Our church is in the middle of our Spring Prayer Refresher. Each of the words is useful in the life of our church.
Spring Here in Minnesota the last of the snow mounds have only inches remaining as the warm sun melts their cold peaks. Spring brings new life from the grass in the fields to the branches of the trees. As the days warm, we want our hearts to warm toward our God, his word, and his will for our church.
Prayer Moses prayed. Hannah prayed. Daniel prayed. Mary prayed. Peter prayed. The early church prayed, and our Lord Jesus prayed. We must make intentional effort for added seasons of prayer.
Jonathan Edwards of The Great Awakening fame helps us with why we should give these days to corporate prayer.
I have often said it would be a thing very desirable and very likely to be followed with a great blessing, if there could be some contrivance, that there should be an agreement of all God’s people in America, that are well affected to this work, to keep a Day of Fasting and Prayer to God; wherein we should all unite on the same day…Some perhaps may think it’s being all on the same day, is a circumstance of no great consequence; but I can' t be of that mind…It seems to me, it would mightily encourage and animate God’s saints, in humbly and earnestly seeking God, for such blessings which concerns them all; and that it would be much for the rejoicing of all, to think, that at the same time, such multitudes of God’s dear children, far and near, were sending up their cries to the same common Father, for the same motives.Jonathan Edwards, 1742
Did you catch Edwards’ words? “(Corporate prayer) would mightily encourage and animate God’s saints.” We want that in our church, right? We long for the encouragement of each other. We hope for each of the church to live the Christian life joyfully and robustly within our Christian community and to a lost world. Prayer is the catalyst for both.
Refresher Our church calendar gets full most years during the months of March and April. Regularly during these months, we welcome a guest team or itinerant ministry to be with us for a week of meetings. Usually, these weeks our wonderful and often, exhausting.
Like every other Christian church, the Passion Week, occurring during the months of March or April, is a major time in the life of our church. Our Good Friday and Easter Sunday worship calls together our collective energy and resources for the promotion of these two days. The emphasis can be draining.
The corporate prayer of our Spring Prayer Refresher is different. While it is true that prayer is hard work (Luke 22:44), prayer also refreshes the individual Christian (Acts 16:25; Matthew 14:23) and the church (Acts 2:42). I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say the common experience of us who participate in these days of corporate prayer is to feel spiritually refreshed but not physically drained.
I hope you will make every effort to come together for prayer. Let’s remember the teaching of Jesus, to pray always and not become discouraged (Luke 18:1).
As always I welcome your feedback and any suggestions you might have for an upcoming Lunchtime Musing.