The genesis for this blog is birthed from a recent conversation with a friend whom I love, admire and respect. Aspects of our conversation centered around Matthew 6:5 and Matthew 18:20. Our conversations tend to get me thinking…
Prayer is life’s breath to the Christian. It connects us to Father God in the most personal and intimate of ways. The are several ways to pray,which is for another blog. We are instructed to do so without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Jesus and His spirit are our basis/means (Hebrews 7:25; John 16:13).
Prayer is life’s blood to the Christian. It has been said, “God does nothing but, in answer to prayer.” (John Weslely). Jesus’ own instructions are not IF you pray but, WHEN (Matthew 6:5).
We are further instructed to pray in our prayer closets in Matthew 6:5. After my conversation with my friend, I liken it unto the holy of holies where it’s just you and God. It is for and with an audience of one ultimately because of intimacy.
In Matthew 6, the religious leaders were abusing prayer and Jesus introduced the importance of being aware and valuing to whom you are praying. He introduces what we know as the Lord’s Prayer after this teaching. So, praying privately is vital to the life of a Christian. It is foundational. And after my most recent friendly conversation, I would propose it is the first step before praying in a group. If we don’t know how to talk with God in a personal/intimate way, we just might not have any substance to draw upon when we pray in a group. The power, the fuel, the training comes one-on-one with Father. And that takes T.I.M.E.
Group praying would be the other side of this coin and also important in the life of a Christian. I think of Niagara Falls. It is powerful. Even forceful. So it is when we pray with one or more in the name of Jesus in Spirit-led prayer. All those water droplets form a stream. A stream forms a river(s) and forms Niagara Falls.
The power of corporate prayer, strengthened/undergirded by individual prayers, is magnified when we take a look at Heaven’s response. Worship is the 24/7 occupation in Heaven (Revelation 4). Except.
Just after the seventh seal is opened, heaven falls silent for about 30 minutes. At this time scripture tells us:
Then another angel with a golden incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out. Then the angel filled the incense burner with fire from the altar and threw it down upon the earth; and thunder crashed, lightning flashed, and there was a terrible earthquake (Revelation 8:1-4)
Did you catch it? Worship is 24/7 in Heaven from eternity past to eternity present. It’s been going for a few eons at least. But, when it’s time to pour a full bowl of prayers of the saints back onto heaven in answered prayer…heaven growns silent.
I have a suggestion. Start posting prayers on social media. But,first, search scripture for God’s heart on the matter. Then go into your personal prayer closest and craft a prayer based on the verses God places upon your heart and impresses upon your mind. Write out a prayer Then pray that prayer for several days; weeks even. Let it really marinate in your spirit, soul and body. Then gather a few folks and see how they are praying. Craft/Write that prayer and pray together for a while. Then, post that prayer on social media. Wait on God. Remain in prayer. See if John Wesley knew what he was talking about. Could it really be this simple?