With eager anticipation I stepped into the fellowship hall. Throngs of people surged in human masses as there were too many bodies to sit in chairs. The air was static with energy as people came to be a part. Though dark outside because of the early morning hours, the light from hearts inside caused a spiritual glow the outmatched anything the darkness had to offer. Suddenly a voice cried out for God to come. Another voice boldly proclaimed the reign of Jesus over our city. And suddenly prayers shot out like rockets through the ceiling as person after person in holy desperation cried out for the move of God in our city. It was a prayer meeting like no other...
It was a daydream like no other... I looked around at the 7 of us meeting together for our early morning intercession time. 7. A good number. But not what I'd hoped for. As I had shared the previous weekend about desiring to see God to do a move in our church and our city, and how we as the church were uniting together in prayer to intercede for those things, I had high expectation about people responding to the call.
As a pastor at EHA, it's my dream to see God's people so in love with the lost, so filled with compassion, so moved by our Father's heart, that prayer and intercession would be our natural response. And as a pastor I am never to lead by twisting arms or using guilt as a motivation. But I'm also reminded that part of my role is to teach when necessary, and to call people to change and to action when necessary. And I feel that as a church body we have so much potential for corporate prayer. There are so many passionate and gifted individuals in our midst, that as we turn those passions and gifts toward Kingdom things we will see an amazing turnaround. Unfortunately, we are a busy people, and busyness is one of the key death strokes that keeps us from being prayer minded. When busyness runs our lives, prayer becomes inconvenient. I had always heard it joked that "if you ever want to know who the real church is, then hold a prayer meeting." Sadly, there is some truth in this humor!
Until we as a church corporately feel the desperation of the hour, and the urgency of the need, then we maintain busy lives without much thought to the priorities of heaven. Why is it we are loosing over half of our marriages to divorce? Why are so many of our teenagers becoming sexual addicts? Why are people content with mediocre Christianity and status quo lives? Because we've rarely or never seen what God can really do! Because we've never committed to praying for those things until they happen.
The other day, I was reading in Matthew 21. And there's a story of Jesus getting heated with a fig tree. Jesus is hungry, so he goes to the side of the road where the fig tree is. He sees that there's no fruit on it, so he curses it and it withers there on the spot. The disciples, having just seen something amazing happen, ask Jesus how it happened. And Jesus again tells them about the power of faith and expectation in the power of God.
Jesus isn't demonstrating power to draw unsaved people to himself. He's not even glorifying God through this action. But what he does is demonstrate that a life of faith and prayer are powerful, and that they can change the physical realities as well as the spiritual ones.
With my eyes I have seen the lame healed, legs grow out, blind eyes restored, growths disappear, and unsaved people knocked over by the presence of God. And to me, this is the normal Christian life. This is what should be happening. The supernatural life is the normal Christian life. But I look around and I see a different picture. If prayer is the primary work of God's people, then what are our hearts captivated by? Where are our priorities? Has busyness kept us from being effective in the move of God? Prayer is inconvenient! Prayer costs us something. Prayer has ramifications on our social life; will cost us sleep, will cost us money, will cost us physical discomfort, etc. But the things that we sow into are eternal. And we are investing into a harvest that will completely be altered for the glory of God.
I want to challenge you who are reading this: How will you invest in the prayer movement God is doing here at EHA? What will it cost you? If prayer is the primary work of God's people, then let’s pray together for the reign of God to be recognized here! May we be a people sold out and completely surrendered to the things God wants to do!