Praying Together

Posted: August 4, 2008 in Tim's Sermons

poor mp3

good wma

PP

I repeatedly said, “This ain’t a plug for the prayer meeting.” Let me clarify what I mean by that.

The purpose of a program like the prayer meeting or an evangelistic program or an organized small group is not the program itself. The purpose is to hopefully foster practices of prayer and evangelism and fellowship in and among us. If I had to choose between a church full of praying people and a church that had a full prayer meeting, I’d choose the church full of praying people. If I had to choose between a church full of people who constantly reached out in love to outsiders and a church that had a well-staffed and resourced evangelistic program, I’d choose the church full of people who constantly reach out. If I had to choose between a church full of small groups and a church full of people are close friends who watch each other’s backs and encourage, rebuke, laugh, cry, and pray with each other – obviously, the latter is superior and actually the whole point of the former.

Obviously, we don’t have to choose between programs and practices, but I think it is extremely important that we clarify what programs are intended to accomplish: they are intended to help disciples of Jesus follow Him together. They aren’t ends in themselves.

And if prayer is equated with the prayer meeting, it’s already been demoted, just as if worship is equated with our Lord’s Day morning gathering, worship has been demoted.

Our prayer meeting, incidentally, is focused and helpful. We actually pray. I think it is conducive to fostering a life of communion with the living Christ. I just didn’t want anyone to miss the point because they thought I was secretly bludgeoning them with my “Come to prayer meeting” billy club.

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