Why on Earth? (The Necessity & Benefits of Intercessory Prayer)

“Pray like this: Our Father in heaven may Your name be kept holy, may your kingdom come soon. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10 

Some may ask, “Why on earth do we need to pray so much?” This is a loaded question for ones who have learned to love the place of prayer! First and foremost: Our Father has commanded it! In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus used phrases like, “And when you pray” and “Pray like this.” This is not an “if” but a “when.” 

We also find prayer weaving through the whole ministry of Jesus in the book of Luke. During Jesus’ baptism in chapter three, He prayed and heaven was opened. Again in chapter five, although frequently surrounded by crowds of needy people, we find Jesus withdrawing to lonely places to pray. Jesus, later, retreats to a mountainside spending the entire night praying to God, and we could go on. The prayer life of Jesus in the book of Luke is definitely worth studying. Jesus prayed in public, in private, on mountains, during the day, and at night. Intimate, daily conversation with His Father was like breathing to Jesus and essential for His public ministry. If that was Jesus, how much more you and I! 

When we pray, we are partnering with God to bring heaven to earth. God desires dialogue. He could do it without us, but He wants to do it with us. Mike Bickle, founder of The International House of Prayer of Kansas City, explains our identity as a House of Prayer like this: “God speaks and it moves our hearts. Then, we speak it back to Him and it moves His heart. Then, He opens His hand and releases His resources into the earthly realm.” He goes on to say that the Lord is not looking for information. He’s looking for conversation. 

Jesus, too, practiced this dialogue with His heavenly Father. John 12:49 says, “For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken... So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.” While on the earth, Jesus did and said exactly what His Father wanted Him to do and say. We can do the same. 

As sons and daughters, we are called to rule and reign and take dominion. God has made us a kingdom of priests. Therefore, our responsibility is to rule by prayer, just like Jesus did. I believe it was because of Jesus’ consistent prayer life, that John could end his book with the words, “Jesus did many other things as well, if every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” This leads me to end by asking, “Why on earth are we not praying more?” 

“Our Father in heaven may Your name be kept holy, may your kingdom come soon. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10 

-Becky Brummett

The Necessity & Benefits of Corporate Worship

As an experienced healthcare professional for over 20 years, I’ve seen first hand the complexity and frailty of the human body.   Generally speaking, Homeostasis is the term used to describe the normal state of being within the human body.  Our bodies are constantly working towards this state through different metabolic processes so that we can function as the healthiest versions of ourselves.  The slightest disruption of this balance can cause significant health issues, some that could last a lifetime. 

The good news is that we have a good Father who is also called the Great Physician.  He knows just what it takes for the human body to function at it’s healthiest potential.  It’s interesting to consider that God often refers to His people as “the body of Christ” and has given us some great instruction through His Word on how to properly care for the body…his people, his prized possession.  Since He created us, He knows exactly what it takes to keep His body healthy and in proper balance.  Just like the human body, the body of Christ is meant to function as a whole… not independent from its other parts.  It’s necessary and beneficial to our spiritual health and well-being that His body function together in unity.  

Unity is attractive to God.  In Psalm 133, King David describes how pleasing it is to God when His people dwell (abide, remain)  together in unity.  One way that we can effectively dwell together in unity is to participate regularly in corporate worship gatherings. It’s interesting to know that the origin of the word “corporate” means “body” or “form into a body.”  There’s something special that happens when the body of Christ comes together to set our attention and affections on Him, the one that loved us and gave himself for us.  Although worship is not primarily about us, the benefits of this intentional act of corporate worship are priceless. King David expands his thoughts in the scripture by explaining that unity could be compared to scented oils or dew that flows from above, down to His people.  This imagery leads us to the understanding that God’s anointing and blessing flows from His head…which is Jesus Christ, down to His body…which is us.   When we worship God together as a body, The Holy Spirit finds this so attractive that He often increases our awareness of His presence,  blesses His people with peace and provides powerful anointing for many different areas of our lives.  It’s crucial to our spiritual health that we move God’s heart in these times of worship.  As we unfold Song of Solomon 4:9, we become aware that we literally ravish God’s heart with one glance from our eye.  Can you imagine how God must feel when His children, His bride come together in worship, declaring our love and desire for Him?  He’s undone!  It’s vital to our spiritual health and wellbeing that we have an understanding that we move His heart, even in our weakness,  with the simplest act of worship…. the slightest glance from your eye towards Him. 

Another benefit of participating in times of corporate worship would be having an increased awareness of our identity in God.  When we worship Him with thanksgiving, we come into agreement that He is Holy and worthy of praise.  He washes us with the water of His Word as we sing together biblical declarations of His goodness, mercy, justice and love.  As He draws near, we are reminded of our identity and how valuable we are to Him. From the place of feeling secure in His love, we become free to love him in return wholeheartedly.  Obedience becomes easy.  We also love others and begin see them more clearly as someone that God dearly loves and gave Himself for.  When we see the body of Christ as He sees them, criticism and judgment fade quickly away as we realize just how much He loves and values them…just as He loves and values us.  Seeing God’s people through His lens of love is a vital, necessary part of growing together as a healthy community of believers.  

As you come to the prayer room through the week or attend a weekend service, I invite you to recall the benefits of worshiping God together with other members of His body.  Recall His goodness and thank Him for it.  Remember the impact that you have on His heart with one glance from your eye.  Enjoy times of refreshing from His Word as you sing your love to Him.  Ask God to encounter you in worship.  It’s ok to ask.  Tell Him you want to meet with Him.  Ask Him to reveal Himself to you in His Word.  Although we’ve only scratched the surface of His benefits, ask Him to continually reveal more of Himself to you (Ephesians 1:17-19).  These times of revelation will sustain you in the place of worship and fuel your desire to encounter Him in both personal times or worship and in larger, corporate gatherings of believers.  He is unsearchable and so are His benefits.  Let’s enjoy God’s benefits together in worship, knowing that He is for us and longs to be with us.  

-Ray Hagen