Pastor Q&A // Part 5
QUESTION: HOW DOES SOTERIA TEACH THE MEANINGFUL IMPACT OF PRAYER IN EVERY AREA OF LIFE FIRST THROUGH THE FAMILY, THEN THE CHURCH, THE COMMUNITY AND THE WORLD?
ANSWER: PASTOR JARED
We believe that prayer makes an impact because that is what God’s Word teaches. James 5:16b says, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”God delights in giving his children good gifts when they ask him (Mt 7:11). So if we stand on the biblical truth that prayer is effective and important, then how should that play out in our circles?
I appreciate the question’s implied premise that teaching on the prayer’s importance should start in the home. Parents, we will teach our children the necessity of prayer not just by taking them to church to hear the pastors pray on Sundays. No, we lead the way at home. Every meal is an opportunity to pause and thank God for what we have. Each night at the bedside is a gift of time to teach our kids to bring our thanks to God, our concerns to God, and other people’s needs to God. Every thunderstorm, police siren, or scary news report is a chance for us to teach our families that prayer to God is the first place to turn in trouble, not the last. As parents we should aim to pray in front of our kids as often as we can (not as Pharisees but as examples). We must also give our kids ample opportunities to pray, whether that is at meals, in the car, or at bedtime. Finally, we as families should regularly reflect on all the ways God has answered our prayers. We teach our families the impact of prayer by consistently practicing prayer in the ordinary moments of life.
On a church level, we teach the impact of prayer by being praying people! That means during small group we don’t eat up our allotted prayer time in merely sharing requests. We pray for each other! We pray for our marriages, our evangelistic opportunities, and our desire to practice the Word. Each Sunday we intentionally schedule a time of corporate prayer where we ask God’s forgiveness, remind ourselves of God’s mercy, and rejoice in the gospel. Corporate prayer is a vital part of our all-church worship.
In regards to the wider community, we should regularly ask neighbors how we can pray for them. We can also share testimonies of how God is answering our prayer. However, we must make sure to practice in our homes and churches what we advertise to the community, lest we broadcast self-righteousness.