One of the reasons that people don’t go to prayer meetings is that they’ve already gone to one . . . and don’t want to go back. Most prayer meetings are poorly attended, poorly planned, and lacking in enthusiasm and effectiveness. This should never be the case. Prayer meetings ought to be the highpoint in the life of believers . . . a time to be ushered into the throne room of God to worship Him and present our requests before Him.
A traditional need-based meeting begins with someone asking the dreaded question, “Does anyone have any prayer needs?” That typically leads to a long period of discussing needs of people rather than praying. Somehow we have allowed prayer meetings to degenerate into an unplanned, disorganized event in which not a lot gets accomplished for the kingdom. When I am asked to lead a prayer meeting, I feel a solemn responsibility to prepare myself spiritually and to plan carefully. Why? Because I am leading people into the presence of God! What an awesome responsibility. Good planning may be the most spiritual thing you can do as you lead a prayer meeting.
Daniel Henderson, in his excellent book, Fresh Encounters, teaches about moving prayer meetings from need-based to worship-based. Prayers that emerge out of times of worship are typically much more God-centered than man-centered. These times of prayer stay fresh and dynamic because of their focus on God.
Father, You have made a way for me to come into Your Presence through Your Son, but so often I am spiritually lazy with my prayers! Begin with my life and teach me to allow Your grace to inform my life of prayer. Help me to be a catalyst within my church to bring Your creativity and the purposes of Your kingdom into our prayer meetings for the sake of Your glory!
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 44, How to Build a House of Prayer by David Butts). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God, who is your refuge and strength (Psalm 46). Give thanks for his “ever present help in trouble” (v. 1). Confess any desire to live life apart from God. Commit yourself to being still and knowing that he is God. Ask him to prosper you and not harm you, to give you hope and a future (Jer. 29:11).
Pray that your pastor may have a fruitful ministry and that he may handle responsibilities with grace and patience. Ask that he may have a harmonious working relationship with other congregational leaders.
“Prayer is the most vital force in world evangelism.” —Anonymous
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