What is a "Charismatic" Prayer Meeting"?
A "Charismatic Prayer Meeting" is a
weekly gathering of Christians to give praise, thanks, honor, and love to Jesus Christ as
our Lord and Savior. In the Archdiocese of Singapore, there are 24 prayer groups gathering each week as a community of believers in the power of
prayer. We pray and praise God on a one-to-one basis, as the Holy Spirit moves us.
A prayer meeting is also a time to pray for the
needs of others - Intercessory Prayer. Biblical examples abound: Job for his children (Job
1:5), Abraham for his nephew (Gen 18), Moses for Israel (Exodus 32), Daniel for the
remnant (Daniel 9), Ester for the Jews (Ester 4-5), Jesus for Peter (Luke 22:31-32), and
Paul for his kinsmen (Rom 9:1-5).
What is the Purpose of a
Prayer Group Meeting?
A prayer meeting is not a social gathering,
a therapy session, or a time for counseling. It is a time to give our full
attention to Jesus— through the help of the Holy Spirit. St. John Damascene
stated, "Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God." But when we
pray, do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or out of the depths of
a humble and contrite heart? Remember that Jesus also promised, that when two or
more are gathered in His name, He will be in our midst.
St. Paul reminds us, "Pray without ceasing.
In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ
Jesus." (1 Thes. 5:20).
To praise, worship, and honor God with others who
share the same faith.
To build up the Body of Christ through
faith-sharing experiences AND PRAYER.
What happens at a Prayer Group
Each prayer group is uniquely different because
the group reflects the personalities and gifts of those who attend. However, there are
some common happenings. Since Mary is the Patroness of the Renewal, many groups start by
praying the Rosary. Some start with gathering songs, followed by an opening prayer, a time
of praise and worship, and a reading from Scripture. There also can be testimony (How
God is working in someones life), prophecy (God inspiring someone to speak),
and ministering of the Gifts of the Spirit by praying over one another.
There also may be prayer in tongues (See 1 Cor.
12:7-10), or prophecy of tonguesprophetic utterances. "Do not quench the
Spirit. Do not despise prophetic utterances." (I Thes. 5:19-20)
How Long do Prayer
Most usually last a minimum of 1 ˝ hours.
Do I have to raise my
hands to Pray if I attended a Prayer Meeting?
No. While hands raised in prayer is not unusual,
you should pray as you feel comfortable, remembering to respect others as they pray in the
way they feel comfortable. Outward manifestations of prayer are not important. St. Therese
of Lisieux summed prayer up for her by saying: "For me, prayer is a surge of the
heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love,
embracing both trial and joy."
Do I have to say:
"Praise the Lord, Alleluia, or Amen?"
No, you do not have to say or do anything.
Whether prayer is expressed in words or gestures, it is the whole person who prays.
Scripture speaks sometimes of the soul or the spirit, but most often of the heart (more
than a thousand times). According to Scripture, it is the heart that prays. If our heart
is far from God, the words of prayer are in vain. (See the Catechism of the Catholic
Church section 2562)
Is a Prayer Group a Parish
No. It is a small faith-sharing community. It is
unlike parish organizations such as the St. Vincent de Paul, RCIA or Legion of
Mary, because its primary mission is to develop a personal conversion to Jesus
Christ through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit for those who belong to
What are the Spiritual
Beside the seven gifts of the Holy
Spirit--Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Counsel, Piety, Fortitude, and Fear of the Lord,
Charismatics strive for the spiritual gifts of tongues and prophesy so that the church may
be built up. (See 1 Cor. 14:1-5)
Is "Baptism in the
Spirit" a New Sacrament?
No. It is the RELEASE of the POWER of the Holy
Spirit already within us which we received at our Baptism and Confirmation. Baptism in
the Spirit helps us to develop the gifts of the Holy Spirit and live the Christian
life. It helps us to experience a new ability to appreciate Jesus, the Bible, our daily
prayer life, and our faith through this living experience.
The United States Conference of Bishops
explained it this way in their recent document (March 1997), Grace for the New
"In the Sacraments of Initiation we
experience the action of the Triune God. As regards the Third Person of the Trinity, in
Baptism we become temples of the Holy Spirit; in Eucharist we share in the Body and Blood
of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit; in Confirmation we are empowered with the
gifts and charisms of the Spirit to be witnesses for Jesus Christ. "In this
statement, we want not only to affirm the good fruit of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal
but also the grace which is at the heart of this Renewal, namely, baptism in the Holy
Spirit, or the fuller release of the Holy Spirit, as some would prefer.
"As experienced in the Catholic Charismatic
Renewal, baptism in the Holy Spirit makes Jesus Christ known and loved as Lord and Savior,
establishes or reestablishes an immediacy of relationship with all those persons of the
Trinity, and through inner transformation affects the whole of the Christians
"Because of this, it is our conviction that
Baptism in the Holy Spirit, understood as the reawakening in Christian experience of the
presence and action of the Holy Spirit given in Christian initiation, and manifested in a
broad range of charisms, including those closely associated with the Catholic
Charismatic Renewal, is part of the normal Christian life."
Do I have to talk about
myself or speak at a Prayer Meeting?
No. Most people do not. You don't have to give a
testimony. Simply come to experience the life and love of Jesus working in the people
present at the meeting. Come to listen, praise, and learn how prayer to God the Holy
Spirit can change your life.
What is a
A testimony is also called "faith
sharing" which is the recounting of how the Lord is working in someones life.
It is always a first-hand experience, not another persons story. If the testimony is
led by the Spirit, the result will be that the center of the testimony is the honor and
glory of Jesus, not the person sharing.
Can I Grow Spiritually in
the Charismatic Renewal?
Yes! We are encouraged by the leadership of
Pope John Paul II who have written pastoral statements
supporting and encouraging the renewal.
As we prepare for the Third Millennium, as
called for by Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter, Tertio Millennio Adveniente
(As the Third Millennium Draws Near), the United States Catholic Conference of
Bishops stated, "We believe the Catholic Charismatic Renewal is particularly called
and gifted by God to be with the Church as it prepares for the Great Jubilee and for the
challenges it faces as we enter the new millennium." (Grace for the New Springtime, March 1997)
Reese Howells wrote, "The Holy Spirit, the
only present Intercessor on earth, has no heart upon which He can lay burdens, and no
bodies through which He can suffer and work, except the hearts and bodies of those in whom
He dwells. We become intercessors by reason of the Intercessor within us.
What Is The Doctrine of
the Charismatic Renewal?
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal centers on the renewal of individual commitment
to the person of Jesus Christ in His Church, through the power of the Holy
Spirit, as in the day of Pentecost of Acts 2.
The individuals in the Charismatic Renewal believe that they have been "filled"
or "baptized" with the Holy Spirit, often through the laying on of the hands.
The signs of the "baptism" or "filling" may include joy, the gifts of speaking
in tongues or glossolalia, resting in the Spirit or slaying in the Spirit,
prophecy, healing, interpretation of tongues, discernment of spirits… the 9
spiritual gifts of 1Cor.12:8-10.
This commitment has been the center of every authentic renewal in the history of
the Church. It begins by the re-anointing with the presence of the Holy Spirit,
like in any Pentecost in the Bible, and it is primarily a renewal of the gifts
received in the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. It is a renewal in the
elements of the Gospel that are central, not optional: The covenant love of the
Father, the Lordship of Jesus, the power of the Spirit, sacramental and
community life, prayer, charisms and the necessity of evangelization…
The results are many. Along with the reception and use of the charisms, people
talk of a new and deeper personal knowledge and commitment to Jesus in his
Church. They find a new power and meaning of all kinds of prayer, a new love of
the scriptures, a new and deeper appreciation of the Church, of the sacraments,
of the liturgy, of the Pope, of the Blessed Mother, of the Holy Sacrifice of the
Mass, of the rosary, of the way of the cross.
May God Bless You by awaking the power of the Holy Spirit within You
In The Love of Christ