I Quit Going to Church

Dear Church, This past Sunday morning -- just a typical Sunday morning -- I had several people, on their way out the door, share things with me that were heavy and troubling for them – and understandably so. So, I tried, as I often do – instead of saying, “I’ll be praying for you” -- to just pause and offer a brief (30-60 sec) prayer, on the spot, for their situation. I call it “pray now.” (Clever, huh?) I think, generally speaking, it beats “praying later” (if we remember) – although we can do that too. I can’t always “pray now” and, frankly, I don’t always think to “pray now,” but I prefer to. However, I need some help. There are more people and more needs than I can “pray now” for, so would you join me? When someone shares a need with you (Sunday morning or at other times) – something that’s heavy on their heart and mind – would you offer to “pray now”? It doesn’t demand fancy words or deep theological insights. It just requires compassion, a relationship with God through Christ, and a willingness to utter a brief (maybe even faltering) prayer for their need. You know this, but pastors aren’t the only ones who can pray – thank the Lord!!!! And my prayers aren’t “preferred” by God in comparison to yours. Because of the work of Christ, you have just as much right of access to the throne room of the Father as I (or any of your pastors) do. We come before God in the same merit as you – in Christ. So, would you help me “pray now”? Actually, let me pray for you – now – "Father, would you put it in our hearts, as your people, to pray now? You said in your word that we have the right of access to your throne through Christ and you have invited us to ‘ask, seek and knock’ with the confidence that we will be heard. You have also said that we are a ‘kingdom of priests’ – people who represent others before you and you before others. Help us to exercise our priesthood by carrying one another’s burdens to you in prayer – now! I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen You know what we call this, right? We call it “being the church.”   Thanks for “praying now,” Joel