Major principles conditioning and regulating corporate prayer
NOTE: It is assumed that you, as a leader of the people of God, will be serious about planning the prayer meeting, and having your own heart in a prayerful frame.
Thomas Murphy, Pastoral Theology, (Willow Street, PA: Old Paths Publications, 2001), pp. 302-303.
James M. Hoppin, Pastoral Theology, (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1884), p. 348.
1. The vital concerns of the Kingdom of God should be the predominant focus of the ordinary corporate prayer.
1 Tim. 2:1-8
2. The peculiar circumstances of each congregation should regulate the specifics of corporate prayer.
a. Ordinary or standing concerns
1) Its stated services
2) Its regular ministries of outreach and evangelism
3) Its missionary commitments
4) Its special ministries
5) Its spiritual growth and health
6) The unconverted
7) The intensely afflicted
8) Sister churches
b. Extraordinary or crisis concerns
1) Crises in leadership
2) Crises in standing concerns
3. The God-ordained structures of leadership should be evident in the seasons of corporate prayer
a. The male/female distinction
1 Tim. 2:1, 1 Tim. 2:8
1 Cor. 11:5
See the booklet by Peter Masters entitled The Power of Prayer Meetings, p. 24-26 for another perspective on this issue.
b. The old men/young men distinction and relationship
1 Pt. 5:5
c. The mature/immature relationship
d. The measure of gift relationship
1 Cor. 12:4-7
4. The unanimity of corporate prayer must be carefully fostered and preserved.
Mt. 18:19 (See Mt. 20:2, Mt. 20:13 and Acts 5:9)
Mt. 20:2, Mt. 20:13
Acts 1:14; Acts 4:23-24
1 Cor. 1:10
– You may foster unanimity by:
1) Constantly reminding your people of the nature of corporate prayer
2) Instructing them in the use of the corporate and audible Amen
1 Cor. 14:16
(Audio recording: Martin, Albert, “Use of the Amen”, Trinity Pulpit — TP-D-1 & 2)
3) Refusing to break up the congregation as a general rule
5. The sense of God’s presence in the midst of His praying people should be made the constant focus of expectancy and supplication.
Thomas Murphy, Pastoral Theology, (Willow Street, PA: Old Paths Publications, 2001), pp. 314-316.
Practical Guidelines for Maximum Edification in Corporate Prayer
1. Establish the fact that edification is the goal and that structure is not an enemy to that end.
1 Cor. 14:12, 1 Cor. 14:15-7
1 Tim. 2:1-4
2. Specifically encourage among those who lead in prayer:
1 Cor. 14:9
c. Selective focus
d. Flexibility of format
e. Rational initiative
3. Discourage idiosyncracies.
Practical guidelines for the effective reformation of an existing unbiblical pattern of corporate prayer
1. Reformation in corporate prayer cannot be effected in isolation.
James M. Hoppin, Pastoral Theology, (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1884), pp. 344-347.
2. Reformation in corporate prayer must be based upon the renewed understanding of your people.
3. Reformation in corporate prayer ought to be initiated by the majority of the church leadership.
4. Reformation in corporate prayer ought patiently to follow a pattern of wisely chosen priorities.