From Daniel Whyte III and The Get Back to Prayer Meeting Campaign
“And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”
In recent years, observant Christians have lamented the fact that the prayer meeting seems to be all but extinct in many of today’s churches. Dr. C. Wayne Johnson wrote in a research paper titled “Renovating the Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting”, “most churches are experiencing a midweek service that lacks power and attendance… Churches are abandoning their prayer service because no one attends. If the least attended and the most cancelled service is the prayer meeting, what does that convey about the state of the church? Could this be the reason why most churches have no spiritual depth?”
As the passage in Acts 1 shows us, the first followers of Jesus Christ were gathered together in an upper room “in prayer and supplication” when God sent the Holy Ghost to fill them with the Spirit and begin the work of the church. The church was birthed in a prayer meeting. If the church began in prayer, don’t you think it ought to continue in prayer?
It is easy to go to church on Sunday mornings when you can get off from work, when there’s a crowd, and when everything is exciting. But, in the middle of the week, when many other responsibilities are pulling at us, we often put going to the house of prayer last on our list of things to do. Dr. Johnson goes on to say, however, “God’s church ought to be a ‘house of prayer’ where we fight our battles on our knees. When you find a praying church, you have found a powerful church. When you find praying individuals, you have found powerful men and women of God.” I want to encourage you to get on the path to being a powerful man or woman of God and helping your church become a powerful church for the glory of God. Here are 7 reasons why you ought to go to your church’s midweek prayer meeting.
1. You should attend your church’s midweek prayer service if you struggle with prayer because you will receive motivation and experience in the matter of prayer.
In Luke 11, the disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.” From this request, we see that the disciples needed training in the matter of prayer. They had heard prayers from the Pharisees, Sadducees, and other religious leaders of that day but Jesus’ prayers were different and they wanted to learn to pray like Him. You may not feel as though you are strong in the matter of prayer, but you can learn to pray if you attend your church’s midweek prayer meeting. You can learn a great deal when you allow yourself to be trained to pray to the God of the Bible.
2. You should attend your church’s midweek prayer service in order to pray for others.
James 5:16 commands us to “pray one for another.” God wants us to intercede for our brothers and sisters in Christ. When prayer requests are made in the service, you can mark them down and pray for them not only while at church but when you go home and throughout the rest of the week. Miracles will begin to happen us in our lives when we get serious about bringing the needs of our fellow brothers and sisters to the Lord. Lost people will come to Christ when we get serious about praying for those who have yet to yield to the Lord. There are many ways to serve your church family, but one of the best ways is through prayer — lifting up requests to God on the behalf of others.
3. You should attend your church’s midweek prayer service in order to receive direction and purpose for your life.
After Jesus’ ascension, the disciples did not immediately begin following Jesus’ instructions to take the Gospel to the nations. Instead, the Bible tells us that they gathered in an upper room in Jerusalem “continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.” They continued praying until they had received the Holy Spirit. Even though Jesus Christ was no longer around in His physical form, the disciples knew that they still needed direction from God. They kept on praying until they received the Holy Spirit who would speak to them and show them what they should do. You ought to attend your church’s midweek prayer meeting in order to get direction and purpose from God for your life. Always set aside the time to get alone with God in the presence of other believers where the pressures and demands of life are not pulling for your immediate attention. During those times, seek God’s will about what He wants you to do in every aspect of your life.
4. You should attend your church’s midweek prayer service in order to confess your sins and receive reinforcement against temptation.
James 5:16 says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Brother or sister, have you erred this past week? Have you fallen by the wayside? Then get up, go to your church’s prayer meeting and do as this verse says — confess your faults one to another. Let other people in the church know about your temptations and sins so that they can pray for you to resist those temptations. As the old saying goes, “Confession is good for the soul.” When we confess our sins, we open the door for people we have offended to forgive us, to clear our conscience, and to get back into a right relationship with God and others.
5. You should attend your church’s midweek prayer service if you want to see change in your life, in your family, and in your relationships.
Prayer changes things, and praying with others and allowing others to pray with and for you brings change as well. You don’t have to be the most spiritually strong person in your church. In most churches there are only a few people who are spiritually strong, grounded, and stable in God and in the faith. There are only a few people who truly have it all together in their family life, work life, and personal life. It would be wonderful if everyone were that way, but most are not. However, it is time-out for everyone coming to church and acting as though everything is perfect and they never have any problems. More of us need to go to church and admit that we are struggling and that everything is not perfect. The weekly prayer meeting is the perfect place to do this in. At the prayer meeting, you can get some stronger people around you who can pray for you and help you bring your needs before God. Change begins when we make the choice to pray.
6. You should attend your church’s midweek prayer service because prayer and being able to gather with other believers are privileges you don’t want to miss out on.
The Bible commands us to “forsake not the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” When we pray, we are communicating with the God of Heaven and earth, the God with whom nothing is impossible, the God who perfectly created us, the God who loves us and cares for us. It is a privilege to be able to do that. You may not be able to talk to Bill Gates when your computer breaks down, or Tim Cook when your iPhone doesn’t work, or Sam Walton when you get a bad product from Walmart. No, you can’t talk directly to them, but you can talk to the God of the universe about anything, at any time, no matter where you are in the world. I believe that many Christians shortchange themselves and short circuit the power of God in their lives when they do not take advantage of the privilege of prayer and praying with other believers.
7. You should attend your church’s midweek prayer service because it will build you up spiritually.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” According to Merriam-Webster, edification means “the instruction or improvement of a person morally or intellectually.” While others are praying, they will often talk about what God is doing in their life, how they are growing, learning, and progressing spiritually and how this has led to other things working out for them. Attending a prayer meeting will allow you to see first hand the positive and powerful results of prayer in the lives of others. When you hear that God has answered someone’s prayer, you will be inspired and encouraged to keep on praying until God answers your prayer. If you want to avoid being depressed, distressed, and despondent about your spiritual life, go to your church’s midweek prayer service and be exposed to the real experiences of real Christians. Your spirit will be blessed and encouraged knowing that you are not alone as you walk the straight and narrow path.
Every Christian ought to attend a local church’s midweek prayer service every week. Nothing else can substitute for it. Don’t miss out on the blessings and answered prayers that God has waiting for you there.