The weekly prayer meeting is the gauge of the spiritual health of a church. – Dennis Gundersen
The sovereign purposes of God can be difficult to understand. However, there are times when we are going through a difficult time and the right prompt or post brings a word of encouragement to the heart.
With all that has recently transpired in the world with Covid-19, I have done a great deal of reading. This has also been a time where the Lord has burdened my heart more than ever for the need of prayer in the local church.
Being an avid reader, I have read many books on the matter of prayer through the years. Dennis Gundersen though points out in the first chapter that books actually dealing with the prayer meeting itself are rare. Personally, I cannot ever remember seeing or reading a book about prayer meetings until I purchased this book.
Our family had the privilege of meeting Dennis Gundersen many years ago when he pastored a Bible church near Tulsa, Oklahoma. He owns Grace & Truth Books.
The book was brought to my attention by one of our contributors, Sony Elise, when she read a chapter of the book online. The first chapter alone is worth buying the book.
Sadly, many churches are doing good to have one service a week and rarely do churches include a time of corporate prayer. Our country is in a mess and we need to implement the recommendations of this timely book and get back to prayer — personal prayer as well as corporate prayer.
The book is only 170 pages and could easily be read in a couple of settings. It contains six chapters taking the reader through the first 70+ pages of the book. The remainder of the book is 30 short devotionals on prayer. These devotionals can be used by church leaders and teachers as an aid to helping restore corporate prayer in local assemblies.
The Chapters cover —
1. The Priority of Meetings for Corporate Prayer
2. Everyone Together: Pray for Me, and Me, and Me
3. How Should We Pray in Prayer Meetings
4. Proposals for Focusing a Prayer Meeting
5. A Biblical Case for Regular Prayer Meetings
6. Prayer Meetings and Those Who Lead Them
Personal Recommendation: Purchase this book. You will be glad you did. It will challenge you, but it will also encourage you in your walk with the Lord.
Pastors and church leaders, I will end with a recommendation from the back cover of this book written by Derek Melton, a pastor in Oklahoma.
“The prayer meeting is the most necessary but neglected facet of Divine worship. Dennis Gundersen has written a practical and biblical guide to assist pastors in implementing or improving their corporate prayer meetings. I highly recommend it.”
A Praying Church, subtitled “The Neglected Blessing of Corporate Prayer”, can be purchased at SONY ELISE CHRISTIAN BOOKS.
Most of the times saints gather for a prayer meeting, 99% of the prayers are for physical things, as if there were no spiritual needs. This grieves my soul.
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Of it’s a chance to rehash the week’s events. It turns into more of a community gathering than to wrestle over spiritual strongholds.
Or, how about when you go to church, and ask over and over for a regular committed time of prayer only to be shut down? The only time of prayer is rushed because building and dealing with church programs are more important than time before the throne.
I am thankful that there are still a few who have a Spirit-given desire for the revival of prayer in churches. I look forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for each of us in the days ahead.
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Yup. Things of this world are most important to most who claim Christ. So many who call themselves “pastor” spend more time on buildings and so forth than on prayer and teaching and caring for the people.
The whole focus of the church today is money, stature, reputation. No longer is the Gospel the focus. No longer do Christians today lay down their lives for the sake of blessing Christ with their love and devotion. It’s all money, buildings, and getting more and more people through the doors. Make it flashy, make it appealing and keep the people dancing. Yeah…all the way to hell.
Very true, brother. If the church appeals to the world in any way, then true believers need to question where they are going. Christ Himself said that the world would hate us. If they love us or can be in our midst with no conviction of sin, then something is wrong with the church and the preaching.
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If we are emulating Christ, then we will stand out to the world as something strange, different and peculiar. If we try to act and look like the world in order to draw them in, then we will only be absorbed by them. My heart aches for the lost, for the church and for the Gospel, and it’s very hard to get up every day and know that you are one of the few scattered about the battlefield. Most of your comrades, you can’t even see. Bless you brother.