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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Decline of public prayer and prophesy in church meetings

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Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1216
Germany NRW

 Decline of public prayer and prophesy in church meetings

As we talked about head covering in conjunction with women praying or prophesying I noticed that actually very few people really pray in fellowships apart from prayer meetings and prophesy is nearly completely absent.

Just on a side note, one may say, if no one prays or prophesies in the church anyway, head covering is no longer a big deal.

I am not sure if I am the only one, but I noticed that public prayer and prophesy has been much in the decline. We have grown so accustomed to tight scheduled programs that leaves very little room for unction in prayer or prophesy. You would feel out of place if you acted upon this bible vers and lift your voice in prayer in the Sunday morning meeting.

I once joined a church and I noticed nobody prayed during the worship time. Then I just started to pray out loud between the song in the worship time. It felt awkward to start with but over time I noticed more and more people started to pray out load.

1Tim 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

This verse calls us to engage with God in prayer in public or private meetings. Prayer was much part of the early church gatherings.

Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

1 Timothy 2:1-3
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

We have endless time for church announcements, birthdays, reports of sicknesses, jokes, stories and sketches but little time for prayer. Why that? Have we lost faith that prayer works out God will and plan? For Paul prayer was to be done "first of all", so it should take prominence over other activities we engage in church.

Prophesy in public meetings is a much rarer phenomenon.
I think the past counterfeit moves of the spirit in the last decades made many churches much more cautious towards the gift of prophesy.

Prophesy is a just as much for today as it was in the first century. We must rediscover and revive this gift. God speaks to us through not only through his word but also through prophesy.

Prophesy in the church of today is a big topic that need much more exploration, so I only mention a few snippets.

Prophesy reveals the unknown things to us. It gives us direction, warning, conviction, encouragement, and correction.
Prophesy must always affirm scripture, never go beyond it or bring new doctrine.
Without prophesy Paul would have gotten stuck in Asia and never got to Macedonia.
Without prophesy Jesus birth would have happened much different.
Prophesy in Acts was a vital means by which God ministered to his church.

1 Corinthians 14
3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?
25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

I pray to God the he will restore this gift to us. May he raise up godly men and women who prophesy accurately to the edifying of the church.

In order to have public prayer and the gifts of the Spirit operation we need to fellowship in a different way. Clever programs are a hindrance. We need a praying eldership, not just one top man who delivers it to us. We need proper church discipline and caring shepherds. We need apostles that go round and look after the churches. We need a new reformation - again.

1 Thessalonians 5:19-20 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings.

 2015/7/23 17:10Profile

Joined: 2007/4/5
Posts: 266
Bruceton TN

 Re: Decline of public prayer and prophesy in church meetings

I see this too. It's easy to lose heart. I get tired of petty denominational doctrines. No messages on the Kingdom of God or salvation. The worship team concept is not good either. Everything is cut and dried. Come sing, sit, and pay. Why you can't even pick out songs in most groups. Cliques.

James R Barnes

 2015/7/23 17:19Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2013
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Decline of public prayer and prophesy in church meetings

I do not want to sound disparaging to the church, but I also have to be honest about what I see in the American church. We have, to a large degree, commercialized the church. Really, it runs a bit like a business. We provide particular services that we call ministries (children's ministry, youth ministry, men's ministry, etc.) and strive to make them plentiful and attractive so that we can attract people and get them to come to our business (church) instead of the one down the street. We provide the best worship services. We use the most trendy music, lights, etc. and make sure that the performance (music and sermon) are as attractive as possible so they will come back to the next show (service). We want lots of people because their money is what allows us to improve our own business to attract more people.

I am not against modern music. Some of it is fantastic. I am not against musicians doing their very best. God deserves it. I am not against modern technology. If it is useful in genuine ministry, use it. I am against what we have done to what we call church. We have produced a generation of consumers who shop churches like the shop for a better car or a better haircut.

We have lost touch with the true identity and purpose of the church. The church is a fellowship of the reborn. It is the body of Christ. It is supposed to mature and grow under Godly leadership gifts so that each member assumes the stature of a full grown man of God and is perfectly capable of allowing the Holy Spirit to use him or her to supply to the rest of the body as He anoints them to so do.

I honestly think that this perversion of what the church really is and is supposed to be is largely responsible for what you describe. We do not meet for mutual growth and mutual edification and strength. We attend for what we can get out of it. There is a huge difference between meeting and attending. One is active, the other passive. Too many of us are just there.

I praise God for prayer meetings where people still meet just to pray and seek God together. I praise God for prophecy in the church. I praise God for spontaneous prayer. I remember this happening as part of my heritage, and I am blessed to be part of a fellowship where this is still the norm and is actively encouraged.


 2015/7/23 17:25Profile

Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1718
Tennessee, but my home's in Alabama

 Re: Decline of public prayer and prophesy in church meetings

I have responded too much today. 😄 But, Lord hear our hearts and visit your people again.


 2015/7/23 17:25Profile

Joined: 2007/1/15
Posts: 365


Could it be that public prayer meetings have declined because private, personal prayer has declined?

Its rather hard to pray earnest, heartfelt prayers in public [where those still exist] when a person doesn't pray in private.

May the Lord draw our hearts to Him again...


 2015/7/24 15:49Profile

Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1216
Germany NRW


So true

Psalm 22:22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

 2015/7/24 17:54Profile

Joined: 2011/10/23
Posts: 2106


Theopla. I tend to believe it is the other way that a viberent personal pray life out flows from the corporate prayer meetings and the reviving we get through that means of grace ,the same way the church gifts and ministerys flowed out of the prayer meeting of the day of Pentecost,
I think many people redefine prophecy to mean just exortingpreaching and teaching and don't Ste up there church structure to acomadate genuine prophecy as we see in scripture ,,even the role and office of the prophets is neglected and dismissed,,so in people's minds when they seek the gifts of prophecy it is really them seeking for the power to preach and expound scripture . We need to get back to understand the basic differences between the prophets evangelists and pasters and teachers ,and the gifts each one moves in ,and also not to let the false prophets and prophecy to cause a nee jerk reaction away from the truth

 2015/7/25 22:33Profile


"Come sing, sit, and pay..."
"We have, to a large degree, commercialized the church. Really, it runs a bit like a business. ..."
...and you are getting a bit a helping hand, not from above, but from us "down under". Have a look at this:

I don't think Jesus is very impressed, He wants His house to be a "House of Prayer".
When I was in Russia many years ago I discovered that the old Church buildings were called "House of Prayer". In communist times they probably didn't come together for entertainment and business, they were desperate to pray and seek the Lord.

 2015/7/26 5:11


Do you think the decline of public prayer and prophecy has to do with people conditioned to see the written word as final authority rather than the Living Word as final authority? For sure the Spirit and the Word agree, but the Living Word is the true final authority in a Believer's life. Have we not been conditioned by religion in a very subtle way to listen to them (clergy and theologians) instead of the Spirit? Not everything a person needs can be found in the Bible, sometimes they need the voice of the Shepherd in their spirit. "Those who are led by the Spirit are the sons of God".

 2015/7/27 0:08

Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1936

 Re: Decline of public prayer and prophesy in church meetings

Here in India, most denominational Churches do not have God's word at all. I recently addressed a Christian marriage held by CSI (Church of South India), during the message time, the Pastor just spoke about a secular book that he read on marriage. Some 3 points said in that book. Those points were nothing related to Bible. No mention of anything from Bible was made during the message. Latter I inquired to my relatives about this useless message, I was told that they no longer preach from Bible as they do not get any word.

But in our Church, recently we identified a young man ( I am young as well only 32), stood up to share word when we gave time for others to share and testify after the main message (normally only 5 mins per person). This man had the word of God continuously for subsequent weeks that were clear revelation. We recognized that God is backing this young man and given him the gift to prophesy for the Church. Now we regularly ask his man to speak.

So I see both, I see the decline of God's word in mega Churches, I also see the increase in prophets in the Church that Jesus himself builds.


 2015/7/27 3:59Profile

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