A Praying Church
By Elder Rick Schatz
Our Pastor, Rich Lanning, has challenged us as a Session and as a congregation to grow in our prayer lives both individually and as a body. The Session responded by developing plans to have congregational prayer meetings on the fifth Friday each month in which there are 5 Fridays.
Our first prayer time took place on January 31st from 7-8:30pm. We had about 40 people in attendance, which on short notice we felt very good about. Our hope is that even more of our members will choose to participate as we gather together for future times of prayer.
We were led by elders John Wood, Terry Eshom, and Rick Schatz. Worship was led by John and Judy Gould and Tillie Cowherd helped with her piano playing. Pastor Lanning led our time of confession and repentance.
The evening started with a time of quiet reflection and meditation. Elder Schatz focused on the interaction between some of the disciples and Jesus from John 21. The biblical account highlights the disciples simply enjoying the presence of their Lord without any specific teaching or training recorded. This was a time for them to just “be” with Jesus. Our calling is the same. We must ‘be’ with Jesus before we start ‘doing’ ministry for him.
We then moved to a time of worship joining together in singing songs of praise and adoration. Our praying should usually start with quiet reflection and worship. We give thanks for the gift of worship that has been given to the Gould’s and Tillie.
Before coming to the Lord with our requests we are called to confess and repent of our sins. Rich led us in coming before our holy God in confession collectively and then individually. He used the model of confession and repentance from James 5 and closed with the assurance of pardon.
Elder Schatz then turned our attention to a time of thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for. God has blessed us with his gift of salvation, his presence primarily through the Holy Spirit and material blessings in abundance. We have been blessed as a nation as well and are one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
Elder Eshom led us in our time of supplication and intercession. We gathered in groups of 4 or 5 and prayed together asking for God’s help for ourselves and for many others. We used a list of prayer needs from the church bulletin in guiding us. We are blessed as a church body but have many needs as well. Many of these were lifted to the Lord asking him to bring his healing touch where needed.
Pastor Michael Lyons closed our time of prayer with a benediction of blessing.
We hope that you will join us in our next prayer time which is scheduled for May 29th.