World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Prayer meeting

Article Id: WHEBN0005098423
Reproduction Date:

Title: Prayer meeting  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Acteal massacre, History of the Sword of the Spirit, Harp and bowl, William Clowes (Primitive Methodist)
Collection: Meetings, Prayer
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Prayer meeting

A prayer meeting in Victoria Square, Birmingham

A prayer meeting is a meeting of lay people for the purpose of prayer as a group. Prayer meetings are normally conducted outside regular services by one or more members of the clergy or other forms of church leadership; but they may also be initiated by decision of non-leadership members as well.


Prayer meetings may be held in public places, private homes, or small or large agreed-upon meeting places. Public prayer meetings may sometimes represent more than one religious faith, especially where the purpose for the prayer meeting involves a city or larger social unit.

The choice of venue depends on the intended participants, the purpose of the prayer meeting, and the size of the prayer meeting. Prayer meetings can consist of fewer than a dozen people. At the other end of the scale, the largest prayer meetings may involve several thousand people.

Prayer meetings are most commonly held at churches or mosques on days other than the normal day of worship. This is most common where only regular church or mosque members are expected to attend, although the public is usually welcome to attend a prayer meeting.

The smallest prayer meetings can be held at any agreed-upon place which is accessible to the group for religious purposes. Very large prayer meetings may be held in convention centers or arenas.


A prayer meeting may be held on any day of the week. Many churches and mosques schedule weekly prayer meetings. Wednesday evenings are particularly popular for Christian prayer meetings, as a time convenient to most church members and the date farthest away from Saturday or Sunday services. All of these prayer meetings are usually scheduled well in advance.

Prayer meetings may also be scheduled to coincide with breakfast or a related special event.

Special prayer meetings may be called on short notice during times of common crisis or concern. For example, a prayer meeting may be called if a church member is involved in a serious accident. A special prayer meeting on a larger scale is often called after a major disaster has hit the local community. In times of national mourning, small prayer meetings may be called all over the country during the following days, with one or more larger prayer meetings, possibly televised, near the location of the tragedy.


Prayer meetings provide social support to those who attend. The prayers during the prayer meeting sometimes ask their deity for a positive outcome in times of uncertainty.

Some prayer meetings are targeted at repentance, either of those attending or of another person or organization which is not in attendance. The latter type of prayer meetings are also a form of protest against the sinful behavior of the targeted person or organization.

In the years before widespread news media, prayer meetings were also a primary source of news and information (including firsthand accounts) about the events leading to the meeting being called. At the same time as the news was received, the prayer meeting offered ways to deal with changing circumstances. This still continues in modern times. However, the impact of such a prayer meeting is now much stronger among the worshipers than among the general public.

See also


  • Cowan, John Franklin (1906) New life in the old prayer-meeting. Fleming H. Revell.
  • (1870). The Prayer-Meeting, and Its History, as Identified with the Life and Power of Godliness, and the Revival of Religion. United Presbyterian Board of Publication. OCLC: 5004714
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.