Arminian Today

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Posts Tagged ‘Prayer Meetings

Hard To Find A Prayer Meeting

Leonard Ravenhill said that the prayer meeting was the Cinderella of the Church.  He said that she (the prayer meeting) was unloved and she was tucked away in the castle.  Yet beauty is truly found in the prayer meeting.  It was prayer, after all, that Jesus sent His disciples to after His ascension to the Father (Acts 1:14).  It was on the day of Pentecost, while the disciples were at prayer, that the gift of the Holy Spirit came.  After Pentecost, the disciples continue to pray (Acts 2:42).

In fact, prayer marked the early disciples.  All through the book of Acts we find the church at prayer.  In Acts 3:1 that Peter and John were heading to the temple during the hour of prayer.  It seems from this text that the Apostles kept the hour of prayer.  They continued to seek God.  These Apostles did not trust in their Pentecostal experience in Acts 2 to keep them.  They kept on praying, kept on seeking.  Paul the Apostle would later write that disciples are to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), to be devoted to prayer (Colossians 4:2), to be constant in prayer (Romans 12:12).  Prayer was not then some vain ritual.  Prayer was their direct communication with the Father through the Lord Jesus (John 14:13-14; Hebrews 4:14-16).  The Apostles had seen the power of prayer in the life of the Lord Jesus (Luke 5:16).  In fact, it was the prayer life of Jesus that caused the Apostles to come to the Lord and ask Him to teach them to pray as well (Luke 11:1).  They heard the words of Jesus to always pray and not give up (Luke 18:1).

And yet what about us?  Is my life marked by prayer?  Is my life marked by my seeking His face?  If prayer was a focus for the early disciples, why not also today?  If the early disciples needed to pray, we also ought to seek God’s face as well!  We have exchanged prayer for technology.  We have substituted the presence of God with emotions.  We have convinced ourselves that we can make it though with human power but not with the power of God.  As E.M. Bounds wrote, “Men are looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.”  God does not anoint methods.  God anoints people.  God may very well work through some of our methods but He is looking for people who will cry to Him and those He will use for His glory.

Prayer meetings are hard to find these days.  There was a time when the church would often meet to pray.  I remember as a boy going to New Year’s Eve prayer meetings and I remember going with my parents to the prayer meetings at our church.  Some of those prayer meetings were more teaching and more talking than actual prayer meetings (what one man called “worthless prayer meetings”).  When I was a young disciple, Wednesday night was often called “prayer meetings” instead of “family night.”  These days, prayer meetings are hard to find.  Churches have many programs but the prayer meeting is all but abandoned these days.

We need a revival of the prayer meeting.  We need churches that preach the truth to not only preach the truth but pray.  If Jesus is truly on His throne, this should stir us to prayer.  If Jesus is truly risen from the dead, this should stir us to prayer.  If Jesus is our faithful high priest, this should stir us to prayer.  If we look at our fallen sinful world and yet see the promise of God in Psalm 110:1, this should stir us to prayer.  If we have truly experienced the gospel, this should stir us to prayer.

I pray that the prayer meeting makes a comeback.  I pray that God will stir His children to pray.  I pray that the Holy Spirit, who teaches us to pray (Romans 8:26-27), will stir up His people to prayer.  The cults are seeking their false gods.  The false religions of this world are seeking their false gods.  How much more should we who know the true and living God not seek His face?  We often seek God for His hand but oh for us to seek His face!  Our God alone hears our prayers (Psalm 65:2).  Our God alone is able to move mountains (Mark 11:22-24).  Our God alone is able to save.  Let us seek His face!

Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/25/2014 at 4:26 PM

A Note From John Wesley’s Journal

I was reading through John Wesley’s journal a bit today and noticed this:

Monday, January 1, 1739.

My brother Charles and Whitefield (George Whitefield) were present at our love feast in Feterlane, with about sixty of our brethren.  About three in the morning, as we were continuing instant in prayer, the power of God came mightily upon us, inasmuch that many cried out for exceeding joy and many fell to the ground.  As soon as we were recovered a little from that awe and amazement at the presence of His Majesty, we broke out with one voice, “We praise Thee, O God: we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord.”

What a mighty prayer meeting that must have been!  John and Charles Wesley along with George Whitefield and sixty other brethren all seeking God fervently.  I would love to have seen this prayer meeting.

Colossians 4:2.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

10/15/2012 at 7:31 PM

How To Have A Good Prayer Meeting by D.L. Moody

Here is a link to a good article (that is short as well) by D.L. Moody on how to have a good prayer meeting.

You can find the article here.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

02/06/2012 at 6:04 PM

Boredom and Prayer Meetings

When I was in college, my fellow students could not understand how I could find a Friday night prayer meeting at a brother’s house exciting.  Friday nights were for movies, eating out, hanging out, playing basketball, etc. but not prayer meetings.  How boring to go in a guy’s living room and just get on our faces and sing a few songs with the guitars and then pray for several hours.  Often we would pray into the late night.  How could I possibly find that fun?  Even as I write this, I have a smile on my face at the delight that came from those prayer meetings.  What joy we had!  What laughter we had!

I believe, and this may be harsh, that many who would view a prayer meeting as boring have never truly encountered the presence of God.  I am not saying that these people are not saved but they lack the experience of being in the very presence of God.  They lack the understanding of the joy that comes from being in His presence.  Why would I want to trade a night of being in God’s holy presence with watching a movie?  Why would I want to trade being in the presence of God with eating at a restaurant?  Why would I want to trade the presence of God for anything this world has to offer?  There is nothing to compare to His presence.  Moses found out in Exodus 33:14 that God’s presence gives us rest.  How we need rest!

Consider the wonder of God’s presence.  In Scripture God made it clear that His presence is something to strive for.  In Deuteronomy 20:1 God told the children of Israel that He would be with them in the day of battle.  I need that.  I can’t defeat my flesh nor the enemy by my own power.  I need His presence (Romans 7:25; 8:11; Galatians 5:16-17) to help me fight my battles.

In Isaiah 43:2 God again promises us that He will be with us when we face even the toughest trials.  A time may come when the doctors tell me I have this or that but I pray that I never lose my hunger for God’s presence for in that day I will surely need the knowledge that He is with me until the end.

Even when it comes to evangelism, we have the wonderful promise from Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 that He will be with us till the end of the age.  As we are going out into a dark world, Jesus is with us.  His presence abides with us and we can have the assurance of Acts 1:8 that He empowers us through His Spirit to help us make disciples for His glory.

But more than just the Scriptures on God’s presence.  I want to go beyond mere head knowledge of His presence to knowing times where He has been near.  Prayer meetings are those places for me.  I find such delight to be in the presence of God in prayer.  There is nothing like being in a room with other disciples and crying out to God.  In those moments, you could offer me the world and I believe I would decline it for in His presence is the fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).  To be in His presence is paradise itself (Luke 23:43).  Words are not enough to express the delight that comes when the presence of God falls on a prayer meeting.  We begin to cry out for God’s glory to be revealed among the nations.  We begin to cry out for the lost to be saved.  We begin to cry out for justice to flow from His throne.  We begin to cry out for the gospel to take root in the Church and in our lives. Somehow, when God’s presence comes, we align ourselves up with what His agenda may be.

And yet if you have never had those moments of knowing God is present not just in basic biblical understanding (yes He is with me) to really knowing and experiencing His presence, you are lost as you read this.  You probably think that I am a nut for seeking God’s presence or that I have lost my mind or that I am emotional.  In reality, I am not.  I wish I could cry like some do in God’s presence.  I wish I could go deeper in my emotions with the Lord but I am largely not an emotional guy.  But I do long and love God’s presence.  There is noting that can compare.

So if your prayer meetings are boring and if you are one who is reading this who thinks that the thought of spending a Friday night (or any other time) in prayer is boring then you have yet to truly encounter the presence of Christ.  When He walks among you, you’ll know He is there.  I would admit that many, many, many prayer meetings have been boring but not the ones I have been to where all the disciples in the room wanted one thing and that was God.  In those prayer meetings, God has always been faithful to show up.  Always.  His presence has invaded our hearts and His presence leads us.  When we are done praying, time has been standing still.  We were undone in His presence.  I would encourage you, if you have yet to experience what I am writing about, to pray and seek God for His presence.  Seek Him for who He is and not what you can get from Him.  Lavish Him with your love, praise, obedience, and worship.  Pour out your soul before Him.  Make Him your delight.  Allow Him to touch you however He needs to touch you.  Just long for His presence!

Oh God give us Your presence!

Written by The Seeking Disciple

02/05/2012 at 8:00 AM

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