Only 30% of American churches are growing and thousands close every year. We are losing ground and prayer is the answer said Dr. Darrell Horn at yesterday's SABA Live event, Disruptive Corporate Prayer.
Disruptive prayer shakes things up. It moves us beyond business as usual. There are countless testimonies about revivals being sparked by prayer, beginning with Acts chapter two and continuing with two Great Awakenings, Azuza Street and more. One very good book about this subject is Jim Cymbala's Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire. Cymbala tells how prayer propelled an inner city gathering of twenty into a downtown megachurch. Who wouldn't want to be part of a movement like that.
I came to the conference for the same reason I read and re-read the book. I want to experience similar results. I was looking for techniques, ideas, perhaps a program that would be easily implemented.
I didn't find one. Instead I learned that prayer is more than a program. Success is not, necessarily, measured in number of worshipers but in spiritual growth, which is difficult to quantify, and community impact. Are we to assume that a church that prays but fails to grow is praying wrong? Perhaps, prayer is more about worship than results.
Prayer permeates the Baptist Temple Campus. There are a lot of individual, small group and larger group prayers; some formal, much informal. To see the impact of prayer, we must watch for and celebrate God's answers. Often the answers are small and subtle, coming from unexpected directions, but small things add up to big impact.
Our prayer early on, as our attendance and finances dwindled and building maintenance continued to be deferred, was that God would preserve our building as a witness of His love for our community. When we shared our building with other churches and service organizations, God provided the resources needed to not just survive but to thrive and expand. Nearly 1000 people are on our campus on an average week. Our impact is greater than that.
Our prayer now is that we excel at making disciples.