We are the prayer meeting.

I’m currently preparing a week of prayer to kick off Shore Vineyard’s 2013, and I am having a crisis. How do you prepare a week of prayer meetings, when deep down, it’s not a week of prayer meetings you want?

I’ve spent my life going to prayer meetings, and my word, I have seen some doosies.

Some full of noise, some full of quiet.

Some where people walked around doing the prayer-while-fist-punching-into-their-other-palm, and some where people sat completely still.

Some had two people prayer-hogging, while the others just nodded and murmured.

Some where the Holy Spirit was invited to move, and some where the Holy Spirit was told what to do.

Some where personal wishes where laid out, and some where a cosmic hope was called to earth.

Some that ended late, and some which never really started.

Some where I wish I could leave, and some where I didn’t ever want to.

A prayer meeting is a beautiful and wonderful thing, but it does have one big problem: it ends. And prayer shouldn’t. Paul’s challenge to the various communities of people who were following the Jesus Way is that they should pray without limits and without ceasing.* How is this so? If he’s right, that’s an awfully large time commitment right there – one very long prayer meeting…

Perhaps that’s the problem – I am too quick to default to pining “prayer” to a “time” or “a devotional moment” or “a prayer walk” or “a meeting”. The first century Christian didn’t do this. To them it was all about becoming aware of the Divine. This isn’t so much about attending something – it’s about being opened up to it. And you can do this anywhere, anytime, anyplace and in a lot of ways. It would seem that we don’t just attend prayer meetings. We are the prayer meeting. Without us no prayer meeting ever takes place, it’s just God. Waiting. Stood up.

So in preparing a week of prayer for our church, it’s not a bunch of prayer meetings on a calendar I’m planning – no, it’s so much better than that. It’s a call to gather all of our individual prayer meetings together – people who arrive in a place already aware of the Divine and what He’s up to – and see what God might do with our awareness before Him. I can sense the Divine in those gatherings already.

If you’re a Shore Vineyard-ite, don’t miss Kick Off. It’s going to be a wonderful time of gathering together to see what God is leading us in for 2013, to pray for His Kingdom to come and His will to be done. Nothing could be better!


*see any of these for a taster: Ephesians 6:18, Colossians 4:2, Philippians 4:6


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