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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

24 Apr '12

Prayers of the People

For Brook, Heather, Paige, and Roger who all need our prayers.


I have the joy on occasion to attend an evangelical Anglican church. One of the things I deeply appreciate in their services is the emphasis on prayer. Prayers of the people, prayers of confession and prayers of praise. In many ways we have lost the emphasis on prayer in many of our evangelical churches.


My family knows the power of united prayer for without the prayers of many during my long illness of 2007-2008 and then again in early 2009, I would not be alive. Medical doctors cannot explain how I was healed. They know it was miraculous. 


The story can be read in When Life Comes Undone: Walking by Faith when Life is Hard and Hope is Scarce. The truth is that these situations come to us all at one time or another. The question when they come is do we have a group of friends who will pray passionately for our situation?


We take the power of prayer too lightly, at least in the west where we can rely on our own resources to fix things. But even with us, there comes a time when we have no other resource but Jesus. None. 


As I often say, "It is a wonderful thing to come to the place where we have nothing else to rely on but God. When all of our resources are  exhausted as eventually they are we have the one thing we have had all along: Jesus. And He is enough." I would not have said that before my own dark night of the soul but I have learned that not only is He enough but He is the single most important thing I need.


One of the greatest gifts we can give those around us is to become people of prayer for them. To lift those up in our circles who are hurting, who are sick, who are without hope, who are grieving or dealing with whatever real life has dealt them. It takes intentionality on our part but it is the very gift that we would ask for in our own dark night.


Prayer bring hope, it may well bring healing. It always brings the presence of a loving father. It brings us and those we pray for into the very throne room of the Lord of the universe. It brings a smile to God's face and a blessing on those we pray for. It is a hidden gift in that those we lift up may never know this side of eternity but they will know one day. 


We need one another and Jesus far more than we know. Let's lift up those who are need of God's intervention on a daily basis. Prayers of the people are beautiful on Sundays and necessary every day.