I love prayer meetings, sometimes. Other times I am bored and discouraged by them.
Recently I’ve had the chance to be a part of the first kind. It’s been refreshing spiritually. It’s hard to describe how greatly refreshing it’s been.
It’s hard for me to say what the difference is. I’ve tried to capture it in different ways at different times. Here are some of the things I’ve pointed to in the past as characteristic of a rich time of prayer:
- When God’s presence is clearly felt
- When people are free to pray as the Holy Spirit leads, instead of feeling as though they have to follow a specific pattern
- When there is strong spiritual leadership that casts a united vision for the purpose of our prayers
- When people are praying with genuine faith, as though they expect God to answer
- When people are praying because of a genuine spiritual burden, rather than just bringing laundry lists to God
- When people are praying for the kingdom and glory of God instead of just for their own comfort
- When people are paying close attention to the Spirit’s direction as they decide what to pray
- When most of the people there are serious about prayer and have a hunger for what it can be
These days, I’d characterize it as being a time
- when people really seek the face of God, as opposed to just jumping into their prayer lists.
Whatever it is, I don’t do it well on my own; I really depend on other people being there with me, their faith encouraging and stimulating mine.
Regardless, I’m really enjoying this season in my prayer life. I’m treating it as a gift from God and not trying too much to find ways to make it happen.
Thoughts? What factors make corporate prayer times really good for you?