As one searches the Scriptures daily, so a verse of the Word seems to come alive. Its contents seem to say, “You did not notice me when you last read me, but today it appears that you finally were impacted with a deep sense of appreciation. What a magnificent application of loving rebuke! How did I miss it previously?
My mind went to this attitude of Blessing God in the congregation. In the “good old days”, we went to church to pray. I recall “kneeling benches,” some with pillows, as the pastoral prayer was lifted to God. I recall some churches where the folk all knelt before the altar at the front of the church, praying aloud and also some kneeling before benches or pews and lifting an Amen as the pastor shared the concerns before the Lord.
I have been concerned about prayer much of lately. It appears that our churches have switched from prayer citadels to entertainment centers for Sunday and often for Saturday. Often you see a lonely figure endeavoring to manipulate into a sanctuary, and because of the problems they have to ring a bell, give their name and state their purpose before admission is granted. I wonder if that is permitted by any church anymore.
A large number of churches no longer have a prayer meeting, and we cannot blame it on Covid 19. It happened long before there was a “plague” to justify our absence. While some of us recall a church with prayer warriors, kneeling on hardwood floors, it gradually yielded to work schedules, school schedules, both parents occupied with earning sufficient to keep up with the “Joneses”, and sad to say, ignoring the importance of prayer in our congregations.
What would happen if we had a box for praise and prayer items to be lifted before the Lord throughout our congregations? I recognize it would have to be carefully worded, and “grouping” would eliminate many problems. Suppose that we took our last name on A’s, B’s, or C’s on day one as our commitment for each day of the month. Every person in the congregation would be involved in prayer and every person would be prayed for frequently throughout the month. By the way, a phone call or e-mail would find out specifics for prayer! Naturally, we should not be limited to this, and our prayer interest should increase. Meanwhile, I have a group that prays for me and my ministry daily. Please do not quit!
All of these ideas may help to “Bless God in the congregations, Even; the Lord!”