PASTORS NEWSLETTER – MAY 2009
“the condition of the church may be very accurately gauged by its prayer meetings. So is the prayer meeting a grace-ometer, and from it we may judge of the amount of divine working among a people. If God be near a church, it must pray. And if he not be there, one of the first tokens of his absence will be a slothfulness in prayer.”
One of my great hero’s of the faith, Charles Spurgeon wrote these words way back in the 19th century, but they are incredibly relevant to the situation we find ourselves in today. Churches have become houses of anything and everything but prayer. What a tragedy! You can find more churches today that offer weight-loss programs and financial freedom classes that you can that offer prayer meetings. I’ve told the story before about the pastor who commented, “if you want to know how popular a church is, then look at the Sunday morning attendance. If you want to know how popular the preacher is, then look at the Sunday night attendance. And if you want to know how popular the Living God is, look at how many show up for the prayer meeting.” Unfortunately, in most churches, prayer meetings are a thing of the past and if they’re still going, chances are the attendance will be pitiful.
In Isaiah 56:7, we read, “For my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” One of the defining characteristics of the people of God is that they pray and call on the name of God and plead with Him to move in mighty ways. This is, plain and simple, what a church does. A church that does not pray is not a true church. You see, when people are excited about the Lord, there is a deep hunger to enter into his presence with like-minded people. But instead of tapping into the power of prayer, the modern church has decided that God is not up to the task of building his church. We have denied the power of God and come to the conclusion that the Lord’s work should be done using the world’s ways. This always means that the power of prayer is minimized.
At Hope Church, the month of May is our prayer emphasis month. So while prayer is something that must take place at all times and in all places, I thought it would be appropriate to have a month where we focused on prayer. This corresponds with National Day of Prayer on May 7th, and Global Day of Prayer on May 31st. We will be having special prayer meetings at the church on each of those nights. I hope that you are able to sense the passion I have for prayer. It is my hope and prayer that as a church we will be led to our knees in prayer. It is also my prayer that we will come to realize as a corporate body our desperate need for God and that we might call on him to bring revival to our hearts and lives. There is great power in prayer and especially when we come together (Matthew 18:19-20). Let me close with the words of Jeremiah 33:3. “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Are you willing to call on God? Do you believe He will answer?