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I have seen some interesting things in churches over the years. I knew a church where no one spoke to visitors or anyone else in the service. They had a young pastor who wouldn't put up with that. He challenged them, encouraged them, and scolded them. And sure enough, they began to speak to one another and gregariously welcome guests. But when you watched this congregation a while you realized that no one felt welcomed in there fellowship. Why do you think that was?

I knew another church where the people were quiet even a little shy. But everyone who came felt loved. I don't know all the differences, but I know something crucial about this church. The pastor encouraged everyone to pray for visitors and everyone around them in the services. He used to say, “We want to be a church where people know they will be prayed for when they come here.” It should not surprise us that people were often heard to say they sensed the presence of God there.

This is an important part of a church being or becoming a house of prayer. This can be done informally and quietly. I believe it should also be done formally and openly. I love welcome tables in the vestibule of a church. I believe someone working in a welcome center should ask guests entering a church how they would like someone to pray for them. You can pray briefly with many of those coming. At least write that request down and pray silently for God to meet that person's need. Possibly share it with the deacons or a prayer team.

http://thinkinginthespirit.blogspot.com/

http://watchinginprayer.blogspot.com/

http://writingprayerfully.blogspot.com/

http://daveswatch.com/

 

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Comment by Andrew R. Wheeler on October 19, 2017 at 6:45am

David, what a great idea!  I'm going to pass this on.

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