Whatever Happened to the Praying Church?
There is power in prayer. Prayer is one of the most untapped resources of the church and the body of Christ. Today’s church gathers for coffee, donuts and fellowship rather than prayer. Whatever happened to the prayer and tarrying meetings of yesteryear? “Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).
Too Busy to Pray
This is the very reason why we are not seeing the power of God manifest in our midst today. R.A. Torrey said it ever so clearly, “We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little. Many services, but few conversions; much machinery, but few results.”
I am just old enough to remember, as a young man, arriving at church to see the altars filled with people praying. I can remember the time when we had a great worship service, sermon and altar call followed by people lingering around the altar seeking the face of God. A sight rarely seen today. We have forgotten the promise of God, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
The Delivering Power of Prayer
The power of God fell on Pentecost because the 120 were gathered in prayer. “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer” (Acts 1:14). The lame man was healed as Peter and John were on their way to the temple to pray (Acts 3:1). Peter was arrested and “kept in prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God” and as a result he was set free and after his release he “went to the house of Mary, where many were gathered together and were praying” (Acts 12:5 and 12).
Lacking Intimacy with God
We are not only lacking the power of God in today’s church but also intimacy with God. The essence of the life of the believer should be in knowing God. “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).
The writers of scripture actually knew God intimately. Paul said, “I know whom I have believed” (2 Timothy 1:12). “That I may know Him” (Philippians 3:10). This was the Apostle Paul’s longing and should be ours as well.
I pray the Spirit of God will stir within you, afresh and anew, a longing for God and His power. “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1-2).