It’s undeniable. In almost every place where I am able to have an exchange with other folks who I know to be believers, the conversation almost always comes around to the issue of what’s happening in prayer in these days.
Although much of the prayer may have been initially sparked by the invasion of the covid virus, the now interminably long period of reduced activity within our local churches, along with the daily media jolt of bad news, has created an alarm bell in the hearts of many people.
I’m hearing of prayer groups that are meeting regularly in homes where people feel safe and open to pour out their hearts to the Lord, I’m hearing of prayer gatherings at local churches that have multiplied over the past months, and most especially I’m hearing of the positive use of technology to bring scores if not hundreds of people together on a frequent if not daily basis just to pray!
The dual spectacle on the Washington Mall on September 26 of Franklin Graham’s “Prayer for the Nation” and “the return” gave viewers an opportunity to see crowds praying in mass for our nation, our government, our leaders, our churches, and our people.
As inspiring as those images were and as powerful as some of those moments of prayer truly were, they honestly pale in comparison when measured against what’s happening in tens of thousands of locations all over this country and even other parts of the world.
What’s equally inspiring to me is not just the fact that people are meeting to pray, but it’s also the content, the focus, the passion in these prayers that is something that I’ve not personally seen in a long time. It’s as though the Holy Spirit is alerting us to just how important prayer is in these specific days, not unlike many similar moments in the redemptive history of the children of Israel and the establishing of the early church. People were always praying in those days, but at certain times and in specific situations there was an intensity to prayer that was noticeable because of the potential for set-backs, defeats and persecution; or on the other hand, the opportunity for great victory or a move of the Holy Spirit such as we witness at Pentecost in Acts chapter 2.
It’s fair to say that both of these motivations seem to be at work in the hearts of people today. On the one hand, many are sensing the urgency of the intervention of God in both personal and national circumstances in order to bring about release, healing, and deliverance; while at the same time there is a growing sense of anticipation that God is using these times of trial and testing to prepare us for an authentic season of spiritual awakening that will touch the lives of countless numbers of people in our nation and in other parts of the world. These are no small matters and warrant the kind of importunity that does not let go of God until breakthrough becomes reality.
If you’re reading this and not part of a local church where regular prayer is happening I urge you to go online and find a church where people are meeting to pray. In most cases it doesn’t matter if you are a member of that church or not. People are always welcome at prayer meetings!
If you’re part of North Way’s network of churches, check your local campus for prayer meeting times and know that we are meeting regularly at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoons for at least the next 30 days. (The experience of praying every morning at 7:00 a.m. on the “Upper Zoom” call will end on October 9th, but other similar opportunities may well occur so please stay tuned.)
Finally, I want to celebrate the unity that is experienced when people from 9-92 are joined together in prayer from all over our area and even some other states. There is remarkable appreciation for the perspectives, personality and passion that each person brings when we pray together!