Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
I have been active in the Southern Baptist denomination for the past thirty-five years. I was discipled by men who taught me how to spend time on prayer and intercession early in my walk with Christ. My first experience in an all night prayer meeting was within the first five months of my Christian life. SInce then I have had the opporutnity to particiapte in many all night and even prolonged days of prayer on many occcasions.
I have participated in several all day prayer and fasting experiences and found them to restore and rejuvenate my walk with Christ. There is however a sad and troubling commentary I have discovered as I have taught in several churches I am reminded of the condition of our churches as far as our commitment to prayer and intercession goes.
Permit me to share with you my latest poll on prayer at a recent conference where I taught two sessions on "The Prayer Life of Jesus and the Early Church." From my two sessions I had a total of twelve church leaders attend, the average age was 65 and over. I began my sessions by asking three questions of those who attended. All of these atending had been in SBC churches for over forty years.
The first question was "What was the longest time you have ever spent in prayer in your life?" The average answer was fifteen minutes.
THe second question was, "How much time does your church spend praying for the lost per week?" The average response was three minutes or less.
The third question was, "Have you ever had anyone teach you how to spend a prolonged period in prayer?" Out of the twelve who attended the two sessions, there was only one preson who indicated that they had ever had anyone teach them how to spend a prolonged period in prayer in their life.
A convicting point during the session came when we read Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:25 and they had to answer the question, "When are we most like Jesus?" As the adults wrestled with this question in light of these passages they all reached the conclusion that we are most like Jesus when we are interceeding for others.
A most disturbing trend is occurring in our churches, we are giving ourselves to more and more marketing strategy and less and less prayer movements. A point of encouragement though was that those who attended these sessions mentioned how convicted they were about what they had done with prayer in the past. Perhaps God will raise up a generation of seniors who will take to their knees for the next generation. I am hopeful.
Standing in the Gap until He comes,