Jump directly to the Content

REDISCOVERING THE PRAYER VIGIL

by Ralph F. Wilson

A 75-year-old man beamed at me and said, "At home I have trouble praying for five minutes. Here, an hour seems too short." As we left the church at dusk, having prayed for an hour, our replacements knelt to begin another hour of prayer.

It wasn't always like this. In our church, intercessory prayer had been meager, enthusiasm for prayer virtually nonexistent. For years I had struggled to lead members into a richer prayer life. Then, two years ago, we discovered a time-tested method to challenge and stretch people in prayer: the prayer vigil.

The idea is centuries old. Vigil indicates a time of vigilance or wakefulness, a watch. People used to keep vigils the night before a religious feast.

We schedule a prayer vigil two or three times a year. Good Friday naturally lends itself to prayer. We've also tried early September, before the program year gets underway, and the beginning of the Advent season.

The nice thing about a prayer vigil is simplicity ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

January/February
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
Henrietta Mears, the Improbable Evangelical Leader
Henrietta Mears, the Improbable Evangelical Leader
A new biography shows the Sunday school teacher played a key role in the movement, and the directions its leaders took.
Editor's Pick
Your Pastor Cares When You Don’t Care
Your Pastor Cares When You Don’t Care
Apathy ranked as the single biggest pastoral concern in 2022.
close