Looking at the way I have led group prayer in the past, I noticed that often I spent more time on “requests” than on prayer. “Prayer requests” turned into story time. Sound familiar?
This must look foolish from God’s perspective. We have given a new twist to Jesus’ statement in Matthew 18:20: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them, listening to them talk to each other about talking to me.” ESV (Enjaian Slanted Version).
Unfortunately, this robs us of God’s power. There are no Bible promises connected to talking about prayer. If we truly want God’s power, then we must go directly to the source.
Here is a suggestion. Instead of taking several minutes telling the others what we want to say to God, each person simply pray the request directly to God, with the rest listening. Others who want to pray for that request may certainly do so. This would do more for fellowship, since we will be literally praying with the ones giving the request.
Sometimes it may be appropriate to state the matter to others before prayer. But if we find ourselves talking more about prayer than actually doing it, something needs to change. If it’s important enough to say, then let’s say it directly to God.
As missionary pioneer David Hosaflook has said, “No prayer, no power; little prayer, little power; much prayer, much power.
Father in Heaven,
We lift up to you our brothers and sisters in India. In the past month there have been many attacks of Hindus against Christians in different parts of India. Our brothers and sisters have been falsely accused and severely beaten, often with the police watching and then arresting them instead of their assailants. On October 2 a large mob broke into a prayer meeting and severely beat our sister Kejiya Fernandes, causing the death of her unborn child.
Father, how would we feel if that happened to us? Please comfort our sister Kejiya in her loss. We grieve for our brothers and sisters. Strengthen them in their trials. Give them endurance, boldness and a vivid sense of His presence Who promised that there is no possible way that He would ever leave or forsake them. Take the blindness from the eyes of those who are persecuting them, so that all may see Your glory.