|August 24, 2021|
I must confess that I’ve been struggling about what to write. I’ve been “conversing” with the Lord about what direction He wants the Prayer Domain to pursue. One week prior to publication, I wrote this article at the prompting of the Holy Spirit through several conversations with people who echoed other conversations about the need for God’s people to pray together.
I’ve reached the 9-month mark as domain director and I still do not know nor have I met the majority of those who receive this newsletter. This has challenged me to re-assess not only what I am doing but how I am doing. And NO, this is not a time to be critical of myself but instead a time to engage with my Abba Father and to press into what He wants me to do.
Why aren’t people engaged with the activities thus far? Probable answers: they aren’t interesting, can’t meet at that time, too far away, already involved in other prayer events, etc. These sound like reasonable answers and I have no control over any of them except for possibly the first one. A thought comes to mind. What happens when we come to a prayer time with people we don’t know (or kind of know)? Do we ever find ourselves thinking – what if I don’t pray as they do; what if I don’t like what they are praying; will they think I’m unspiritual because I don’t pray aloud; etc.? In reading this, the first thing we observe is that I’m focusing on “me”. If we’re honest, we’ve all probably thought this. The outcome? We become unwilling to participate, because it’s the unknown. It’s uncomfortable to step outside of our comfort zones. Instead we say, “I’ll pray at home” or “I’ll pray in my prayer closet.”
The phrase, “Prayer closet” is widely used in all forms of communication, but where does it come from? In Matthew 6:5-6 Jesus/Yeshua states, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” I appreciate this verse because I’ve been around people described in verse 5. Yes, it is important to pray alone. Go now to Matthew 21:13 where we read Jesus/Yeshua’s angry response to finding people buying and selling in the temple area: “It is written, my house will be called a house of prayer……” This comes from a beautiful passage found in Isaiah 56:7, “….these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” In both verses, we see the importance of people coming together in prayer.
There are ample scriptures encouraging prayer alone as well as prayer with others. Guess, what! Jesus did both! In my humble and personal opinion, I think people miss out when they solely focus on praying in their “prayer closet”. We miss out connecting with other believers, praying in unity, strengthening and encouraging one another in prayer. Matthew 18:20, Jesus states, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Proverbs 27:17 states, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” We can learn from one another when we take the time to pray with each other.
Perhaps during this 10 Days of Prayer, one of the many events offered will trigger your curiosity. Please attend! You might be pleasantly blessed & surprised. If you are not, I’d very much like to hear about your experience. The 10 Days landing page, see below, has been updated. Some events and activities have time or location changes. So, please check it out.
Blessings & Shalom,