Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Boredom and Prayer Meetings

When I was in college, my fellow students could not understand how I could find a Friday night prayer meeting at a brother’s house exciting.  Friday nights were for movies, eating out, hanging out, playing basketball, etc. but not prayer meetings.  How boring to go in a guy’s living room and just get on our faces and sing a few songs with the guitars and then pray for several hours.  Often we would pray into the late night.  How could I possibly find that fun?  Even as I write this, I have a smile on my face at the delight that came from those prayer meetings.  What joy we had!  What laughter we had!

I believe, and this may be harsh, that many who would view a prayer meeting as boring have never truly encountered the presence of God.  I am not saying that these people are not saved but they lack the experience of being in the very presence of God.  They lack the understanding of the joy that comes from being in His presence.  Why would I want to trade a night of being in God’s holy presence with watching a movie?  Why would I want to trade being in the presence of God with eating at a restaurant?  Why would I want to trade the presence of God for anything this world has to offer?  There is nothing to compare to His presence.  Moses found out in Exodus 33:14 that God’s presence gives us rest.  How we need rest!

Consider the wonder of God’s presence.  In Scripture God made it clear that His presence is something to strive for.  In Deuteronomy 20:1 God told the children of Israel that He would be with them in the day of battle.  I need that.  I can’t defeat my flesh nor the enemy by my own power.  I need His presence (Romans 7:25; 8:11; Galatians 5:16-17) to help me fight my battles.

In Isaiah 43:2 God again promises us that He will be with us when we face even the toughest trials.  A time may come when the doctors tell me I have this or that but I pray that I never lose my hunger for God’s presence for in that day I will surely need the knowledge that He is with me until the end.

Even when it comes to evangelism, we have the wonderful promise from Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 that He will be with us till the end of the age.  As we are going out into a dark world, Jesus is with us.  His presence abides with us and we can have the assurance of Acts 1:8 that He empowers us through His Spirit to help us make disciples for His glory.

But more than just the Scriptures on God’s presence.  I want to go beyond mere head knowledge of His presence to knowing times where He has been near.  Prayer meetings are those places for me.  I find such delight to be in the presence of God in prayer.  There is nothing like being in a room with other disciples and crying out to God.  In those moments, you could offer me the world and I believe I would decline it for in His presence is the fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).  To be in His presence is paradise itself (Luke 23:43).  Words are not enough to express the delight that comes when the presence of God falls on a prayer meeting.  We begin to cry out for God’s glory to be revealed among the nations.  We begin to cry out for the lost to be saved.  We begin to cry out for justice to flow from His throne.  We begin to cry out for the gospel to take root in the Church and in our lives. Somehow, when God’s presence comes, we align ourselves up with what His agenda may be.

And yet if you have never had those moments of knowing God is present not just in basic biblical understanding (yes He is with me) to really knowing and experiencing His presence, you are lost as you read this.  You probably think that I am a nut for seeking God’s presence or that I have lost my mind or that I am emotional.  In reality, I am not.  I wish I could cry like some do in God’s presence.  I wish I could go deeper in my emotions with the Lord but I am largely not an emotional guy.  But I do long and love God’s presence.  There is noting that can compare.

So if your prayer meetings are boring and if you are one who is reading this who thinks that the thought of spending a Friday night (or any other time) in prayer is boring then you have yet to truly encounter the presence of Christ.  When He walks among you, you’ll know He is there.  I would admit that many, many, many prayer meetings have been boring but not the ones I have been to where all the disciples in the room wanted one thing and that was God.  In those prayer meetings, God has always been faithful to show up.  Always.  His presence has invaded our hearts and His presence leads us.  When we are done praying, time has been standing still.  We were undone in His presence.  I would encourage you, if you have yet to experience what I am writing about, to pray and seek God for His presence.  Seek Him for who He is and not what you can get from Him.  Lavish Him with your love, praise, obedience, and worship.  Pour out your soul before Him.  Make Him your delight.  Allow Him to touch you however He needs to touch you.  Just long for His presence!

Oh God give us Your presence!

Written by The Seeking Disciple

02/05/2012 at 8:00 AM

2 Responses

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  1. Someone once told me that you get out of a church service pretty much what you expect. If you expect boring and dry, usually you will go home thinking everything was boring and dry. If you go in thinking you are going to have an encounter with God, usually you go home blessed by your encounter with God. this is not to downplay the sudden and unexpected appearance of God moving in powerful ways, but to point out that our attitudes often determine what we take home from church. This is true for prayer meetings too. Good post by the way.

    John Sneed

    02/05/2012 at 12:11 PM

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