One of my favorite things about Sunday mornings at Calvary is corporate prayer. I get to pray with the worship team mid-rehearsal, I get to pray with men and women from our church family at our Sunday corporate prayer time, and I get to pray with everyone involved in the morning service in our "green room" right before the service begins. I wish more people would take advantage of the few corporate prayer times we have. As one participant in our corporate prayer time said this morning, "I really needed that this morning. It was so sweet. I love corporate prayer!" So many don't know what they are missing! For some of the greatest growth in my prayer life has come from learning from others how to pray, by listening to and praying with them.
Sinclair Ferguson notes, when considering some things that concern him about the church today, its lack of corporate praying together. May it spur you on to take advantage of the times your church may offer to pray together. And if they don't have such a time, how about starting one?
You won't be sorry.
There is the lack of prayer and of the Church praying. This is to me the most alarming, for this reason: we have built apparently strong, large, successful, active churches. But many of our churches never meet as a congregation for prayer. I mean never! What does that indicate we are saying about the life of the Church as a fellowship?
By contrast, the mark of a truly apostolic spirit in the church is that we give ourselves to prayer and the Word together (Acts 6:4). No wonder “the Word of God continued to increase and the number of the disciples multiplied” (Acts 6:7). If this is so, it should not surprise us that while many churches see growth, it is often simply reconfiguration of numbers, not of conversion. I greatly wish that our churches would learn to keep the main things central, that we would learn to be true Churches, vibrant fellowships of prayer, Gospel ministry and teaching, genuine mutual love. At the end of the day, such a Church simply needs to “be” for visitors who come to sense that this is a new order of reality altogether and are drawn to Christ. (HT: Justin Taylor)