Join us Wednesday (4/04/2018) for our next Discipleship Class. Josh Morgan and Kaynenn Parker will teach us about the role of evangelism and mission in the life of the disciple. There is no need to register unless you need childcare. Register for child care here.
Have you ever experienced a moving, encouraging, time of prayer with other believers? Has a dinner with good friends ever naturally led to you seeking the Lord together? Do you ever meet with fellow Christians for the purpose of praying together? Does normal conversation transition to going before the God of the Universe in prayer? Do you cry out to the Lord in desperation with others?
My answer to those questions is sometimes but not nearly as often as I would like. Praying with fellow Christians is a gift, unfortunately it is a gift I leave unwrapped far to often.
I am not trying to lead you to respond with, “of course I should pray more, I can always pray more”. That kind of response is viewing prayer as this additional task or thing we need to do. Which will likely lead to more boring, obligated prayers.
John Calvin says prayer is the chief exercise of our faith. Michael Reeves commenting on that quote rightly says if anyone of us needs to be humbled we should just evaluate our prayer life.
Evaluating our personal prayer life is surely humbling. Evaluating how often we pray with others is even more humbling. Let’s acknowledge our need, reach out to friends and start praying together with more freedom and intentionality.
Here are some points to consider as you pray together.
God invites us to pray.
Meditating on God’s invitation to us will help stir us to pray
 “Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price. (ESV)
 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (ESV)
Notice God inviting everyone and all to come to Him, “Come, everyone who thirst…come to me, all who are heavy laden.” In these verse we see an all inclusive invitation that goes out. We to often see the scriptures through our individualistic societal lense and miss the beauty of God inviting us to come to him together.
Is there a way we answer this invitation outside of prayer? No.
We can think about this invitation without prayer, we can talk to others about these verses without prayer, God forbid we can preach about them without prayer. But turning to interact relationally with God can’t be done outside of prayer.
Surely we answer these calls individually at times but we should also gather with others that are answering this call and pray together.
We need to pray about what is troubling us.
 Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!  O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy! (ESV)
What are the depths of your life right now? If you were to cry out to the Lord for help what would it be about? Be the psalmist! Cry out to God and ask for him to hear your cries. The psalmist cried out to God and encouraged others to do the same, encouraging them to find their hope in God.
Crying out together about what is troubling us will help us to rely on each others faith, help us know each other on a deeper level, and allow us to be mutually encouraged as we see God answer prayers, comfort and heal each other.
Invite others into your prayers of repentance.
 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (ESV)
We need to have people in our lives that we are willing to share the aspects of our life that we would rather keep hidden. James tells us to “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another.” He says it so quickly and simply that we can miss the profoundness of the statement. Because the truth that there is no condemnation for those in Christ, we can boldly tell others about our sin and rebellion. And then we can go to God in prayer together, repenting, and enjoying the eternal deep well of forgiveness provided through Jesus.
This frees you up to enter into repentance quicker, you don’t have to wait to get alone and have it all figured out. If the Spirit convicts you of something in the midst of a conversation, then stop and repent and allow others to be encouraged over and over again by God’s grace towards you in Christ.
Ask God to do what only he can do in our communities.
 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
build up the walls of Jerusalem;
 then will you delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;”
then bulls will be offered on your altar. (ESV)
David’s prayer of repentance in Psalm 51 concluded by him praying for revival. As we grow more intimate with God it will naturally lead us to praying for what he desires for our City Groups, our neighborhoods, our City, and the world.
Do you have desires for God to move in a particular way? Share that in community and ask people to pray with you towards that end. Do you want to see revival? Pray for it together. Do you desire to be a blessing to your City? Ask others to pray for your. Do you desire to see the gospel to renew the brokenness of your City? Pray together towards this end.
Some questions to consider
- Are there reasons you do not want to pray in community? Fears? Insecurity? Busy with kids?
- What would it take to make space in your life to pray with others about what is really troubling you?
- What would it look like to make space in your life to invite others in to your prayers of repentance?
- When was the last time you gathered with others to pray for your neighborhood and city? When will be the next time?
This content is from our most recent Discipleship Class.