Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
Last summer, a couple of the Elders of our church felt a nudge from God that we needed to move in the direction of being more of a praying church. A group of about a dozen people began to gather every other week (it was the off-season for our small groups) to pray for the church, for our community, and for the development of the prayer ministry.
A core group of three of us continued to meet after the summer to make plans for launching a prayer ministry. In this blog, which I expect will run over several months, I plan to document our journey, as well as to seek input from those who have traveled down this road in their churches.
First, I have to say that I am so grateful to be a part of a church where the leadership is actually pushing more of an emphasis on prayer. This starts with our senior pastor.
Our first initiative was to be a 10-week "equipping class" on prayer, open to the congregation. More on that later. We had planned to have a congregation-wide prayer service in the middle of that class, on the last Sunday of March. But our senior pastor pushed us to put together our first prayer service for this coming Sunday (December 29), even realizing that many folks will be out of town and that we don't have a lot of time to publicize the service. That's how much he wants to push forward in prayer.
So we met yesterday and planned out the service. We're looking at 60-90 minutes, with an introduction from one of our Elders, then a worship song or two and some quick instructions. We've chosen 6 topics for our prayer time, each one focused around a key aspect of our life as a church or on a local outreach program or a mission program. We identified a facilitator for each topic (and a backup); these facilitators will be responsible for speaking for 3-5 minutes on what they're thankful for in this past year of ministry and key ways they see God moving in 2020. Then we'll break into groups for prayer. We'll alternate between sharing and prayer, to keep ourselves focused on one topic at a time and to help people stay engaged. At the end, we'll offer a personal prayer time where a few of our elders will be available to participants in the service to pray with them personally.
We have no idea if God will bring 6 people or 60 to this first prayer service, but we're anticipating eagerly what He will begin on Sunday.
I would really value prayer that God will prepare the way for this service, making key facilitators available and placing it on people's hearts to come and pray. I'd also be interested in hearing the experiences of others who have started a prayer service in their churches - what worked, what didn't, etc.
I'll report back next week!