Most pastors tell me the most important meeting of the church is the prayer meeting. They also tell me it is the least-attended meeting in their church. I am told that people will come easy to a potluck but not to a prayer meeting. But the power of a well-attended prayer meeting is vital to a church.
I have been amazed at the connection between the size of the Sunday morning service and the size of the prayer meeting. It is consistently 10 percent of the Sunday morning attendance that attends the prayer meeting. An increase in attendance at the prayer meeting seems to increase attend on Sunday morning to get it back to that 10 percent.
But people don't seem to like to come to prayer meetings. Now, I understand that part of that has to do with spiritual warfare. The enemy would love nothing better than to have people not come to the prayer meeting.
That, however, is only part of the story. There are things as leaders that you can do to help the meeting be better attended. Here are 10 ideas why people don't come to get you started.
1. The prayer meeting is boring.
People are struggling already that prayer is boring. The last thing they need is to come to a prayer meeting and find that also to be true. Creativity is a key to that.
2. The prayer meeting is a gossip session.
It is too easy for prayer requests from the floor to simply become a means to gossip. This behavior needs to be dealt with and the people taught how to avoid it.
3. No leadership in the meeting.
Some leaders are intimidated because they are not the best prayer person in the room. What the meeting needs is leadership, not for the strongest prayer person to be in charge.
4. People are scared they will be called on to pray.
I try to never call on people to pray whom I haven't asked beforehand. It breeds an atmosphere of fear for new people.
5. They fear no ending time.
Every prayer meeting should have a clear ending time. You can allow people to stay longer if they want, but people fear getting stuck in a meeting that they can't leave.
6. It doesn't seem to be a priority of the leadership.
If you are the leader of the group and this is a priority for the church or ministry, you must make it a priority yourself. If the time doesn't work for you, don't make it the main prayer time.
7. Not engaging their whole being.
Sitting or standing for the whole time will cause people to check out. Engaging the head and not the heart is not good, and so is touching the heart but not the head.
8. They fear a meeting with no variety.
If the prayer meeting is exactly the same forever and ever with no life, people will not come back.
9. The prayer meeting takes place in the dungeon of the church.
Too often, the prayer meeting is held in the saddest or most distracting room of the church. Think through where you meet come up with some ideas to switch it up.
10. Long-winded prayers without power.
Charles Finney encouraged people in the meeting to pray short prayers with passion. He would only have people pray whom he knew would lead people in prayer. Key decisions about a meeting can be who ends up praying.
What are other reasons people don't come to the prayer meeting?
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.
This article originally appeared at christconnection.cc.
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