe.
As His children, we must start examining what it is that keeps us from prayer. Is it that we really don’t believe that God is in control? Or do we just not care what He does until He does something that negatively affects us? Do we really think that the best time to pray is after the mass shooting?
At most prayer meetings, only a fraction of the church takes time to attend. It isn’t a time issue. Parents and grandparents alike can make it to every little league game, anytime, anywhere, with three or four kids in tow. In most cases it isn’t a matter of limited mobility or poor health. The majority of us are perfectly able to meet together to pray. We just don’t want to.
Imagine how our communities and churches and schools might change if we approached the throne of God with an expectation that He will hear our prayers. With an excitement about what He will do with the pleas of His people. Consider how things might be different if we had eyes to see how He uses our prayers to accomplish His will, if we had the faith to believe that prayer really matters.
Imagine if we weren’t afraid to humble ourselves before our God, before our family and friends and fellow believers, if we marked prayer meetings on our calendars in ink, making it clear to our children that we make prayer with fellow believers a priority in our homes. Instead, most of us hear the words “prayer meeting” and tune out. Not for us. Not important. Not worth our time.
We spend so much time worrying about the world our kids and grandkids are growing up in, so many hours scheming and planning ways to shelter them, and so little time talking to the One who can actually change things. If you want to know the truth, it isn’t the youth of today or the evil governments or the wicked schemes of man that make me fear for the future. It’s the empty prayer meetings.
“The Cinderella of the Church today is the prayer meeting. This handmaid of the Lord is unloved and unwooed because she is not dripping with pearls of intellectualism, nor glamorous with the silks of philosophy, neither is she enchanting with the tiara of psychology. She wears the homespuns of sincerity and humility and so is not afraid to kneel.” – Leonard Ravenhill