Posted by: cdnpray | October 8, 2008

Ghetto 2

Picking up on some of the excellent comments you have all been sharing….

Here is a summary of what I see as the major root issues that keeps prayer unpopular:

  • Pastors who are cautious (many times with good reasons) and won’t promote prayer.
  • Lack of theological depth in many who have prophetic/intercessory anointing.
  • The power of image and association- what I mean by this is the subconscious way we are drawn to the people that we assess as attractive, powerful, “successful”….cool. We group with those that we feel are like us, and/or who we want to be like, so that by association our image is strengthened.
  • Of course we are all aware of how prayer has become associated with the middle-aged women.

    I feel we must work to break intercession out of this stereotype so that men and young people also feel totally at home in the prayer room. They feel this is “their tribe”, “their community”. They have done this in the US to a large extent with IHOP & with the CALL, but not so in Canada.

    I’m not advocating we go nuts trying to make prayer “cool”, but maybe work at making it socially more accessible to a broader base.

    Thoughts?

    Sara

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    Responses

    1. I believe there needs to be a lot more teaching on prayer especially from the ‘pulpit’ it seems that the way the pastor goes so goes the church as regards prayer. If he values and esteems it then the congregation will follow.

      I hear what you are saying about making it socially more acceptable, but I feel that could lead to some compromise and like Grace said revivals started with 12 people praying in some cases and I would rather have 12 committed intercessors than a crowd who were not totally committed and just wanted to be in on the ‘in’ crowd!!

    2. Here are a couple of other reasons I have found that keep prayer unpopular.

      One reason I think is that many people don’t know who they are praying to, they don’t know the character and nature. God is so much nicer, kinder, open, interested, committed to relationship, and including us in the prayer activities of bringing His Kingdom to earth than most people think. Understanding that prayer really does make a difference is still a challenge for many.

      I agree that there needs to be more teaching on prayer. The other side of this coin, from this pastor’s viewpoint, is that you can lead a Christian to the place of prayer, but you can’t make them pray. I have included something about personal, ongoing, connected time with God in almost every teaching I have given in the past three years, but it’s still a challenge for people to actually do it. Which leads to a second reason why prayer is unpopular.

      It takes time. The challenge of schedules and time allocation each day seems to be overwhelming for many people. I have found this issue of time to impact intercessors as well as the rest of the church, including leaders at all levels. The culture of the world, particularly in an urban environment, pulls at people, demanding their time and energy. It is the exception to find a person does not experience stress over the pace of life.

      I think the church, if not careful, can be one of the contributing factors to this problem. Intercessors, because of their heart to serve God, can get overcommitted to life and to various ministries and sometimes miss out on their primary ministry of prayer and hearing God’s heart for that moment.

      I don’t know if prayer will ever be cool or not, but I am convinced that without it, my life as a Christian will not be cool.

    3. This issue of raising up “younger ones” is one that I feel is critical and I agree that we see it happening in pockets in Canada but not as a norm. One fact I believe is that prayer is “caught” not just taught and although I love to teach on prayer almost more than I love to pray I am feeling the call to get out where the young ones are and pray with them.
      And I agree with Jane that the importance of prayer needs to be seen to be given value by addressing it from the pulpit.

    4. Sara,
      Just for your encouragement. Last month at the House of Prayer. There were more men there, than I’ve ever seen before, one came for most of the night and then more came in the early morning shifts!! God is stirring the men in the East!! Praise the LORD!


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