This month (Nov. 16th) we are meeting as a community at The Well for our quarterly discussion on issues that are important to our mission together.  We call these meetings Midrash meetings.  This month we’ll be addressing the issue of prayer in our community life.  Our mission statement reads “…a community shaped my scripture and by prayer…”  We’ve got some big time room to improve in being a community that is actually shaped by prayer.  

In preparation for this gathering, I’ve been doing some reading on the subject and picked up the late Stanley Grenz’s book on prayer called “Prayer: A Cry for the Kingdom.”  It’s really a great book and here is a collection of short excerpts from the introduction. 

The greatest challenge facing the church of Jesus Christ today, and therefore every local congregation, is moving the people of God to engage in sincere, honest, fervent prayer….

If we look closely at the contemporary situation, we would likely find ourselves readily admitting that ours is the epitome of a prayer-less church….

Prayer is a relatively insignificant aspect of the structured life of the people of God…

Not only does prayer find little place in the structuring of church life, but meager attention is devoted to fostering a praying congregation…

When it comes to prayer, denominations and churches are simply reflecting what is true of most individual Christians. For many believers, prayer is a lost art.  Many do not know how to pray and do not pray.  For many the mere mention of the word results in an immediate recognition of our personal failure to pray as we should. 

Good words and a good challenge.  I am looking forward to our meeting on November 16th as we discuss some practical ways to have our community actually shaped by prayer.