Building Up

Jonathan Brownson

READ : 1 Corinthians 14:21-26

What should be done . . . When you come together . . . (v. 26)

The rules governing the Fulton Street prayer meetings were hung on the wall in a prominent place:

  • Brethren are earnestly requested to adhere to the five-minute rule.
  • Prayers and exhortations not to exceed five minutes in order to give all an opportunity.
  • No more than two consecutive prayers of exhortations.
  • No controversial points discussed.

How did one small, local prayer meeting become so large and long-lasting? Ultimately, there was a mystery about how this prayer movement grew. Like loaves and fishes these prayer meetings didn’t add up—they multiplied. Their simple rules do not fully explain what happened at Fulton Street, but they do offer some lessons.

Promptness, punctuality, and purpose led to persistent prayer. Promptness encouraged more participation. Punctuality assured that the prayers were to the point. And an overarching purpose helped measure the answers and motivate more prayer.

Someone has suggested that in addition to the three P’s we also remember the ABC’s of corporate prayer: Be Audible, Brief, and Conversational. Whatever the lesson, it is clearly God’s desire that corporate prayer continue. Find your own structure to sustain it.


Lord, as we pray help us to be sensitive to others. Teach us to pray without preaching and disagree without dividing.