Recently, I have been talking and thinking a great deal about prayer.
So not that long ago, at a women’s meeting in our church a middle aged lady shared with me that she hadn’t prayed with anyone else in over 14 years! Honestly, I was so shocked and surprised at her very honest admission. But imagine how heartening it was for me (and the other women) when the same woman said a week later:
“Praying with others at the women’s meeting has helped me to shape my prayers when I’m at home praying myself. For a long time my prayer life had become very inward. But concentrating on prayer with others was really refreshing and a good way to learn how to pray.”
Then last week at our prayer meeting in Cumbernauld, Robin and I were talking to an elderly gentleman about prayer. In the conversation he shared, “It is hard to pray on your own. I do pray, but praying with you is so much easier. I don’t get distracted.” This was a challenge to both of us. It got me thinking: Do I take for granted that I have someone at home to pray with? And why don’t we pray so much more together with brothers and sisters in Christ when it helps them?
Then yesterday, I found myself talking and thinking about prayer again. My friend and I were out for a swim and our conversation turned to the topic of prayer. We both shared how our prayer lives had become more regular, yet our prayers were shorter. We both shared how we longed to discover that sense of having a deep meaningful prayer time in God’s presence. After sharing our struggles and our desires, we left feeling encouraged and motivated to pray more.
Moral of these stories?
I think it is important for us to start talking about prayer in our churches. And, most of all, I think it is important for us to start praying together in our churches and way more regularly.
God’s ears are always open to hear our prayers. We are the ones missing out on so much. In prayer we speak to our Heavenly Father. We learn of His nature, we see His beauty, and we see our ongoing need for Him. Often I don’t pray because I’m relying on my own ability to get me through life. But prayer focuses my attention on the true giver of life. And, why wouldn’t we prioritise praying together, especially, if one of the wonderful by-products is we help, encourage, and spur each other on as Christians?
That’s why I’m looking forward to the Free Church National Day of Prayer.