A few weeks ago, our pastor felt that something had to be done at church. We were not seeing souls saved like before, baptisms came to a halt, and ministries seemed to be stagnant in their growth. My pastor is a godly man who walks close with the Lord and sought God diligently for something to change. The answer? Prayer and lots of it.
He started what he calls “Sweet Hour of Prayer” on Saturday mornings. People meet at the church between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. to pray about the church ministries and people in our congregation. We pray about lost souls and whatever else God puts on our hearts. He encourages people who cannot make it to the church at that time to pray where they are at. I made a promise that if I couldn’t be there, I would do just that. This last Saturday, I found myself praying in a hotel room in Toledo, Ohio.
He also instituted prayer groups on Wednesday nights before he gives his message. We break into small groups of two to four people and pray over the things on our prayer list.
Since he began all this, we have seen about sixteen people saved and three baptisms. Our bus ministry has gained new perspectives and had some great numbers. I would say that is a good start! God is really starting to stir the waters, and it truly excites me!
Sometimes, we forget how pertinent and powerful prayer is. If you are like me, you don’t consciously do it. It just happens as life’s crazy roads take you rollercoasting through the day. Suddenly, at the end of the day, you have hardly prayed.
These latest happenings have truly encouraged me and reminded me how important it is to send our voices up in prayer to the Lord. It has reminded me that He hears our prayers: every single one of them!
Prayer time proves essential in lifting up others, lifting up yourself, and praising God. Another area that it proves wonderful is that sometimes you don’t have to speak at all. The other day, I sat at the altar bawling my eyes out. I did not say a word, merely cried. When I finally calmed down some, I praised Him for His goodness and love. While I was crying, I felt His sweet embrace. I felt Him telling me it was okay to have a broken heart and that He would heal it. My grandmother has about two weeks to live, according to Hospice, and it is hard not to feel brokenhearted over the news even if we were expecting it to happen soon. The words make it so real and final.
I love praying to my Father, and I wish I had more time to do it. Even on days I do pray a lot, it doesn’t feel like enough. We have open communication with the Lord, something they didn’t have in Old Testament days. We have the Holy Ghost indwelling us 24/7, which means we can talk to Jesus anytime, any place! I know that I for one do not treat that with the seriousness and respect I should. When we have that access, why do we not utilize it?
President Obama talked about change so much during the election, and the ONLY true answer to seeing that happen was not even addressed. If our country prayed like they should, we would see A LOT more change! If our country would give itself back to God, things would most definitely start looking up!
When we go to God, we can cry out our sorrows. We can laugh and have a great time. We can smile and glow. Whatever we have in our hearts, the Lord wants us to share it!
How is your prayer life today? Do you talk to the Father like you should? Do you take the time to revel in His embrace?