Wednesday, November 5, 2014

PRAYER TEAM, Saturday, Nov. 8, 10am

 Join Salem's Prayer Team

This Saturday--November 8 at 10am, here at church--is another chance for Salem members to gather and lift up one another, our church, and our world, into God's arms through prayer.

Why We Need to Pray Together
  In our busy schedules, when it's already hard to carve out the time to worship, why should we gather on a Saturday morning just for prayer? I can offer several reasons:

1. Prayer is a skill.
My mother taught piano. And although I was never one of her students, she told me she knew within the first five minutes of the lesson which of her students had touched a piano keyboard during the week, and which had not. It's partly because our lives are so full that talking to God does not come naturally to us. It's not unusual for us to feel like we're "not sure what to say" in prayer. Why would we? We almost never do it! Prayer is a skill we need to work on. We need to practice praying, out loud, for one another and for our world, or we will never get comfortable with it. 

2. Prayer is the responsibility of all Christians.
In our congregation, the pastors are tasked with writing and reading aloud the "prayers of the people." We also are asked to open and/or close committee meetings with prayer. But you don't have to be a pastor to pray. In fact, praying for others is the job of all Christians. In the book of Acts, it says the people "devoted themselves to prayer" (Acts 1:14). In 1 Peter, it says all Christians are a "royal priesthood". Again and again in the Bible, the faithful response to sickness, uncertainty, sadness, and even joy is to talk to God: to pray. It is right and good to do this privately, and I hope that if you have an email address that you check regularly, you are already on Salem's Prayer Tree and are praying for God's people privately when those messages come in. But what would you do if a close friend were going through a tough time and said, "would you pray for me?" Would you be comfortable doing what Christians are called to do, on behalf of a friend?

3. Sometimes it helps to hear your name. 
We don't just gather to pray for others: we also gather needing prayers of our own. We gather needing healing and comfort. We gather, often having tried our best to carry the burdens of others, only to realize we need some help carrying our own. No matter how many times a day we lift up our own concerns to God (and for me, I know it's not very many) there is tremendous power in having another person do that for you, in your hearing. To pray for you by name, and to join you in calling out to God. You're not in this alone.

I hope you'll think seriously about joining us for prayer this Saturday. We would be blessed by your presence.   

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