There was a time when all Christians were supposed to pray for the prayer of a righteous man avails much. (James 5:16) We were told that we need to pray for our civic leaders. We were told to pray for the leaders of the church and for the direction of the church. In fact, we were told to pray about many things.
However, at some point, we decided to make a set of people responsible for our praying. They are called “prayer warriors.” They have the special gift of prayer and have gone through the training so that they can go on prayer offensives to take down the kingdom of the evil one.
Under this new idea, there are those who have the special calling to simply pray. This seems to be a continued movement towards firing the lay people. Years ago all members were all supposed to give Bible studies and work for the salvation of souls. Now we have Bible Workers who take care of that responsibility. Even the Pastors are no longer evangelists in many cases, we have professional evangelists for that work.
The “praise team” concept that we have borrowed from evangelicals seems like a development that will allow the people to sing praises to God, but in many cases the only people you hear are the leaders singing in the microphone.
How about preaching. Instead of developing the talent of the local elders, in many cases (in America) we simply bring in professional preachers. We save the local elders to preach when most of the church is away at camp meeting or Christmas.
So now we come to prayer. That is now in the hands of a select few who know the ins and outs of the discipline. One Wonders what is next. Soon the only contribution that Christians will have is give tithe and sit down and consume the religious entertainment that has been provided for them.
I ain’t got a problem with praise teams, but maybe every so often we aughta just cut down the volume on the leaders mics and have an old fashioned chorister lead the people in praising God. It may not sound as good to our ears, but there is something about a congregation with voices (some flat, some sharp, and some on the wrong note) that sounds REAL.
Maybe it is time for a revival of Bible Work. Not just dropping off the Amazing Facts lessons, but working with someone, reading the Bible and learning where texts are located. And maybe just maybe we aughta tell the prayer warriors that we are happy they are there, but in reality every believer is a prayer warrior and we all will pray for the coming kingdom.
Adventists used to say that lay-people will finish the work. Well if lay-people will finish the work, perhaps they aughta start working. By God’s grace, we will move closer to God and to each other and learn the skills to interact with the world from a spiritual and yes Adventist standpoint.