Saturday, November 15, 2008

Prayer Meeting

Nehemiah 1

Hey on my YouVersion reading plan I have come to what is my favourite book in the Bible. I can still remember the first time I read this story as a young teenager it completely rocked my world. I had sat through years of Sunday School and heard all sorts of stories. David & Goliath, Jonah & the whale, Feeding the 5,ooo the list goes on. But no one had chosen to tell me about this incredible guy called Nehemiah who fought against impossible odds to revive a nation.

What hits me front and centre was that this guy was a man of prayer.On hearing about the problems back in the home country his first reaction was to talk to God. In fact he prayed about the situation for months before he talked to the King about it and even then in the middle of his conversation with the King he is praying under his breath. Continually throughout the book he is in prayer. Prayer for him was a lifestyle and every day constant occurrence not just a meeting.

Growing up in church we seemed to have meetings for everything:

  • Breaking of Bread Meeting - Where we took ritual we were supposed to be doing anytime we met and eat with other Christians.
  • Gospel Meeting - Where we should invite our unsuspecting friends to to here the Gospel.
  • Bible Study Meetings - I liked them but for too many people they were the only time they would study Gods word. (Well to be more to the point listen to what someone else had studied)
  • Waiting Meetings - Where people could get baptised in the Spirit.
Then there were Prayer Meetings - Tuesday and Thursday evenings where we would sit for an hour and a half for long periods of silence punctured occasionally by some long winded high fluting prayer that I could not always understand because grown people in the North of Scotland in the late 1970's thought that to talk to God they had to speak King James English of 400 years ago.

Hey I am thankful for much of this upbringing but it had a tendency to take what God had for our everyday lives and lock it all up in meetings.

Nehemiah did not have to have a "meeting" to pray he talked to God all the time. Did he call people together to pray? Yes. But his private personal prayer life far out weighed the public corporate meeting.

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