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“A congregation without a prayer meeting is essentially defective in its organization, and
so must be limited in its efficiency.”

The Prayer Meeting and Its History by J. B. Johnston

The condition of the church may be very accurately gauged by its prayer meetings. So is the prayer meeting a grace-ometer, and from it we may judge the amount of divine working among the people. If God be near a church, it must pray. And if He be not there, one of first tokens of His absence will be slothfulness in prayer!” (Charles Spurgeon)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon by Alexander Melville.jpg

Peter Sarkis expressed the importance of the weekly prayer meeting in the following statement:

“We want to encourage every one of you to attend the Prayer Meetings, not out of duty, or grudgingly, or out of necessity, but willingly. A prayerless church is a dead church. Don’t you have any needs, burdens, or loved ones who need to be saved? Then come to the Prayer Meetings?”

Celebration Sunday – Prayers for Unity

 

by  • AUGUST 25, 2013
Unity in ChristWelcome to the 4th Celebration Sunday and a new week of Spiritual Fitness! It is hard to believe that we have begun week 4. Our topic for the week will be unity, which is key to my ministry. If we want to see Revival and Spiritual Awakening in America, then churches and denominations are going to have to put aside their differences. That does not mean that we tolerate false teaching, but churches who have the same core beliefs need to unite together. Maybe we have some differences in theology on baptism or speaking in tongues, but if we believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven and God expects holiness from the church then it is time to unite together.

My ministry is founded upon this Bible verse, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” John 17:20-21 (NKJV). Jesus did not plan for his churches to be divided by denominations as we have done in modern times, rather He wanted us to be united. He knew that united churches could combine resources to help fulfill his purposes. The body of Christ needs to quit being so divided in our theology and unite together with one common purpose. The church’s purpose is the Great Commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” Matt 28:19-20 (NKJV).

Churches need to pray together with other churches in the community and our weekly prayer meetings need to be restored.

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C. H. Spurgeon

Yes! The very life of the church depends on it…

“The condition of the church may be accurately gauged by its prayer meetings. So is the prayer meeting a grace-ometer, and from it we may judge of the amount of divine working among a people. If God be near a church, it must pray. And if he be not there, one of the first tokens of his absence will be slothfulness in prayer”

~ Charles Spurgeon

What Happens When the Church Prays?

Brooklyn Tabernacle's Jim Cymbala: Do we really believe God can draw anyone to Himself? . Image Info:

Brooklyn Tabernacle’s Jim Cymbala: Do we really believe God can draw anyone to Himself?

Have you ever considered the implications of Christ’s startling words when He tells His disciples in John 15:5 “Apart from Me you can do nothing”? Are we really so spiritually helpless that nothing can be accomplished without God?

My wife, Carol, and I made that discovery in the autumn of 1971 when the little inner-city New York church I was pastoring was struggling to keep the lights on. Carol and I had frankly admitted to each other that unless God broke through, the Brooklyn Tabernacle was doomed. We couldn’t finesse it along. We couldn’t organize, market and program our way out. The embarrassing truth was that sometimes I didn’t even want to show up for the service. And our weekly Tuesday night prayer meetings were sparsely attended and less than powerful.

We had to have a visitation of the Holy Spirit, or bust.

I remember praying, “Lord, I have no idea how to be a successful pastor. I haven’t been trained. All I know is that Carol and I are working in the middle of New York City, with people dying on every side, overdosing from heroin, consumed by materialism. If the Gospel is so powerful … .” I couldn’t finish the sentence.

Quietly but forcefully, I sensed God speaking: If you and your wife will lead My people to pray and call upon My name, you will never lack for something fresh to preach. I will supply all the money that’s needed, both for the church and for your family, and you will never have a building large enough to contain the crowds I will send in response.

I knew I had heard from God, even though I hadn’t experienced some strange vision, nothing sensational or peculiar. God was simply focusing on the only answer to our situation—or anybody else’s for that matter.

The next Sunday, I came back to the church and told the tiny congregation, “I really feel that I’ve heard from God about our church’s future. From this day on, the prayer meeting will be the barometer of our church. … If we call upon the Lord, He has promised in His Word to answer, to bring the unsaved to Himself, to pour out His Spirit among us. If we don’t call upon the Lord, He has promised nothing. No matter what I preach or what we claim to believe in our heads, the future will depend upon our times of prayer.”

In the weeks that followed, answers to prayer became noticeable. Unsaved relatives and total strangers began to show up. There were junkies, prostitutes and homosexuals. But lost lawyers, business types and bus drivers turned to the Lord there, too. We started to think of ourselves as a “Holy Ghost emergency room” where people in spiritual trauma could be rescued.

I knew that a lot of churches gave lip service to the idea that God can do anything. But we needed to have real faith that anyone who walked in, regardless of his or her problems, could become a trophy of God’s grace.

Breakthrough Prayer

The story of our church’s growing dependence on Christ is such a vivid reminder to me of how God uses praying believers to draw the lost to Himself.

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