Double Role of Prayer Group Members

 

Leaders’ daughter

 

Once I was attending a prayer meeting where about a fifty people might have gathered together. A very holy person was leading the praise and worship. There were a quite a big number of children playing around. This lady’s six-year-old daughter felt ashamed in front of her friends because her mother was speaking in a foreign language and in a different way. So she mimicked her mother and made fun of the way she was praying to please her friends. I saw this scene because I was right behind this lady and the children curiously watching the mother who had her eyes closed and the daughter mimicking her mother. After the prayer service I wondered why this little girl felt uncomfortable about her mothers prayer. This lady was well mannered, spoke politely, and led the prayer meetings very faithfully and was very sincere to the evangelical mission.

But at home she was not the submissive wife, or a very holy mother. She kept nagging her husband and always complained about his drinking habits his bad company of friends and his irresponsibility towards the family. Her child was not ready to accept this dual character in her mother very easily. The child could accept only the actual character of her mother, which is the real mother at home. So she makes fun of her mother when she starts praying. Prayers should start at home. Children should pray with their parents and learn prayers at home. There is an old saying “Practice what you preach”.

How can you pray to the loving, merciful, compassionate and forgiving God and give lectures on this subject when you yourself are not merciful towards your irresponsible husband and keep complaining about him to all your friends especially in front off your children.

 

Foundation Stone for the New House

Another member, of a prayer group I used to attend sometime ago invited me to the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of her house, which she was about to build. Even though God has instructed us not to adopt the ways of the Gentiles we tend to adapt their customs and practices into our daily lives. I asked her who else would be present at the function and she replied only family members and an Engineer. I was there on time and to my surprise I found another man who was neither a Family member nor the Engineer. He was discussing with the family about the right position of the house, the Gate, the Main door etc. He explained to them the advantages and disadvantages of the different positions, the house could be built. If you have a (Gentile) man from a different faith to decide the position of your house, then what is the role of this so-called Engineer? Even if this man is hundred percent correct we are not allowed to go behind their Gods. Our God says, “I am a jealous God”. I tried to explain, to this lady that it was not right for us believers to follow such practices as the non-believers around us do. Her reply surprised me. She said, “ You prayer group leaders don’t live in this real world. If you want to live in the house you build, you have to consult these kind of people. It is easy to preach not to follow the rituals of non-believers but if you are spending such a huge amount of money shouldn’t it be worth it”.

Where is this woman’s faith? She comes to the prayer meeting regularly, partakes in the praise and worship, says intercessory prayers but in her heart does she really believe, this God is worthy of her prayers and this God is capable of doing anything great. She has made this man who is capable of making her money worth it, her God. Who is the real woman? The one who comes to prayer meetings regularly to praise and worship her God or the one who does not trust her God in small matters?

Isn’t it foolish to think that the God, who created the whole universe with just one word and has maintained it for centuries, cannot help you to build a small house, and let you live peacefully in it – and that too for only a span of fifty to hundred years, maximum?

 

House Warming Ceremony

Once another prayer group leader was showing me pictures of her “house warming ceremony”. In some of the snaps I noticed Hindu priests conducting some sort of “pooja’s” in front of a fire temporarily built in the front of the newly built house. I asked the prayer group leader what motivated her to conduct a ritual, which was not Christian. Her reply was “Most of the labourers who built my house were Hindus. The pooja was conducted to satisfy them”. This may not be surprising to most Christians who consider themselves tolerant towards other religions but have they not ever read that our God is an uncompromising God. “I am the lord your god… You shall have no other Gods to rival me” Exodus 20:1

A few years back if I heard someone pray for a longtime I would consider him or her a saint. Now I am surprised to see these dual characters as it has become very common, one during the prayer meeting and another in real life. Our children are even more confused. They do not know which character is the real one and which one to apply in their own lives. How do you expect this child to honor his or her parents if they show this dual character?

 

Picnic

Sometime ago some of our prayer group members’ invited me to join them for a picnic. Since I had not been for a picnic for a long time I gladly accepted the offer. I was looking forward to having a prayerful journey with praise and worship, sharing the word of God or discussing topics related to Jesus and his messianic mission. To my disappointment nothing of that sort happened. We were like an ordinary group of nonbelievers who found pleasure in worldly chats and unnecessary discussions and songs that could not nourish the soul. What depressed me was that it continued all through the day. Never once did we say the “Our Father” or any other form of prayer. I was surprised these same people could close their eyes and lead long prayers for one, two and three hours continuously. They would reach the prayer meeting at sharp time and the subjects they prayed would melt the hearts of the listeners.

I consoled myself that my God is a merciful and compassionate God, A God who calls the soil good that produces either thirty, sixty or hundred. At least these prayer group people are better than the other ninety nine percent of the so-called believers. They at least acknowledge our savior and find time for him once a week, they know the truth so they are not like scattered sheep not knowing whom their master is. Some of them pay tithes regularly, some fast twice a week but in their heart they cannot give up the sinful ways they were once enslaved to.

Prayer group members often put forward this question? Is it wrong to see a movie once in a while? See what the word of God says, “Everything that is not good may not be Bad. But it may not be good for the soul ” Singing film songs and cracking unnecessary jokes all through the day is definitely not nourishing for the soul.

 

 
 

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