You hear it once, you hear it a thousand times: The Koreans are people of prayer. And indeed they are. As one elder confessed between services at the Hallelujah Bible Church in Seoul, “CT will have to excuse me if I make little sense. I’ve been in prayer all weekend.”

Predawn prayer sessions, all-night prayer meetings, and numerous prayer mountains call literally tens of thousands of people like this tired elder to seek God’s face in a way and intensity little seen in the West. And it is this intensity, say the faithful, that has brought blessing to the church.

To quantify the specifics of Korea’s penchant for prayer and fasting, the Korea Evangelical Fellowship surveyed 300 pastors about the prayer habits of their congregations. About 100 ministers responded.

Daybreak prayer

One hundred percent of the ministers responding said they engage in daybreak prayer, with about 80 percent spending up to an hour in personal prayer following the corporate session. In most cases, the pastor (or in certain instances the assistant pastor) leads the prayer meeting, which usually begins between 4:30 and 5:00 A.M. About 10 percent of the congregation regularly attend, which means attendance of 250 to 300 is not unusual.

All-night prayer

Fifty percent of the ministers said they engage in overnight prayer once a week, usually on Friday. Times for this all-church session, on the average, range from 10:00 P.M. to 4:00 A.M. with upwards of 20 percent of a congregation attending. During the course of the evening, it is not uncommon for some from the congregation to leave and go up to a prayer mountain, where they then continue their often vocal supplications before God.

Among the multiple benefits of all-night ...

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