Father we are here to meet with You. To worship You the way you deserve to be worshiped. To hear what is on Your heart. To offer ourselves to You. To share our hearts with You. This is Your time. Open our hearts and minds to know You.
This is the heart of one entering a prayer meeting. The focus is entirely upon being with God to hear what is on His heart. Members can voice their own prayers of sacrifice, read the words of the Psalmists aloud, or sing praise choruses. The Word tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people therefore it is vital for us to exalt His name when meeting corporately in prayer.
But this time is not about inviting God into our presence. He is God. This time is for us to focus our limited, often times, selfish minds onto Him. The praises should continue until it becomes worship. Worship by Dr. Blackaby’s definition is a RESPONSE to an encounter with God. Once the group has united their hearts into focusing upon the greatness of God, then their individuality has dimmed in comparison to His glory.
Holy God, forgive me. Forgive us. We have sinned against Your Word. We have despised You with our disobedience. I have wasted so much of my time and the blessings You have given. Our church has become focused on programs more than on being with You. Search our hearts and minds and show us the vileness that blasphemes Your Holiness.
Normally, it is not necessary to say, “Now it is time to begin repentance.” ‘Woe to me’ is a natural response to anyone who is in His Presence. The prayers are uttered from hearts broken by His Holiness. Allow time of silence as people sit or kneel before Him. The leader can begin a prayer focused on repentance or read passages that focus our hearts to yield to His refining touch. Don’t rush. Some confessions will be made publically others silently.
Oh Precious Lamb of God who takes our sin away, we thank You. We thank You for Your blood that gives us assess to the Throne of Grace and Mercy. We praise You for dying for us so that we can have this privilege of prayer. We thank You that we are Your children and You will hear and answer our prayers.
A natural flow from a heart that has been cleansed by the blood is thanksgiving. This can be done by spoken prayers or singing. Normally believers are so overwhelmed with gratitude that they will burst into songs of thanksgiving. By this time everyone will know they are in His presence and He is in control. The faith level of the group is rising. Hearts are humbled. An eagerness for more has invaded the room and caused a yearning to serve Him.
Almighty God, we are Your children ready to do Your will. What is on Your heart? What do You want for us, for our church, for our families, for our nation? We are here to serve You. We will sit quietly before You until You reveal Yourself to us.
Here is where the leader is vital. God established spiritual gifts for His purposes. If He has anointed a prayer leader then He will use that person to guide the direction of the meeting. This ordained order should be understood and accepted by all. Here are some examples of how this time can go:
1. If a hurting individual has come in for specific prayer, the leader can request all members to gather around them and pray as the Spirit directs.
2. The leader may hear clearly that the focus of all the prayers should be for one specific topic. (Example: the church) Every prayer uttered is then for the church and as the Spirit leads.
3. Small groups can be formed and each group can be given a topic. People divide up according to how the Spirit is leading them to pray.
As I said last week, these prayers are to stay focused and Spirit-filled. During the time of silence, the Spirit often guides believers to scripture passages. These should be voiced aloud in prayer. The more vocal people should not monopolize the time. It is important to be considerate of all members. Order and respect are key words for any service in God’s house.
It is possible that after this focused time, there is still a need to pray for individual’s specific needs that have not yet been voiced. The leader can ask people to pair up and pray for each other. Or possibly, a list of requests can be distributed and people can intercede for them as the leader directs.
Gracious Heavenly Lord, we delight in You. We are thrilled to be with You. We offer ourselves as living sacrifices to go now and to be Your will. Use our hands to touch the hurting. Use our mouths to speak Your truth. Take our feet to those who need Your love. We leave this place changed for we have been with You. Use us now to change the world for Your glory. Amen
Our church prayer meetings always end in our anthem: Victory in Jesus. This song reminds us that we can now enter the world fully clothed in Jesus and victorious to His calling. When we have truly encountered God, it is sung with confidence and unexplainable joy.
Father, raise up prayer leaders in all Your churches. Put a hunger and thirst in each believer to want to be with You. Lord, teach us to be the House of Prayer you called us to be. Amen.