Thursday, April 17, 2008

Two Years in a Growing Prayer Meeting

I love getting old, interesting books. Last night, I visited with an old family friend (who also happened to be a previous boss), and we started talking about small groups and discipleship. He said, "I have a book for you," and proceeded to pull an old brown book off the shelf. He said, "This might give you some insight into the old ways of small groups." Titled Two Years in a Growing Prayer Meeting, the author is Rev. W. F. Lloyd, it was published in 1907, and it tells of his growing prayer meetings. It's kinda like the 1900 version of Building a Church of Small Groups.

I'm only a couple chapters into it, but I've already noticed two things:

1. Some things never change. The challenges that Dr. Lloyd addresses regarding attendance, participation, leadership, and vision, are the same challenges we face today.

2. Our zeal for prayer has changed. This book focuses on the "prayer meeting." That event that gradually turned into "business meeting" or "equipping class" in many denominations. Business and equipping are important, but should they have replaced prayer? Do we need to resurrect and reinvent them? When and where are we praying together? Yeah, we do it in our small groups, but in my experience, it always seems to be the "add on" or the activity that brings "closure" to the group as opposed to the life and power of the group.

I'm just not sure we pray enough.


At 11:32 AM, Blogger Elaine said...

I'm a huge advocate of prayer. One of our small groups is a prayer group and it has been wonderful to sit and pray for 2 hours straight! I think it really adds to the sense of community as a whole, because people know we're praying for the whole church. Plus we held a 12 hour prayer vigil on Good Friday and got a really amazing response - over 20% of our congregation showed up, equally split between men and women, which was just so cool. We're already planning another one in the fall!

At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Steve said...

Great observation. Challenging to me personally. Thanks.


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