One of the practices my wife and I followed when we visited 52 churches was to pray before we headed out the door. This seems simple enough and something we should have always done, but praying prior to church was a practice we seldom did, more likely skipping it than remembering.
However, one year of visiting a different church every week taught us to embrace this practice; we depended on it. Indeed, without prayer to prepare the way, disaster would have surely resulted on more than one occasion.
Almost every week we prayed we would hear what God wanted to teach us. Often we prayed for ways to give back to the people at the churches we visited. Sometimes we’d pray against fear or apprehension – or even that we could find the church. A few times, I needed to pray for a good attitude. And towards the end, we prayed to fight fatigue and to keep an open mind.
For the 52 churches, we remembered to pray 51 times. (The time we forgot was in rushing to Saturday Mass after squeezing in time with family.)
After experiencing firsthand the benefits of praying before church, we’ve continued this practice, remembering most Sundays. When we expect much at church and pray for it, we usually experience much. The opposite is also true.
If we take the time to go to church, shouldn’t we also take time to pray for a great experience?
[Read about our journey of visiting 52 churches.]