Prayer

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jarrod
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Prayer

Post by jarrod » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:20 am

This is an interesting thought I had... I figured why not throw it out there to get the input of my fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord and perhaps start a fruitful discussion.

My thinking is about prayer and, more specifically, how we pray together with others (not when we pray privately with our Lord). We make it into an impersonal communication when we close our eyes and try to imagine balancing focus of attention between the Lord and our listeners (but always giving preference to the Lord). When we pray, both parties are present in speaking to our Lord and the Spirit dwells inside of us so HE is in our midst.

What if we turned prayer into an open fellowship. "Where there are two or more gathered in My name I will be there," I think this lends towards the fact that the Spirit is alive and active within the believers being with one another. I think He manifests this through communication, or better said, open communication.

Why are we closing our eyes to "pray" and "praise" the Lord together? Why don't we speak praises and speak our requests open like the Lord was with us in the room?? Why do we make it a separate thing? What if we tried praying openly with the Lord and with others in open conversation? I think this may be more freeing and really show the belief that the Lord is present and with us.

Something to think about...

Jarod

joel
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Re: Prayer

Post by joel » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:00 am

I can offer this experience. A while back I was leading a Masterlife class for a young single adult group at my Church. One of the exercises at a weekly meeting was to put a chair in the middle of the room and each member would openly speak to the chair as if Jesus was sitting in the chair. I was initially thinking that this is kinda weird or phony, but, I push the group to begin the exercise. I was very surprise as to how the group accepted it and the results. Some of the members seem to really enjoy it - some of the members struggled and appeared to be scared of the notion that Jesus Christ was sitting with them. I could see the look of panic on their face, or the look of "woo... i don't know about this". Then one young lady fought intensely to hold back the tears until she bursted out crying. It brought a very somber moment to the room where everyone started to really have the posture of serious reflection of their current state.

--joel

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jarrod
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Re: Prayer

Post by jarrod » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:06 am

I can understand this. I think we feel guilty sometimes like that because we do not feel completely committed to the Kingdom and have guilt or fear in "presence" of the Lord. Perfect love casts out all fear and I believe perfect love is accomplished through total commitment.

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TK
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Re: Prayer

Post by TK » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:17 pm

From Acts 4:
On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:

“‘Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord
and against his anointed one.'

27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
The IP begs the question... what did this early church prayer meeting LOOK like? We apparently know, to some degree, what it sounded like. Did everyone have their eyes closed? What does it mean when it says "they raised their voices together in prayer?" Were they all praying at once, or was one person praying and all in one accord? There was obviously power in the prayer.

it also brings to mind this from Acts 13:
Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
What does it mean when it says "the Holy Spirit said..." Was it an utterance of tongues? A prophetic word from someone present?

TK

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jarrod
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Re: Prayer

Post by jarrod » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:30 pm

TK, your thoughts made me think of other things.

I think they were doing what it says, "raising their voices together in prayer to God." I guess, if my hypothesis had any weight, it could look like a fellowship meeting today where one individual, led by the Spirit, spoke aloud to God for all to hear and others being of the same mind and Spirit were able to agree together all at once.

I wonder if our eyes being closed helps us to focus or if there is another aspect of having the visual senses and our eyes open that may be beneficial also. One thing is for sure, we can pray to God and praise Him together with them both open and closed. I am just thinking out loud.

Regarding Acts 13... we know that the Spirit is present, but that He dwells within each of us. If were were all in a room with the Spirit present and experiencing Spirit-filled worship, could we not say that if the Lord chose to use a brother (or sister) to speak then it would be as if the Holy Spirit said it Himself? The hard part, for sure, would be identifying if what was said _was_ the Holy Spirit, but perhaps He could help us discern this as well.

Makes sense that He wouldn't want to audibly speak or have to speak in "tongues" if He didn't have to since that could be a source of confusion. Tongues, the way we think of it, seems like a unique situation where Spirit-filled worship is happening among believers that do not speak the same language. Perhaps we don't see this in our culture because English is so wide-spread there is no need for it all of the time.

Good thoughts TK

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TK
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Re: Prayer

Post by TK » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:14 pm

In the most powerful "prayer meetings" i have been involved in, it definitely wasnt all prayer. There would be prayer, and we would usually have some worship music playing in the background, so there would be some worship, then someone might share a scripture or a thought or insight, which would lead to more prayer, etc. It was amazing how the HS led those times, so many confirmations of things, etc.

There used to be a group of us that prayed together every Saturday morning. There were three core people that were generally there, but other people would come too. But I noticed that if one of the three core people wasn't there, it wasn't quite the same. There were occasions when one of them would walk in late, and all of a sudden it felt like what I described as an electrical circuit being closed.. there seemed to be more power in the room. This may have been my imagination but I do not think so.

TK

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jarrod
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Re: Prayer

Post by jarrod » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:24 pm

TK wrote:This may have been my imagination but I do not think so.
I don't think so either.

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