There are two places in life that you dread going into but you always leave feeling satisfied: gym and prayer meeting.
My church has a prayer meeting on Monday evenings where you’ll see some God-hungry people flock in to pray, worship, meditate and intercede for others. As with any other pastors, Monday is my real sabbath when I just get to sleep, rest and relax after a long weekend of busy ministry activities and meetings. Especially for those who preach on Sundays, Monday is a day of rest from the stress of final sermon preparation on weekend and delivery on Sunday.
Pastors should always be excited to go to church prayer meetings, right? Many times my flesh is whining and thinking of other ‘productive’ things I can do rather than going to the prayer meeting. But you know you should set an example as a pastor to diligently pray. Deep inside you know that you need to pray with your church members and the Holy Spirit’s voice always says, “come”.
You always leave the prayer meeting thinking that you’re glad you went. You got to pray for your church members and many times you receive prayers from them. You’re recharged with supernatural strength God gives to those who are weary.
Here are three reasons why I think it’s good for pastors to go to church prayer meetings:
- Humility: After a long weekend of doing ministry and doing all the ‘great’ things for the Kingdom of God, it’s time to surrender everything to the Lord and give glory to Him. If you think you just delivered one of the greatest sermons ever, it’s time to humble yourself to know that it was due to the power of Gospel in the Scriptures, not in your ability to deliver, your deep insight or amazing illustrations.
- Grace: Many weeks pastors feel insecure of their work and abilities as they serve. You make mistakes in dealing with difficult issues in church matters and sometimes regret how you could’ve done a better job counseling your church members in need. If you think you just failed your sermon with terrible delivery and missing the important punchlines and failing to make the congregation laugh with your well-rehearsed jokes, it’s time to remember that His grace is enough. Sometimes a person would come up to you and tell you how encouraged he/she was and you wonder, ‘how? that was the worst sermon I preached in my life!’ It’s time to soak yourself in the grace of God.
- Power: We must remember that it is from our prayer closet where ministry flows out, not from the pulpit or from the staff meetings. Jesus often withdrew Himself to deserted places and prayed alone. Although church prayer meeting is not a place of solitude, you can still seek God and have a quality alone time with God in a corner. There is power when you get together with your church members to pray in one mind. Where two or more are gathered in Jesus’ name, God will move powerfully through prayer. You receive the supernatural power to do ministries rather than relying on your flesh.
Lord, Help Me!
Our world is in chaos. It’s boiling with fear and hatred. With the recent terrorist attacks and refugee crisis, there is no easy answer to satisfy all parties. While I myself am struggling to make sense of current events as a Christian and as a citizen of the United States, I begin to see what the enemy is doing.
As Christians we should always focus on what God is doing in our lives and our world but sometimes it can be a wise thing to also see what Satan is doing. Our enemy is not terrorists or Muslims. Our enemy is not the US government or police force. The enemy we ought to be fighting is the Evil one.
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 NLT
The Enemy is using fear to demoralize us and distract us from focusing on greater matters such as reaching out to save the lost souls when so many unbelievers around us are being tormented and being led straight to eternal hell. We ought to fight our spiritual battle where we are so we can all the more focus to do the works of God.
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. John 4:34 NIV
The Enemy is sowing hatred among us that Americans and Muslims will oppose each other every time another terrorist bomb goes off. The Enemy is using racial tension to divide our nation every time a new viral video of a cop mishandling a minority spreads on social media. Even as we speak, the Enemy is bringing division among Christians as we all try to take a stand for what we believe to be ‘right’.
I need to first turn to God in prayer every time I hear of another terrorist attack in the news. I need to open up my bible as I read of another disturbing news on social media. We are truly living in the last days and we need to remember this prayer the Lord has taught us:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Matthew 6:9-13 ESV
Today Pope Francis led a religious service with many leaders of different religions in NY. Pope prayed to ‘God’ and ‘the Lord’ but I don’t think he ever mentioned the name of Jesus.
I think we can do many things together with people of different faith. We can love and respect them as human beings. We can work together in the same company for business and study in the same class for school. We can be good neighbors and friends. We can even do some good work together for social justice.
But having a worship service and praying together? It sounds great and it seems to promote unity and peace. But that is only possible if we believe that we all actually worship the same *god and that there are many ways to connect to that same god through different religions. To me it sounds like one-world-religion. Religion cannot be a glue that brings everyone together. Only Jesus can bring true peace and unity. And those who reject Jesus will always remain hostile.
In my bible Jesus said that He is the only way, truth and life and no one comes to the Father except through Him. John 3:16 says God gave his one and only son Jesus, not Jesus, Johnny and Joe we can choose from. We don’t have the option of choosing Jesus or other gods. We can only choose Jesus or reject Him.