I fear we too often treat prayer as bookends to the important stuff. We know we are supposed to begin meetings with prayer, so we check that box. Now, we have our meeting, filled with ideas that we have and actions we can take, and satisfied, we tack on a prayer at the end asking God to bless our mess.
Now, I am all in favor of beginning and ending meetings with prayer--providing it is real praying. That is, we seek God for His direction, asking Him for wisdom. We want to hear from Him and discern His will and draw on His grace, as we humble ourselves and admit our dependence on Him. Then, we can commit it all to Him with a confidence of blessing for God delights to respond to those who seek His glory and surrender to His Kingdom agenda.
Church leader, is that how you pray? Dear church members, is that how your church fellowship prays?
This Monday at our Pastor's Conference, our pastors will be led in Pastor/Staff Prayer Gathering by Dr. Chris Scofield of the Baptist State Convention of NC. We would like for you to meet a little early, if you can--9:30 AM and we will have some pastries and coffee. We will fellowship, sing, pray, have announcements, then commence for the two hours with Chris, PROMPTLY at 10 AM. When we conclude at noon, those who can will lunch together at a restaurant, where we can have further conversation with Chris.
Pastor, come and bring your staff. To all the others reading this, pray for your leaders and seek an opportunity for your congregation then to be led by your shepherds into real praying!
Yours in Seeking God,
Dennis Thurman, AMS