Brethren, we will never see much change for the better in our churches in general till the prayer meeting occupies a higher place in the esteem of Christians.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Despite the fact that we sit under outstanding preaching each week at The Village, our lead teaching pastor reminds us consistently that the monthly prayer meeting is the most important time in the life of our church. But what makes this statement true? How can a prayer meeting be more important than preaching?
The state of the typical prayer meeting in the 21st century church is, at best, anemic. If it is even a calendared event at a church, it is often dominated by theological lecture rather than by a practice of pastors and their people seeking the face of God. At The Village, the prayer meeting is a gathering not for proclamation but for prostration as we ask our holy and powerful God to do what only He can.
How Prayer and Preaching Relate
Prayer kindles the flames of powerful and effective gospel proclamation. The man history refers to as the “Prince of Preachers,” Charles Haddon Spurgeon, told his students the story of a quiet man in his congregation who would plead with the Lord before and during Spurgeon’s sermons. Spurgeon contended that any success in his preaching was due to that man’s persistent prayers and God’s mercy to grant them.
The same is true of the work the Lord is doing at The Village, both through the preaching and the people’s response. This movement is a product of nothing more or less than prayer. We must continue to be a people of corporate prayer if we are to see God do even more in our midst. We must continue to kindle the flames of gospel ministry through prayer.
What Happens at Elder-led Prayer?
Church leaders set the kindling out before the body every first week of the month. The Elder-led Prayer meeting is a time when we come before our Creator and say, “We can’t. You can.” Elder-led Prayer allows us to petition God corporately with the prayer requests brought before our church elders. Our elders give only a few minutes of address and direction between each interval of prayer. We sing together some, but not much. Our singular purpose is the business of prayer—genuine, conversational and worshipful prayer free of pretense, offered as an expression of obedience and dependence.
We gather in groups of three or four, coming before the throne of grace with confidence that He who leads us to prayer will also hear our prayers and grant our requests as they align with His eternal will. We encourage everyone to pray aloud together. As we do this, the Spirit is good to grant us reminders of needs and truths we may have overlooked if we were just praying alone.
The subjects of our prayers vary from the vast—praying the Lord would change the hearts of entire nations and governments—to the very personal—laying hands on sick brothers and sisters, asking for healing. Our elders are available to pray specifically over you and your family, your Home Group and your personal fears or difficulties.
Make Time to Gather
Elder-led Prayer is a time for our body to look to the precious promises of God revealed in His Word. We come to Him, fully assured that He is faithful to fulfill them all. In this, we receive great blessing as a church body.
Make time to gather and pray. Let us continue to meet in the name of Jesus, sincerely desiring His presence and confidently expecting His power as we go boldly before God and ask for it, together.
Elder-led Prayer meets the first Wednesday of every month, 7 p.m., at the Denton, Dallas Northway and Fort Worth campuses. It meets the first Sunday of every month, 5 p.m., at the Flower Mound campus.