Whenever prayer is mentioned around church, the usual response which is evoked within people is guilt. "I don't pray enough" is the usual summation of our prayer life. Perhaps there is a mixture of truth and unrealistic expectation found in that response. At the same time, corporate prayer seems to be a dying part of church prayer life. Why is this?
One answer may be that we are afraid to pray in front of anyone else. We feel that people might be judging our prayers for their "artistic merit". The truth is that most of us feel the same way about praying in public. We appreciate the efforts of those who do. And the main audience - God - is too busy reading our hearts to mark our grammar.
A second answer may be that we don't feel that it is important; that we can pray well enough on our own. I would hope that we would well understand the importance of the church and of gathering and agreeing in prayer to know that this is not completely true.
A third answer doesn't bear contemplation: that we don't think that prayer is important. To really see the best God can give, we need to be listening, seeking, asking in prayer. The Bible is clear that God loves to bless those who seek Him (see 2 Chron 6:14, Luke 11:9-13 as two examples).
Let us overcome any sense of guilt and commit ourselves to prayer - it is the beginning of God's great work in our midst.
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