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Twenty Minute Church Prayer

Should church prayer meetings be dominated by one or two individuals? Some pray for 20 minutes and cover the whole globe. This is intimidating to new Christians who I've heard say "How can anyone follow that?" and then don't feel that they can contribute.

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 ---RitaH on 2/24/08
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ghet a prayerleader giving the subjects, all pray simultaneously, the prayerleader stops them, and gives the next subject. two advantages here
1 the person who does not know how to stop is obliged.
2 theperson who is afraid to pray outloud does no longer needs to, since all are praying out loud
---Andy on 7/23/08

New christians need to get a grip on their feelings. You don't need to compete with anyone,first of all. Do what God has blessed you to do at that moment in time. Be happy with that. That will solve that problem.What are you trying to follow? The prayer has gone on for 20 minutes already. Everyone should rest after that.Move on to something else.
---Robyn on 3/11/08

I knew someone who used to make the grace before meals last about five minutes. I find it amusing but it is just their personality. Some people feel the need to lead the whole time. Pray for them.
---frances on 2/27/08

I knew someone who used to make the grace before meals last about five minutes. I find it amusing but it is just their personality. Some people feel the need to lead the whole time. Pray for them.
---frances on 2/27/08

Rita, you are so right. Sometimes a person just cant pray, so we should step up and pray for them.
I also think the idea of each person praying for a particular subject is a good idea.
---sue on 2/27/08

Sue "I even think that is strange cause why ask somebody else to pray for you when you can do it yourself?" There can be times when a person is so distraught, tired or confused that they simply cannot pray for themselves and really do need the prayers of others. Mary, I agree, praying out loud in restaurants can sometimes be counter-productive. Donna I like your idea of asking different individuals to pray for different needs.
---RitaH on 2/27/08

Hi Mary, Speaking of praying in restaurants,I feel it is a good way to confess the name of Christ before the world. And, for that moment of prayer, the world can see a family joined together with a common purpose. There are countless families that long to experience a moment of peace like this. Maybe this would embolden them. Now,those long prayers at the dinner table are the tough ones for me when I'm real hungry! At church, well maybe that means less preaching that sunday.
---Tom on 2/27/08

Mary, I think public prayer of any kind is not based in scripture. Matthew 6 Jesus instructs to do 3 things in secret give, pray and fast. The instruction is clear. People who pray in public are show offs just like the Pharisees. It is a public expression that says, "look how good I am." The Father knows your goodness He gave it to you. We show our fruit of the spirit in our conduct not public giving, prayer and fasting.
---Ryan_Z on 2/26/08

Hi Ryan,'ve got me thinking (something I need to do more anyway lol), you might very well be right about that. So how do you feel about public prayer in restaurants? Some of my friends think I'm a heathen because I don't think it shows God's glory so much as our need to show off.
---Mary on 2/26/08

The disciples asked Jesus, How should WE pray, not how should I pray. Each person should take a turn. Maybe a good thing to suggest is to give each person certain prayer requests. One can pray for the country, the President. Another can pray for individual needs of the people there and their families and friends. Someone else can pray for the lost. Someone else can pray for Jerusalem. How about suggesting that to your group?
---Donna on 2/26/08

No one should be made to pray out loud or ask to pray without that persons knowledge beforehand. Pray er can be intimidating,especially, to new christians. When one feels comfortable praying in public and out loud, they will know. I struggled with praying out loud, in front of others, for a long time. I still do sometimes.I prefer to pray alone or in a group. If we are praying aloud in a group, I prefer a choice to pray out loud or not.
---Robyn on 2/26/08

The question shouldn't be how long should a person pray, but are they getting through to God or is the words they speak just words? When someone is praying for me, I don't want them to have unconfessed sin in their life or their prayers won't go no where. It doesn't matter how long a person prays, what matters is their prayer coming from the heart.
---Rebecca_D on 2/26/08

The prayer meeting I'm thinking of is when a person requests to be prayed for and the pastor, or 'prayer warriors' will pray for these people. But only the people requesting this prayer are prayed for.

Sometimes the pastor will ask the congregation to join him in prayer regarding certain things, usually again it is people requesting it, or maybe general prayer for our world or the war etc.

I even think that is strange cause why ask somebody else to pray for you when you can do it yourself??
---sue on 2/26/08

2. Some churches hold all-night prayer vigils, usually when a very special need has arisen, within the church itself or locally, nationally or even internationally. These sort of prayer meetings are often opened by someone praying out loud but often then become a night of silent prayer so, obviously, there is no need to take turns in that situation.
---RitaH on 2/26/08

Sue ... the prayer meeting we are talking about are communal, where all present may (or may not if they wish) pray oput loud. It's useful because we learn to understand more about each other, and become more aware of issues which need prayer (and maybe our action)
But as to "Why do you need to take turns?? Can't you just pray when you want to?" We can't because we would be interrupting someone else, which would be rude!
---alan_of_UK on 2/25/08

#1 Mary, I suggest that you do not project the image of a 21st century prayer meeting on a 1st century prayer meeting. Just because the prayer meetings we have today resemble more of a verbal public forum for request does not mean they had the same format over 2000 years ago.
---Ryan_Z on 2/25/08

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#2 Mary, When the bible references people praying it does not say they did it out loud and I have no reason to believe the apostles or 1st century disciples violated the clear directive, "When you pray do so in secret in your secret room and your Father will answer." [paraphrased]. I have no deire to pray out loud like the vain pharisees.
---Ryan_Z on 2/25/08

Sue, with what kind of prayer meeting are you familiar? I prefer silent prayer, alone in my room but a prayer 'meeting' is, in my experience, a meeting where people pray out loud in turn. The idea is that others hear what you are praying about and agree with you or follow on with a theme or change to some other prayer need. When one individual 'takes over' the meeting and prays for everything imaginable the others present are embarrassed to repeat what has already been prayed.
---RitaH on 2/25/08

The problem is the limitations of our mind, that our hearts are not gazing fully on the risen Lord.

The apostles came together made their needs known to God with a brief prayer and the building shook, are you really exiting the self mind and praying to a Living Almighty God?

You better be expecting to see his glory and his power when you pray, and pray to his will because the word says if you don't you are wasting your time. Come to God as a beggar and he'll make you a king.
---Pharisee on 2/25/08

This sounds so strange to me. Why do you need to take turns?? Can't you just pray when you want to? God doesn't care, I dont think. I dont think I understand these 'prayer meetings'. If ya wanna pray, pray. Simple as that. Between you and God. The only 'rules' we need to follow are the one's where Jesus taught us how to pray. right?
---sue on 2/25/08

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If it needs to be accomplished set it up on a separate day time from regular worship services announced in advance so that those interested in attending can participate. It does not need to be necessarily lead by the pastor if there is a trained and will lay leader willing to lead the activity. But be careful that the group does not turn the church in to a multiple tear system where various groups can be conceived as more spiritual that others.
---Phil_the_Elder on 2/25/08

Yes Alan, that is exactly what I mean. It is bad enough if there is freedom to pray as and when one chooses, but it is worse if the leader points out individuals and asks them to pray because they might have been just about to say what the previous person said, but feel now that they must think of something different. Sadly, it can sometimes seem like a competition.
---RitaH on 2/25/08

Hi Ryan, I partially agree with you, I think a lot depends on the heart of the person praying, though. Also, aren't there instances in the Bible of groups praying together, like when Peter came right to the door of the prayer meeting? (A funny story in that one too)?
---Mary on 2/25/08

The power in the church belongs to the people and not the pastor. Church is not a competition neither is prayer. I pray in my heart at church and also follow others prayers. Prayer meetings are held longer than corporate prayers,say, on a Sundy morning. God himself says usinga lot of vain and repetitious words does not make one more holy or spiritual. Short prayers are best but you can get caught up talking to the Father and the time just slips away. That's ok,too.
---Robyn on 2/24/08

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The entire out loud format that people follow for prayer is unbiblical. Prayer is a one-on-one conversation to be done is secret. Not loud and vocal for all to hear, then you look like a Pharisee.
---Ryan_Z on 2/24/08

Trouble is Suwe, that some people go on & on, and cover everything.
I have bneen in this position ... I have thought about something to pray about, and then this other person goes on and on and on and completely covers everything I was going to pray.
It's a bit unnerving, you know.
---alan_of_UK on 2/24/08

Jack...That's a novel idea. A pastor who actually leads the church. I think your response is the appropriate one. If more churches "allowed" their pastor to actually pastor, there might be more Christians in this world.
---Susie on 2/24/08

Ones who pray a lot can be very interested in hearing what newer Christians pray. If certain people give much more money than others do, we don't worry that this could stop people with less money from giving. We each can contribute the money and the prayer that we have to offer.
---Bill_bila5659 on 2/24/08

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You will fill much better if you go to the persons and talk to them about how you feel.
Take this to them frist between you and them. Then if nothing changes and you have not other group to join...take it to the Pastor.

---Linda3939 on 2/24/08

While it may be wrong to limit a persons prayer time in a public meeting, but here are are three suggestions on how the problem may be dealt with tactfully. One, have the leader assign specific topics to people. Two, the leader might also apporach to person(s) guity of praying to long and explain to them they could be intimiting a new Christian by their praying so long. Three, have a brief study on pray as used in the Bible.
---wivv on 2/24/08

I don't think I understand this question. A prayer meeting is where people pray for differant things, right? It certainly is not a compitition showing who can pray the best, is it? I wouldn't be worried about what the other people are praying about and just pray whats in your own heart.
---sue on 2/24/08

This sounds like an issue only the pastor should deal with.
---Jack on 2/24/08

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