Going to the Prayer Room is a lot like going to the gym. I usually go to the gym alone, and my goal isn’t to socialize. It’s to get stuff done. However, I purposefully go to a place filled with lots of fit and active people because I feed off their energy even as I am pursuing my own goals my own way.
Similarly, a lot of prayer rooms are set up not so much for us to pray in a circle and engage with each other, but to corporately set our attention on Jesus and His Throne. We are there as individuals with our own personal interactions with the Lord, but we are doing it together in the same set apart space (listening to the same drum beat and choruses). And that helps keep us more focused and inspired in our own devotional lives and intercession times.
Plus, the repetitive nature of our prayers and songs are similar to gym workout routines. Rather than lifting the same weights and doing the same exercises week after week, we rehearse the same songs (with fresh passion each time) and declare the same scriptures. And every time we do the truth of those songs and verses are re-enforced and our faith is built. Over time, our perspectives of ourselves and of what God is doing around us change significantly. We learn to relate to the world around us with a deeper sense of confidence and God-given optimism.
This is only one way to practice spiritual disciplines and it’s admittedly quite different from what has been done in other cultures and other periods of history. It’s highly rewarding and helpful nevertheless. I think it is a massive gift to our Western, individualized, entertainment-driven culture. It’s helping a disconnected and easily distracted generation get re-centered on the one thing that’s needed; our God’s immense love.