Also, we need to be sure to guard our minds against wandering thoughts.
Do you ever find that when somebody is praying and you start entering into prayer, all of a sudden your focus is gone? Your brain is on what happened during the day or some other random thought. But somehow, just before the end of the prayer, you snap back. You’re able to say, “Amen,” as though you were fully alert through the whole prayer. Somehow, right after someone starts praying, within two or three sentences, I can be gone if I don’t harness my thoughts. There are so many concerns, so much to do, so many calls I need to make that I can quickly lose focus in prayer. The enemy seeks to distract us like that so the promise “if two of you agree” (see Matthew 18:19) will be defeated.
Second Corinthians 10:5 speaks of this battle for our thoughts. It says, “Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
Thousands of times my thoughts wander away in prayer. Maybe I am discouraged or depressed. Maybe I am thinking about what to do next. Many times I fail miserably. But then somehow, by God’s grace, I’m able to catch hold of what is happening. Through the blood of Jesus and the Word, we can defeat the enemy and bring our thoughts into captivity. But we must be on the alert, ready to harness those thoughts and bring them into captivity to obey Christ.
In prayer meetings, be sure to let liberty reign.
We should have freedom to be the people God has created us to be. We should have freedom to express His thoughts with the emotion He gives us.
I remember attending a prayer meeting in South Korea a couple of years ago. I’d like to go back to Korea just for that experience again. Their culture is particularly a shame-culture; that is, they do not want to do anything to bring shame upon themselves or their family. But when it comes to prayer, these people are completely unashamed. They cry out to God in their loudest voice, with streams of tears running down every face.