(Some great stuff from Jay Hobbs on Corporate Prayer!)
You can picture the scene.
The young bucks cluster on one end of an empty dance floor and dare each other to go ask one of the pretty maids in row to dance. Meanwhile, the pretty maids–unbeknownst to the aforementioned bucks–secretly conclude that the reluctance of the bucks has everything to do with their own perceived unattractiveness.
“Dancing is for sissies anyways,” declares a severely intimidated buck, but if he’s like any of the others, he knows good and well the only reason that he hasn’t broken the dance-floor-sized gender barrier.
He doesn’t go because he’s fearful. He doesn’t know because he’s anticipating (or recalling) a toe-curling turn-down at the other end of the floor. So, he resorts to comfort in the form of shooting spit-wads or kicking out his fellow bucks’ legs out from from under them.
Who will be the one to cross the floor and extend his hand to an awaiting maid? I’ll tell you who, it’s the buck who knows (or is confident enough to assume) the response ahead of time.
Once the confident buck goes ahead and asks his pretty maid to dance, the party begins. Air is put back into the room and once-petrified stags take to the dance floor.
Praying together is a lot like the awkward dance.
We Christians know that we ought to pray together, and we even may agree that there’s joy in praying together. We may even be comfortable complaining and moaning that we don’t pray together enough, but when it comes time to take to the dance floor of prayer together, we wimp out.
Prayer is nothing less than communicating our hearts and lifting up our concerns to the God of the Universe, who created everything with the Word of His mouth and currently sustains everything by the Word Become Flesh.
Not only that, but when we pray, we have a great Mediator, a Great High Priest, who is interceding for us with the Father. Jesus himself is at the Father’s right hand, pleading our case by His blood whenever we pray, and that give us confidence.
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
This is the kind of confidence it takes for the first buck to cross the dance floor and ask that pretty maid to dance. We know our God, and we know that His Son stands and pleads our case before Him. We know His response will be loving acceptance, as if Jesus Himself were coming to Him in prayer–which He is!
So why should we feel awkward to pray together? I may not know how you’re going to react if I ask you to pray with me, but I do know how God will react. I’ll be able to conquer the initial awkwardness of prayer only when I remember that you and I are approaching the Living God together, and He is on our side.
Cross the dance floor of corporate prayer, young buck. You first.
– Jay Hobbs