Why do you Church? Prayer
Updated: Mar 21, 2018
by Tyler Barnes
…“Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” Mark 11:17
In a follow up from last week’s article “Why do you Church?”, I want to spend the next several weeks, explaining four core reasons the church exists:
1. Preaching Scripture (covered in “Why do you Church?”
2. Being a House of Prayer
3. Christian Community
4. Compassionate Service
How many churches today have you attended and when you got in the car the first thing you said to your spouse was, “WOW, now that church is about prayer!” That has never been my first thought, and that’s a problem. There are 14 passages in the book of Acts dealing with corporate prayer. The early church was all about prayer. They knew the simple truth that the only way they were going to survive was through the divine power of the Almighty God. The only way that you tap into that power is through corporate prayer. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
Matthew 18:19-20 In my opinion, this is THE reason that we see the power, healing, and growth in the early church.
Today in the United States, we do not have to depend on Christ in order to survive. We are not persecuted, living in fear for our lives and the lives of our families. We are not in hiding. We are not desperate for God. Comparatively, in other parts of the world where persecution is the norm, there is a desperation for Christ, corporate prayer, and a mighty outpouring of God’s power. In the age of self-reliance, we have become self-sufficient in our churches. We choose to rely on our own abilities, rather than the sustaining power of prayer. Then we ask ourselves why our churches aren’t growing? Do we need to rebrand, find a more alluring preacher, change our worship style? You might need to, and those things can temporarily grow a church. But, those are changes that will blow away like sand when the winds of this world come. We need to lay down our belief that we have all the answers, submit ourselves to prayer, and watch God show up and show off.
As Christians we are outraged that we can no longer pray in many public settings, yet the prayer service at most churches is the lowest attended service provided, if it’s provided at all. Fellow Christians we need to realize the desperation of the world we face. Opiate addiction is at an all-time high. In 2016 drug overdoses killed more people in a single year in the United States than the entire Vietnam war did, and the numbers have continued to rise for 2017. Sex-traffic is increasing daily, as pornography was viewed 64 million times on just one website today. There has been no greater a need for prayer in our churches than now.
Join me in this simple prayer: Lord, open my eyes to the desperation of the situation I find myself in. Open my heart to the conviction that I have been living reliant on myself and my abilities. Forgive me of the unbelief my actions have demonstrated.
Humble me before you today. Embed the desire to be a powerful prayer warrior in every fiber of my being. Help me rely on you more with each passing day. Grow my time in prayer with you. Make me a vessel of your power. Amen