Our 4 times a year ” Five Days of Prayer” event starts tomorrow morning at 5 am. We have been having these prayer events for 30 years and this will be the first time doing it online via ”Zoom” as we pray together. Our praying together won’t really be together physically but in spirit and voice and visually via a computer screen. It will be interesting to see how this turns out, we will give it our most creative shot.
Gathering together is a major emphasis for the church in the New Testament. The writer to the Hebrews commands the churches who were experiencing persecution for their gathering together, never the less to not forsake gathering together. That gathering was for teaching, worship and especially for prayer. Gathering was commanded by God because He knew we would not grow or maintain our devotion to Christ on our own. I am becoming increasingly more discontent with this ”electronic gathering”, and I am not convinced at this point that it is a viable substitute for the real thing. But I am cooperating and I will be praying tomorrow for 6 hours looking and listening to people on a computer screen trusting in God to work powerfully in our nation, our State, our town and our church in spite of the lack of ”oneness” that God commands and values.
Hebrews 10:24-25 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
One of my major frustrations as a pastor over the last 40 years, who wants with all my heart for the people in JBC to grow in character, is the low value that many have put on ”gathering” in the past. People have looked at it as an option not a major necessity to know and experience God. Many have been haphazard in gathering for worship and teaching thinking that listening to worship music on the radio and sermon podcasts will do just fine. And people have especially been apathetic about praying together, thinking that praying by themselves is enough, it isn’t, but we will give this ”Zoom” thing our best shot and see what happens.