Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Guidelines for the Prayer Meeting

Texts: Mark 9:28-29; John 15:7; Acts 2:42; 4:23-31; 1 Thessalonians 5:17

We have our prayer meetings at JPBC during Sunday evening worship. Last Sunday, I offered a few practical suggestions for prayer meetings. Here are my abbreviated notes:

1. Be prepared.

The Coast Guard motto is semper paratus, always prepared. This should be our attitude when we know we are going to a prayer meeting. We should give some thought ahead of time as to what would be worthy and appropriate to pray about.

2. Be bold.

Be ready to plunge into the fray at the first opportunity. Do not succumb to the false notion, "I need not bother, because someone else will do it."

Remember that prayer is not going on merely when you speak. You are listening to the prayers of your brothers and sisters. You are praying alongside them. In quiet moments, you are silently praying.

3. Be Biblical.

Prayer is not just making requests. Remember the acrostic ACTS in prayer:


Be brief and specific (see Matt 6:5-8).

Be personal and natural. We should not take on an affected voice. Use your natural speaking voice. The tone, however, should reflect reverence.

Avoid rote phrases and jargon (e.g., "God bless all the missionaries"). We can learn to pray by reading the prayers of the Bible, including especially the psalms.

It is good to salt our prayers with Scripture, but we should also remember that prayer is not Scripture memory recitation. Use the reservoir of God’s word that you have hidden in your heart to season your prayer conversation.

We should also remember that prayers are not times for preaching or doctrinal teaching. We are speaking primarily to God and not to man.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

Note: Evangel article, 5/21/08

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