Prayer is the spiritual dynamo of a church, and the frightful lack of serious prayer is another reason why we are convinced that most Independent Baptist congregations will be emerging within 10-20 years.
I attended a mid-week prayer meeting recently at an Independent Baptist church that is all too typical. It consisted of about four minutes of silent prayer closed by a brother who prayed for about 30 seconds. That, plus the prayers at the beginning and end of the services and the prayers before the preaching, forms pretty much the sum total of this church’s corporate prayer effort.
It used to be common for churches to have a series of prayer meetings preceding Bible conferences and “revivals,” but that type of thing is exceedingly rare today. Too many churches are trusting the power of the speaker rather than beseeching the power of God, and as a result there is very little life-changing power. It is all too evident in the lives of the young people.
A few churches are doing a little better. Some have short prayer meetings before the services for the members who will attend. And some have a more serious mid-week prayer meeting in which the members break up into twos and threes to spend some time in intercessory prayer.
But even in these cases, the prayer meetings are usually poorly attended and the prayer time is rushed.
Most members of Independent Baptist churches are not prayer warriors.
I have been trying to challenge churches to have some special prayer meetings for America, but I don’t know of even one that has taken the challenge. Yet this is the only thing that could possibly bring significant change to the nation, and I, for one, believe that such prayer would change things.
We are busy fighting spiritual battles with fleshly weapons such as Tea Party politics and filling our minds with “conservative” talk radio and television (e.g., Fox News), and we have neglected the weapons that bring true spiritual power to bear.
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