Sunday, December 14, 2008

All Night Prayer 101

Hear my prayer, LORD God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob.--Psalm 84:8.

It strikes me that I have never attended an all-night prayer meeting. These are more common where revival and renewal is breaking out, such as in South Korea and China. If you have experienced this kind of even and have any ideas for how to proceed, please let me know.


Yossman said...

While with Operation Mobilization I used to attend regular prayer nights that usually went on till around midnight. Two years ago we started monthly prayer nights in our church lasting till about 1.30 am. The only times I really prayed through the night was with my wife (with her doing most of the praying).

When in a bigger group I find it easier than in a small group. When praying with my wife about a year and a half ago I found myself asleep on my knees a lot. Sometimes the Spirit moves and you are so captivated and energized that it's easy to stay awake.

I normally don't look forward to the prayer nights. I find it tough to pray and the prospect of having to stay awake for so long (often combined with some sort of fasting) is dreadful. Afterwards though there is a sense of contentment.

David Parker said...

A few people organized an event at my church for all night prayer. We had some coffee brewing the whole time to stay awake. We sort of cycled between prayer requests, praying out loud, and singing a praise song. That helps break it up.

Then around 4am when everyone was getting tired, we went on a walk around the downtown area and prayed out loud for different things in the community.

Daniel said...

I haven't been to an official all night prayer group but once I went to a prayer time with some people that went well into the night for several hours. When people would be lost for things to say they would read from the Scriptures. That will spark for material and let the Spirit move you. Of course the idea wasn't to be praying just to pray, but intentionality is key.

Susan said...

I once organized an all night prayer-vigil before Easter Sunday, and then we all attended the sunrise service. We had a series of reflections, readings, song, and times of group as well as private prayer, and prayer-walked around the park next to the church.

I've wanted to do something like this since then, but people aren't usually interested in actually doing it, though no one suggests its not a "good idea"

SK said...

I organized one in 1995 for pro-life advocates who work full-time for the cause yet lacked funding to support themselves.

We had five groups meeting across the US, one in Los Angeles, one in San Diego, one in New Jersey, one in New Hampshire, and one in Kansas.

We began with an hour of Scripture (read throught the gospel of John), followed by 20 minutes of prayer, 10 minute break, another 20 minutes of prayer, etc.,--both out loud and silent. We also sang hymns. We hooked up by phone with the other groups three times during the night. Group size at each location was 10. We began at 8 PM PST and ended at 4 a.m.

Funding did increase for some, especially those who combined prayer with hard work.

Ben said...

I participated in three or so during my college years, including as the planner for the last one. The one I planned was 8pm-8am (or something like that). I invited people to come for as much or as little time as they were available. Probably 20 people total participated, though I was the only person who stayed for the entire time, and there were definitely some thin hours with just two or three of us. If ever I plan something like this again, I would start with a group of people committed to staying for the entire night, and then, maybe I would invite others to drop in whenever they could.

We started with praise, moved to a time of confession followed by acknowledged forgiveness, had many hours of directed supplication for different needs (personal, local, national, and international), and closed in thanksgiving. Of course, as the only person who had been there the entire time, I realized that I was the only one who experienced the full sweep of the "program," and this was very discouraging for me at the time. (I've since engaged in a learning contract on intercessory prayer, partly as a healing vehicle from wounds I carried from this experience.) We had no coffee, which was probably both a bane and a blessing in different ways. I wonder about certain elements in the structure of the night, too (too much? wrong kind?).

If you plan something, either at Wellspring or the seminary, I would like to hear about it.