These days our churches in America have great worship times. We have lots of gifted teachers scattered throughout our land. So why does the church in the West lack any power over sin? Why is the divorce rate the same in and out of the church? Why are 25% of women in the church having abortions? (It’s actually probably higher than that)
50 years ago, corporate prayer meeting were a much more natural part of church life in the United States. Today, very few churches have any corporate prayer meetings, and often times when they do they aren’t really prayer meetings at all, but another “church service.” What I mean by that is there are still a few holdout churches that have Wednesday “prayer meetings,” but the meetings are prayer in name only.
Corporate prayer is one of the most important aspects of church life, but has been all but disregarded in the Western church. We have lots of teaching and lots of good worship these days, but why do our churches still lack power over sin?
The apostles told the other disciples in Acts 6:4 that they couldn’t spend time feeding widows (a great endeavor) because they had a very clear mandate as the primary leaders of Jesus’ church. They had to devote themselves “completely” to prayer and the Word. They took their mandate before God so seriously that they lives radically differently because of it.
Most leaders in the body of Christ today wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if all they did was spend time praying and studying the Word. Most of their congregations probably wouldn’t either, for that matter. But if the American church has any hopes of seeing God move in power in this country, marketing and slick services will have to take a back seat to the more important things that Jesus requires of us right now. Marketing and slick services aren’t necessarily bad, but if that’s what a pastor spends most of his time doing, he’s not fulfilling his mandate before God.
But enough about those “bad old pastors”, what about you? If you want to change your church, your city, and your nation, what are you doing? How much time do you spend in prayer on a daily basis? What kinds of things distract you from fulfilling your mandate before the Lord. If you fall into the 15-minute-a-week in prayer category (or even 15 minutes a day) you’re not going to ever go very far in your life in God.
If our salvation is real, why wouldn’t we dedicate our lives to the one who saved us by giving him the time before Him that He’s due?