Prayer to the Christian is breath. As we do not need to think about each breath we take, but natural take in the air we need to live, so we do not need to think about praying, as though it is a work we do in order to please God, or gain His favor. Rather, prayer is a natural expression of the faith we have in Christ. We pray because we have a relationship with a living God who desires to hear and answer us.
When I was in Seminary, a tiny congregation just over the Indiana boarder in Michigan would have students from the seminary come serve them on Sunday mornings. Each week, about two or three families, nearly ten people would gather at an old country church and hear a seminary student – three or four times it happened to be me – preach a sermon.
What is it about our church buildings that cause us to desperately hold on to stones and wood? These people all lived closer to a sister congregation then it was to drive from Fort Wayne to serve them on a Sunday morning. While the church is certainly a house of prayer, it is so much more than a building.
The church, rightly understood, is the temple of the living God, a building of living stones. Each baptized believer in Jesus are the stones that build the church.
It is good for us to keep this in mind. Often, we can get caught up in the activities of our congregation, the projects, and auctions, and dinners we do together, and forget that we are part of a house of prayer. We are the living stones by which Jesus is building His church here on earth. All that we do together as the Body of Christ in this place is to reflect the faith we have been given back into our community. We are to live in the joy of Jesus, share the message of sins forgiveness in the Name of Christ, and pray.