Jesus revealed His people would do greater acts then He did. He expected His people and His church at large to flow in the things of the Spirit. Even now, He waits in anticipation to see the church rise up and become what they were meant to be from the very beginning. Somehow, we have fallen short of the Lord’s plan and desire for His people. I don’t know about you but I am tired of the lack of anointing and power within the church at large. Yes, there are churches that do see the flow of the Spirit with lives being touched and changed for eternity’s sake. However many places of worship have become museums, with only memories of their past. They talk about how it was years ago when the saints would “pray through.” Members reminiscence with old memories and how the Spirit moved in their midst years ago.
To sum it up in one root word what is missing in too many lives and in our churches is change. Change quickly came to the people gathered in the Upper Room. Those individuals walked into that place and joined hearts in one accord and in prayer. Look at the results of the early church in Acts; because of their obedience, 120 men, women, and children saw their entire world change. The 120 quickly became 3,120 and Scripture reveals that they added to their numbers daily. Where is that power today?
Where are the prayer warriors? Yes, there are intercessors that will stand in the gap crying out before the throne of grace. Yes, we are called to pray as individuals but the Word states that where two or more are gathered in His name, He is in their midst. We are also called to join heart with others in prayer. Look at the verse just prior to verse 20 in Matthew 18:19-20 Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father, which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
However many churches have let their prayer meetings fall by the wayside. Why? The answer is simple, a lack of commitment. Truthfully, prayer is not easy; it is costly. It confronts sin in the hearts of those who participate. The reason is simple you cannot enter into the presence of the Lord and not see the shortcomings in your own life. Prayer takes time. People are too busy doing their own thing to come together interceding and cry out for a move of the Lord. Everyone wants prayer but few are willing to take the time to cry out to the Lord themselves.
The biggest problem is simple. There is sin within the walls of the church and no one deals with it. Recently, while waiting for a church service to begin, several people behind me were talking in general. Then the conversation changed. “Oh no, I haven’t talked to her. Didn’t you know? We had a big blow out and so did Agnes (not the real name). She told them….” We live in a day and age where sin is readily accepted as the norm. Gossip is rampant in our midst.
Sin is winked at and even laughed at in some circles. Grudges and un-forgiveness is another major problem. “Well you know how so-and-so is when they get angry.” Individuals verbally and emotionally attack other believers in a fit of rage because of an offense. They don’t want to deal with the issue, but simply lash out and wound someone else as they have been hurt. These individuals walk through the doors of the assembly carrying the weight of grudges held onto for years. If we had the ability to see in the Spirit, their chains of un-forgiveness would be massive. Yet, they continue to spread their ‘poison’ because no one wants to confront or get on their bad side.
Another major issue is manipulation. Someone wants to be in the limelight and they will stab others in the back to do so. Their intent is obvious to many but unfortunately, leadership is either blind to the issue or too fearful to deal with it. Many years ago, acts of manipulation destroyed a church. One couple wielded their “tithe’ as their weapon of choice. Leadership was informed how their “tithe money” could be used. Often, the wife proclaimed, “I will pray you out of this church,” to several individuals including the pastor during their power play and leadership did nothing. Why? Fear ruled the leadership because the money was needed more than the need for uprightness.
Evidence of a growing church is not about the numbers. You can add the names of every single individual that walks through the church doors to your membership registry and still fail as a church. Yes, that is a strong statement but it is absolute truth. I repeat, it is NOT about the numbers. It is about changed hearts. It is about people who have made a 180 degree turn around and are seeking the Lord. It is about individuals who are more interested in His ways and leaving their old life behind. True change happens on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…, and not just saying amen to a sermon on Sunday morning.
Pray for your leadership, they need it. Pray for a move of the Lord to fall upon the hearts of your people. Pray for those who are hurting and lost. Pray for your youth, for they are the generation that will replace us. Pray for those who are causing more harm than good. Pray for conviction to fall not only in the lives of those around you but also in your life. Pray for others to join in the battle of spiritual warfare. Pray and then pray some more. As we join hearts and seek after HIS WAYS and not ours, we will see change come. Yes, rise up and take your place as a prayer warrior.