Corporate Prayer continued...
The practice of unity in prayer and of agreeing in prayer carries through to the New Testament as well. It is not something that was practiced only by Old Testament believers, but also by the Disciples of Christ, and those who followed after Him.
After Jesus ascended into heaven, the disciples returned to Jerusalem and rather than see how they would divvy up His ministry, rather than see who got what, rather than pick a leader and a surrogate for He who had gone to the Father, they were all in one accord praying.
A preliminary headcount puts the number of souls gathered in the upper room at one-hundred-twenty, and to the last, all were in one accord, praying. Nowadays it’s a task just to get two people to agree on something, never mind over one hundred.
Unity in prayer, and being in one accord, or agreeing upon a certain thing strips us of our selfishness. You’ll never see a group of individuals in one accord praying selfishly, or praying for their own wants to be given them. Whatever it is a group comes together for, it is that purpose they focus on, that purpose they cry out about, and that purpose they agree on behalf of.
It is a beautiful thing to see unity among the children of God, to see them gathered together as one, crying out to God for one purpose, and being adamant in their prayers.
I fear it is because many Christians today don’t know how to pray, that they don’t see their prayers answered as they ought. Because they don’t see their prayers answered as they ought, they are quick to doubt God’s ability to answer prayer, as well as His power, and because doubt settles in their heart, they cease to pray altogether.
I had just turned thirteen, which would put my brother Sergiu at eight, when my mother bought him a remote controlled car for his birthday. By then we had been in the States for four years, my mother had a couple cleaning jobs per day, and so she decided to splurge and get Sergiu something he really wanted. Granted, it was one of those cheaply made, forward and backward remote controlled cars you’d find at the swap meet for around ten dollars, but for Sergiu it was what he’d always wanted, and his smile was somehow bigger than the space between his ears.
Having been informed by the salesclerk that the car and the controller needed batteries, my mother also bought a pack of AAA batteries for it, and after the requisite thank you, misty eyes, and great big hugs, Sergiu set about putting the batteries in the car and the controller, then started pushing the button but nothing happened.
He tried getting closer to the car, thinking maybe the signal wasn’t strong enough, he tried moving away from it, but to no avail, the car just sat there, unmoving and unresponsive to my brother’s increasingly violent jabs at the remote control.
Almost having to pry the controller from his hands, and having to promise on pain of death that I would return it to him forthwith, Sergiu let me take a look at it, and I realized the batteries were put in the wrong way.
No matter how much force of will my brother possessed, no matter how much he wanted that car to move when he pressed the button, because the batteries were put in the wrong way, the car wouldn’t move.
The point is simple: there are certain things that will only work if we do them the right way, and prayer is one of those things.
After I put the batteries in the way they ought to have been put in to begin with, the controller sent the signal to the car, and the car moved forward until it would hit a wall or the couch.
Because everything was in its rightful place, it worked.
We are discussing prayer because it’s important to know how prayer works, and how it is we can pray most effectively. I realize the ‘it’ll do’ culture is visible everywhere you look nowadays, but it ought not to be present within the household of faith. It’s the ‘it’ll do’ mentality that brought the church to the edge of the precipice, wherein one misstep will cause it to plummet to the jagged stones below.
‘No, the Bible doesn’t say this is how we should worship, but it’ll do. No, the Bible doesn’t say we shouldn’t preach against sin, but seeing as the people don’t seem to mind, it’ll do. No, the power of God is no longer moving in the church, but we’ve added allot of new programs, so it’ll do.’
Because everything is now relative, and given to subjectivity, because such ideas as ‘creating your own reality’ or ‘reality is what I perceive it to be’ have taken on a life of their own, even within the household of faith, there no right way of doing something, nor is there for that matter, a wrong way of doing something.
As was once the case during Israel’s history, nowadays everyone simply does what is right in their own eyes, they’re ‘living their own truth,’ and let’s be honest…most of the time man’s truth and God’s truth are two very different things.
It is because we insist on living our own truth that the truth of God can no longer penetrate the stony hearts of men, it is because we do what is right in our own eyes that we no longer see sin as sin, and hypocrisy as hypocrisy, yet even with all that, we still have the audacity to demand of God that He answer our prayers, and that whatever we ask of Him, He give us forthwith and without delay.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.