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Do Not Underestimate a Prayer Meeting

Do Not Underestimate a Prayer Meeting

Do you underestimate or undervalue a prayer meeting?

A prayer meeting is a group of people getting together for the purpose of prayer as a group. Prayer meetings are typically conducted outside regular services by one or more members of the clergy or other forms of religious leadership, but they may also be initiated by decision of non-leadership members as well.

We anticipate the possibilities of sermon and often a song, but we often approach a prayer meeting with low expectations. When you hear of a prayer meeting that’s scheduled in the life of your church—what is your response? Do you view it as meaningful and essential or do you approach it as merely an option—something that’s not really that essential?

Consider the possibilities of a corporate prayer meeting.

Remembering God’s Mercy

Prayer is essential because worship is essential, we are brought to remember God’s mercy in saving sinners. God has lavished his mercy upon us, and the vertical aspect of a prayer meeting calls the congregation to remember what God has done (Rom. 5:8).

All through the Old Testament, the covenants were designed with a call to remember what God had done. Throughout the days of the prophets, they pointed back to the work of God in saving Israel and pointed to the future when Christ would save His church. As we were commanded by Jesus to eat of the bread and drink of the cup—we are to do so in remembrance of King Jesus (Luke 22:191 Cor. 11:25). When praying as a church—take time to recall the great work of God in saving his people from their sins (Gal. 3:131 Pet. 2:24).

Prayer as a Ministry of Reconciliation

In Matthew 5:7, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Only those who demonstrate merciful attitudes toward others will receive mercy. However, it’s essential to point out that a person doesn’t earn mercy by showing mercy. It’s actually the other way around. The reason a person is merciful is based on the fact that God has been merciful to the sinner.

However, we live in a broken world of sin and the church is not immune to this problem of division. In fact, Satan is a master at creating disunity in the church.

The fruit of a corporate prayer service could be the actual unity of a local church. Imagine the sweetness of a church that enjoys true unity. Sins have been confessed, broken roads fixed, wounds healed and the ugly effects of Satan’s divisive schemes defeated. When a church comes together to pray together, not only will they pray vertically, but they will pray horizontally—lifting up one another’s needs—physically and spiritually. When division is not avoided in prayer, unity can be achieved. Far too often people avoid the reality of division because confession can be messy and often requires transparency and vulnerability.

The next time you have an opportunity to pray together as a church—don’t skip it and don’t approach it as if it’s not profitable. It very well may be exactly what you need. God will use the corporate prayer service in a unique and profitable way in your life if you will engage and involve yourself in true prayer that seeks to honor God and pursue unity among the church. If prayer isn’t really that important, why did Jesus spend so much time praying? Why did Jesus spend time teaching the disciples how to pray and engaging in prayer alongside them?

Ephesians 4:31-32 – Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. [32] Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

This article originally appeared here.
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Dr. Josh Buice serves as the pastor of Pray's Mill Baptist Church in Douglasville, Georgia — just west of Atlanta. He is the founding director of the G3 Conference, the author of a theology blog (DeliveredByGrace.com) and is passionate about expository preaching, biblical theology, and the local church. Josh studied at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he earned his M.Div. and D.Min. in expository preaching. With a passion for sound biblical theology and ecclesiology, Pastor Buice spends much of his time preaching, writing, and talking about these important issues. He is married to his wife Kari and together they have four children (Karis, John Mark, Kalli, and Judson). When away from the office, Josh enjoys spending his time with his family, hunting, running, and a good cup of coffee.