For twenty-seven years it has been my hope that Grace Community Church would be a praying congregation. I believe prayer is at the heart of what it means for us to be Christians and a local church. Prayer is only possible because Jesus made the way for us to come to the Father through his sin-bearing work on the cross. Prayer is what the children of the Father do when they gather in the name of Jesus and in the Spirit.
Every Sunday we gather for worship and we pray. Our Sunday prayers are varied, including praise and thanksgiving, confession of sin, requests for needs, and a plea to God to revive us and use us for his glory. Major events in our city, nation, and world are regularly included in our prayers.
How strange it is this morning, on this Lord’s Day, to sit here alone and not be preparing to meet you in the chapel for prayer.
Last night we watched from our homes a scene we have not seen before in our city. Tensions have been high all week. A rally was held that the Nashville mayor attended and affirmed as peaceful. Then came the violence and destruction.
If we were gathering this morning to worship God and pray, the pastoral prayer would no doubt include a plea for mercy and deliverance from all forms of evil that reside in our hearts, plague our world, and bring dishonor to God and damage to people.
But we are not together in person. So, the question I, as a pastor, am asking, is how well have we at Grace Community Church been discipled in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ? Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, said to always pray and not grow weary. He asked if he would find faith on earth in the form of praying people when he returns. Today, will we pray?
I plead with you, brothers and sisters, to remember that we are Christians. Remember that this is the Lord’s Day. Remember Christ. Remember to pray.
Before you take to social media with opinions, replies, likes and dislikes, will you not watch and pray for one hour? Before you settle in to a fixed position and formulate arguments in your mind, will you not be silent before the Lord who dwells in his holy temple? Before you determine what you will do today, will you not bow before the Lord in heaven who does all that he pleases? And, if you decide to bow before the Lord, will you see your brothers and sisters bowed next to you before our Father?
Let us let the Lord God our Father have the first word this morning, and the last word tonight. Let his voice be the dominant one in our ears today. And let us spend this Lord’s Day, though apart in body, together in spirit praying. Then, we will be in a better position tomorrow to speak and act in Christ’s name and for his glory.