For Prayer to be a Blessing

I wrote about prayer two weeks ago and I want to add some more thoughts.  The preparation of the person who will deliver public prayer is important.  However, there is another facet which is equally important.  It is the attitude of the congregation who is listening the prayer.  This attitude is so crucial that it can govern the level of blessings from the prayer.

In an American group, during prayer, it is common to hear responses of congregation to the public prayer with exclamations like ‘Um ~’, ‘Oh, yes.’ Or ‘Amen’.  The group is responding to each word of the praying person.  It shows the level of involvement of the congregation in the prayer.

Compared to that, a Korean group does not show much response albeit individual differences.  Some response with ‘Amen’, but that is about it.  They tend to be quiet regardless of the words being said then finish by saying ‘Amen’.  I feel the grace from the prayer is reduced in half with such reaction.  Of course, some listen attentively without response, but I am sure that many are either not listening or thinking about something else.

Therefore, to receive greater blessings, we need to actively participate in prayer during the public prayer.  In other words, we need to expectantly wait for the words of praying person as if it is our own prayer.   By doing so, our heart can be touched by the beautiful words, realize that the prayer reflects what I had in mind or fully agree with the prayer being said.  In each of these intercessions, responding with a heartfelt ‘Amen’ will enhance the blessings we are to have.

To achieve that, we need to come with greater expectation for prayer.  We all hear that many commented that SBC worship is very inspirational although we do not have the best setting; Our church sound system is not the best, we do not have professional band nor we do not have a great speaker.  In spite of all these, still many people acknowledge that the worship service was a great blessing.  The reason for this is our expectation toward worship.  ‘I will encounter God through this worship.’ This kind of expectation makes our worship a blessing and helps us to be fully engaged in it.

We need to have a similar kind of expectation for prayer also.  ‘How the prayer will be offered?  What kind of words he will use to express our love for God and bring glory to our Lord?’  With such anticipation, we can add a genuine ‘Amen’ on each of the prayer’s words and it will turn into a great blessing to us.  Because of this, we request the congregation to be still and encourage all of us to be a part of prayer.

I pray that we will be involved in prayer with such a heart.  During house church, whoever is responsible for prayer will prepare prayer with great care and all the rest will actively respond to his/her prayer with ‘Amen’.  With this, we can bring glory to God.

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