I loathe mathematics. I’m married to a mathematics teacher and I love her, but I am less than fond about the subject that she teaches. In high school, when I had finished trigonometry in my junior year, I was thrilled that I was finished. I somehow had a hunch that I would never ever, not in a million years, use anything – at all – that resembled calculus. And, I was right (so far).
In my line of work, there are some mathematical things that I need to know. Basic counting is a good thing. Some principles of accounting are also helpful. The Bible even contains some arithmetic…
- Noah certainly had to know some geometry and measurement.
- In Mark 4, good seed in good soil multiplied.
- In Acts 2, thousands were added to the number of believers as a result of Peter’s preaching.
- In Deuteronomy 4, God warns the people not to subtract anything from the law.
Unfortunately, division may be the most common mathematical function I’ve noticed. There is of course the division that the Bible warns about. It isn’t so much a math function as it is a sin problem when believers cannot get along. But I’ve noticed real life, numerical division. Observe…
We can have 200 or so people gather for worship on a Sunday morning. Divide by two. That leaves us with 100 or so people on a Sunday night. Divide by two. That leaves us with only 50 or so people on any given Wednesday night.
Why is this troublesome? On any given week, up to 75% of our congregation is missing out on meaningful discipleship opportunities. On any given week, 75% of our congregation chooses to skip the main opportunity we have each week to pray together as a family. To quote James, “My brothers, this should not be so!”
Do I think prayer meeting is important? You had better believe it. Read the first few chapters of the book of Acts and see what characterized the early church. You can’t miss the fact that they prayed together whenever they came together. We don’t know what it looked like, but we know they did it. Thom Rainer, president of Lifeway, said succinctly, “Healthy churches are praying churches.”
This year, our devotion during prayer meeting is focused on the great prayers of the Bible. We’re not only praying, we’re turning to God’s Word to help us understand better what prayer looks like and considering the various lessons that the Bible has to teach us about prayer.
So, consider this my open invitation to you who deem Wednesday nights unimportant. Will you join us for prayer? Go ahead and bring your burdens with you. It’s a great time for our church to share in each other’s burdens. Instead of division during the week, we might even begin to ask God for some multiplication.
PS – We even have dinner on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday nights so you don’t have to worry about feeding the family before church. Contact the office if you’d like to have a meal waiting for you!