A few days ago I received an email that is a great example of what can happen when a group prays and listens to God corporately. So this is a brief break from my thoughts on how to hear God. The email is from Brenda Harkins.
"I am chiming in on this kind of late, but would like to share what happened at our gathering Saturday night. We have been meeting for 15 months now and the first 10 months or so were very much like the passage you shared, David. We prayed and listened and weren't afraid of silence and waited on the Lord to begin to orchestrate what He wanted to do during our time together. I am not sure what happened, but somewhere we got out of step with that and the core team started having their own ideas about what we should "do" during our time together. Everyone sensed a discontent and we all knew we weren't flowing in the Spirit as we had. We kept saying, "We just need to make prayer the priority and not do anything until we pray." But somehow we kept getting off track from even the simplicity of praying for guidance. Talk, talk, talk kept us from praying and seeking and listening.
Well, Saturday night after our dinner and fellowship time we gathered in the living room and someone started to play some worship music, but our 14 yr. old daughter…who has been in on the conversations about our need to make prayer the priority…spoke up and said, "Can we just pray before we do anything else?" So we prayed. Boy, did we pray! As we each began to just share our hearts with the Lord and ask for HIs guidance and pray as the Spirit was prompting us to pray, the Lord began to set the order for the night. We were in and out of prayer for hours, being interrupted by a song someone would share, a tongue, an interpretation, prophetic words and specific prayer over individuals as the Lord led. Then as one prayer was for the eyes of our heart to be enlightened, we turned to Ephesians and spent another hour…actually almost two hours…pulling treasures out from the first two chapters of Ephesians. At midnight…six hours after we began…we started to feel the intensity of His presence lift, but a sweetness remained that kept us just talking and sharing in groups of 2 and 3 for awhile longer. As the last person drove away Mike and I turned to each other and said, "Now THAT is what we've been missing!" And it was all because of prayer.
It's not about our agendas or good ideas…whether agreed upon by all or not. It's all about Jesus. And if we can't get into agreement about seeking Him first before we do anything on our "list", then we will continue to settle for mediocre at best. I have learned all over again the simplicity of prayer. Why is it so easy to forget? And even in saying this I know I am in danger of trying to replicate what happened Saturday night…and it's not about that either. It's about seeking Him together…fervently…and not stopping until He begins to move. What He does may, and probably will, look different every time. But if we want HIM to be the orchestrator of our time together, I believe all over again that sincere, fervent, unified prayer is the key."
When we pray and listen to God together, He shows up!