A Tale Of Two Churches

The massive church, I visited while on a trip, was a sight to behold. The multi-acre campus was dominated by a circular building; one that looked more like a convention center than a traditional sanctuary.

The decor inside was just as grandiose. It was very “mall-like,” with lots of church folk wandering through a bookstore and lined up at a coffee shop.

Being a first time visitor, I decided to give myself plenty of time to find the sanctuary. I found it alright. It was a cavernous theater-style setup. I’m guessing 2000 seats.

With time to spare, I decided to wander around for a bit. Just outside the worship center, I noticed a single door with a sign that read, “Prayer Room.” Intrigued, I ventured in.

It was a comfy little nook, softly lit with trendy table lamps. The room smelled like fine leather furniture. But the most notable thing about this would-be-sacred space was what was missing: people. Unlike the bustling book store and coffee shop, the prayer room was empty.

I could hear the praise band warming up the crowd next door, but there was no one–this side of the wall–to warm God’s heart.


I heard a story about some Christians from the states who visited a large evangelical church while vacationing in Hawaii. It was ten minutes before the worship service but the sanctuary was half empty. Most of the regular attenders were in two large adjoining prayer rooms, lifting up their hearts to God.

The guests from the states found out later this was indicative of Polynesian culture. Many of the faithful at the church had been redeemed from a polytheistic background. Once, they had believed in many gods, but now they knew the one true God. For them, to come into His presence unprepared was unthinkable. “We need to set our hearts to worship God,” said one of the elders.

I bet the Lord came to THAT worship service!

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.


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45 responses to “A Tale Of Two Churches”

  1. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you, Tina. I appreciate your kind words. I’m glad you felt the gentle nudge. I deleted a rather blunt paragraph that gave my opinion on the difference between the two congregations. “Let the reader decide for themselves,” I said to myself and our pet schnauzer. ☺️ Thank you for engaging. God Bless!

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  2. Tina Avatar

    This post says so much, David. But what speaks the loudest is the gentle nudge to check our hearts and attitudes. Nevermind a coat check. Maybe we should all check them before our feet even hit the floor. Perfect post. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. davidsdailydose Avatar

    That’s the same prompting I felt when I walked into the empty prayer room, Dawn. It wasn’t the size of the church that was wrong, but the focus. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dawn Avatar

    This reminds me one Sunday several years ago, I walked in the church and as I walked through the many people talking and eating donuts, I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, these people need to pray. The sanctuary was practically empty due to everyone eating. But God was saying, we needed to pray! I don’t think I’ll ever forget that Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Preach it, BG! “Our purpose is not to check boxes but to break folks out of theirs.” Exactly!
    Sorry I took so long to respond, brother. I saw your comment when it came through, but then neglected to answer. Thank you for sharing. God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. davidsdailydose Avatar

    I believe it too, Deborah!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. DeborahMarie Avatar
    DeborahMarie

    Jesus said, “My house will be called a house of prayer,” and I believe it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you for sharing, P. I’ve noticed as well that the least attended meeting at many churches is the mid-week prayer time. And when we meet for prayer, it often centers on people’s physical ailments. This is well and good, but the Kingdom of God is about more than seeing people healed of their physical sickness. God Bless, and thanks again for reading and commenting.

    Like

  9. scribelady Avatar
    scribelady

    David, the church I attend used to have a bookstore, then it was turned into a cafe. Now the space is strictly for conversation or prayer. I have seen people pray for someone in the lobby, before service. Just recently, I was prayed for after the service. A friend asked how I was doing, then she and her husband prayed for me.

    Several years ago a friend was prayer coordinator for an evangelistic outreach. An evangelist and his team were coming into the area to a large park. Prior to, each week there were prayer meetings at different churches to pray for the outreach. If I remember correctly, she sent emails to 90 churches in the greater area, to the pastors, asking them to let their people know about the prayer meetings. I went to some of the prayer meetings with her. Sadly, if there were 20 people at a meeting, that was a lot.

    Most events I’ve gone to that were prayer meetings had little attendance. However, if the event was an activity, a lot of people come. Yet, prayer is the power which can overcome many problems in our lives.

    Before COVID, the church I attend opened the sanctuary each week for people to come and pray whenever they could. The church isn’t small, but ordinarily few people came. One time when I was there, there was just God and I for awhile. I didn’t mind; I had one of the richest times ever then. I learned a lot.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Chris Hendrix Avatar

    Thanks! I’m prepping now for tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. davidsdailydose Avatar

    That’s a great way to describe some churches today. Somehow, we’ve learned how to worship without prayer? But is it really worship? Tag, Chris, you’re it!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Chris Hendrix Avatar

    The pastor I grew up with would always say, “Prayer is the wheels of a church. If there isn’t Prayer going on, the church isn’t going anywhere.”

    Liked by 1 person

  13. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Me too, Betty.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Being prepared for what God does next. Now there’s a reason to pray! Thank you, Gary.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you for reading and sharing your experience, Manette Kaye. Sometimes it feels like the corporate prayers of the church are a mile wide and an inch deep.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. davidsdailydose Avatar

    I agree, Manu. The church I attended, with the empty prayer room, just happened to be large. It’s the presence of God that makes the difference. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you for reading and sharing, brother! God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. davidsdailydose Avatar

    I understand what you’re talking about, Simply B. Sometimes the sweetest Christian fellowship is between “church” folk who meet up by divine appointment. Thanks for sharing! God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Alan Kearns Avatar

    Good and a very important blog! One that has asking whether there is a prayer room in our church prior to the Sunday Service…I will find out! Thank you for your inspiration brother.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. musingsofmanettekay Avatar

    Simply B is correct we, redeemed followers of Christ, are the church, not a building. David your story pains me in the fact there are too few who desire to prepare their hearts before corporate worship. It’s indicative of our current culture–it’s all about me. I can’t pray (deny myself) right now, I need my coffee and doughnut. Then I must go get my seat lest someone else takes my usual spot and I have to sit by someone I don’t know. I hope you can hear my sarcasm.

    I’ve been in a church building like that just described. The pastor’s wife and I were the only ones who met for prayer. Other churches I’ve been part of did not have a “prayer room” or dedicated pre-service time of prayer. My current church does and the time spent in prayer is such a sweet time ushering those who participate into glorious worship. Thanks, David for sharing your experience and insight. Blessings.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Gary Fultz Avatar

    Good to tell David. This always makes me look in the mirror. I grew up in a church that stressed being prepared not only for worship, but to preach, pray, sing, or die. Just be prepared for what God puts on our plate. Where we are now at, it’s common for people to slip into rooms to pray alone or with others, before and after (sometimes during) the main church service.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. SimplyB Avatar

    In my long v(66) years of life I’ve only been a member of three different churches, and just because we moved to a different town, and then retired to travel. One of them had a prayer room and it did get used some very early on Sunday mornings. All three have altars in the front of the sanctuary that also get used at times. A few weeks ago when camping in Texas I was walking my dog around the RV park. A woman walked out of her very modest older camper as I was strolling by and we struck up a conversation. She had a lot of things to talk about and I found myself listening to her intently as she shared. Her life has been very difficult. At some point she stopped talking and asked me “You’re a believer, aren’t you?” I hadn’t said much at all up to this point. But of course I answered “yes”. She said “I just knew you go to church”. Then our conversation continued for quite a bit longer. Before we parted ways she said “Where two or more are gathered in his name He is there.” I guess my point in saying this is that since the pandemic and big stay-at-home deal I started believing that The Church is not a building. We are the church, 24/7. We represent Christ, as His Church, every moment. And on that day, I “went to church” with someone I’d never met before and likely will never see again this side of heaven. Thanks for sharing your heart, David. I always appreciate your thought-provoking words.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Betty Avatar

    I would love the quiet of a prayer room.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Manu Avatar

    The size of the church does not make a difference. The atmosphere within can really speak of the presence of the spirit when worship happens there. And with regards to the prayer room, just the other day I was talking with a friend about not having a quiet space where we can just go to be with the Lord. It is wonderful to have a space like that.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. BG Avatar

    God turn the hearts of those who follow Christ to want to pray! Oh the fellowship of prayer in your home, your life; and; especially, in Pre worship service prayer. Arrive early! Our purpose is not to check boxes but to break folks out of theirs’. That’s called intercession. Prayer: Adoration! Silence! Intercession! Petition! Thankfulness! That works!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. ropheka Avatar

    I find mega church have small hearts for God and are there to hear about themselve.
    Small churches are very community mined and have more personal inter action between themselves

    Liked by 1 person

  27. davidsdailydose Avatar

    I share your feelings, tamweary. The story of the church in Hawaii brought to mind how we should prepare our hearts to seek God. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. tamweary Avatar

    On a Mission Trip in China- As we approached the church for Sunday Service, the Members stood outside praising God with a beautiful flag-show, celebrating and inviting all to come. I was very excited to see this and thought to myself, if only westerners could get on fire for God like this!!💕

    Liked by 1 person

  29. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thanks, Bridget! God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Bridget A. Thomas Avatar

    I love that mindset of setting our hearts right before worship. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this story. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. davidsdailydose Avatar

    I understood, Kathlyn. Thank God for intercessors like you! Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Kathlyn Tsang Avatar

    haha, I’m an intercessor. That was the reason I was given by my elders for why they aren’t present at the prayer meetings!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. BerryBunch.family Avatar

    I’ve heard a similar ‘2 churches’ tale (I can’t remember the country, other than they weren’t in the UK. But what struck the person who told me about it was that, in one of the churches every man who went to the toilet, also washed his hands and then the sink and then the surrounding area. Many men did the same. It wasn’t just a one off.

    This stood out to this person so much.

    When he enquired about it, because he said he was so amazed to see such behaviour, he was told that the people of that church family all had a feeling of ownership of that building.

    That sense of ownership extended into the worship too, and the coffee time afterwards, and the car park. People weren’t just in the building. They were truly in the room, in every sense!

    They cared for their fellow believers, and it came out, even through the way they cleaned the sinks after using them.

    Andy B

    Liked by 3 people

  34. My Life in Our Father's World Avatar

    Prayer is the way we talk to God, Kathryn. He wouldn’t reserve it for a select few.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Agreed, Barb. Godly love and accountability should typify a church—large or small. Thank you for sharing. God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. davidsdailydose Avatar

    It’s more like writing. The more you do it, the better you get at it. Intercession and prayer are for all of God’s children. God Bless!

    Liked by 4 people

  37. davidsdailydose Avatar

    That’s what struck me, as well, Andy B. As someone mentioned, it wasn’t the size of the churches but the overall atmosphere.

    Liked by 3 people

  38. davidsdailydose Avatar

    I served at several churches during my time in vocational ministry, and only one had a prayer room. It was a great place to go for solitude and reflection with God. Thanks, CG.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. davidsdailydose Avatar

    True, Rainer. It wasn’t the sizes of the churches that mattered. That’s just how the story played out. Thanks for stopping by today. God’s best to you and Sweet T.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. The Devotional Guy™ Avatar

    David, great read and excellent post. Here in Dallas we have multiple mega churches that seat 4-5,000 people. A few of them have multiple services over the course of a Sunday. A couple, like the one we’ve been attending, offer a Saturday evening service. I’m not sure that it’s the size of the building that matters as much as the fire in the heart of those attending.

    Liked by 4 people

  41. CG Thelen Avatar

    This reminded me… My old church had a prayer room that was a project initiated by a senior member of the church. A few years after she died the church was renovated and the prayer room was removed to make room for offices. It was always a great place of solitude for someone to sit or kneel and pray. There were times I missed having that room for a moment of silent prayer.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. BerryBunch.family Avatar

    Wow. Such a difference!

    Andy B

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Kathlyn Tsang Avatar

    I was told that prayer and intercession was a “gift” that only a few people had…

    Liked by 1 person

  44. My Life in Our Father's World Avatar

    The contrasts are startling.

    We used to be part of a megachurch but found we needed to be in a place that noticed when you weren’t there. Accountability & genuine love is what we needed

    Liked by 3 people

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