Where has congregational prayer gone?

What happened to praying as a group?

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, people prayed together at church sessions. A five- to ten-minute prayer in which praise is offered and petitions are presented to the God who hears is far more appropriate.

When I tell young people that the majority of Christian faiths still incorporate a period for corporate prayer into their services, they are typically shocked. However, today prayer is often not part of a Sunday service but outsourced, just like an Airtasker app outsources domestic duties.

On the menu

Songs of praise, donations for the needy, a reading from the Bible with an explanation of how it refers to Jesus, the Lord’s Supper/Passover, and prayer have all been staples of Christian worship for millennia. Much theological dispute lay behind the sequence of these dishes, but, the menu remained established upon this Biblical blueprint and its “regulatory basis” for worship services.

The phrase “we talk – God speaks” is often used as a framework. In other words, we begin with singing, tithing, and prayer, then move on to reading Scripture and listening to the preaching. Others used what they called a “hymn sandwich,” which consisted of a song followed by an object and then another song, to ensure that they always came back to singing praises. The argument is that the menu may be consistent but the order may vary due to differences in theology. So, the question becomes, from a theological standpoint, why do certain churches do away with prayer during Sunday services?

Read Also
Loving people without giving in to their sin

Not on the menu

When compared to today, many churches no longer serve certain foods. The gift has never been cut, although prayer frequently is because it is seen “too dull” or out of place with today’s popular music. It may be argued that it is only being postponed until a different era rather than actually being abolished.

It is now the responsibility of the prayer meeting, which is often organized by a small group of dedicated Christians outside of the regular worship session. The church’s doctrine may be seen in its “air tasking” of prayer. It may be argued that this is giving prayer the attention it deserves. You are correct in saying this. On the other hand, it exemplifies how the value of congregational prayer has declined. This is the case for a number of reasons.

First, air tasking prayer creates a generation of saints who may never have prayer modeled to them, which is problematic if one of the goals of church services is to educate the saints towards love and good acts. If prayer is no longer included in Sunday services, a person may never pray with their church family again.

Read Also
30 Prayers to Help You Get Your Day Started Right with God

As a result, they are unable to learn about or join in the prayers of God’s people. Consider the influence Hannah’s prayer had on Mary (Luke 1:46-55; 1 Samuel 2:1-10), and how Mary’s prayer has been utilized throughout the ages in worship and the development of the church. It is the responsibility of churches to teach their members how to pray during services.

Second, we stop thinking of God’s dominion on earth as it is in heaven in terms of his heavenly kingdom. DavidJones, a pioneer in the field of church planting, places a focus on “kingdom-centered” corporate prayer. In this sermon, he details specific prayers for expanding God’s kingdom and building up the worldwide Church. As he elaborates, “It’s so simple to lose sight of that and focus instead on ourselves and our problems. God does care, and we should pray for one another, but… this gospel must be preached to every nation, tribe, and language. This should be the motivation behind our prayers.”

Read Also
Here are 10 books of the Bible you should read over and over

Christ promised that his dwelling place would always be open for worship (Matthew chapter 21 verse 13). Collective worship prayer is a powerful way for the church to maintain its focus on God’s greater Kingdom.

Thirdly, if God values relationships above all else, then communicating with God is essential. We do this personally and in small groups, such as our prayer sessions and Connect/Life groups. However, praying together as a community has served as a cornerstone of the Christian faith for the past two thousand years.

Gathering as a community to pray is an essential component of our worship, confession, thanksgiving, and appeal to God (A.C.T.S). As Corrie ten Boom put it, “Prayer should be the steering wheel, not the spare tyre.”

Praying regularly is a must. At present, very few members of the church would disagree with this statement. The air-tasking of prayer out of our Sunday worship sessions, however, has removed prayer’s prominence in the service. Depriving the faithful of the opportunity to learn how to pray and about the God who encourages prayer by outsourcing congregational prayer is a sin against God.

Nobelie’s Founder

My Passion for The Gospel bought about this great Platform.. I love to share the Good News. That's my PASSION. I don't believe the Gospel should be boring. Nobelie is so exclusive. You won't find what we offer any where else. You ask a friend.
About Nobelie 6839 Articles
My Passion for The Gospel bought about this great Platform.. I love to share the Good News. That's my PASSION. I don't believe the Gospel should be boring. Nobelie is so exclusive. You won't find what we offer any where else. You ask a friend.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.