I had the privilege of attending church this past Sunday with my older brother and his family. He attends a church that worships in a lively and spirited style. (I was raised in this denomination and moved my membership to a different denomination when I married my husband. I just love going to church as long as the Spirit of God is present regardless of denomination.) His church is blessed with so much talent! The musicians are amazing; the special songs were awesome; the new, young pastor delivered a wonderful resurrection message. My daughter attended Children’s Church and said their service was also great!
I began to think about all of the different jobs that are needed to be filled in order for a church service to run smoothly and to carry out the order of service to allow us to worship and learn more about God. It takes a lot of willing people. It takes a lot of people willing to use their gifts. It takes a lot of people making preparations during the week to be ready to go on Sunday morning.
I have no musical talent (however, my daughter is starting piano lessons; maybe I can pick up a thing or two from her). When I sing in church, I keep my voice to that acceptable level that blends in with the rest of the congregation. No, I really can’t carry a tune in a bucket. I’m not a preacher by any means. I have taught children’s classes in the past, but I don’t currently hold any job in the church. Okay, I have volunteered to teach VBS this summer – that’s a little something I guess.
I got up from my pew feeling determined to apply my gifts (however small) to helping my local church reach our community both in and out of our church. I felt a light tap on my shoulder and turned to see a precious elderly lady. With a broad smile, she told me how blessed she was to see my daughter in church this morning. (My daughter has been battling cancer for over three years.) She told me that she has been in daily prayer for my daughter and will always continue to pray for her. She gave me a big hug and went on to enjoy her Easter lunch.
At that moment, I was reminded what my job was in the church. It’s what all of us should do daily. It’s the single most important thing we can do to not only grow in our walk with Christ but to also help others as well. The most important job in the church is to pray. Pray frequently; pray expectantly; pray in earnest. The scripture tells us to pray without ceasing. This is how we impact our lives and the lives of those around us – we pray.
Yes, the praise, worship, preaching, and teaching is of vital importance. We, as a church, need these people in our lives to help us grow closer to God. These people need us as well. They need us to lift them up in prayer. They need us just as much as we need them. What would happen in our churches today if we spent time each week lifting up our church workers and volunteers? We would have a revival of epic proportions!
Here’s a question for you – How many times have you told someone “I’ll pray for you” only to never have it cross your mind again? When did that phrase “You’re in my prayers” become a meaningless response? Prayer is vitally important and it is NOT something we should take lightly or use as a rote response.
I’m going to start a mini series on prayer – why we pray, how to pray, and ways to create a more meaningful prayer life. I hope you will join me and be encouraged and strengthened in your own prayer life. I’m no expert, but I am a person whose life has been dramatically changed through my own prayers and the prayers of others.
“Be joyful in hope; patient in affliction; faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12, NIV
Heavenly Father, we are so thankful for the privilege and gift of being able to come to you in prayer. The right you have given us to access your throne, your ear, and your heart through our words is indescribable. Please help us to use this precious gift effectively. We want to be able to help our family, our friends, and ourselves through our prayer life. We also want to use it to give You honor and praise. Help us grow and mature in our prayer lives. We want them to be powerful and have a bold impact in our lives and the lives of those around us – our church, our family, and our community. We love you so and ask these things in Jesus’ precious, holy name. Amen.
Do you have trouble remembering to pray? Do you often forget to pray for someone whom you told specifically you would lift up in prayer? There are many tips and techniques you can use to make your prayer list more memorable. I, personally, use a couple of methods. When I hear of someone in need of prayer, I try to immediately list their name and need in my phone’s Notes app or on a piece of paper. I then transfer their name to my journal’s prayer list.
Another method I use is to pray immediately for the person. If I bump in to someone at the grocery store, and I tell them I will pray for them, I pray as soon as I get in my car. If I am scrolling through Facebook and see a request, I immediately stop scrolling and pray for that person and their need. Sometimes the best way for me to remember is to not give myself time to forget. What are your tips and suggestions for remembering to pray for others? Please share your thoughts and comments as we grow together in our prayer lives.