What makes a satisfying prayer meeting?

On Monday the focus in the Prayer Room was a nation in South Asia. This morning it was on one in S.E. Asia. In the first, our praying was a mix of lament and enquiry: lamenting the nation’s pattern of disasters and struggle, and enquiring about the root issues behind their chaos and about what the Lord wants us to ask. The second was quite different: from worship we went into asking for a shining of Christ’s love in the nation to break the power of fear in hearts. The two sessions were completely unlike in tone and type of praying, yet both were heart-lifting, satisfying prayer times. What is it that makes prayer meetings, even diverse ones, deeply satisfying?

When the Lord first began showing us the importance of ADMIRING him in prayer, our sessions were quite often totally given to prayers of celebration, praise, thanks, adoration and hunger. At first it bothered me that we weren’t getting to the list of ‘asking points’. Then we realized the Lord was shaping something in us: he wasn’t devaluing the asking, but was teaching us the primacy of admiring him. Of course, we could cut the admiration short and push ahead with asking, but we were learning that when a shift takes us out of sync with the perfect Manager of prayer sessions, it usually puts us in the dry and tiring place of joyless prayer. The top line in our praying became: stay in agreement with him. He knows best what we should be praying and how.

So, this morning’s prayer session followed the Spirit’s prompting into bold asking. On Monday, it was lament and enquiry that was on his heart for us. The sessions were different, but both were deeply satisfying because they were tethered to the same goal: agreement with the Lord.

The mark of a satisfying prayer meeting is not the number of asking points covered, the volume and participation of the pray-ers, or even the quality of the worship music. It’s the shared love of agreeing with the Lord. So every prayer session becomes an opportunity to learn this, and the learning feeds growth in our enjoyment of him as pray-ers.