A “prayer meeting” is “a meeting for prayer.” It is a time for children of God to come together to present their petitions to God the Father. It is NOT the prayer of an individual who prays to the Father alone in a quiet place, as we see in Matthew 6:5-6, “And when YOU pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that THAT THEY MAY BE SEEN BY MEN…But when YOU pray, GO INTO YOUR ROOM, AND WHEN YOU HAVE SHUT THE DOOR, pray to YOUR Father who is in THE SECRET PLACE; and YOUR Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” This time of “private prayer to the Father” could hardly be called a “meeting”; the “prayer meeting” is a time of “collective prayer” where the saints are gathered together with burdens on their hearts that they will then present to “the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Thankfully, it does NOT have to be a large number meeting for prayer; it can be as small as two or three. Listen to this precious promise from the Lord Jesus in Matthew 18:19-20, “Again I say to you that if TWO of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where TWO OR THREE are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” This passage, interpreted in its context, has to do especially with a “meeting for discipline” (see verses 15-18), but the “prayer” referred to here would surely include “meeting together” in an official “prayer meeting” of the church where the saints would ask the Father to meet the needs presented and believing then that “it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”

It is interesting to see that even before the church was formed, they acted on Jesus’ words by having a “prayer meeting.” Before Jesus had ascended up to heaven, He told believers to “wait for the Promise (the Holy Spirit) of the Father” (Acts 1:4-5). After Jesus ascended to heaven (verse 9), they returned to Jerusalem and entered an upper room (verses 12-13) and “these all CONTINUED WITH ONE ACCORD IN PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION.” In Acts chapter 2, on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came and “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (verses 1-4a). In this act the CHURCH (the Body of Christ) WAS FORMED (see 1st Corinthians 12:13) and from that moment on “they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and IN PRAYERS.” The “prayer meeting” became an “official church meeting” where the Holy Spirit gathered them together unto the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ in order to present their needs before the Father and ask Him to meet those needs. In doing so they were expressing their utter dependence on God to meet their every need. It was an ACT OF FAITH based on Matthew 18:19-20 and other passages which Jesus had taught them (see John 14:13-14; 15:23-27).

In closing, we will cite two good examples of the church having a prayer meeting. In Acts 4:23-24 we read, “And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. So, when they heard that, THEY RAISED THEIR VOICE TO GOD WITH ONCE ACCORD AND SAID…” Peter and John had been imprisoned but as soon as they were “let go they went to their own companions (fellow-believers in the church at Jerusalem).” After rehearsing their story of their imprisonment and release, the church immediately felt led TO HAVE A PRAYER MEETING to pray that God would “grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word” (verse 29). In Acts chapter 12 Peter was once again put in prison and we read that “constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church” (verse 5). After Peter’s miraculous release from prison “he came to the house of Mary…where many were gathered together praying” (verse 12). Do we not see the beauty of prayer here? It is asking God the Father to meet SPECIFIC NEEDS, believing that He will indeed grant us our request as we offer it to Him in Jesus’ precious Name! This, my dear friend, is at the very heart of the “prayer meeting.” There is a tendency to neglect the prayer meeting and yet is it there that God grants us our petitions; it is there where we “obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).  (480.1)  (DO)