The Power of Prayer from R.A. Torrey (excepted, “What is a Real Prayer Meeting”)
A “Real Prayer Meeting” is when God’s presence overcomes his people and His manifest presence is undeniable.
What is a “Real Prayer Meeting?” It is united prayer. “The prayer that God particularly delights to answer is united prayer. There is power in the prayer of a single individual, and the prayer of individuals has wrought great things, but there is far greater power in united prayer.” (R.A. Torrey The Power of Prayer)
“The prayer meeting is the rallying point where the power of faith in the church concentrates and takes hold on the arm that moves the world.” (The Prayer Meeting and Its History, J. B. Johnston)
How important is the prayer meeting? “As prayer meetings fail in a congregation, so will the ministrations of the pastor become unfruitful, the preaching of the word fail to convert sinners and promote holiness in the professors of religion.”
(The Prayer Meeting and Its History, J. B. Johnston)
“It is reported that the Moravian Pentecost that God gave in a prayer meeting at Herrnhut in 1731 resulted in unbroken prayer day and night for a hundred years and was part of the key to God’s tremendous blessing upon the Moravians as they scattered the message of Christ around the world.” (Mighty Prevailing Prayer, Wesley Duewel p 125-6.)
“A setting for a filling station commercial was being readied in Hollywood. In order to be
realistic, it was set up along the street in the scene of passing traffic. Its station, pumps,
and signs were indistinguishable from the genuine establishment. It was not too
surprising that, while cameras were being positioned, people would pull up with their
cars and ask for a tank full of gasoline. The actors, in their filling-station uniforms,
turned many such cars away within the hour.
Finally, one actor with a certain whimsy decided to relieve the ennui by enacting the following charade.
“Another car pulled up. The man rolled down his window and said, “Fill ‘er up.” The
“attendant” politely complied by placing the nozzle of the hose into the tank and, while wiping the windows, pretended that he was dispensing gasoline out of the empty pump. When he was finished, he approached the car window, and the customer asked, “How much is it?” The “attendant” replied, “You are the hundredth customer today, so we’re giving it to you free of charge.” The man drove off in his car grinning at his good fortune, apparently never bothering to check his gauge.
“A parable for the Gathered Church leaps out of this. “He came empty and went away
empty and never knew it.” How many come among us in their condition of emptiness
and depart even emptier because they find no evidence of the power and presence of God in the midst of His people? They have, unfortunately, encountered a dead congregation whose self-recognition as the Easter people has dwindled, and who have no excitement over the presence of their Lord.” (The Praying Church, Donald M. Hulstrand, p 3.)
For over a hundred years it has been popularly defined as an “ask and get meeting,” self Centered as opposed to worship centered, “a meeting where the people can participate,” “a practical Bible study.” It would be better defined as “open corporate worship dialogue with the Triune God.”
The prayer meeting must-have preparation and leadership but it should include the
participation of the believers/members of the church.
The prayer meeting should function as a body in unity, focus, and objective.
Most prayer meetings are dead and boring because they focus on man and his needs. Focusing on the infinite, glorious and loving God cannot be boring.
Prayer is not a “performance”. It is an interaction. God does not speak back with audible words but He can speak to our hearts.
“with the Triune God “
God is one but He is “three” in one. Our prayers need to reflect this as we speak to Him (Them).
R.A Torrey “The Power of Prayer”, excerpted, What is a Real Prayer Meeting?