Tag Archives: Prayer meeting

How to Secure Attendance at a Prayer Meeting by R.J. George

R.J. George was a predecessor of mine by more than a century, having served as a pastoral theology professor at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary from 1892 until the time of his death in 1911. George wrote a three-volume set entitled Lectures in Pastoral Theology that contains a treasure trove of pastoral advice. In his second volume, entitled Pastors and People, he explains with wisdom, care, quaintness, and even some humor how a pastor should go about encouraging people to come to a prayer meeting (pages 32-34). I have reproduced this short section below with some editing.

If interested, you can view these volumes online (Vol. I, Vol. II, Vol. III). George goes on after this section to explain how to conduct a prayer meeting, the exercises that should take place within the meeting, and the helps then the hindrances to a prayer meeting, That the church would have such precise care and practice today!


1) Arrange carefully as to the place of meeting.

a. If possible have all meet together. It is always heartsome to have a good-sized meeting. It promotes a warmth, and sociability, and congregational spirit.

b. If necessary, district the congregation. You must study the convenience of the people. They cannot […]

Mentor Whispers

Last week retired pastor Dr. Roy Blackwood, who has been a longtime mentor to me, and his family made yet more volumes of his library available.  Knowing that many of my friends had gone through his books numerous times – as have I – I did not expect to find anything else of interest.  Yet I came home with a box of books.

One of the treasures of obtaining a mentor’s books is that seeing notes or highlights in them is like having him whisper in your ear. That’s how I felt when I saw the following underlined.  I share this whisper with you:

“The prayer-meeting is the spiritual thermometer.  The rise and fall of interest in the prayer-meeting marks the change of heat or coldness in the church.  You may be at a loss to determine which is the cause and which is the effect; i.e., whether the cold prayer-meeting makes a cold church, or a cold church makes a cold prayer-meeting; but we know that a cold prayer-meeting indicates a cold church.  They are inter-operative.” -R.J. George, Lectures in Pastoral Theology, “The Prayer-Meeting,” p. 29.