#783. PLAYING YOUR PART (31/3/23)
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.
‘I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people.’ (1 Timothy 2:1)
Summary: Let’s all play an active part when we pray together.
You can watch this devotional at:
An orchestra is a perfect example of how every individual part is crucial to creating a beautiful piece of music. From the smallest triangle to the mighty double bass, each instrument plays a unique role in the overall sound. Can you imagine if you were a violinist travelling to a performance but were stuck in traffic. Likewise, I pray that we would all learn to feel the importance of the part that we are to play in praying together. Sometimes, in an orchestra, all the instruments play in unison, while other times, the conductor may spotlight certain sections or individual instruments. Just like in an orchestra, you have an important role to play in every prayer meeting. Every individual's contribution is vital to the success of the meeting, and each person's presence adds to the overall experience.
Here are some ways in which we can all play an active part:
1. BE PRESENT
As we are encouraged in Hebrews 10:24-25, lets ‘not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing.’ We learn to pray by praying with others so let’s do all that we can be be present.
2. PRAY WITH OTHERS
When others are praying, it’s important to listen and actively pray what they are praying. Sometimes it’s encouraging to say their words out loud (at an appropriate volume!). To maintain focus, let's make an effort to avoid letting our minds wander during the prayer; to this end, let's keep in mind that shorter prayers can serve people’s attention better, so if we tend to pray for a long time, it's important to be aware of the needs of others and aim to keep our prayers concise.
3. PRAY OUT LOUD
There are to be times of silence and reflection in a prayer meeting. However, most of the time, let’s keep the pace up by praying lots of short prayers about the topic at hand. If you’ve never done prayed out loud before practice by simply reading a passage from the Bible or saying a very short and simple prayer.
4. USE THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
Just as in an orchestra, a single instrument may be called upon to play a solo, likewise, a prayer meeting is greatly enhanced through our willingness to use the gifts that He gives to us. This can be scary. We can all feel worried about getting it wrong. Paul urges us:
‘For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.’ (2 Timothy 1:6-7)
At the end of a lengthy three-chapter section on the use of gifts, Paul concludes:
‘Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.’ (1 Corinthians 14:39-40)
As we pray, the Spirit will encourage us and lead us as to what to pray as He inspires through the gifts that are in operation. Here is an example from Terry Virgo of praying for financial provision as inspired by the Spirit:
‘In prayer we had asked that on the Gift Day we might raise £100,000 – a figure way above anything that we had raised before. In the prayer meeting on the previous Saturday morning I had felt a definite surge of faith. I believed that as we were praying God assured me in faith that we had already gained £100,000 and began to feel freedom to ask for more, maybe even approaching £200,000. I shared this with the prayer meeting and we prayed with fervour and faith…Later that night my wife and I were preparing for bed when I heard the letterbox clatter downstairs and what sounded like an envelope plop on to the mat. I rushed down and recognised the writing on it. It was undoubtedly the news we were waiting for. I took the envelope back upstairs, opened it carefully, unfolded the note and read the figures of the day’s offering. It was fractionally short of £250,000. My knees buckled and I sat down involuntarily on the bed. We had done it!’ (Terry Virgo. Spirit-Filled Church).
Let’s all play an active part when we pray together. What’s your current level of involvement? Do you attend? Do you pray out? Do you share gifts of the Spirit? Do you make space for others or do you dominate? Let’s all play an active part when we pray together.
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 and how has this helped you / affected your life?’
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: