This past weekend our church held a prayer vigil from noon on Friday to noon Saturday. Our deacons took turns staying at the church so no one would be there alone when they went to pray. When I arrived a few minutes before my scheduled time there was soft music playing in the sanctuary where we prayed. Because I'm having some knee problems I sat in my usual spot in the sanctuary rather than kneeling at the altar to pray. I read a few verses in my Bible about prayer and began to pray. In what seemed to be a very short time I looked at my watch and realized it was time for the next person. I closed with praise and giving thanks and quietly left.
Our deacons asked that we hold the prayer vigil during this time of pastoral transition. The pastor search team is currently doing initial interviews of a few candidates and plan to narrow their focus in a couple of weeks. This is a critical time in the life of any church, and our deacons rightly decided to call for a time of dedicated prayer for the process, our search team, and the candidates as well as for the church as it continues in its transition.
Jesus said that His house would be called a house of prayer, but the reality is that many believers talk more about prayer than actually pray. The church today has a lot of good things going for it such as technology, the latest in biblical knowledge, fine facilities with modern conveniences, but many churches lack power. As a result, the church today struggles to reach people for the Kingdom of God and to have much of an influence on the world around us.
Every great movement of God began as people prayed. In a recent sermon I traced the number of spiritual awakenings around the world that began from simple prayer meetings. In some cases, these prayer gatherings were conducted initially by children. As God's people began to seek God, He poured out His Spirit and power upon the church and great things happened.
As the Transitional Pastor of this wonderful church I certainly want to see it go through this transition and come out a stronger church. This prayer vigil is an important step in help making that happen. Whether your church decides to hold a 24-hour prayer vigil or find other ways to have your people pray, I do encourage you to lead your church in continual prayer. Such prayer can unleash God's power within your congregation.