By Paul Johnson
Whatever you call them, your group will end up having prayer times together. They're not easy to sustain - Satan hates Christians on their knees. How to have effective prayer meetings? Gospel Coalition gives 7 reasons prayer meetings fade and fail, including we hardly give time for actual prayer and individual prayers are too long. Banner of Truth gives 6 reasons prayer meetings diminish, and 7 ways to improve them.
Spurgeon preaches the five reasons corporate prayer is so important, two of which are, it's the appointed place to receive power and the means of individual deliverance. Gospel Coalition has good reasons why we should go to prayer meetings. Think community... Brooklyn Tab models serious prayer. Jim Cymbala calls the Tuesday night prayer time the engine that drives whatever the Lord is going to do through our church. You can submit a prayer request if you wish. I did.
Want to incorporate more prayer in worship? Thom Rainer recommends 7 ways (podcast), including share stories of answered prayer. He lists 5 examples of prayer ministries (podcast). One, get seniors praying! Did you know praying churches are unified churches? Rainer says so. (Podcast)
I've started using a template for prayer meetings at ROOTS. (Sample 1,sample 2, sample 3). Each has wise quotes about prayer to discuss, Scripture to inspire, an outline to write in, then guided prayer. Very meaningful for us!
Need to host a prayer meeting? Cru has suggestions, like set some ground rules (eg silence is ok)
This fellow's mighty grumpy about prayer meetings, asking where in the Bible it says we should have them (shall we gently suggest Acts?). Ronnie Floyd counters, asking when did your church last have a haystack prayer meeting? What's that, you ask?