Fostering thanksgiving and praise are a key to hosting a powerful prayer meeting.
A Youth for Christ ministry in Canada had a financial deficit. During a prayer meeting the accountant was asked how the ministry was doing financially. He responded, “I won’t lie: we have no money and we have bills to pay but I want to tell you a story. For the last number of months I have been praying and fasting for a friend with cancer. Last month, God healed him and the cancer is gone! God healed my friend and He can certainly lead us through this financial obstacle. I am thankful.” When this staff shared his story, something shifted in the once tense prayer meeting. Thankfulness had given room for those praying to enter back into the presence of God and face their financial obstacles for ministry in faith. In the weeks that followed God graciously provided what this Youth for Christ ministry needed to continue.
Next time you lead a prayer meeting remember to call people to thanksgiving and praise.
Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.”
God instructed the Israelites to remember His power, miracles and works. He instructed them to share these testimonies with the next generation. When the Israelites forgot what God had done, they would often fall into enemy hands (read Psalm 78: 5-7, 9-11, 41-42).
Thanksgiving and praise focus us to remember what God has done. They help us grow us in confidence to what He will do in the future. Thanksgiving and praise assure our hearts in courage to face current obstacles and challenges.
Exhibit thanksgiving and praise in a prayer meeting by:
- Remember your personal encounters and history with the Lord. Remember when/how He saved you, transformed your heart, provided for your ministry, transformed a friend, youth or family member.
- Invite thankful participation. If you are leading a prayer meeting, have your team speak out in prayer to the Lord what they are thankful for.
- Have your team declare in thankfulness their trust in God’s ability to guide, protect, counsel and transform.
- Incorporate music. Invite a worship leader to lead music that expresses thankfulness for God’s presence and praise for His ability to act, heal and restore. Feel free to move back and forth between intercessory prayer and music.
- Be creative and share prayers of thankfulness and praise by having your team write them down, paint them, express them in song or creative arts.
- Celebrate communion together, remembering what Jesus did by dying our death so we may live in His resurrection. Express thanksgiving and praise while receiving the elements of bread and wine/juice.