Tuesday, July 12

Are Our Church Leaders Pray-ers?

We in our church were concerned about the very thing that Tozer addresses below, even going so far as to moving the prayer meeting from Wednesday evening to Sunday . . . PRIME TIME! It was vital that we have our Elders, as well as others at prayer. Let me tell you my justification for moving the meeting. It dawned on me that prayer in Scripture was never considered a "program" of the church; it was what churches did. It's part of their DNA. Thus, I submitted to the church in a sermon that we must not view it thusly. Those who do see prayer (in effect) as yet another program of the church may treat it like they may a program and opt out of it. Prayer, we often repeat, is the engine that drives the church. Sadly, this must mean that many churches are barely able to get out of their driveway! This much I knew, whatever else we do as a church--WE MUST PRAY. Wherever we fail, it must not be in prayer--WE MUST PRAY! So, if at all possible (jobs, emergencies, etc.) we must see it not as our forced duty but as our nature, our privilege to pray as a church. WE MUST PRAY!

Please read this entry from A. W. Tozer for a possible scenario in (I hope not, but am afraid is true) many churches.  
But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word. --Acts 6:4
Well, we have great churches and we have beautiful sanctuaries and we join in the chorus, "We have need of nothing." But there is every indication that we are in need of worshipers.

We have a lot of men willing to sit on our church boards who have no desire for spiritual joy and radiance and who never show up for the church prayer meeting. These are the men who often make the decisions about the church budget and the church expenses and where the frills will go in the new edifice.

They are the fellows who run the church, but you cannot get them to the prayer meeting because they are not worshipers....

It seems to me that it has always been a frightful incongruity that men who do not pray and do not worship are nevertheless actually running many of the churches and ultimately determining the direction they will take.

It hits very close to our own situations, perhaps, but we should confess that in many "good" churches, we let the women do the praying and let the men do the voting.

Because we are not truly worshipers, we spend a lot of time in the churches just spinning our wheels, burning the gasoline, making a noise but not getting anywhere.

Whatever Happened to Worship?, 16-17.

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