A friend wrote me today and shared the following account in his letter. His comments, and the question that he poses, are worth both worth consideration by anyone who professes love for Christ and his kingdom. Here is what my friend wrote:
The other evening I opened our board meeting with a heartfelt prayer, something that I haven’t done in a while in a board meeting context. I have shared with the other board members the passion that God has been giving me for more prayer, and that we need to set aside as much time as we can and as often as we can to pray, so as to see the hand of God move in our lives, and in the lives of those we serve. Anyhow, as our evening ended (and on time) one of the executive staff members leaned over to our director as he was about to close in prayer and stated “Hey, just make sure you don’t pull one of those ‘preacher prayers’ like our friend over here, because it’s been a long night and I am ready to go.” He smiled as he looked over at me, and one other gentleman laughed, but I did not.
Why do I share this John? I am in so many Christian gatherings and board meetings and it seems that without fail we almost always tolerate real praying. Praying, in so many settings, seems like a bookend to a meeting or seminar, period.
Are we so dull spiritually that prayer, earnest and serious prayer, is something we can dispense with or leave to professional ministers? I fear the truth of an honest answer might well reveal the paucity of our true spirituality in far too many ministry settings. Next time your group meets ask the question: "What does prayer reveal about our trust in God alone?"