Prayer in a Multiethnic Church

Posted: April 19, 2010 in christianity, church, culture, global
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One of the things that we are trying to navigate as a community is how to effectively represent the different styles and ways that we express spirituality since we come from so many different cultures. It has not been easy as there are so many to choose from across the spectrum of the different races and ethnicities. Some are from a more pentecostal background. Others are from a more high church background. While still others are rooted in an evangelical heritage. Last night we had a prayer meeting and it was an experience of God weaving the unique spiritualities of our different cultures together into something more beautiful than they would be alone.

In that small space of time we got a glimpse of Revelation 5:9,10 as we prayed Korean style with everyone crying out to God in unison for the needs of our church. One of our leaders who is 1st generation Korean bowed down on the floor and prayed in korean. Several of our leaders exemplified a familiarity with God and the plain language that characterizes many protestant evangelical churches today. Finally I close out and shouted prayers to the top of my lungs pentecostal style while people exclaimed “Amen!” and “Yes Lord!” It truly was an amazing experience and I was grateful to be a part of it. God is doing something awesome among us and I know that he was pleased.

  1. steven says:

    Amen, brother…

    We have been going through the book of Acts and landed on chapter 10 last week…

    This led to a discussion of what it means to do church for the sake of those outside of it… we had an open dialogue about what things we might need to change or tweak to make our community life and our gatherings more accessible to people not like us.

    Prayer and worship styles are such a hot button!

    In one sense they are peripheral, (we all would say that what is central is our Creator-God, Jesus and His resurrection, the gift of the Spirit and salvation, Scripture and the Good News of God’s coming Reign, the mission of God’s people, etc.), yet they are vital as a medium that either hinders or catalyzes what is central.

    This means we have to be in a constant state of flux, providing people with those familiar contextual points to grab onto, but only in order to challenge people to move out into the unfamiliar territory of God’s work amongst other people and other peoples…

    I am excited and encouraged to hear about your prayer meeting! Revelation indeed!

  2. mayotron says:

    That’s a great perspective on it Steven. The funny thing is none of it was intentional. It just happened but I do think there were underlying factors. I like how you said “they are vital as a medium that either hinders or catalyzes what is central” We actually came with the expectation that some things in our lives and church would be catalyzed and I think that made the difference. I also think it was because the relationships are so deep that we can be ourselves and allow others to be themselves. Kind of like a good marriage 🙂

  3. steven says:

    …the relationships are so deep that we can be ourselves and allow others to be themselves.


  4. i had a great experience with this a few years ago in Mexico. we were staying in these dorm rooms at a mexican seminary near matamoros, using that as a base to go out into the nearby neighborhood (we were building some homes and then visiting a nearby prison and orphanage). we shared meals with the seminary students, but most of the team from our church were pretty straight-up evangelical. anyway, i spoek a little broken Spanish that i learned in high school (amazing how it cmes back to you), and a couple guys in my group wanted to pray for a group of stidents we were eating with…so i asked if we could pray for them (actually i said pray with them), and they were very enthusiastic, stood up and joined hands around the table and every one of the students just started parying and crying out all at once [possibly like the Korean-style you mentioned?] and my friends blinked, looked at one another and then we all just joined in…and we came away with an amazing sense of “oneness” from the experience of praying “with” them rather than being the cowboy yankees with prayered “for” them…i loved it!!

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