#779. ONLY MUSICIANS CAN PLAY THE MUSIC (27/3/23)
This week marks the fourth part of our nine-week series, 'Praying Together,' where we explore the power and significance of communal prayer. Our series draws inspiration from the teachings of Mike Betts and his book and course, 'The Prayers of Many.' In this week's devotionals, we delve into the metaphor of an orchestra to illustrate the power and beauty that comes out of harmony and allowing the Spirit to lead us in prayer together.
‘Summary: Christians are made to pray together and only Christians can truly pray.
You can watch this devotional at:
Praying together can be likened playing in an orchestra. However, while we may admire the skill and musicianship of the members, we often feel un-needed, unqualified and incompetent to join them on stage. We can bring this sense of disqualification, sense of incompetence or that we are just not required to the idea of praying together. Today, however, I want us to see that if we are Christians then we are fit for the orchestra - we are made to pray together! Each of us has a valuable role to play in creating a beautiful symphony of prayer.
UNDERSTAND YOUR IDENTITY
To join the orchestra on stage requires that you are actually a musician. Likewise, To pray requires that you are actually a Christian. Sometimes we are invited to pray with people of various faiths and none. Whilst its a good thing to be amiable to all people no matter what they believe, we must not confuse generous friendship with all with the truth that we can only truly pray with people who have been justified through faith in Christ. Sometimes what is called church unity is actually a call for Christians and non-Christians to pretend there’s no difference between them. True Spiritual union is only possible with those who are united to Christ and one another by the Holy Spirit. Paul writes of this union with God:
‘For we were all baptised by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.’ (1 Corinthians 12:3)
This Spiritual union comes into existence through faith in Christ’s substitutionary death for us. Apart from this, we, of course, must be gracious and kind but Spiritual unity, as yet, doesn’t exist. Paul puts it like this:
‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.’ (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)
Along with reconciliation to God, faith in Christ leads to ‘new creation’. To put this in the terms of the analogy of an orchestra: Christians have become musicians; we are all pray-ers. God has remade you to pray. The orchestra needs you!
This is really important and fundamental. If we fail to understand the radical nature of what a Christian is, our churches can become communities that exist for various good works and community creation, but can lose their identity as God’s people called to pray and see the world reconciled to Christ through the gospel.
The nature of our culture means that I need to reinforce this idea: Christians are made to pray but they are also the only ones who can pray! This sounds outrages I know. However, sin separates us from God and must be removed in order for us to be reconciled and be at peace with Him.
RESPONSE - UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE MADE TO PRAY TOGETHER
If I were to ask you, “would you call yourself a musician?” You may well say, “no. Sort of. No way!” But rarely would someone say: “Yes, that’s me!” If I were to ask you, “Are you a new creation?” I hope you can say yes. Therefore, I hope that you can also say that you are made to pray.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week?
3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER
During this series, we will be using the 'Prayers of Many' course by Mike Betts.
I encourage you to buy a copy of the book from: https://prayersofmany.org/book#buybook
If you need assistance in buying a book please send an email to the church office and we will happily purchase you a copy.
Please download the course handbook from: