"Brother, Lead Us In Prayer"



"I exhort therefore, that...prayers...be made for all men...For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior."      - I Timothy 2:1-4


     Our Lord Jesus clearly and pointedly forbids audible, public prayer on street corners, in market places, restaurants, etc. (Matt. 6:5-6). Where men and women are hustling and bustling about with the everyday business of life, it is not proper for us to call attention to ourselves by displays of religious devotion. Many suggest, "We ought to pray and offer thanks for our food so that others may see our devotion and thanksgiving." That is exactly what we must not do! Christianity is not a show of godliness, but a life of godliness. In private, in our homes, or at fellowship dinners with God's saints, it is proper for us to bow and audibly give thanks to our God for his provisions. I encourage you never to neglect such opportunities for prayer. But do not do so in public places. God sees and hears thankful hearts (I Tim. 4:4-5).

     However, public prayer in the house of God, among God's saints, is a vital aspect of public worship. Its importance cannot be overstated. Anytime a man is called upon to lead the congregation to the throne of grace in prayer, he is called upon to do that which is of greatest importance and benefit to the church of God. It should never be taken lightly. The one praying is leading God's people in the worship of God. Public prayer is the worship of the whole church through the voice of one man. When a man is called upon to lead the church in prayer, it is not only that he may speak to God for the church, but also that he may stimulate the thoughts and desires of God's people, so that their hearts may be quickened and led heavenwards to Christ.

     When a man is called upon to lead God's saints in prayer, let him be aware of what he is doing. He is speaking to God; so let his words be few, thoughtfully chosen, and earnest. He is calling upon God in prayer; so let him be sincere, believing, and conscious of the needs of the hour. He is leading the congregation in prayer; so let him speak distinctly and loudly enough to be heard by all. You cannot lead the church in prayer if the church cannot hear you!


Don Fortner