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The Prayer Circle: Putting Prayer in Its Place

Thanks for meeting us at the prayer circle.

You have been invited to your church’s Wednesday evening prayer meeting. What’s your first reaction? So often, in our hearts, we respond with an “ugh.” Why?

In this series, we will use Scripture to put prayer back in its place of power…to take prayer from merely a religious practice or imitation to a place of power where we are participating with God in His mission.

Putting Prayer in Its Place

Let me ask you a question. What is our most immediate thought when somebody says, “Let’s have a prayer meeting?” If I am going to be transparently honest, I would have to admit that many times it’s “ugh” and not “yeah!” Why? Why is it that I feel that way? Why do I leave many prayer meetings with a sense of it being a drudgery and a waste of time? In short, I believe it’s because we have allowed our prayers and our prayer meetings to have a fleshly life of their own rather than participating with God in His burden and mission. We are, therefore, calling this series Putting Prayer in Its Place.

I am eternally optimistic about our churches when I read Mark 16:19-20.

So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat
down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord
working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

Those words, “the Lord working with them,” absolutely fascinate me! They give both a great hope and a glaring warning. We need to remain so in tune with Jesus that we are never doing anything in the flesh, independently of Him—even our praying. The power of the New Testament Church is in its participation with God rather than some imitation of a religious practice which often is no different than other pagan religions.

In this series we hope to give direction in how to enjoy the transforming power of the gospel in prayer. How, as leaders, we can nurture life-giving prayer meetings and participate with God in His burden for our ministries.

We will focus on prayer as it relates to the sufficiency of Christ as the active Head of the Church. Nothing should ever take center stage in our lives and churches away from Jesus—not even prayer.

We will then focus on healthy, revived local churches and her organic nature of “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” (Colossians 1:27).

Leadership is our third focus as we are servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God (I Corinthians 4:1). We must never lose the wonder of it all. People who pray need leaders who will encourage them in the miracle of this biblical mystery.

In his book entitled Prayer 101, Dr. Warren Wiersbe says,

Prayer is serious business, and it must be founded on the character and promises of God. Unfortunately, we sometimes pick up unbiblical and ungodly ideas that influence our prayers and hinder the Lord from answering us. Unwittingly, we imitate the way others pray, and these ideas stick in our minds and take over. A.W. Tozer used to remind us, “The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him.” No professing Christian would deliberately bow before a pagan idol, but many of God’s children ignorantly ask God to give and to do that which is completely contrary to His character and His written Word. These are some popular “routine religious statements” that are often used but are dangerous. Before we can plant the seeds of prayer and cultivate healthy plants that bear fruit, we have to pull up a few of the weeds.

Joe Humrichous

Joe Humrichous is the executive director of Paradigm One and Bible Prayer Fellowship. The message of the sufficiency of Christ for both the pastor and the local church was birthed during a time of brokenness in his early ministry. Now after 50 years in ministry, Joe is passionate to share this reality as it applies to corporate prayer and church leadership. He recently served as a pastor at First Baptist Church in Covington, Indiana. He and his wife Teresa have 5 children and 13 grandchildren.

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