After I wrote the post "4 Prayer Services Most People Won't Go To," one reader asked about what kind formats of prayer service people do want to attend. Although I plan to write more about this in the future, I thought I would at least give some ingredients to get us started.
Acts chapter 4 gives us a picture of a powerful prayer service. Although Dr. Luke was probably not writing to give people a workbook on how to run a prayer service, he highlights six ingredients I see often in successful prayer meetings:
1. Leader-initiated – The apostles wanted to update the church on what was happening, so they called the church together. Most successful prayer services that I see are initiated by the senior leaders. This does not mean that the senior pastor needs to run every meeting, but I often tell leaders to think about their commitment to be involved before another prayer service is added to the calendar.
2. Begins with worship – These early Christians began with acknowledging who God is in the universe. Any good prayer service is helped by beginning at this point. We move our eyes off of our own needs and onto a God who can answer them.
3. Bible-infused – The prayer services got energy because they stood on the foundation of scripture. Personal prayer gains confidence when praying God's Word. The same is true of corporate prayer meeting as well. There are many creative ways to incorporate the Bible into a service.
4. Mission-driven – They were drawn to prayer because they needed God. The church is a part of the greatest mission in the world. Connecting your prayer service to this purpose engages people to something larger than themselves. Men in particular are drawn to this type of meeting and, at this point, men are less likely to go to most prayer services.
5. Bold and audacious prayer – Even though they were faced with threats, their prayer was not for safety, but for more boldness. They didn't pray to stay safe but for more strength to make a difference. We need more of this in many of our prayer services.
6. Space for God to respond – After they prayed, they were filled with the Holy Spirit. At how many of our prayer services do we actually expect God to meet us? How different would our prayer times be if we were filled with faith that the thing we asked for would happen?
Even with these six ingredients, there is still a lot of creativity that can be brought to your prayer service. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you, and you might be on the adventure that could change everything around you.
Kevin Senapatiratne is head spiritual pyromaniac for Christ Connection. Kevin speaks around the United States helping Christians find the fun of prayer. He is the author of Enjoying Prayer. You can learn more about his ministry at enjoyingprayer.com.
For the original article, visit christconnection.cc.
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