Erik Raymond writes
Chances are someone has invited you to a prayer meeting. Your immediate response is probably predictable. “What time is it? And where do you meet?” Your next response is also highly predictable, “Why should I go to a prayer meeting?” My goal in this post is to provide help with the latter question.
Here is my short-list of 6 reasons why you should go to a prayer meeting.
- 1. Privilege- Sometimes we forget that prayer is a privilege. And it is not a cheap privilege. When we pray we are communing with the God of the universe, the originator and sustainer of all life. Further, we are talking to our Father. He is more than a cosmic superintendent he is our caring Savior. This family relationship, this access was purchased with the highest price, the royal currency of Christ’s blood. Don’t allow yourself to crowd out privilege with inconvenience.
2. Community- In the NT we know that personal prayer is to be prioritized and protected (Matt. 6.6). But we also see community prayer modeled and prescribed (Acts 1.14; 2 Tim. 2.1-8). There is great refreshment in the gathering of believers, in-dwelt and led by the Holy Spirit, calling upon Trinitarian Community while in the church community.
3. Edification- Every time I pray with other believers I find myself edified. People often have different devotional soups on the front burner. God is preparing, teaching, and showing them different things than he is me. As these other believers pray they speak of what they are learning and how God is leading them to be sympathetic and burdened for others. This is surprisingly impactful and is a useful tool for my edification.
4. Training- Along the lines of edification there is great training when believers pray together. I think of the disciples who asked Jesus to teach them to pray. Evidently Jesus’ prayers were so different than others that they heard; they wanted to be instructed in the school of prayer by its headmaster. So too we as believers, as we are instructed by Christ in the Scriptures, find ourselves training together in prayer. Some people may not come to a prayer meeting because they feel that they are not “good” at praying. But this is precisely why they should come. There is great training in the meetings.
5. Serving- As believers gather together to lift of the needs of others and extol the beauty of God there is an aspect of service. This came home to me one day as a person in my family was very sick. In fact, it caused me to miss the weekly prayer meeting in the morning. Later that morning I received multiple messages from guys who were at the meeting saying how they were praying for the situation. I cannot detail the level of encouragement I received from this. Even so meeting, week after week, folks gather together to serve their brothers and sisters, their city, and saints around the world by lifting up petitions to God on their behalf.
6. Reminder- There is little else you can do that will remind you of your neediness than prayer. In fact, your prayer life corresponds directly with how needy you really feel. When you carve out time to meet with other believers you are reminded of your great need and great privilege. You have to be reminded by virtue of the fact that you are coming to God through Christ and petitioning for the glory of God in this world! This is a tremendous blessing for us to be reminded of our need even as we call out in need.