What has happened to many prayer meetings? Prayer meetings were once the highlight of the week, Spiritually, between Sundays. Why have they ceased to be a vital priority for too many Christians and churches? Why have a number of churches given up on prayer meeting or replaced it with some other activity? There are several possible reasons why this has taken place. 1). Christians haven't been well taught on prayer and on what they should expect from prayer. 2). The leadership isn't enthusiastic about prayer. 3). We do not grasp the significance of conversation with Almighty God. 4). The content of prayers is mostly asking. Prayer is about asking but it is not the "do all, end all" of prayer. 5). When several people have prayed for exactly the same things, that can become boring. It is perhaps better for each person to pray for one or two needs or matters and let others be in silent agreement with whoever is praying. 6).When mid-week Bible Study takes more time than prayer, prayer may seem to be less important. 7). Hymns can either be the same hymns week after week and/or be sung without thought as to the meaning. Why not have one or two hymns and ask someone to share what a particular hymn means to them? 8). Competition is too stiff. It is easy to just stay home and relax and/or watch TV, or read. Christians should discipline themselves to be in attendance, unless there is a truly valid reason not to be. When prayer meetings are "alive" it's easier to exercise that discipline. 9). How often are people who attend or do not attend made aware of the answers to prayer? 10). If we aren't into fervent prayer at home, we will probably not be able to "whip some up" for prayer meeting. The bottom line? Christians pray as they ought to, in their times alone with God. Pastor and people become excited about coming together for prayer. Avoid routine, vary things. A hymn or two, two or three vibrant testimonies, enthusiastic prayer, share answers. These will bring new vitality to prayer meetings. Selah! All the above suggestions will mean little unless we seek God's help and adopt His priorities. Ron
"….The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months." (From James 5: 16-17).