The Prayer Meeting
James Smith, 1856
My dear friend, do you attend the prayer meeting? Perhaps you do not understand its nature. It is a meeting of the Lord's people to pray for each other, and for the world at large. Jesus is always there, for he has said, "Where two or three meet together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." He always approves of prayer — but he has made special promises to united prayer. It is therefore important that prayer meetings should be kept up. Every Christian who can, ought to attend them. If you would meet your Savior, sympathize with your brethren, and seek the salvation of sinners around you — never neglect the prayer meetings.
Its tendency is . . .
to unite the saints together,
to quicken the graces of the Spirit,
to revive pure religion, and
bring down the blessing of God upon saints and sinners.
We have no hope that the church will prosper, if the prayer meetings are neglected, or if they are only attended in a formal customary way. The prayers offered should be short, warm from the heart, and every word spoken as if it was really meant. All present should join in heart. Is a brother dull in prayer? Pray God to quicken him. Is he formal? Pray that the value of souls may be laid on his heart. Never forget, never neglect, never let a trifling matter keep you from the prayer meeting!
Always go to pray for some particular blessing, or some particular person. Have your errand ready before you reach the place of meeting. If all the members of a church rightly valued prayer meetings; if all who could attended them; if all who attend wrestled with God; if there was a holy determination among the Lord's people to plead until they prevail — God would soon open the windows of Heaven and pour out a blessing. Then saints would be lively, the churches united, sinners called by grace, and God greatly glorified.
Have you neglected the prayer meeting? Realize it as a neglect of duty, and determine to neglect it no longer. Go to the very next that is held, if possible. Call upon someone who does not go, and try to induce him to attend. Pray before you go, pray as you go, pray while there, and pray when you retire — that God would pour out his blessing upon his church. We shall never see great things until our prayer meetings are lively, spiritual, and crowded. Never forget the prayer meeting, whatever you forget.