Matthew 18 –
The passage so many people use for the purpose of praying together actually is set in the context of a fight! “Where two or more are gathered, there I am in the midst of them!” I think we almost take this out of context. Don’t get me wrong, I believe this to be true, that where two or more are gathered, God is there–but when you are a believer in Christ, Scripture teaches that Christ dwells in you. So when you pray by yourself, God is there, too. The point of the passage is not that we need to pray together in pairs, but that we need to work together in conflict.
God opened my eyes to something yesterday, though. Ironically, or probably with God’s good intention, I was sitting in the doctor’s office this week reading a book that spoke to how Thomas was called “doubting Thomas.” It talked about how Thomas was not with the rest of the disciples when Christ first appeared to them after he was resurrected. Thomas missed the big event because he wasn’t at the gathering! Thomas missed out and responds that he wouldn’t believe unless he saw the holes in his hands. Imagine if you missed that Sunday at church when God showed up! I would say that God shows up when we gather together, which is why Hebrews and other passages urge us to not give up meeting together.
It wasn’t that Thomas doubted as much as he just wasn’t there! May I be there and you be there today.