As a youngster, any time I rode my bike home from town I’d pedal across the Monroe Street bridge and I could see on the right, the local power and light company. It was a landmark on the Spokane River and 38,000 families and businesses were dependent on it for both power and light.
Recently I read about a church that named its mid-week prayer service, “The Power and Light Company.” I thought, “Wow, that’s brilliant – that’s what it ought to be.” Not just five senior citizens who come together in the church basement on Wednesday night and read a book. A church is empowered and enlightened most effectively when it’s on its knees.
We know of a church where each week the pastor announces, “If you have to miss one event this week, make sure it isn’t the mid-week service.” It begins at 7:00 pm on Tuesday and the doors open at 5:30. By that time there is a line of folks at the door waiting to get in. By 6:45 the deacons are putting chairs down the aisles.
What do they do there? We spoke to the pastor. He said, “We have no special guest; when you have Jesus you don’t need a guest speaker.” They pray. Not generic, predictable, repetitive prayers that could be recordings from last week. Praise; specific praise. And not from 1973, but bragging about God and how He has showed up and showed Himself strong since last Tuesday.
Someone just lost a job – they are invited to come to the front and a group gathers around them and pleads for God’s special provision. They may take an offering to help with his rent. A lady lets it be known she is facing surgery later in the week; from all around the worship center, voices raise a petition for her healing.
There may be a short Bible study, maybe from one of the parables, showing the power of the stories Jesus told. Ten minutes at the max … this is prayer meeting. Someone may lead the congregation in humming a chorus like, “Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.” Eyes closed; praying the passion of the song. The group clusters in threes or fours and those who wish to ask the others, “How can I pray for you this evening?”
One evening the pastor and his wife were in great anguish because their young adult daughter had left home and was living on the streets. The pastor wanted to mention it but decided he didn’t want his own family issues to become the focus of the meeting. But someone in the congregation knew of the situation and sent a note up to him asking if they might pray for his daughter. The room broke out spontaneously in a concert of intense intercession. A few days later she knocked on their front door. On her knees in the kitchen, through her tears, she said, “Daddy, the Lord gave me a vivid dream that changed my life; who was praying for me last Tuesday night?”
The church on its knees, bearing one another’s burdens. Power and light. Shackles broken. Deliverance. Victory. Thank You, Lord. Please do it again. Here. Amen.