How much time does your church spend in prayer together? Before the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost, the apostles and many others spent the better portion of ten days in prayer (Acts 1:12-14). Sadly, few churches focus on corporate prayer. Sure, we have all sorts of prayer methods and calls to prayer, but we still lack in commitment.
It is my position that healthy churches have strong prayer meetings. Christians have always gathered for the purpose of prayer from the very beginning (Acts 4:24; 12:5; 21:5). If our churches are to remain vibrant or have any hope of revitalization, they hinge upon their congregation’s commitment to prayer.
Individuals and the local church body’s prayer life is energized or drained by the pastor and leader’s prayer life and emphasis on the group prayer meeting. The leadership in the church must teach and model the value of prayer.
If you do not have a prayer meeting, or you are seeking to strengthen the active prayer meeting in your church, consider the following. I use this approach in times when prayer and the prayer meeting need to emphasized in our local church. The people have enjoyed it, and we are witnesses that “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
The Prayer Meeting
- Begin with one or two songs. Call people to worship God and plead their case in prayer.
- Place greater emphasis on prayer by having someone share an answer to prayer and a lesson on prayer for about 15-20 minutes.
- Finally, the majority of your time should be spent in prayer. This requires more thought and effort than the typical prayer request and prayer time. Here are a few of movements that you can use to focus this time of prayer.
- Pray as an act of praise and adoration
- Pray for Strengthen the Church and its leaders.
- Pray for people’s salvation.
- Pray for government leadership, community, and global issues.
- Pray for those who need healing.
- Pray for those who need financial needs.
- Pray for the healing of broken relationships.
- And more as the needs arise.