As part of our Praying Across Alabama prayer emphasis this year, members of First Baptist are hosting “Cottage Prayer Meetings.” The idea is to gather like-minded people who share a common burden regarding their circles of influence and to pray. Below is what we are asking each host to do:
Every Cottage Prayer Meeting Should Have One Clearly Defined Focus
There is so much to pray for in our community that we could never cover it all in one prayer meeting. That is why we have multiple cottage prayer meetings – to cover the various prayer needs in our community. So, accept the role of being one piece of a large mosaic. Don’t feel guilty for leaving something or someone out. If we vainly attempt to cover everything, our prayers will be indistinct and indefinite. With vague, fuzzy praying like that, how would we know if God answered our prayers? How could we pray with any passion when we don’t know exactly what we’re praying for? That is why we ask each host of a cottage prayer meeting to zero in on one clearly defined focus.
God answers specific prayer. God gets serious about answering prayer when we have something specific on our hearts that we are serious about seeing an answer to! “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
As you consider a possible prayer focus: Ask yourself, “For whom am I burdened?” Start there. Base your focus on your heart-burden. Find others who share the same burden. Pray together about that! Are you burdened for your fellow-employees at your place of work? Are you burdened for a specific need or struggle or temptation common in your community? Any of these would make a great focus.
Crowd Size: Generally, our best reports in regard to the prayer time have come from groups of four to six. So, don’t worry over having a large crowd. However, you will want to be sure and personally invite those you believe would share your burden for the prayer focus you have in mind. People sometimes miss announcements.
Relax…. Things you don’t have to do:
- Provide a spacious and luxurious home; this is a prayer meeting, not a Parade of Homes.
- Prepare a lot of food; fasting would be more appropriate than feasting. Coffee and a few cookies are OK, but not necessary.
- Present a Bible study; on this occasion, we are gathered to talk to God, not listen to a study.
In the Prayer Meeting
- Once everyone arrives, read (or have someone read) a brief passage of Scripture.
- Explain that the purpose of this prayer meeting is to pray for your prayer focus – the spiritual well-being of your neighborhood or the people you are trying to reach at work, or whatever it is – and that this is not a meeting to pray for the sick.
- Take prayer requests that are on point for the prayer meeting. Explain when you begin taking requests, that you are seeking requests that are related to the stated purpose of the prayer meeting.
- Start the prayer promptly and early in the meeting; then if people want to hang around to talk, they can – but those who need to, can leave – without missing out on the prayer time.
- Don’t allow the prayer request time to drag out too long. Otherwise the prayer meeting may end up being all requests and no prayer. You may even wish to use an egg timer and end requests when the bell rings.
- Tell people they can pray more than once. If they forget something, they can pray again.
- You can host the prayer meeting on any night at any time, except when church is meeting.
- You can sign up in the foyer to host a Cottage Prayer Meeting. That way, we can help you publicize your prayer meeting. Tell us your specific prayer focus, day, date, time, and address. Sometimes, you can be surprised at who shares your burden and will show up to help you pray about it.
See First Baptist’s prayer emphasis schedule at: www.fbctallassee.com/paa