Category Archives: Questions

What is a Prayer Meeting?


A charismatic prayer meeting has been called a “miracle” and, in one of the broad senses of that word as used by St. Paul, “a work of power!”  We believe that the Holy Spirit is the leader of the prayer group and that no two meetings will be the same.

The Spirit guides the group, as a group, but He also guides each of us personally in asking us to share in the praises of the Lord.

The phenomenon which will probably attract your attention, and might even dismay you, is singing or praying aloud with sounds which do not seem to be words.  This is called praying, or singing in tongues.  If you listen, you will find there is a subtle harmony which is almost ethereal in quality, as a group without effort or direction sings the praises of the Lord in the way which He guides them.  It can happen at times that some join in this harmony without being called by the Spirit, and then a disharmony can become evident.  Do not be disturbed.  Once again the leader will quietly and lovingly call the group to listen to the Lord’s prompting and not their own feelings or desires.

This “listening” to the Lord is the foundation of a charismatic prayer meeting.  The purpose of a prayer meeting is to pray; to give praise and worship to the Lord.  Everything else is subordinated to this.

At some time in the meeting there will most likely be “sharing,” “scripture reading,” and “prophecy,” as the Spirit leads His people and they begin to respond.

The charismatic gifts exercised by individuals and by the community are given for the up building of the community and are not signs of any particular sanctity on the part of those given the task.  The Lord has given each member of His mystical body special gifts for the up building of His body, and we have a serious responsibility to exercise these gifts.  Every member of the body depends upon every other for support and growth.  Failure to exercise the gifts the Lord has given us under the guise of humility (and a false one at that) is a failure to love those brothers and sisters God has grouped with us.

Our response to the Lord should always be a sincere and open, “Yes, Lord” to anything and everything He asks of us.  We will sometimes make mistakes, but mistakes which happen to men of good will can be amended by others of good will.

I pray that the Lord will guide you and that you will be able to respond to His call.  Praise the Lord, my brothers and sisters, for in Him and through His Holy Spirit we are made one as brothers and sisters with God our Father!

Excerpted from “A Charismatic Prayer Meeting” by Fr. Ralph Tichenor, S.J.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about the Charismatic Prayer Meeting

What is a Charismatic Prayer Meeting?

What is the Content of a Charismatic Prayer Meeting?

How Long do Prayer Meetings Last?

Do I Have to Raise my Hands or Pray Like Others Do?

Do I Have to Say “Praise the Lord, Alleluia”, etc., as others may do?

Is a Prayer Group a Parish Organization?

What are the Spiritual Gifts We Pray For?

Is the “Baptism in the Spirit” a New Sacrament?

Do I Have to Speak at a Prayer Meeting?

What is a “Testimony”?

How Can I Grow Spiritually?

Why Do We Sing?

Why Do Some Greet Others with a Hug?

Is a Charismatic Prayer Meeting Like a Eucharistic Celebration?

Where Can I Read Something on the Holy Spirit in the Bible?

What Should I Keep in Mind When Attending Prayer Meetings?

What is the Gift of Tongues?

What is Resting in the Spirit?



Q – What is a Charismatic Prayer Meeting?

A – A “Charismatic Prayer Meeting” is a weekly gathering of Christians to give praise, thanks, honor, and love to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.  It’s a time we gather in community, to praise God on a one-to-one basis, as the Holy Spirit moves us.

A prayer meeting is not a discussion club, a therapy session, or a time for counseling.  We come to give our full attention to Jesus – through the help of the Holy Spirit (who will teach us all truth.)

To praise, worship, and honor God

To build up the Body of Christ (as brothers and sisters)

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Q – What is the Content of a Charismatic Prayer Meeting?

A – A gathering song;  opening prayer;  time of praise and worship;  singing;  prophecy (God inspiring someone to speak);  tongues (in song, praise, or prophecy);  interpretation of tongues;  ministering the Gifts of the Spirit to the people gathered, in healing, miracles, word of knowledge, etc…(see 1 Cor. 12);  scripture reading;  teaching; testimony; sharing.  (see 1 Cor. 14:26-33)

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Q – How Long do Prayer Meetings Last?

A – Usually a minimum of 1 ½ hours.

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Q – Do I Have to Raise my Hands or Pray Like Others Do?

A – No – you should pray as you feel comfortable – as if you were alone with Jesus.  Pray as you feel comfortable, but also respect others – the way they pray and feel comfortable.

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Q – Do I Have to Say “Praise the Lord, Alleluia”, etc, as Others May Do?

A – No – you do not have to say or do anything you are not comfortable with.  Just keep open to the Holy Spirit and pray however you wish – just PRAY!  As we learn why God wants us to praise, we will desire to change our form of worship, but pray as you know how.

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Q – Is a Prayer Group a Parish Organization?

A – No – a prayer group is made up of individuals that come together weekly as a family for the purpose of giving Jesus the praise He deserves.  The first and primary purpose of all prayer is to praise and honor the God who created us and who gives us all the gifts we enjoy each day.

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Q – What are the Spiritual Gifts We Pray For?

A – Word of Wisdom;  Word of Knowledge;  Faith;  Prophecy;  Discernment of Spirits;  Tongues (Acts 2:4);  Interpretation of Tongues;  Healing;  Miracles (see 1 Cor. 12, 13, 14 & 1 Cor. 14:1)

St. Paul recommends, “Strive eagerly for the spiritual gifts.”  (1 Cor. 14:1)

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Q – Is the Baptism in the Spirit” a New Sacrament?

A – No – it is the RELEASE of the POWER of the Holy Spirit already within us that we received by faith at our Confirmation, and now in our experience, to enable us to live the Christian life we want to live but had only been partially successful in doing.  We will begin to experience a new ability to appreciate Jesus, the Bible, our daily prayer life, and our faith through this living experience.

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Q – Do I Have to Speak at a Prayer Meeting?

A – No – simply come to experience the life and love of Jesus, and as we are listening and praising and continuing to learn, we will find that the Holy Spirit will work in us to want to give back some of the love we have received through allowing the Holy Spirit in the use of the Gifts of the Spirit.  The people that do speak are learning to let the Spirit lead them in how and when and what to say in the meeting.

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Q – What is a “Testimony”?

A – Telling how the Lord is working in your life.  It will always be a first-hand experience, not another person’s story.  If the testimony is led by the Spirit, the result will be that the center of the testimony will be the honor and glory of Jesus, not the person sharing.  (see John 16:14)

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Q – How Can I Grow Spiritually?

A – First, submit yourself to the Lordship of Jesus in prayer, and talk to God as your loving Father who wants to teach you.  Take time to listen for God to respond to your prayers.

Second, take time every day to read the Word of God, the Bible, to learn about your Father and the love of Jesus for you, and to learn who God says you are as a part of His Son Jesus.

Third, act on the new understandings you get from your prayer and Bible reading.  (see Matt. 7:24-27 and James 1:22-25)

Finally, submit yourself to God to become a part of a prayer meeting where other people are seeking spiritual growth as you are.  Apply yourself to learn through attending the teachings that are offered, and God will do the rest.

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Q – Why Do We Sing?

A – Singing is a way of praying, praising, and worshipping God.  St. Augustine said, “He who sings, prays twice.”  Songs can turn our hearts and thoughts toward God, and help us to understand the presence of Jesus if they are well selected.  The meeting should not turn into a songfest.  We should PAUSE between songs, readings, prophecies, etc, and LISTEN.  This is the time the Holy Spirit can talk to us.  We need silence to reflect and allow the Spirit to work. (see Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:18-21)

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Q – Why Do Some Greet Others with a Hug?

A – This is a sign of brotherhood and an action, based on our faith, that we do love with Jesus’ Love.  (see 1 Cor. 16-20, 2 Cor. 13:12, 1 Thess. 5:26, and 1 Peter 5:14)

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Q – Is a Charismatic Prayer Meeting Like a Eucharistic Celebration?

A – Don’t compare one with the other.  The Eucharist is a reliving of the greatest act of love that ever took place upon earth – the Last Supper and Calvary combined (Jesus’ offering Himself to the last drop of blood for each of us).  In the Eucharist we receive Jesus’ body, blood, soul and divinity.  In a prayer meeting Jesus is present as it says in the Scripture reading, “Where 2 or 3 are gathered in My name, there am I in their midst.”  In a prayer meeting, we worship Him in an informal way.  (1 Cor. 14:26 and Psalm 66)

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Q – Where Can I Read Something on the Holy Spirit in the Bible?

A – John 14:16 and 26;  John 16:17 and 13;  Acts 1:4 and 8;  Acts 2:4, 17, and 38;  Acts 4:31;  Acts 5:32;  Acts 8:17;  Acts 10:44-48;  Acts 19:5-6;  Romans 5:3-5;  Romans 8:1-17, 26-27;  1 Cor. 2:6-16;  1 Cor. 3:16;  Galatians 5:16-26, and many others.

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Q – What Should I Keep in Mind When Attending Prayer Meetings?

A – Come at least four or five times before making a judgement.  It takes that long to understand how the Spirit is working.

Pray as you feel comfortable (and let others do the same).

Praying alone we are easily distracted; we support each other at a prayer meeting.

Pause between songs, readings, and teachings to allow the Spirit to work.

Don’t concentrate on others – concentrate on Jesus.  Close your eyes to distractions around you and let the Holy Spirit open your spiritual eyes to see with faith.

All ages are welcome – we are all children of God.

Prepare for the meetings, through prayer and scripture.

Don’t be afraid, you are with friends.  Don’t let the devil discourage you.

You will experience the “Fruits of the Spirit” as you progress.  (Gal. 5:22; 1 Cor. 12)

If you do not have an opportunity to speak or share at the meetings – you may do so after the meeting with others.

If you have any questions, please don’t leave until you get an answer.  We love you – and together we love God – and HELP EACH OTHER AS BROTHERS AND SISTERS.

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Q – What is The Gift of Tongues?

A – The gift of Tongues is a prayer language.  To pray, to speak, or sing in Tongues is to pray in what could be an earthly or heavenly language – a language currently used in the world or one long dead.  Or it could be any one of countless dialects.

Tongues is a spontaneous inspired utterance by the Holy Spirit in which we use our voice according to the Spirit’s prompting.  To speak or sing in Tongues or “to pray in the Spirit”, as it is called, is what happens when a believer allows the indwelling Spirit to guide the form of the words he/she utters.  All of them began to speak in other Tongues as the Spirit enabled them.  (Acts 2:4).  (See also Romans 8:26).

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Q – What Is Resting in the Spirit?

A – It is the power of the Holy Spirit so filling a person with a heightened inner awareness that it feels natural to submit themselves to relax in the Lord.  The person is conscious but is totally absorbed in the Lord.  Many people who experience resting in the Holy Spirit experience not just the rest and peace, but God Himself in some way.

Pope Francis on the Charismatic Renewal

VATICAN CITY, January 28, 2014 (excerpts from – During his homily today at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis reflected on praising God through prayer – an act, he said, that makes us fruitful.

The Holy Father drew his homily from the first reading of the day: the 2nd book of Samuel. The reading recalled the return of the Ark of the Covenant where David danced with joy in the streets. Regarding this dance, the Holy Father said that “if we close ourselves in formality, our prayer becomes cold and sterile.”

“David’s prayer of praise brought him to leave all form of composure and to dance in front of the Lord with all his strength. This is the prayer of praise!” he exclaimed. While it is easy to ask God for something or even to give thanks to God, praising God is usually left to the side, he added.

“‘But, Father, this is for those of Renewal in the Spirit (the Charismatic movement), not for all Christians.’ No, the prayer of praise is a Christian prayer for all of us!”, the Pope said.

“In Mass, every day, when we sing the Holy…This is a prayer of praise: we praise God for his greatness, because he is great! We tell Him beautiful things, because we like that He is like that. ‘But, Father, I am not capable…I should…’. But you’re capable of shouting when your team makes a goal and not capable of singing praise to the Lord, to go out a bit from your behavior to sing this? To praise God is totally free! Let us not ask, not give thanks: praise!”

The Holy Father went on to say that we should pray “with our whole heart” like David, who was so happy for the return of the Ark that “even his body prayed with that dance.”

“A beautiful question that we can ask ourselves today is: ‘How is my prayer of praise going?” the Pope asked. “Do I know how to praise the Lord? Do I know how to praise the Lord or when I pray the Gloria or pray the Holy Holy Holy, do I do it only with my mouth and not with all my heart?’ What does David tell me, dancing here? When David enters the city, he begins another thing: a feast!”

The 77-year-old Pontiff also recalled the reaction of Michal, the daughter of King Saul, who reproached David for dancing in such a way.

Concluding his homily, Pope Francis warned that those who are closed in a formality of “cold, measured prayer” will end like Michal: “sterile in their own formality.” The Holy Father invited the faithful to contemplate on the beauty of praying to God with praise.