Earlier today I posted a video that mentioned the core values that drive the Church of God of Prophecy in Tennessee. For far-too-long, there has been (in some quarters) a lackadaisical attitude toward prayer in many of the churches in North America. There is an old axiom that goes something like this, “if you have a dinner the church will be full, but if you call a prayer meeting only a few will show up.” It has been my misfortune to see this axiom fulfilled.
When I was the Overseer of the Northwest Region, it was my privilege to meet and become acquainted with Sister Edith James. She was a Godly older woman who knew the value of prayer. One of our local churches had been closed and sitting vacant for a long time. Sister James took a pillow and a blanket and went to the local church for a season of prayer. Her prayer time was more than minutes or hours….actually she stayed there for days, with no food, praying and fasting on behalf of the ministry of our church in that city. Her prayers brought results and the church was resurrected from death, as God brought people. She believed in prayer.
Time and space don’t allow me to share all of the different testimonies I could give to you about praying people whom I’ve known. I’ve watched miracles happen, I’ve seen lost people born again and I’ve watched as the Holy Spirit poured out His presence on individuals, ministers and congregations as a result of prayer.
I firmly believe that prayer is a lost spiritual discipline in too many of our people’s lives today. The family altar needs to be revived in our day. It is a shame to work to return prayer to schools when it doesn’t take place in our homes. It is time we return to our knees and see the Power of God at work in our lives. First it will change us, then those around us, and ultimately will bring revival to our work. Let’s not forget the promise of God found in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.”
When the early church observed the life of Jesus, walking with Him every day, they could have made a lot of requests, but there is one I would love to draw your attention to…”One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray…” (Luke 11:1). Isn’t it interesting that they didn’t ask him to teach them to do miracles, but rather to teach them to pray? It was after this that the Lord gave the formula for prayer.
I invite you to join me in a revival…a revival of prayer in the Church of God of Prophecy. This is our first CORE VALUE, and it is directly linked to the two that will follow. I invite you to check back as we delve further into the values that drive us!