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Podcast 1.01: How to Have a Really Boring Prayer Meeting

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Episode 1.1: How to Have a Really Boring Prayer Meeting

(Musical intro)

Intro: At the very beginning of the story of humanity, the Bible says that Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden of Eden in the cool of the day. They heard His voice. They talked with each other. They had intimate friendship and conversation with Him. That is what was lost, and that is what Jesus died to get back for us. Fast forward to the very end of the story of human history and the world on the last page of the Bible, it says we will live with God in a new earth, a renewed creation, and He will personally wipe away every tear from our eyes. We will see God, hear Him, and have intimate friendship and conversation with Him again. Because again, that is what Jesus died to get back for us.

So that’s the beginning of the story, and it’s awesome, and that’s the end of the story, and its’s awesome, but what about right now, in the middle of the story? Do we need to wait before we can have intimate friendship conversations with Jesus and hear His voice? Absolutely not! The reason He gave us His Holy Spirit is so we can begin to have that kind of intimacy with Him right now, breaking through into this tough world where we live now in the middle of the story. And that is what this podcast is going to be all about. So if you would like to go through this day feeling like Jesus is hugging you, this is the podcast for you. I called it the Encounter Jesus podcast, but I could have called it the ‘feel like Jesus is hugging you’ podcast. Because guess what? He is.

(Musical transition)

Prayer: Lord, I pray for the person who is listening to this right now, that they would feel You reaching for them, and know that You let them listen to this today because You are loving them and wanting to touch them and show them Your love and closeness and comfort and intimate friendship more than ever before, in Jesus’ name, amen.

(Musical transition)

Content: So today I want to approach this by talking about the opposite of walking with God and sharing our hearts with each other as in the garden of Eden, and talk about how to have a really boring prayer meeting.

I don’t know about you, have you ever been to a really boring prayer meeting? But I have.  I have been to enough of them that if you have never been to one, I can tell you how to do it:

Gather a bunch of people together and immediately start to share your problems. But don’t share the really deep, vulnerable problems in your hearts, because that might not be boring. Share external, superficial problems, like with health or travel or jobs. And then share other people’s problems too. share all oyur relatives’ problems… then all your friends’ problems… then all your relatives’ friends’ problems… then all your friends’ relatives problems… until you feel overwhelmed that there are so many PROBLEMS in the world!

After talking about problems for two or three hours, you say “whoops, we’re almost out of time, we need to pray!” And praying just means you address God and then REPEAT ALL THE PROBLEMS you’ve just listed to each other. So you have to listen to all the problems twice. Or if you’ve done a really good job talking about problems you might even say, “yikes, we’re really out of time, Lord, You heard all our problems, please help with all on them, in Jesus’ name, amen!”

And if you do it right, you will leave feeling really depressed, as if you just had a meeting with all the problems in the world instead of a meeting with God.

But actually, Prayer is a meeting with God. And meeting with God could never be boring!

So now I invite you to do a thought experiment with me, imagine the boring prayer meetings you’ve been to or the one I just told you about and think, what would we have done in that prayer meeting if we had been able to see with our physical eyes that Jesus was there at the meeting with us? if we had seen Jesus sitting there on the sofa in that room with us? Not because we should or shouldn’t do anything—I’m not trying to make any rules about prayer meetings, but simply as a natural reaction to seeing Jesus is here with us, what would we do? Would we have ignore Him and talk to each other about our problems for three hours?

I don’t think so! I imagine that first we would come in, see Him, and we would just fall on our faces at His feet, holding onto His ankles and crying all over His feet just weeping with relief and saying, “Lord, You’re here!” And maybe that’s all we would do for the whole time, and if so, that would be an amazing not-boring prayer meeting. And it would be a very Biblical one too, because in the Bible when people realized who Jesus really was, they did things like that, they fell at His feet and washed His feet with their tears and wiped them with their hair.

But I can think of a few other things that might happen too. We might actually begin to feel some negative feelings if we saw Jesus seeing us, like guilty or ashamed about something we would immediately realize we needed to confess to Him and ask His forgiveness for, and we’d start repenting of all our sins and begging Him to forgive us. It’s interesting to me that in testimonies of where revival has broken out, that often starts happening. So maybe we’d just have a repentance and forgiveness prayer meeting, and if we did, that wouldn’t be boring either.

Or we might start asking Jesus for help, and if we did, that would be totally fine and wonderful because He loves it when we ask Him for help, but I think it would be different. I think we would really quickly get really real and start asking Him for help with the deepest, realist needs in our hearts. And I also think we would ask with such great faith, I can imagine saying, “Oh Lord, I have this problem, but now that You are here, I just know You’re going to fix it!”

But the biggest difference I imagine is that I don’t think we would talk the whole time. I think we’d start asking Him questions and wanting to listen to Him. Like, “Lord, What do You want to say? Lord, What are You thinking? We’re having a prayer meeting here —What do You want us to pray for? What do You want us to do?”

What amazing prayer meetings we would have if we could only see Jesus! And isn’t it such a pity that we can’t?

But then again, what did Jesus Himself say about this?

Because Jesus’ first disciples DID get to see Him every day with their physical eyeballs, and then one day Jesus says, “OK guys, now I’m going to be killed and then I’m going to rise from the dead and then I’m going to go back up to My Father in heaven,” and of course they’re devastated. They’re thinking. “Oh no! He’s leaving us??? What will we do now???”

And so Jesus is trying to comfort them and He says, (this is John 16:7)
“But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Helper-Comforter [the Holy Spirit] won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.”

So Jesus was saying that while we are in this world in the middle of the story, to meet with God through the Holy Spirit is BETTER than just being able to physically see Jesus would be.

And my heart cries, How? How can meeting with God through the Holy Spirit be that good? How can I experience God through this Helper-Comforter the way Jesus wanted me to?

I am still very much in the process of learning and discovering the answer to that question, but seeking God on this point has been changing me. A transformation has been happening in my own life where prayer has been changing from a boring chore that I have to do to be a good Christian to one of the most exciting parts of my day that I really am looking forward to all day long. And a more recent transformation has been that this has even been happening even when I am praying for other people’s problems or some of the really big problems in the whole world, it has still felt like a meeting with Jesus that I look forward to all day. So I want to share with you this journey that I’m on. Some of what I share will come right out of the Bible, some will be from my experiences of trying to put the Bible into practice, from my experiences of walking and talking with Jesus, from the experiences of other people and their teaching that I have found the most helpful in my own life. And I want to share my journey with you as I go along, because what I’m hoping is we all grow into experiencing the reality of Jesus with us as more real than any other reality in our lives. So that’s where we’re going. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!

(Musical transition)

Question: So today I want to leave you with a question: if you could physically see Jesus with you where you are right now, in your room or in your car or wherever you are, how would you respond to Him? And what would it look like for you to respond to Him that way, right now?

(Musical outro)

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  1. Julia Sensenig Julia Sensenig

    An excellent podcast!! Thank you for posting it.

    I am moved to respond:
    “Open my eyes that I may really see you each day, Jesus. Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to You.”

  2. Claire Fopeano Claire Fopeano

    Thanks for sharing your journey!

  3. Marianne Marianne

    Thank you, very encouraging to not only do prayers, but to experience the presence of Jesus. Thank you 😊

  4. Marilyn Marilyn

    Thank you for sharing in such a beautiful way!

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