Prayer Meeting in the Life of the Church

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Lux et veritas, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. Lux et veritas

    Lux et veritas
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    I am interested in hearing the various views of the place of church prayer meetings. For instance, in my church they are mandatory for members unless they are "providentially hindered". But more and more it seems that churches are holding prayer meetings less and less.

    Questions and thoughts that I would like to see discussed here are:

    1. Is the weekly prayer meeting an important aspect of your church and to you?

    2. Are your prayer meetings enjoyable or dull? Why or why not?

    3. How are your prayer meetings formatted? Or do they change week to week?

    Thoughts? Comments? I'd really like to hear from others on this, and I'll be happy to share some of my experiences as the thread progresses.
     
  2. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    I've never heard of a required prayer meeting for members. I am wondering how do they determine if someone is providentially hindered? What happens when they are not? Is everyone required to pray? The biggest is what good is prayer if it is you're forced?

    Yes, we have weekly prayer meeting that we feel is important

    Not sure whether enjoyable or dull comes into play when you meet to spend time with the Lord in prayer.

    We do the same thing every week. We take prayer requests, pray as a church (all together) and then do a Bible study. The length of the Bible study depends on how long we pray.
     
  3. SaggyWoman

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    I have attended many churches that have had "prayer" meetings, but weren't actually that. I have attended one that had an agenda, and for more than 30 minutes of the time was actually spent in prayer.
     
  4. rdwhite

    rdwhite
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    We open our prayer meetings with a song, then we read a Psalm (that should take a couple of years to read them all). We then ask for prayers of praise and thankgiving and then for intercession and requests. Then we spend time in prayer, some come to the alter, others pray were they are at. After a while, will have a closing prayer and specifically pray for our mayor and city council, county judge and commissioners, governor and state representatives, and finally for our president, congressman and judges. Then we dismiss, and usually hang out and fellowship for a while.
     
  5. Lux et veritas

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    I preached through Psalm 119 at our prayer meetings awhile back. One verse each week. You got it ... it took 176 weeks. But it gave me wonderful content for over 3 years.

    I'm thinking of working my way through the whole book of Psalms now (but not just one verse at a time!).

    Just curious ... do you ever split up into small groups to pray within the church?
     
  6. Crabtownboy

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    We have an hour of meditation on Thursday night. It would be impossible for all members to attend as some work that evening.
     
  7. rdwhite

    rdwhite
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    Currently our Wednesday night crowd is a small group, so no we do not split up.
     
  8. rdwhite

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    Could you please elaborate on "meditation", what does that entail? Is it structured or unstructured?
     
  9. sag38

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    Trying to get a real prayer service going on Wednesday night has been like pulling teeth. They want Bible study but don't want to pray other than for just a couple of minutes. But, I'll keep P.U.S.H.ing away till the light comes on and they realize the vital importance of prayer.
     
  10. Salty

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    Then do a Bible Study on I Thes 5:17
     
  11. Lux et veritas

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    Question. Is not praying for and with your fellow brothers and sisters a vital aspect of local church life? And if so, why is it considered O.K. for so many evangelical / fundamental churches to consider it as 'normal' for members to have no desire to join with their fellow saints to pray?

    Personally ... I constantly preach to our congregation that if you can only make ONE meeting a week to a church service, come for the Prayer Meeting. Folks take that seriously and our prayer meetings have at least as good attendance as our Sunday evening services (which are about 95% of our Morning Service, and often even larger!)

    A person who wants to be a member of a local church and does NOT want to take time to pray, simply doesn't understand what the local church was instituted for.
     
  12. sag38

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    I agree. I think if I were a demon my greatest work would be in preventing people from praying. I'd especially hinder it in the church setting. I'd encourage the building of knowledge in place of calling out to God. For without God's power the knowledge would be useless.
     
  13. Lux et veritas

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    Couldn't agree more. And that's exactly the tactic Satan has used.
     
  14. Jim1999

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    Sag, there are a couple of ways to encourage people to pray in public. In one church, I simply asked a few people in advance to lead in prayer on Wednesday night. This gave them an opportunity to know how they would pray.

    The other way was that I had a special class on writing public prayers. Many didn't know how to pray in public and they were frightened. It was a good way to explain what prayer was, how words are employed and how long one needs to prayer. One of the most educated professors I knew was a master of one line prayers!

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  15. Lux et veritas

    Lux et veritas
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    I love the quote of Spurgeon who said,
    "God does not measure our prayers by their length, but by their depth".
     
  16. Jim1999

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    The late Dean Gordon Brown, of Central Baptist Seminary, Toronto, was called upon to say grace one day:

    "Food, fun and fellowship. Amen"

    We learned a lot from him in those days.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     

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