Devotional: Prayer meetings
Esther So (USA)
I sometimes attend church prayer meetings at our local church. Not a lot of people are interested in going and when there is only a handful of people, I feel bad so I stay, perhaps a wrong motive. Maybe I am too self-righteous. To me, the corporate prayer meeting should be conducted in a certain way including adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. When the pastor or people in the prayer group start talking about other things that are not prayer related or even amounting to gossips, I get impatient and tell myself I prefer not to be here. I feel quite upset and perhaps I am too arrogant. And this happens quite often and I am constantly struggling with it. However when I am reminded of God”s word that “Judge not, that ye may not be judged; for with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you” (Matthew. 7:1-2), I silently pray for God to forgive my sins.
Praying is one of the important ways for our spiritual growth and edification and Jesus tells us to be on guard, keep on praying and not giving up. When we see how David prays in the Psalm, we would quickly learn there is no fixed way to pray. He pours his heart out and cries out to God regardless of his circumstances which are often dangerous. He shouts for joy at His amazing greatness, and he mostly ends his prayers with thanksgiving and praise, trusting God for his deliverance. It”s all about the condition of our hearts and the Bible tells us that God searches our hearts. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; prove me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any grievous way in me; and lead me in the way everlasting”(Psalms 139: 23-24).
Prayer is like charging your spiritual battery. However the source of energy, which is inexhaustible, is God, whom we trust. He will sustain us and protect us from all adversaries which try to entice us into sin. We are helpless and hopeless without His guidance.
On one occasion while I was praying or complaining to God about our prayer meeting, a word came to my mind: obedience! I believe that was from the Holy Spirit. Like reading the Bible, it is not always what we like to read, sometimes it is a story, sometimes it is a very specific instruction, or may be just some commandments, some are familiar and some are like new discoveries. We ought to be obedient and read the Bible faithfully, waiting patiently for God to speak to us through His words.
I enjoy the sense of togetherness with other fellow Christians and I have to take Jesus” word seriously that when two or more gather together, He is among us! And of course He hears our prayers. He is patient and gracious. He forgives our weaknesses and answers our prayers. “The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God”s people, went up before God from the angel”s hand” (Revelation 8:4). Our prayers are so precious to God.
Do not forsake the gathering of saints and start attending you church prayer meetings next week and enjoy the company of fellow Christians!