Jump directly to the Content

When God Comes to Church

Is it wrong to pray that God will show up?

It was a warm spring Wednesday night in West Tennessee. Fifty or so of us faithful Southern Baptists were in church for prayer meeting. I was the 20-year-old college intern. It was part of my job to show up for these kinds of things. "Our spring revival starts in just a week and a half," the senior pastor was saying up front. He named the evangelist who would be coming to preach and told some of his credentials. "We sure want people to come to Christ during this series of meetings. In fact, before we start the prayer time, let's make a list of people here on the chalkboard. Who of your relatives and friends and neighbors do you want to mention?"

A middle-aged woman with dark hair near the front raised her hand. "I'm going to invite my neighbor in the next apartment. She's having lots of trouble in her life, I know. She really needs the Lord."

The pastor turned to write Lorene's neighbor on the board.

A man in a denim shirt spoke up next. "We could pray for my brother-in-law to come. He's ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

December
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Into the Whirlwind
Into the Whirlwind
My first week on the job included an exorcism and suicide.
From the Magazine
When the Best Bible-Reading Tool Made Bible-Reading Worse
When the Best Bible-Reading Tool Made Bible-Reading Worse
The unintended consequences of concordances offers a warning to Christians today.
Editor's Pick
Forget Charisma. Look for the Weak and the Slow.
Forget Charisma. Look for the Weak and the Slow.
Pete Scazzero discusses how pastors can identify and train healthy leaders.
close