This evening the congregation that I serve will go into battle together. The first prayer meeting of Orlando Reformed Presbyterian Church will commence tonight, and we will go into battle through prayer.
Thy kingdom come.
The prayer meeting is the battle ground on which the church fights together for the advancement of the kingdom. Of all the reforms that a pastor can agitate for in the life of his congregation, the one that will be the lifeblood of further reformation is the gathering of the saints in a concert of prayer.
The prophet Zechariah looked ahead to the day when the church would gather in corporate prayer, seeking the Lord together. He said,
Thus saith the Lord of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord. -Zechariah 8:20-22
The prayer meeting is where reformation begins in the life of a church. Did you hear that?
Reformation begins here.
Revival begins here.
Restoration begins here.
The prayer meeting is the lifeblood of godly change and holy conformity within a congregation and beyond.
Want to see your congregation walk in holiness? Battle in the prayer meeting. Thy kingdom come. Want to see a congregation further conformed to the pattern of biblical worship, government and piety? Battle in the prayer meeting. Thy kingdom come. Want to see churches planted? Theological students raised up? Bruised churches healed?
Battle in the prayer meeting.
Thy kingdom come.
Charles Spurgeon once challenged his hearers in a very important conference address by saying:
If a church is to be what it ought to be for the purposes of God, we must train it in the holy art of prayer. Churches without prayer meetings are grievously common. Even if there were only one such, it would be one to weep over. In many churches the prayer meeting is only the skeleton of a gathering: the form is kept up, but the people do not come. There is no interest, no power, in connection with the meeting. Oh, my brothers, let it not be so with you! Do train the people to continually meet together for prayer. Rouse them to incessant supplication. There is a holy art in it. Study to show yourselves approved by the prayerfulness of your people. If you pray yourself, you will want them to pray with you; and when they begin to pray with you, and for you, and for the work of the Lord, they will want more prayer themselves, and the appetite will grow. Believe me, if a church does not pray, it is dead. Instead of putting united prayer last, put it first. Everything will hinge upon the power of prayer in the church. --The Greatest Fight in the World, p.42.
The battle commences tonight for Orlando Reformed Presbyterian Church. Thy kingdom come.