If you’re prayed up, you don’t need to pray long.
I’ve been told this before, and even have used it. The quote may sound weird, but I think what it is emphasizing is that some people overlook personal prayer time and use corporate time in their stead. I have been in prayer services where it seems people are catching up on their private prayer times in the middle of a group’s prayer service. The length of their prayers seem to be, well, out of proportion.
Before you get the tar and feathers, or call for a vote of confidence, let me explore a bit.
I look at Nehemiah, he spent time in intense prayer, but when Artexerxes asked what Nehemiah was requesting, Nehemiah said a prayer and then responded (Neh. 2.4). No long prayer service, no hold on, but a quick, probably non-verbal, “give me courage”, and gave his response to the king.
Why bring this up? I believe in prayer, the power of prayer, and that prayer changes things – mostly us, the one praying. And I believe we are to spend time alone with the Lord. Jesus showed us this in His life, He spent time alone in prayer with the Father. The Bible doesn’t say “if” you pray, but “when” you pray. I believe in corporate prayer. But I also believe corporate prayer should be an outpouring of the private prayers.
I believe in prayer, the power of prayer, and that prayer changes things – mostly us
Again, why bring this up? I hope to challenge you a bit about your prayer life. Southern Baptists are in the middle of our annual week of prayer for international missions. Every day we are encouraged to read about and pray for missions and missionaries. And I think we should do this in our worship services as well … and hopefully, the time in the worship is an outpouring of the time open our prayer closet.
Today, I read a great blog by a former missionary on how to pray for missionaries. It builds a deeper appreciation of our time in prayer and helps us be more invested in the lives of missionaries. Here is a summary of his article …
– Pray for them by name. This makes it personal for you.
– Pray with understanding. Get to know their country, their work, their challenges.
– Pray they learn the language and the culture. This will open doors for the Gospel.
– Pray for their safety. They often put themselves in harms way and in cultures that are not always open to the Gospel.
– Pray for their health and the health of their family.
– Pray for open doors and open hearts.
– Pray for the harvest.
When we do this type of prayer in our quiet time and in our family time, it will pour into our time of corporate prayer for the mission work.
A common mantra about mission is pray-give-go. It starts with prayer.
Have a blessed day … and start it with prayer.