by Rev. James Wong
The scenario: A handful of members get together but feel discouraged over the poor attendance in the church prayer meeting. Thus, the best course of action for the few faithful is to pray for the prayer meeting.
I asked a Korean pastor whether it is usual for Korean churches to have early morning prayer meeting every day and his answer floored me. He said no one wants to go to a church that does not have daily morning prayer meeting. Is it a matter of culture, church tradition, Christian upbringing, or too many church activities that we do not see the importance of corporate prayer meeting? There is a place for corporate prayer.
Starbuck sells coffee, KFC sells fried chicken and the Church is a house of prayer. Jesus says , the temple which is a place of worship, is called a house of prayer for all nations” (Mark 11:17). Today, the church is still a house of prayer not just for Sunday service. This means, Christians must come together to pray corporately. The prayer meeting is like the power station of a city. The spiritual power of the church is dependent on her prayer station. When this station is weak the power of God is not manifested in the church. Without passionate faith and prayer of God’s people, the gift of signs and wonders, the gift of healing and many other ‘power gifts’ will not survive and the church ends up nothing more than a religious institution talking about religious morality, devoid of the “demonstration of the Spirit’s power” (see 1 Cor 2:4-5).
The members of the early church were ’devoted’ to prayer (Acts 2:42). To devote oneself to prayer means to ’dedicate oneself exclusively to the purpose of prayer.’ It is a choice we have to make. The Bible teaches us to be ‘faithful in prayer’ (Rom 12:12) and ‘persistent in prayer’ (Col 4:2). Listen to what Jesus says about prayer:
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” Matt 7:7-8 (NIV). Is it not comforting to know that God answers our prayer when we ask, seek and knock?
"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them" Matt 18:19-20 (NIV). When Christians gather together in corporate prayer they will see God works in a special way.