What you pray for makes a difference.

Consider a young boy sent to his room, who finally emerged to declare, “I’ve been thinking about what I did, and I said a prayer.” His mother replied, “If you ask God to make you good, He will help you.” He responded, “I didn’t ask Him to make me good. I asked Him to help you put up with me!”

It can be a challenge to see eye to eye when you gather a church family made up of people from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. We’re called to come together to serve others both inside and outside of the church, and that’s hard to do when you’re “putting up” with someone you should be joyfully working alongside. Luckily, learning to pray “with” and “for” each other always makes a huge difference.

We’ve declared over the past weeks that part of our vision for 2020 is to learn to pray as a church, and we’re exploring new ways to strengthen our prayer life as a corporate body. Both the 168 hours of continuous prayer and our new monthly prayer gathering have been amazing, encouraging efforts toward that vision. Thanks to everyone who participated – the stories we’ve already heard from your involvement in just these two opportunities have been tremendous!

Praying together can’t help but build unity, and help us to focus on our church’s true ministry – reaching others for Christ. If we learn to pray together for what matters to God, we’ll not only be able to “put up with each other,” we’ll be better equipped to “become good” and serve the larger community. Unity in any relationship doesn’t just happen, it’s something that develops as our hearts are broken together for the things that break God’s heart.

I encourage you to take advantage of every opportunity we have this year to pray together as a church. Our all-church prayer gathering is this Wednesday at 6:30. I sincerely believe God wants to answer prayer – but He can’t answer if we don’t pray!

Larry Whittlesey
Community Pastor, The 9