Why do Protestants hold "prayer services"? Since "prayer service" is an English term, are there equivalents in other languages? When did this service start? How did it get started? How are "prayer services" different from the "worship services" on Sundays or "Masses" on every day of the week?
closed as too broad by Caleb♦ Jul 1 '14 at 7:22
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From a Fundamentalist Pentecostal pov, "Prayer Services" are usually geared towards corporate prayer and petitions of God.
These prayer(s) can be very long (over 30mins each). If any hymns are sung or preaching is preached, it is to prepare the church (congregation) for prayer.
These prayers can be in support of a specific cause; i.e. imprisoned missionaries, warring countries, illness, etc.
This is different from "regular worship services" where the focus is preaching/teaching.
**EDIT: In the quest to find Biblical standing for "Prayer Meetings", it doesn't seem like there any passages of Jesus explicitly being part of a "prayer meeting", since majority of the time he spent that time alone with God and sometimes invite a few to support Him.
Here are the passages that talk about him being alone:
Christ Himself advocates that we pray in isolation:
It's possible that the Apostles congregated for prayer:
Other followers of Christ praying together for a cause
Summary of the Biblical references
This answer was written in answer to the original question, before it was massively rewritten and as the question is now asked does not apply to or answer your question.
Please do not down vote or otherwise denigrate my answer, since it does apply and does answer the original question.
Your question cannot be answered simply. In answering your question we must first know what is prayer? Prayer is much more than just talking to God. There are in fact many different types of prayers, Intercessory prayers, personal prayers and so on.
All Scripture is quoted from the King James translation:
Some prayers need to be personal such as when Jesus said to his disciples;
Personal prayers should be just that, they should be between you and your God. When you are asking God for a particular blessing, such as the perfect mate, you are in fact asking God amend his plans and alter things in order for you to satisfy your personal situation. While it is not wrong for you to make such a petition, it is not something that should be requested in public.
Just as there are some prayers, that should be private there are some prayers which should be shared, intercessory prayer is one in which it is necessary that those being prayed for should be aware of it. Jesus taught us this with his intercessory prayer for the Disciples in:
When we take a longer look at this prayer we find that even though it is to the Father, It is really for and directed to the Disciples. Most of what is being said is not for God's benefit, but for the disciples. God was supremely aware of the points Jesus was making.
We need be mindful of this when we pray for others.
Now to answer your question about corporate prayer.
There are situations in which we are directed to pray for General well being.
We are given an example of this in type of group prayer in the passages where Peter is loosed from Prison by an Angel:
The best reason for group prayer is given in:
Most of us hope that we will be joined by our fellow Christians, who are God's people and called by his name, in constantly doing this.