Saturday, August 18, 2012

An All Night Prayer Meeting

**Note** Some have asked how we got the idea to do an all night prayer meeting, which we held last evening. Some of my critics will probably judge me as being a Pharisee, praying on a street corner or something, but this is written for your edification, with the awareness that we are mere beginners in the school of prayer, and with the hope that others will consider prayer. Churches emphasize a lot of things these days, but serious prayer is not one of them. Considering the state of our nation, the state of the church, and our own lives, our prayerlessness must be a sure sign that we are Laodicean, lukewarm and worthy only of being spit out of the Lord's mouth.

 Our prayer emphasis in our church plant started back in January when Mack Tomlinson, who has served in advisory roles at HeartCry Missionary Society and who wrote the biography of Leonard Ravenhill came and lectured at The Log College on prayer. You can hear those lectures for free here:

 Since then we have had almost daily prayer meetings for revival, for the church plant and personal needs on weekdays. Actually, now that I think about it, we were already doing these meetings as part of The Log College but they expanded to the church at this time. The groups are small, usually no more than four or five. We also have a Wednesday night prayer meeting once a week. We keep our regular meetings simple. We try to keep the request times fairly short. Occasionally we read a short Scripture or sing. On Wednesday night we read one chapter from the Word, sing one song, take requests and spend the balance of the time in prayer.

We planned on doing this a couple of months ago, but every time we got ready to do it, satan came in like a flood. Be ready for spiritual warfare if you commit to prayer, even more intense than commiting to evangelism. satan doesn't care if we engage in much prayerless evangelism. Since we started planning all night prayer my mom has been hospitalized in a mental hospital and my mother-in-law has received news that her cancer treatments aren't working and will probably be gone in 3-9 months. In my 40 years I never had a cavity, and yet I had two wisdom teeth and a molar pulled and most of my kids and wife got strep throat. It is for our good and even the warfare has been a strange sort of blessing, but this is the reality. Even last night one of our folks had a strong bout with her allergies and she didn't want to come, but did anyway. I was also strongly attacked spiritually this week with depression.

 Last night we followed the ACTS method, reading Scriptures on each of these elements. There were five of us. I posted the outline as a status last night before we prayed. We went through each Scripture, applied it, and then spent a season in prayer. The first session of adoration lasted 2 1\2 hours. After that we took too long of a break before we began confession and things slowed down a bit. We were getting tired. We took another break and did thanksgiving and this, sadly, was our shortest season. We finished with supplication and spent a bit more than an hour there. By the time we finished it was a little after 3:30AM. We began at 9PM.

I would keep the breaks short and be careful of making it into a Bible study. That wasn't my intention, but that's what happened. Some might think this strange because we love and emphasize the Word of God in our church. However, this is a prayer meeting. The Word should be prayed more than studied in a prayer meeting. Next time the Scriptures we print out will be used for guidelines for prayer rather than be reviewed in detail. We did do a little singing between. I do believe the Lord was greatly glorified and we learned that we could actually do this and find great enjoyment in it. His yoke is easy. The Lord manifested Himself. I feel as if my depression has lifted and my motivation has returned.

We're going to plan on doing these once a month. I say that with a bit of fear and trepidation, but the Lord is our fortress. I hope this is helpful to the Bride of Christ.


Michael Coughlin said...

That's what I'm talking about, bro!

Well done! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing. There is nothing Pharisaical about your heart and the Lord knows that so be encouraged that there are men like me who needed to see this post. Because of God's great grace my friend.

Rich Hagen said...

Great article. Are you meeting in a home? I'm wondering how an all nite prayer meeting would go in someone's home?

Matthew McDonnell said...

That word is an encouragement. We are a people that are much in need of more serious prayer. I thank you for your transparency in the areas that you see need change and the help that is always and much needed in our walk for our life of prayer to continue... especially in a once-a-month all-night prayer meeting. The Lord is able and will help His children. Remember His all-sufficient grace. Remember His help to those that cry out to Him in faith and trust. Remember Christ. He is our strength.

Please continue to share. You are a blessing and an encouragement brother. May the Lord continue to shape you as His servant.