By Walter Cash, 1927
An answer to a sister who asked about our churches having prayer meetings and Bible discussions: The Baptists, in the early days of this country, had prayer meetings, but of late they have been discontinued with few exceptions. It would be better if they were kept up. There are so few members in our churches who can lead in prayer in the introduction of service. It is in agreement with the Scriptures that teach much about prayer and the obligation to pray with and for each other. To be engaged in prayer would be much better than repeating gossip and talking foolishness. The prayer meeting might be combined with reading the Bible. As to Bible readings, I have had them in my churches for twenty-five years. When we meet, we read as many chapters as we can and talk about the passages as we read them, thus, having many profitable times together.
I have heard objections to our meeting together to read the Bible by Baptists who probably read very few chapters at home the entire year.
What we need is to read the Bible more. The members would understand the preaching better if they were informed on the teaching of the Bible. In the time of the Saviour, the people gathered in the synagogues to hear the Bible read, for they did not have the books as we do now. Jesus went there and read, and then would take occasion to tell what the passages meant. Read Luke 4:16-21. It is alright to read the Bible at home, but the trouble is that people let other things engage their attention and neglect the reading of the Bible. I have known preachers who have objected to Bible readings (discussions) when they themselves would have been benefited by such gatherings: their sermons showed they were not familiar with the reading of the Bible.
Reading leads to investigation, which is what the Bereans did. See Acts 17:10-11. They were commended for this searching of the Scriptures. It is better to read the Bible in company with others, for the exchange of thoughts helps us to an understanding.
From Messenger of Peace, 1927