Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying
by Janice Keats
We all know that God answers prayer. All Christians ought to have an experience of answered prayer. But do we, His children, come together often enough to “share” together in prayer? Do we encourage one another by sharing answers to our personal prayers?
Every Tuesday morning a prayer meeting is held in our church. About 20 people come together to share various needs and concerns or intercede on behalf of others. Once a hearty list is detailed, we begin to intercede on account of those individual needs. Through praise and prayer, we lift up the names by those who have activated their faith and voiced their requests. We close our eyes in prayer and we hardly realize that there is a person sitting next to us. Are we really sharing together? Is there power in numbers in a prayer meeting? Are we really agreeing together or do we simply mouth our needs to the Lord?
Sundays is also another specific allocated time and place for prayer. Before the church service begins God’s people are praying for a stirring and a mighty outpouring of His love. Do we believe that God is going to do something? Do we believe that God will actually stir the hearts of His people to come to repentance? Do we labour and wait upon the Lord? Or do we sit at leisure and wonder if God heeded our prayers?
Are these moments of prayer time producing encouragement to continually seek God in times of deepest need? Maybe we are forgetting something. If God is an answering prayer God why doesn’t someone say something? Perhaps we need to implement various ideas and approaches to prayer to keep our faith stimulated and active. There are various ways of enlightening prayer meetings. During one Tuesday morning prayer, I felt strongly to restructure the format just a little. We began by sharing the concerns followed by prayer and singing the appropriate songs in between. Then we had a personal sharing time of reflection. The group began to share openly about their initial encounter with Jesus.
The sharing time proved to be very positive and uplifting. One by one people began to open up and express their answered prayers. It was somewhat reminiscent and it brought about a fresh flood of wonderful memories of God’s wonder working power. The love of God saturated the very hearts of those that spoke and listened. It was so good to hear each other’s “faith” stories. It was good that the knowledge and grace of God was shared. Many times following the initial conversion the first love somehow fades away for a time. Christians who have been serving the Lord for years need to reflect upon His love and leadings of life. We ought to keep our faith firm and fresh. As a result, prayer, praise and “answers” will all complement each other.
The strength is not only in the praying but also in the willingness to share the Gospel message of hope confidently. When we submit to God’s will, others will see that He is truth and life. Acknowledging and sharing answers to prayer in ones’ Christian walk gives encouragement and increases the faith of the body of Christ. May the beauty of Jesus be seen in each of us!