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servant101
Member



Joined: 2010/11/11
Posts: 12


 Bored at prayer meeting - how about you?

Hello all

I currently attend a church in which most of the population has left, there are about 30 regular adult's coming on a Sunday morning from the usual of 3 times that much.

Prayer meetings were never really supported from what i can understand. As a rule there are 3 men that come to pray including myself. We usually start off by sharing about our week and then we will read some scripture if there is any on our heart. We then make "the list" of prayer items to petition for and go into prayer. Our prayers do not seem to be fervent but rather like talking about the weather. I am probably the quicker one with the other two men praying for 10 or 15 minutes often trying to touch upon the whole "list".

Personally i usually try to start with praise and end off with select prayer requests. Most of the requests are about peoples failing health, job losses, financial situations, family breakups and often i do not see any obvious answer to the prayers.

Usually i am looking forward to prayer meeting and have been content to pray alone when the other two did not show up. However i must confess to the fact that we seem to be quite stagnant... or at least i am. At times i find myself bored when the other fellows seemingly take a long time with "the list".

I would like to hear from other people who are in regular pray meeeting's with other people. Among other things i would like to know your thoughts on the following queries.

1) do you have a hymns or praise songs?
2) is there set bible reading or some kind of a bible study that is part of your prayer night?
3) do you each pray once or more than once?
4) do you pray multiple short prayers or one longer pray?
5) do you spend a lot of time on a list or just what is revealed to you at the time?
6) do you pray scripture or just in your own words what is on your heart?
7) do you keep a journal of petitions that have been answered?


 2011/8/2 20:18Profile









 Re: Bored at prayer meeting - how about you?

QUOTE: "...and often i do not see any obvious answer to the prayers."

Thank you for your honesty!! It's about time people get honest! I have been to prayer meetings and cant say anyone has ever seen any obvious answers to the prayers either. In fact, once when the assist. pastor got up and ASKED the ENTIRE CHURCH if they had any praise reports not one single person stood up or answered. Sad and pathetic statement about all of us, aint it?

You have given a WONDERFUL idea by suggesting that if people are going to hold prayer meetings someone should keep a prayer journal. I think that is a great idea. Never heard of that being done by any prayer group before.

 2011/8/2 23:09
JoanM
Member



Joined: 2008/4/7
Posts: 797


 Re: Bored at prayer meeting - how about you?

My heart breaks with you.

Take a look at this thread in the FLAT format. http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=28004&forum=45&post_id=231915&refresh=Go

Corporate prayer has gone from once-a month, with as low as three people to weekly, as many as 30, men more than women. Maybe God is calling you to intercede in this area.

I recall one Encouragement I gave from Watts. He wrote a letter to his 9 year old son who wanted a fathers advice when Watts was in prison (16 years as a reformer) -- advice on prayer. My impression was that Watts had written to his son and stressed the importance of prayer and the son wrote back he was not good at it. The gist was: don't worry bout how poor your prayer is, just tell God you know it is poor and if He wants better prayer He is just going to have to come and help you.

Dear one, just tell Him. Beg Him. Don't you miss Him? Is He going to let you all wither on the vine? Is this the way He completes the work He began. [God forbid] If He hasn't begun a work then beg Him to do that. You must have reality dear one, otherwise what's the point.

I am thanking God that you are awake to this and honest before Him. Let us know how things go. He IS touched by our infirmities.

 2011/8/3 11:37Profile
Renoncer
Member



Joined: 2010/6/26
Posts: 482


 Re:

You may be interested in Paul Washer's sermon entitled, "Worthless Prayer Meetings"

http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/visit.php?lid=18757

 2011/8/3 12:37Profile
DHuff
Member



Joined: 2009/5/9
Posts: 64
Atlanta

 Re: Bored at prayer meeting - how about you?

This is a subject that has been on my heart lately as well. I have the privilege on occasion of leading the midweek prayer meeting at our church, and our format lately has generally been:

1. Opening with a time of worship. This includes singing, but also may include reading a Scripture passage corporately, all of our voices united. I have this printed ahead of time, so we're all reading the same translation. This usually moves into a time of Spirit-led response, where we may individually praise God aloud for a particular aspect of His character (His holiness, His love ...)

2. Then we take some personal time (silent prayer) with the Lord, one on one, for cleansing, confession, hearing His heart on what to pray about ..

3. After that, we move into small groups for 2 or 3 session of prayer - one session may be Kingdom concerns (praying for missions, for the lost, for certain nations, for our community), another may be personal concerns (our families, the sick).

4. These different sessions may be interspersed with another worship song, or perhaps a 2-3 minute exhortation from Scripture, or sometimes testimonies.

5. We try to go beyond just having a prayer "list" (not that they're bad) but to really see this time as a worship service, centered around prayer. Tonight, for instance, our overall theme is the importance of a heart captivated by Jesus Christ.

My prayer is, as a congregation, that we would simply trust the Lord to teach us about corporate prayer. We average around 70 folks currently, and the time flies by.

I don't in any way mean this to sound like we've "arrived" - we have much to learn, and have our share of struggles. But I know our midweek prayer service encourages my heart, and I always look forward to coming into the Lord's presence and learning from Him.

Happy to see this thread, as it is an important topic.


_________________
David

 2011/8/3 14:38Profile









 Re:

If a person is truly been saved by God... they will desire and long to pray both individually and corporately. Thats not to say we dont experience a dry period now and then, but bored at prayer service? Really?

Krispy

 2011/8/3 14:58
Areadymind
Member



Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean

 Re:

May I suggest for consideration, rather than focusing on what our congregations are doing wrong, becoming, in our congregations the instruments of change in the areas we see need in? In any area of ministerial life, I have never seen someone push a rope to any effect. As my Pastor always says, "You can only pull a rope."

It is one thing to observe that "others" do not have praise reports, or do not hear prayer answered. The question is...do you? I used to get hung up on what I did not see others doing. Now I get hung up on what I don't do. Where I fail, how I am missing the mark. If others see you offering praise reports, and seeing prayer answered in your life, and in the circles of two and three that "agree" together as touching anything along side you...you will incite righteous jealousy in those who are not living up to God's standards. I have seen hundreds if not thousands of prayer requests answered by the Lord. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. He does answer His children. One area I have seen Him be faithful to me in more than any other area of prayer is when I see a brother in what I perceive to be a "fault" or a blind area. I go to the Lord in earnest prayer rather than complaining about it, or talking about it to others. Almost without fail, when I have sought the Lord in this fashion...the problem almost always gets resolved without me having to say anything to that person. Either I change, or they do. Or, in some crazy cases, those individuals end up actually asking me what I think about the exact thing I have been praying for them about with a humble heart ready to receive what I have to say.

The Psalms are where we should find our deepest inspirations for prayer, where the writers cried out to God about things they would never tell to the people they were complaining about.

I used to feel hopeless about some of the situations in Christianity today, but I realized that my hopelessness was a direct result of placing the faith which was intended to be placed in the person of Christ, into the people of Christ. I hope this is not taken as an attack in any way but just as something to prayerfully consider. I have found so much liberty and comfort in Jesus from not carrying the burden of the body on my shoulders, but instead, lifting that body everywhere with holy hands up to Him in prayer.

I appreciate Dhuff's encouragement here. Might I also suggest reading the book "Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire." By Jim Cymballa? You will find enormous encouragement for prayer through this book and how the Lord is working even today in the midst of congregations in this very country.


_________________
Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2011/8/3 15:26Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2000
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Bored at prayer meeting - how about you?

servant101:

From your post and the questions you ask it sounds a bit like prayer is a job to be done or a task to be accomplished rather than a lifestyle of passionate and intimate communication with the God who condescended to be your Lord, savior and best friend.

In answer to all seven questions...Yes, but not in any sort of regimented way. All of those things are done, but not as a "strategy". Rather they all happen as I spend time with the Lord.

I would say you need to see prayer as a constant 24/7/365 communication between you and the Lord. I often find myself driving or walking along talking with Him and listening for Him to speak to me. It is communication borne out of relationship and intimacy. I spend a lot of time in praise. In fact, most of my prayer life is probably devoted to praise. I have at times been in charge of leading prayer meetings and from time to time I have told everyone to "pray about nothing" and instead simply worship God and praise Him for whatever time we pray.

The reason I mention this is because I feel praise is the language of intimacy. When I spend time focused on, for instance, my wife I rarely ask her to do anything. We simply communicate out of the intimacy we share as best friends and husband and wife. It should be similar with God.

We sometimes have meetings in our homes and we pray together. We rarely if ever use a list or talk about prayer requests. We will worship and then as prayer flows out of that someone might say, "I feel like we should pray for so-and-so". So we all do that and usually we sense that the prayer is effective and fervent.

There is nothing wrong with a list or with a journal where we write down what we pray about and answers. It can be a very good thing. But in this case it sounds like maybe I would, in my own personal prayer time, ditch the lists for a time, spend much time alone with God simply loving Him. When you meet with the guys to pray, they can pray as they desire and you can do as well but the time spent alone with God will begin to transform prayer into an exciting and wonderful time to spend with your best friend and savior.


_________________
Travis

 2011/8/3 17:49Profile
SolaVeritas
Member



Joined: 2010/6/29
Posts: 156
SK Canada

 Re: Bored at prayer meeting - how about you?

In our former church prayer meetings were just like the one you describe so I understand where you are coming from. The most important thing I would do is to pray ahead of time for the prayer meeting, for the Holy Spirit to come and draw you all into His presence and for the other guys(and those who should be attending but are not)and their walk with the Lord. Confessing your own need and shortcomings honestly before God, even during the meeting breaks down the barriers people keep up. They will often easily pray about so and so's illnesses but never about, say, their lack of devotion or their failures as a dad, unless they hear someone else opening up before God. In God's presence it is impossible to keep up a front, to do so is like keeping the door locked instead of inviting Him in.

Because you primarily need the Holy Spirit I'm reluctant to suggeste methods but personally I have found great blessing in conversational prayer (google the term for an explanation) but also resistance in some people to change the way they always pray. Why not discuss it openly with your prayer partners? Chances are they feel just as dry and empty sometimes but don't know how to change it. We can trust that the Lord would love to help us in our need. Be blessed.

 2011/8/5 1:09Profile
Scott1969
Member



Joined: 2011/6/24
Posts: 38


 Re: Bored at prayer meeting - how about you?

The prayer meetings at our church are alive ! We pray as soon as we arrive. We all come in and pray silently or out loud. We usually know about different requests from our church services. We feel the Spirit of the Lord come by at times to touch us in a special way. We are overdue for an all night prayer meeting. At one all nighter, we sung Palms of Victory at about five o'clock in the morning ! The prayer meeting must have life !


_________________
Scott Thompson

 2011/8/6 1:07Profile





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