Prayer was an integral part of the Primitive Methodist movement. It was not simply something they did occasionally; dynamic prayer was at the very core of the movement. Prayed fuelled the passion of the movement, and the “pious praying labourers” were the engine room.
Preaching services were usually followed by prayer services. The work of ministry begun during the sermon continued during the prayer service. It was often the case that those who were being convicted of sin, would enter a time of “mourning” until being brought into “liberty”.
Occasionally in response to powerful preaching, people would fall off their seats, or would shake violently. Sometimes those under conviction would lie motionless on the floor, appearing lifeless except for still having a pulse. The outward response usually indicated an inward work of the Holy Spirit.
In other words, people would experience a deep conviction of sin and sinfulness, before being born again as new believers in Christ. Preaching and prayer were inextricably linked in Primitive Methodism.
Prayer and evangelism are intimately linked – they are two sides of the same coin. Passion is fuelled by prayer and passion fuels evangelism. Oh, that we had more effective, fervent prayer in the church today!