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Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Place to Pray

Just imagine that someone very dear to you is in the hospital and awaiting surgery. You call your pastor and make him aware of your loved one's condition and you ask if he would come and pray with the family before the surgery. He says he would be happy to do that.

The next morning before your loved one is wheeled to the operating room your pastor walks into the room. He looks around and surveys the situation. He sees that things are critical, that the family is very concerned, and that this could be a risky operation. Then he holds the hand of the patient and begins to pray for all the needs that he has just seen. Your pastor isn't God, but his presence and his prayer comforts you and reminds you of the Truths of God's Word as he prays Scripture. You're so glad he came.

Now, let's imagine that when you called him the day before to ask if he'd come and pray with the family before surgery he said instead, "You know, I can pray just as well at home. God will hear me whether I'm there at the hospital or here. Be assured that I will be praying for your loved one."

Aside from being hurt by the response, what would be missing if the pastor prayed at home? He would have missed some of the details he saw when entering the hospital room - the seriousness of the situation or the worried looks on the faces of the family members. He wouldn't have been able to reach out and hold the hand of the patient, or give a compassionate hug to the worried family members. They wouldn't have been reminded of the truths in the pastor's prayer. God indeed would have heard his prayer, but the pastor's presence there in that hospital room had a great deal of effect on his own prayer and on those that heard it.

How often have you heard your pastor plead with you and the church to come to a prayer meeting? Perhaps it is a prayer meeting for upcoming revival. Perhaps it's the pre-service prayer meeting, or even the regular Wednesday night service where we spend time in prayer. Have you ever said, "I can pray at home just as well and I will do that!"? Making the connection to the hospital room prayer, can you see what you may be missing by not praying together with other believers in the church where the services are going to take place?
  • You will miss the connection with the people. You won't understand their immediate needs or be able to pray and encourage them with your prayer for them.
  • You will miss out on the specific needs. Once you gather in the church you may become more aware of the needs of the pastors, the lost that will gather there, with the teachers that will stand and proclaim the Word of God. Sometimes just being there will open your eyes of things to pray about. Your pastor is undergoing spiritual warfare! Someone needs to lift him up before the throne so he can preach the Word in its truth and power!
  • You will be more distracted.

These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication... Acts 1:14 Can we not gather together to pray for the needs "in the hospital room?" The needs are great. Will you meet us there?

Sunday morning 8:30 - Pre-service prayer meeting

Wednesday night 7:00 - Prayer meeting

1 comment:

pastorjd said...

Great thoughts Denise. I will definitely share these were our people.

Jeff Davis
Tabernacle Baptist Church, Wilson, NC