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Prayer Meetings ( 59 )
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
 
Prayer  Meetings
 
A prayer meeting will always tell the true interest of the church members in spiritual and eternal things. The prayer meeting is as the pulse to the body; it denotes the true spiritual condition of the church. A lifeless, backslidden church has no relish for the prayer meetings.-- Selections from Testimonies to the Managers and Workers in our Institutions  (Ph 149, p 32).  Pastoral Ministries, page 183.2
 
 
The prayer-meetings should be the most interesting gatherings that are held; but these are frequently poorly managed. Many attend preaching, but neglect the prayer-meeting. Here, again, thought is required. Wisdom should be sought of God, and plans should be laid to conduct the meetings so that they will be interesting and attractive. The people hunger for the bread of life. If they find it at prayer-meeting, they will go there to receive it. Testimonies Vol. 4, page 70.3  {GW92 324.4}  Church Manual, page 123
The prayer meetings should be the most interesting gatherings that are held; but these are frequently poorly managed. Many attend preaching, but neglect the prayer meeting. Here, again, thought is required. Wisdom should be sought of God, and plans should be laid to conduct the meetings so that they will be interesting and attractive. The people hunger for the Bread of Life. If they find it at prayer meeting, they will go there to receive it.-- 4T 70.3. {PaM 184.3} 
 
 
Those who are of the household of faith should never neglect the assembling of themselves together; for this is God's appointed means of leading His children into unity, in order that in Christian love and fellowship they may help, strengthen, and encourage one another. My brethren and sisters in Greater New York, if you would come together for prayer-meetings; if, after confession of sin and humiliation of soul, you would have a love-feast--every heart filled with true love for his brethren--you would see the salvation of God.  {4MR 272.4}  {7MR 97.3}
Those who are of the household of faith should never neglect the assembling of themselves together; for this is God's appointed means of leading His children into unity, in order that in Christian love and fellowship they may help, strengthen, and encourage one another. My brethren and sisters, if you would come together for prayer-meetings, if, after confession of sin and humiliation of soul, you would have a love-feast, -- every heart filled with true love for his brethren, -- you would see the salvation of God.  {BTS, February 1, 1910 par. 1}
 
There are rich promises for us in the Word of God. The plan of salvation is ample. It is no narrow, limited provision that has been made for us. We are not obliged to trust in the evidence that we had a year or a month ago, but we may have the assurance today that Jesus lives, and is making intercession for us. We cannot do good to those around us while our own souls are destitute of spiritual life. Our ministers do not wrestle all night in prayer, as many godly ministers before us have done. They sit up bent over tables, writing lessons, or preparing articles to be read by thousands; they arrange facts in shape to convince the mind in regard to doctrine. All these things are essential; but how much God can do for us in sending light and convicting power to hearts in answer to the prayer of faith! The empty seats in our prayer meetings testify that Christians do not realize the claims of God upon them; they do not realize their duty to make these meetings interesting and successful. They go over a monotonous, wearisome round, and return to their home unrefreshed, unblessed.-- RH, Apr. 22, 1884. {DG 82.1}
 
Everything is to be done that can be done to enlarge the sphere of Christian influence. Christ's church members are to work earnestly for those who are perishing in their sins. Let the church prayer meetings be a source of spiritual life, a place where the members of the church may learn to work in spiritual lines. Let all enter upon the Lord's work with sanctified earnestness. Let those who in the past have been merely consumers, now become producers. Let the Lord's people bring their gifts and offerings for the furtherance of his work. Thus the kingdom of God will be greatly extended.  {SpM 180.4}
 
I remember in Battle Creek when there were those who felt the burden for the unconverted, and those who were in darkness and saw no light; then prayer meetings were appointed that they might make the strength of God their strength. In every case the heavenly intelligences worked with these efforts, and souls were saved.  {Mar 38.1}
 
Our brethren do not wrestle all night in prayer as many godly men before us have done. They sit up bent over tables, writing lessons, or preparing articles to be read by thousands; they arrange facts in shape to convince the mind in regard to doctrine. All these things are essential; but how much God can do for us in sending light and power to convict hearts in answer to the prayer of faith! The empty seats in our prayer-meetings testify that Christians do not realize the claims of God upon them; they do not realize their duty to make these meetings interesting and successful. They go over a monotonous, wearisome round, and return home unrefreshed, unblessed.  {GW92 427.5}
 
The children and youth who give themselves to God can do a similar work of service for him. It is your privilege to lead your companions and associates to Christ. You can not tell what an influence you may have with the young of your own age. You can give them an example, and the older ones can help the children who want to give their hearts to God. You can have little prayer-meetings. I remember how in my childhood I used to go a mile to attend a little prayer-meeting in a family, and then another day we would go to another, and then to still another family. In these little meetings we used to read the Bible, sing a hymn, pray, and then speak to one another, relating experiences, and telling how we could love and serve God.  {YI, November 3, 1908 par. 17}
 
A prayer-meeting will always tell the true interest of the church-members in spiritual and eternal things. The prayer-meeting is as the pulse to the body; it denotes the true spiritual condition of the church. A lifeless, backslidden church has no relish for the prayer-meetings. Young men and women of no depth of religious experience; who are vain and proud and frivolous, can feel no satisfaction in engaging in religious exercises. They prefer to pass the time in flirtations or reading novels, or in other ways of pleasing and gratifying the feelings of the natural heart.  {PH152 7.1}
 
 
prayer  meetings  are  neglected
 
The preached Word will be powerless for the conviction and conversion of souls, while a sleepy, lazy, and backslidden church are all that are left to sustain the efforts of the laborer. The efforts of Christ's ambassadors will be successful only when sustained by an earnest, praying, working people. Prayer meetings are neglected, while concerts, singing schools, and various entertainments are faithfully patronized. "It's only a prayer meeting," is often repeated by church members; I can not call them Christians. Exciting popular lectures will interest the church members and call them out, when the prayer meeting has no attraction for them. This reveals the true spiritual condition of the church. God is not pleased with this state of things. Spiritual and eternal things are not appreciated, while temporal matters are exalted above things of eternal interest.  {PH149 31.2}
 
  A prayer meeting will always tell the true interest of the church members in spiritual and eternal things. The prayer meeting is as the pulse to the body; it denotes the true spiritual condition of the church. A lifeless, backslidden church has no relish for the prayer meetings. Young men and women of no depth of religious experience, who are vain and proud and frivolous, can feel no satisfaction in engaging in religious exercises. They prefer to pass the time in flirtations or reading novels, or in other ways of pleasing and gratifying the feelings of the natural heart.  {PH149 32.1}
 
 
The preached Word will be powerless for the conviction and conversion of souls, while a sleepy, lazy, and backslidden church are all that are left to sustain the efforts of the laborers. The efforts of Christ's ambassadors will be successful only when sustained by an earnest, praying, working people. Prayer-meetings are neglected, while concerts, singing schools, and various entertainments are faithfully patronized. "It's only a prayer-meeting," is often repeated by church-members; I can not call them Christians. Exciting popular lectures will interest the church-members and call them out, when the prayer-meeting has no attraction for them. This reveals the true spiritual condition of the church. God is not pleased with this state of things. Spiritual and eternal things are not appreciated, while temporal matters are exalted above things of eternal interest.  {PH152 6.2}
 
 
I was shown that there is not with a number of those at work in the office a true sense of religious things. Those who have left the east for the Pacific Coast should not in their daily and religious life pursue a course which is not worthy of imitation. They disgrace and misrepresent those who are connected with the work in the east. They should be circumspect in their conduct. Their daily religious life is very defective. Eternal interests are placed below the temporal. I saw that against the names of several now at work in the Signs Office was written in the ledger of heaven, "Wanting--weighed in the balance and found wanting." As the searching eyes of the Judge rested upon these unfaithful ones, their countenances became pale, and terror seized them. Some had not been guilty of any great wrong, but they had not let their light so shine before men that others, by seeing their good works, would reflect glory to God. You who are working in the office may avail yourselves of religious privileges if you will, so that you may have spiritual strength to put forth spiritual exercise for your own benefit and that of others. Prayer-meetings are neglected, religious duties are left undone, and the conscience is at ease. What does this spiritual slothfulness say in favor of Christ? Just this, that your own business, or the mechanical work in which you are engaged, is of more consequence than the service of God.  {PH152 5.2}
 
I was shown that there is not, with a number of those at work in the office, a true sense of religious things. Those who have left the East for the Pacific Coast should not in their daily and religious life pursue a course which is not worthy of imitation. They disgrace and misrepresent those who are connected with the work in the East. They should be circumspect in their conduct. Their daily religious life is very defective. Eternal interests are placed below the temporal. I saw that against the names of several now at work in the Signs office was written in the ledger of heaven, "Wanting--weighed in the balance and found wanting." As the searching eyes of the Judge rested upon these unfaithful ones, their countenances became pale, and terror seized them. Some had not been guilty of any great wrong, but they had not let their light so shine before men that others, by seeing their good works, would reflect glory to God. You who are working in the office may avail yourselves of religious privileges if you will, so that you may have spiritual strength to put forth spiritual exercise for your own benefit and that of others. Prayer meetings are neglected, religious duties are left undone, and the conscience is at ease. What does this spiritual slothfulness say in favor of Christ? Just this, that your own business, or the mechanical work in which you are engaged, is of more consequence than the service of God.  {PH149 30.2}
 
 
Prayer  meetings  established
 
In nearly every town there were scores, in some, hundreds, converted as a result of his preaching. In many places Protestant churches of nearly all denominations were thrown open to him, and the invitations to labor usually came from the ministers of the several congregations. It was his invariable rule not to labor in any place to which he had not been invited, yet he soon found himself unable to comply with half the requests that poured in upon him. Many who did not accept his views as to the exact time of the second advent were convinced of the certainty and nearness of Christ's coming and their need of preparation. In some of the large cities his work produced a marked impression. Liquor dealers abandoned the traffic and turned their shops into meeting rooms; gambling dens were broken up; infidels, deists, Universalists, and even the most abandoned profligates were reformed, some of whom had not entered a house of worship for years. Prayer meetings were established by the various denominations, in different quarters, at almost every hour, businessmen assembling at midday for prayer and praise. There was no extravagant excitement, but an almost universal solemnity on the minds of the people. His work, like that of the early Reformers, tended rather to convince the understanding and arouse the conscience than merely to excite the emotions.  Great Controversy, page 331.3
 
 
"Special meetings were appointed where sinners might have an opportunity to seek their Saviour and prepare for the fearful events soon to take place. Terrible conviction spread through the entire city. Prayer-meetings were established, and there was a general awakening among the various denominations, for they all felt more or less the influence that proceeded from the teaching of the near coming of Christ.  {LS88 137.3}  {LS 21.2}  {ST, January 20, 1876 par. 7}‚Äč
 
 
Special meetings were appointed where sinners might have an opportunity to seek their Saviour and prepare for the fearful events soon to take place. Terror and conviction spread through the entire city. Prayer meetings were established, and there was a general awakening among the various denominations, for they all felt more or less the influence that proceeded from the teaching of the near coming of Christ.  {1T 14.3}
 
I remember in Battle Creek when there were those who felt the burden for the unconverted, and those who were in darkness and saw no light; then prayer meetings were appointed that they might make the strength of God their strength. In every case the heavenly intelligences worked with these efforts, and souls were saved.-- Ms 32, 1893, p. 7. (Untitled, February 16, 1893.)  {6MR 376.1}
 
But our peculiar faith should not be discussed with patients. Their minds should not be unnecessarily excited upon subjects wherein we differ, unless they themselves desire it, and then great caution should be observed, not to agitate the mind by urging upon them our peculiar faith. The Health Institute is not the place to be forward to enter into discussion upon points of our faith wherein we differ with the religious world generally. They have prayer-meetings at the Institute, where all may take part if they choose, and there is an abundance to dwell upon in regard to Bible religion, without objectionable points of difference. The silent influence will do more than open controversy. In exhortation in the prayer-meetings, some Sabbath-keepers have felt they must bring in the Sabbath, and the third angel's message, or they could not have freedom. This is characteristic of narrow minds. Patients not acquainted with our faith know not what is meant by third angel's message. The introduction of these terms without a clear explanation of them only does harm. We must meet the people where they are, and yet we need not sacrifice one principle of the truth. The prayer-meeting will prove a blessing to patients, helpers, and physicians. Brief and interesting seasons of prayer and social worship will increase the confidence of patients in their physicians and helpers. The helpers should not be deprived of these meetings by work, unless positively necessary. They need them, and should enjoy them. By thus establishing regular meetings, the patients gain confidence in the Institute, and feel more at home. And thus the way is prepared for the seed of truth to take root in some hearts. These meetings especially interest some who profess to be Christians, and make a favorable impression upon those who do not. Mutual confidence is increased for one another, and prejudice is weakened, and in many cases entirely removed. Then there is an anxiety to attend the Sabbath meeting. There, in the house of God, is the place to speak our denominational sentiments, dwelling with clearness upon essential points of present truth, and with the spirit of Christ, in love and tenderness, urge home upon all hearts the necessity of obedience to all the requirements of God, and let the truth convict hearts.  {PH138 10.1}
 
In exhortation in the prayer meetings some Sabbathkeepers have felt that they must bring in the Sabbath and the third angel's message or they could not have freedom. This is characteristic of narrow minds. Patients not acquainted with our faith do not know what is meant by the third angel's message. The introduction of these terms without a clear explanation of them does only harm. We must meet the people where they are, and yet we need not sacrifice one principle of the truth. The prayer meeting will prove a blessing to patients, helpers, and physicians. Brief and interesting seasons of prayer and social worship will increase the confidence of patients in their physicians and helpers. The helpers should not be deprived of these meetings by work unless it is positively necessary. They need them and should enjoy them.  {3T 167.1}
 
 
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