Prayer - Part 6 of Signs and Wonders: 4 Core Values for Today's Church

Sunday, August 18, 2013

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. (Acts 2:42-43 NIV)

Core Value #4 - Prayer.  It has been said there are two kinds of churches: those that talk about praying, and those that pray. I was on staff at a church many years ago that I would put into the first category. There were many sermons about prayer and there was a weekly prayer meeting, if you could call it that. It was more of a gossip session than a prayer meeting. I remember one January it was declared that our theme for the year was "The Year of Prayer." We started out the year with seven days of prayer at 5am, Noon, and 7pm. After that first week we were back to the weekly gossip session and no mention was made about our theme. Sadly, far too many churches operate this way. Huge sums of money are spent on good and necessary programs and ministries. Great effort is spent each week in putting together seamless, dynamic worship services with relevant, cutting-edge sermons. But when it is all said and done, shouldn't prayer be the one thing we spend the most of our time, money and energy doing? Is it any wonder we don't see signs and wonders displayed in the Church today?

Like the early Church, we must make prayer the foundational core value of who we are. It's more than just having prayer meetings. It's more than making room for times of prayer during our worship services. We desperately need those and should be doing them. But to become like the Church in Acts, it has to become who we are, not something we do. That is the key. Prayer has to become the core of who we are as followers of Christ. We have to live a lifestyle of prayer. The Church in Acts was devoted to prayer. In fact, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church happened while they were all together praying. How can we expect to see signs and wonders when we are not directly connected to the Lord in prayer? We can't. Prayer releases the supernatural hand of the Lord among us while the absence of prayer leaves us to rely on what our own hands can produce.

This is something that the Holy Spirit is convicting me of personally. But unlike the church I worked for many years ago, I don't want to make a banner and proclaim that this is going to be my year of prayer. I'm determined that I'm just going to do it.
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