Volume. XXVII, No. 23
Sunday, 02 December 2012


The Importance of the Corporate Prayer Meeting Part 2 (Final)


What do we pray during corporate prayer meetings?

A lot of us find it difficult to pray in a corporate prayer meeting because we say, “I find there is nothing to pray about because the pastor has already prayed just about everything on Sunday. Besides, I do not know what to pray about.” Yet this does not mean we should neglect our duty to pray corporately with other Christians. In a corporate prayer meeting, we do pray for various items during our pastoral prayer before the sermon each week, but there is a huge difference between the pastoral prayer and the corporate prayer at prayer meetings. For, firstly, during corporate prayer meetings, more than one person will pray—so we learn from each other and feel with each other. Secondly, the prayer meeting is more personal, so that specific personal and intimate items may be brought up and prayed for, which may not be possible during the pastoral prayers. Thirdly, in the prayer meeting, we may appropriately pray for the ministry of the coming weekend—the pulpit ministry, the Adult Sunday School classes, the church in fellowship meetings, upcoming church events, activities and outreaches etc. Fourthly, during prayer meetings, an opportunity is given to everyone to update one another on his or her needs and items of thanksgiving, which is obviously impossible during worship services. Therefore, it is important for office bearers of the church to meet and pray together so that there will be a better coordination in various ministries of the church. Additionally, of course, those who come for the prayer meeting will testify to the warmth of the fellowship after the meeting—something which is somewhat lacking on the Lord’s Day for some reason.

“When Christ ascended into heaven all He left behind was a prayer meeting. The early Church didn’t have a prayer meeting; the early Church was the prayer meeting. In fact, in the early Church every Christian was a prayer-meeting Christian.” (Armin Gesswein)

Having said that, I do believe that it is legalistic to measure a person’s spiritual condition by whether he or she attends prayer meetings. How spiritual a Christian is should not be measured by how often he attends the prayer meeting per se as much as how active he or she is in the ministries of a church. However, I also believe that attendance at prayer meeting does in some sense indicate the spiritual condition of the church as a local assembly if he or she simply chooses not to attend. Some of us are validly concerned for the health and growth of our church. However, I wonder how many of them are willing to sacrifice their time to come and pray corporately with the elders of the church. A church is not grown by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. We need men and women who are filled with the Spirit of the Lord praying for the elders of the church and interceding for the ministries of the church. I am convinced that if more of us come to pray and take the prayer meeting seriously, we can expect the Lord to bless the ministry of our church in ways we cannot even imagine or ask for, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” (cf. Eph. 3:20) On the other hand, it will be hard for us to attain unto the unity of faith and love that we constantly pray for, if only a few come together to pray. Men should be lifting their holy hands, praying. A church with its corporate prayer meeting poorly attended by the men in the congregation cannot expect God to send revival fire in their midst.

The Secret to Spurgeon’s Ministry

Spurgeon is right, I believe, when he told his congregation: "Brethren, we shall never see much change for the better in our churches till the prayer meeting occupies a higher place in the esteem of Christians" (The Kind of Revival We Need). Five young college students were spending a Sunday in London, so they went to hear
the famed C. H. Spurgeon preach. While waiting for the doors to open, the students
were greeted by a man who asked,
“Gentlemen, let me show you around. Would you like to see the heating plant of this church?” They were not particularly interested, for it was a hot day in July. But they didn’t want to offend the stranger, so they consented.


The young men were taken down a stairway, a door was quietly opened, and their
guide whispered,
“This is our heating plant.” Surprised, the students saw 700 people
bowed in prayer, seeking a blessing on the service that was soon to begin in the
auditorium above. Softly closing the door, the gentleman then introduced himself. It was none other than Charles Spurgeon.

May the exhortation of Spurgeon remind us concerning our duty to come to pray: "I should like to know of some of you, how long it is since you have been to a prayer meeting. Shall I stop and let you count? …Some of you very seldom come at all. If you are lawfully detained at home, I would never ask you to come or upbraid you for minding your home duties; for you have no right to leave legitimate business that ought to be done to come here. But I am certain that some of you are idle and might come if you liked. I pray the Lord to send you a horsewhip in the shape of trouble in your conscience till you do come, for it very much weakens us all in our prayers when our numbers decline; and whenever people come to despise weeknight services, be sure of it, farewell to the vital power of godliness, for weeknight services are very, very much the stamp of the man. Any hypocrite will come on a Sunday, but a man does need to take some interest in religious services to be found mingling with the people of God in prayer. Am I to believe that some of you do not care whether souls are saved or not? Am I to believe that some of you, our church members, have no care whether our ministry is blessed or not? Am I to believe that you continue members of a church in which you take no interest? Am I to believe that it is nothing to you whether Christ is crowned or despised? I will not believe it, and yet your absence from the meetings for prayer tends to make me fear that it must be so. I beg you correct yourselves in this matter, and as the King’s garden wants rain and sunshine, and we cannot expect to have it without prayer, let us not forget the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is. Oh! for more prayer, more to pray, and for those who do pray, to pray with more fervour and more constancy in supplication!" (King’s Garden)* May the Lord grant that we will grow to be a body of saints concerned for one another, caring for one another and seeking the Lord together, not only on the Sabbath day.

Conclusion

Dearly beloved, would you make extra effort to come for the corporate prayer meeting? And if you really cannot come for some valid reason, may I urge you to be praying with us in your family, and to let us know you are doing so? Not that I believe in the superstition of synchronised prayers, but that it will both serve as a reminder to you to pray for the church and as an encouragement to those who do come to know that you are praying though you cannot come. May God bless you and our church as we pray corporately in the Lord Jesus Christ as His body!

“No great spiritual awakening has begun anywhere in the world apart from united prayer – Christians persistently praying for revival.” (J. Edwin Orr)

Pastor Weng

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster: Today’s Team Leader: Bro Simon Yeo. Next Lord’s Day: Dn Tony Law

*Hope Bookstore: Open today:  12:30 - 1:45 pm. Christmas & other greeting cards available.

*Christmas Concert & BBQ Dinner next Sat. Please invite your family members & friends to attend. Helpers required to help with BBQ. Please see Dn David Yeo if you can help.

*Please note: Sunday School Christmas Party - please encourage your children to come.

*Reminder: Christmas Worship Service starts at 10:00 am.

 

Praise & Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Dn Yaw Chiew & Sis Julie Tan (S’pore/Mal); Bros Daniel Ki, Samuel Ki, Lucas Yiew (Spore/Korea), Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl) & Simon Yeo (Melb); Sisters Marion Chan, Tabitha Tan (Per/Adl); Jillian Chia (Syd), Ashley Chia, Nichol Chia, Megan Lim (S’pore), Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Yvone Kam & Buey Yeo (Adl); Mr Tony Zhang & Sis May Zhang (HK/China); Mrs Chandra & Darrion (Sri Lanka); & others who have arrived safely. 

2. Church Activities - in the past week.

3. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

4. Visitors & new worshippers.

5. Fellowship & contribution to Hope BPC & Hopefuls: Mrs Chandra & Darrion; Sister Heng Yee Cheah; while they were with us.

 

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson (Nursing Home); Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bros Elton Law & Kang Fun Tan (S’pore); Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth (Nursing Home), Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Myung Ki, Lehia Paauwe (Per), Susan Varadi (Nursing Home); Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mr Mang Soo Ong (Sis Gillian Ong’s father); Mr Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs Maggie D’Mello (Dn Edwin’s mother in Mumbai) & Mrs Chuilin Yap (Malacca); Mr Tony Zhang; & others in affliction.

2. Cambodia Missions - Rev Srum Chivan Choi & Ministry; Life University (Sihanoukville).

3. Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam

4. Ministry in New Life BPC (London): Ps & Sis Ki. Special Prayer: Ministries in S’pore & Korea in Dec.

5. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.

6. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry & Ordination - Pr HS Lim  (Melbourne, Vic).

7. Ps & Sis Weng - Ministry in Hope BPC. 

8. Journey mercies: Ps & Sis Ki (S’pore/Kprea); Bros Raymond Ang (Pinnaroo) & Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl); Sisters Heng Yee Cheah (S’pore), Jillian Chia, Alice Lee & Michelle Lee (Adl); & others who are travelling. 

9. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.

10. Full-time Job - Sisters Michelle Lee  (Melb) & Corinne Teng; & others looking for  stable jobs.

11. Unity in doctrine & fellowship of all B-P Churches

12. Final weeks of pregnancy: Sis Josephine Wong

13. Health in pregnancy - Sis Kerrie Lam

14. University students - preparation of assignments, thesis & end-of-year exams.

15. Believers under persecution in Islamic nations.

16. God’s guidance & protection in Sri Lanka: Mrs Chandra & Darrion

17. God’s guidance & future work in S’pore: Sis Heng Yee Cheah

18.  Australian work visas - Sisters Clara Sim & Felicia Tan

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063