A highlight for me each week is the hour and a half or so I spend with Bethel’s Wednesday morning prayer group. I wake each Wednesday with a keen sense of anticipation, eager to get to church. (Considering my alarm rings at 5:00 a.m. so that I can make the meeting’s 6:30 a.m. start, we are talking about something near-miraculous here.)
Why am I so excited about these Wednesday mornings? Because, at these meetings we hear good news about answered prayers--neighbours awakening to their need for God, people being delivered from addictions, doors opening for ministry, and ministry successes that signal the advance of God’s Kingdom. We also hear about deep needs—loved ones who have strayed from God, people who need deliverance from their enslavement to alcohol or drugs, missionaries who are under pressure, and people’s anticipated big leaps of faith for Jesus’ sake.
In short, in these meetings there is a real sense of engagement in the spiritual warfare that rages around us. Maybe you have heard of the movie War Room. Well, these Wednesday morning gatherings are war room exercises.
I am reminded of the familiar story of Charles Spurgeon who received some visitors before the church service was to begin one Sunday morning. He asked if he could show them the boiler room where the church’s heat was generated. He escorted them down a hall, then opened a door to reveal hundreds of people gathered in prayer. That is how I feel about these Wednesday morning meetings.
In our church’s vision document, A Dream for Bethel, we express the hope that one day “weekday morning prayer meetings will be attended by dozens of people who are earnestly crying out to God for Bethel’s members, ministry, and mission.” Here it seems that God is going before us. This vision, which seemed impossible when it was penned three years ago, is near to being realized now. The numbers at prayer meetings have steadily risen as people have answered God’s nudge to gather for prayer. This is exciting to me, because usually before God moves in any great way on earth, He first moves the hearts of his people to pray.
If God is calling you, know that you are welcome to come out Wednesday mornings. If that is not your calling for now, that is okay. We can join our hearts in unity with our fellow Bethelites anytime and anywhere. Let’s look for opportunities to pray alone, and with our families, and together with other Bethelites when we gather for meetings or programs. Whatever we do, let’s just keep praying!
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