Perhaps because of all the changes that have taken place in the past several months due to COVID-19 and the impact on the ministries of the Church, I have been reflecting on my memories of “church” when I was growing up.
What is interesting to me is that my most vivid and warmest memories are not of great worship services or wonderful preaching. My most vivid memories are of prayer meetings. Every Wednesday evening, we met in the sanctuary for prayer. If there was any Bible lesson or teaching, it must have been brief because I don’t remember it. The person leading the prayer meeting (usually not the pastor) would share prayer requests that might include those who were sick, but most often the requests were for family members or friends who did not know Jesus.
We knelt at pews on uncarpeted floors. I can still hear the broken voices as some wept for lost relatives. There were fervent prayers for the community and for opportunities to reach others for Jesus.
Wednesday wasn’t the only time for prayer. The men of the church frequently met early on Saturday mornings to pray. This was especially true if we were preparing for revival services. I remember, before I had a car, riding my bicycle into town to pray with the men of the church.
During family camp, a number of the men would gather each evening before the service to pray. They always invited me to join them. Those were very special times that had a huge impact on my spiritual growth.
Many churches have abandoned the Wednesday evening prayer meeting. I am encouraged, however, to see that churches are beginning to create times for the church to gather to pray. Whether it is a traditional Wednesday evening prayer time or special seasons of prayer, the Church is beginning to pray again.
The Missionary Church Call to Prayer is a call to establish a culture of prayer in the local church. It presents a rhythm that is modeled after the call to prayer issued by Jonathan Edwards prior to the Great Awakening.
The Call to Prayer has a personal component that calls for a day of fasting and prayer on the first Friday of the month. Our next First Friday Fast will be August 7. You will find numerous prayer requests from the various departments of the Missionary Church to fuel your prayer time.
Imagine what more God will do in and through the Missionary Church as we develop a culture of prayer and unite our hearts to seek Him and to seek the fulfillment of the Great Commission.