Best Way to Change a Prayer Meeting for the Better

There are lots of issues involved when a church is bogged down in a prayer meeting rut. And there is no simple fix to make an existing prayer meeting that is dull, exciting. But in almost every situation, there is one change you can make that will vastly improve the prayer.

What is it? Take the ownership of what you pray for away from the people and give it to a leader. In other words, let a leader select the prayer focus. This makes it easier to focus the meeting on Christ and not on the attendees. Most prayer meetings are people led, and focus on the agenda of those who attend. It is difficult to grow these prayer meetings to more than a few people. Why? Because when it focuses on the people’s agendas, it functions like a small group. People who are not on the “in” who are blessed by praying for the needs of the other members, will have no interest in being a part of the meeting.

However, if a leader can change the focus so the prayer agenda are items of interest to a broader group–kingdom things regarding the church, community, nation, etc.–there is a better chance to grow the group and to be more dynamic. An outward focus makes for more passionate prayer than the typical inward focus of individual needs.

While an existing group may fight a change, it is well worth it to try. Start out gently. Don’t change the whole prayer meeting, just 15 minutes of it. Start with an explanation that you want to begin tonight with all of us praying for 10-15 minutes on one topic–then give the topic. Explain that after that, we can pray the way we have in the past.

Not everyone will like it, but hopefully enough in the group will recognize that the prayer time at the beginning was more engaging and will become supporters of doing it again.

–Jonathan Graf