At Wellspring the past few weeks have not only been marked by increased attendance but also an unusual presence of God’s Spirit. Why? Are our innovative strategies paying off? Is it the musicality of our worship team? Is it the penetrating insight of the sermons? Is it the humility of the preacher? 😉 All of these may play a role, but the most significant key is simple: prayer together.
Charles Spurgeon was once asked, “What is the key to the power in your preaching?” He led the questioner downstairs to a room below his pulpit, and it was filled with men and women of God in prayer. Similarly a few members of Wellspring have been meeting daily to pray for a few hours, for God’s Spirit to work in greater measure. They have also been praying and fasting, asking for God’s Spirit to work in power. Our Wednesday evening prayer meetings have also been growing in size and depth in prayer. I have always sensed that the engine that drives our church is our gatherings in prayer. The deeper we dig the wells for God’s Spirit in prayer, the greater we see the release of God’s Spirit in worship.
But if we can pray privately and individually, why is it important to pray together? A log by itself will quickly burn out, but two logs together will burn all night. Similarly when we pray with each other, our hearts are ignited and strengthened by the prayers of others. Think about the fire of God that fell at Pentecost. Before that, the disciples were not gathered individually in their rooms in prayer; they were “all joined together constantly in prayer” (Acts 1:14). And it was on God’s people gathered together in prayer that the fire of God fell for Pentecost.
So what? I am praying that God would raise up more people who pray, and that those who pray would grow deeper in prayer. Honestly there have been times when the spiritual burden of leading this church has been crushing, a burden so heavy that it demanded significant and extended time in prayer before it was lifted. And that is why I am very grateful when I sense that other people are carrying that burden in prayer together. My desire to pray grows as we share that burden. When we share the burden of prayer, we also celebrate the joy of breakthrough.
Wellspring, how is God calling you to grow in prayer? Let us be a people marked by prayer. Just as Jesus’ disciples noted his prayer life and wanted to learn that above all, may those around us sense our prayer life and want to learn that above all. Let us come before Jesus and say, “Lord teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). And may we be dedicate ourselves to prayer together (Acts 1:14) that we might see Pentecostal fire fall in greater measure (Acts 2; Eph 5:18-20). Let us be men and women of prayer. Join us tonight to pray — through your own burdens as well as the burdens of our church. And let us encounter the fire of God together.