“Again I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (verses 19-20)
(I wrote this 3 years ago, while pastoring a local church.)
Our church leadership meets together tonight. We don’t agree on everything, there being a very healthy range of perspectives on so many issues. We grapple with them, wrestling them to the ground. Yet, as we meet month by month, with much communication in-between, the emerging consensus grows. It is good. Indeed, there is a settled sense of the Lord’s will on so many of the issues we have confronted. Good indeed.
So, I am challenged this morning, as I think toward tonight’s meeting, to take Jesus at his word. I want to take stronger steps of faith into its truth. So often I have struggled with these very words because answers to prayer are not always as clear nor as immediate nor even as precise as I at first imagined they would be.I thought faith was only needed in the asking, but so much is needed in the watching afterwards. It calls me to trust, fully, that the Lord has indeed heard, and that he also works, with great creativity, so often bringing about his will at a slightly different angle than I had ever expected. All of which to say, this ongoing reality of praying – asking, seeking, knocking in present tense continuous – has sometimes dulled my focus in prayer, rather than sharpening it.
Tonight will be different. These verses challenge me afresh. As we gather, I know we’ll have yearnings and longings that spring from deep convictions of the Lord’s leading, settling into awareness over weeks and months. So, why wouldn’t we pray with confidence, knowing we pray “in his name”? Why wouldn’t we consciously, intentionally, with hope, lift up these convictions just like Jesus said, agreeing in his name, then watching, waiting (however long it takes!), for the Father’s unfolding plan? Why wouldn’t we? In Jesus’ name.
O Lord. May it be.
Reflect: What prayer, in agreement with someone else, do you need to re-activate this day, with faith, believing?
Photo by Rineshkumar Ghirao on Unsplash