2000-01-17 - Social Prayer
2 Corinthians 9:14, "while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you."
Prayer is the natural expression of our thoughts, feelings, and desires to God. No true Christian can live without this vital force of life dwelling in them. And though the ungodly do not pray regularly, they do know the importance of prayer and acknowledge it when in distress or danger. They also pray.
The Bible is full of prayer. It gives us examples, in all the ages it covers, of those who prayed. Over and over we are encouraged to pray through the example of others or from admonitions directed toward us. The Bible records the actual prayers of many, and when the disciples asked, "Lord, teach us to pray," He gave them a guide and a model for all of us to use.
While neglect of private prayer is a great disadvantage to the soul, the neglect of prayer within the family unit is also a great harm to the family in general. A due consideration of the common duties, dangers, and mercies in which all the members of a family have an interest will cause everyone to acknowledge that family prayer is greatly needed. There is no other family activity that can replace or compensate for family prayer. It either exists or it doesn't.
However, a great neglect among Christians is the privilege of social prayer. When we meet together, do we complete our time together with prayer? How many missed opportunities have we experienced where fellowship was lost because no one bothered to close or start the time with prayer? Prayer changes the level of any encounter.
To engage in social prayer might be a little awkward. We might hesitate some or even experience some embarrassment. However, we still ought to engage in the practice for our own edification and for the edification of those we know. Social prayer would aid in several things...
Social prayer would do much to increase the zeal for Christ in our conversations and gatherings. It would elevate all our meetings. Social prayer would open windows of heaven into the common aspects of our day. No amount of inconvenience should be seen in seeking these showers of blessings into our everyday encounters.
Soli Deo Gloria,