So tonight I went to worship again at the "Alternative Church Service" at a local church. Tonight was different, instead of a total focus on the worship the focus was on the theme of prayer and meditation. something that Christians seem to sluff off until they are older. Then some become "Prayer Warriors."
You know them, the prayer warriors of your church. The people you call when you need someone to really pray about things. Perhaps most of the time they are older women or men that are retired. Perhaps they are people that have fewer distractions and have more time to pray. They probably head up the “prayer chain” in your church. They are the people the pastor goes to when he needs to have someone pray for him. Bottom line they are in every church.
Then the other aspect, meditation. When is the last time you meditated on scripture? When is the last time you lost yourself in prayer and thoughts of the things of God? I admit, it has been a long time. Tonight the scripture from John 15 (The vine and the branches etc) and I was listening to the pastor’s instruction and following his guidance and things were fine, until I turned to the older gentleman sitting next to me to discus what we were meditating on.
I had chosen to focus on one small aspect the difference of the branches that are mentioned. The KJV version says 2X the words “every branch.” One time referring to the branches that do not produce fruit and another time for the branches that do produce fruit. I was focused on a truth that all the branches are/were a part of the vine, until God prunes them.
The old man sat and listened to me and then dropped a deep theological view from the same verses and brought several observations that I won’t go into now but really sat me back in my seat. I knew nothing of the interpretation he was giving me. I had learned a new truth and a reinforcement of God’s grace to me. I have a lot to learn.
It wasn’t that I arrived, it wasn’t’ that I knew everything, or even that I thought of things that way. It just is easy to sit back in the knowledge of scripture and the church and just rely on the past rather then continue to study and provoke and “work out our salvation.” Conviction like this has not hit me that hard in a long time.
So tonight the focus shifted from the awesome worship experience that I was longing for and we prayed. Not the normal corporate prayers of church, not the churchy prayers that we recite but a quiet time before the Lord in a state of worship.
As I start a new week and I continue to change, I will place re-emphasis’s on prayer and meditation. And by God’s grace, back to learning the fundamentals of the faith and look for the hidden mysteries that abound in this age of grace.