I have been burdened for some time at the lack of people who turn out for prayer meetings--we saw the same thing in the U.S. as we do here. There tends to be a faithful few who pray faithfully every week. They pray and things happen! But we have seen the numbers dwindle as years have gone by. In our home church a dozen would be a lot of people for prayer meeting.
We realize the importance of prayer but do we take time to pray corporately? I am impressed when colleagues come in from the bush and they come to the prayer meeting! I don't know if that would be me if I were in the same situation! It probably would because I would think that I would catch people at that meeting! I am being brutally honest here. One of the things I did on my recent retreat was to read an article on prayer, about impossible prayers. The author made a list of 10 impossible prayers and started to pray for them, but after a few days she began to look at it every now and then but did not keep those needs before the Lord like she thought she would. Then a few months went by and then a year. When she looked at her list after a year she discovered that the Lord had answered her prayers in spite of the fact that she did not pray for those on her list every day. I also made a list of 10 people or things to pray for as the author had done. I have kept track of which prayer requests have been answered--whose cancer is in remission, relationships that are better, and there are a couple on the first list that are still there but I have been praying for those for 30 years! I keep adding to my list as the prayer requests that I consider impossible are answered one by one. What I noticed is that I don't consistently take time to pray for those impossible prayer needs but that the Lord continually answers those prayers. It has spurred me on to be more consistent in prayer and to be one of those faithful few who turns up at prayer meeting every Wed., Thurs. and Fri. mornings!
A Third/Fourth grade teacher should be right up there on that impossilbe prayer list! On Wed. 4 of us moms prayed with the third/fourth grade kids. We were supposed to do popcorn prayers and rotate between kids and moms but we couldn't get a prayer in edgewise with the kids! And you know what those kids who were praying learned to pray quite early wouldn't you think? Maybe their moms and dads taught them to pray, and some of them came to prayer meetings with their moms or dads when they were small. I think they must have learned that we depend on prayer and that God will answer our prayers if we take the time to pray together.
After we prayed with the kids we went back to the dorm to finish our prayer time. We no longer take time to talk about prayer requests but we pray them and sometimes a mom will add on to the prayer of another mom for a kid or a teacher or a situation or someone's sickness. We spend the time in prayer, some of us on the floor praying others sitting but in prayer. When we leave the room we know we have been with the Lord and that he is going to do something amazing!
We are still waiting to see how he is going to answer our impossible prayers but we know He will.