Spring is almost over and summer will soon be here in full swing. It seems that summer almost always brings a new schedule and a new rhythm. Being in rural Iowa, spring is nothing if not busy. There’s always planting season to contend with, not to mention the school year wrapping up and the early summer sports schedule heating up. Soon many of us will be traveling on summer vacations and summer camp. With all this busyness its easy to let prayer go by the wayside. In generations past, Wednesday night prayer meeting was a staple for almost all local churches. It seems now that for most of us, prayer sounds like a good idea but we mostly fill our evenings with everything under the sun. I get it, you’re busy. I’m busy too. We’re all busy. Many of us with good things. However, I think that prayer, and in particular, corporate prayer is more necessary now than it has ever been.
For as long as I have been alive, it seems that I have heard from my parents and other older Christians that our country and world are headed down hill fast. In fact, the older I get the more I find myself being that older Christian who tells the same thing to the younger generation. It seems though like we spend far more time and energy complaining and bemoaning a bygone era when we were a Christian nation then we do lifting our country and world up to the One who can truly do anything about it. What happened to Paul’s command in 1 Timothy 2:1-3? “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. That is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior.” It seems that most of us, me included, probably do a very bad job at fulfilling this command.
With all the things that need to be fixed in the world today, how can we not strive to discipline ourselves to the practice of prayer? Corporate prayer is one of the most important things a church does. One reason it is so vital is that it helps us to fulfill the command from Hebrews 3:13, “But exhort one another every day as long as it is called today, lest any of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” When we come together as a body it both implicitly and explicitly encourages one another to be mindful of the danger of sin and our dependance on God for deliverance.
So, for these, and so many other reasons, we will be having Summer Nights of Prayer on the following dates: June 29th, July 27th, and August 31st. Please mark these dates on your calendar so you are able to come and pray with your church family this summer!