If you’re a casual Christian with no interest in a life-changing relationship with God, this article isn’t for you.
In all transparency, I’m one of the untold numbers around the world who confess to be saved, sanctified, and Spirit-filled. I can describe my doctrine as holiness first, and Pentecostal as a result.
My background is the filter for my perspective on this topic. I’m talking about the invitation and subsequent need for an altar service filled with prayer, praise, and worship.
I firmly believe in the power of group prayer. The church family that prays together with regularity has an excellent opportunity to maintain congregational health. As well, this church is more likely to stay on task with their vision for Great Commission fulfillment.
The subject of altar service protocol is not often addressed. In the decades past, it was an assumed tradition of our holiness-Pentecostal Church culture.
So what I’m about to suggest is my counsel for utilizing personal and group prayer to bolster your spiritual life and that of your church family.
Take these as suggested habits for Christians who want to help alter the altar service.
- Stay in place. Just hold your peace. You heard the music resume but that does not mean it’s time to physically leave. This is not the time to close up your belongings for the trip to the parking lot. You could distract someone that the Holy Spirit is dealing with for salvation or healing. A few careless missteps could negate the Spirit’s gracious drawing of that person.
- Stay in position. Just remain engaged. It’s crucial during this time to stay mentally and spiritually engaged. This is not the time to plan the next meal. This is the time to stay in a position to serve. A fellow Christian or a guest could need your help. Stay in position so you can serve God by serving them.
- Stay in prayer. Just break the ice. You are the best candidate to be the first person in the altars. Report for duty and the Holy Spirit will show you who to pray for and how to pray for them. You don’t have to be specifically led to do what the Scripture teaches explicitly. You can’t get more spiritual than scriptural. Many people have come with great needs, and you’d appreciate prayer if you were one of them.
The core protocol during the invitation and the altar service is all about respecting the possibilities. God is working behind the scenes to do more than you can imagine. So have faith in God.
If it is imperative that you leave, please do so discreetly. This is the time to demonstrate great concern for others and leave selfishness behind.
There are very few things in this life that are more important than spending more time in prayer with your church family. These special moments could alter someone’s eternity.
Altering the altar service begins with you. I’ll meet you down there.
Please respect the possibilities.