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Never give up… Praying

("Never Give Up" is a series of posts on what we do together in a Sunday service. You can find all topics here.)

When the early church met, they prayed. While they were waiting to receive the Holy Spirit, “they all joined together constantly in prayer”. When new churches were started, “they devoted themselves to… prayer”. When threatened by the Jewish leaders, “they raised their voices together in prayer to God” (Acts 1:14, 2:42, 4:24).

Like them, we join together in prayer in each of our services. This isn’t primarily a time to confess sin or praise God – those vital prayers come up through the service. But here we stop to ask our Father for the things we need as a church, and to thank him for his past provision.

Let me be honest with you. For a long time, I found it the least exciting part of our meeting because I wasn’t doing anything. What an idiot I am!

The point of prayer is exactly that we don’t do anything. But God does, in response to our prayers. For our encouragement, here are some of the things that happen on a Sunday while we are doing nothing but praying:

  • Missionaries around the world are strengthened to serve Jesus
  • Global and national injustices and suffering are lessened
  • Hard hearts are softened to the gospel
  • The church is protected from persecution and scandal
  • The hurt are comforted and the needy are helped
  • Joy is deepened
  • The hold of sin and idolatry on our lives is weakened
  • God is delighted to hear his children depending on him.

Let us never give up praying together!

If, like me, you need help to grow your excitement in praying together, here are a couple of tips:

  • Remember we are not just listening to someone at the front, we’re joining in prayer together. Quietly or mentally adding my “Amen” and “Yes, Father” reminds me that we are all involved.
  • Remember God’s character. Use the words of Scripture or songs to amaze yourself again at who we are praying to. God isn’t distant, he is our awesome Father who is able and eager to help us.