Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
I would guess that most of our churches have a formal or informal group of people who minister to others after or during the service(s). And we all know that these people are truly pastors in some sense of the word as they love on and care for people through the power of prayer. Thank God for people who love prayer ministry.
However, some well-meaning folks need a little coaching particularly in what to avoid when they have those few minutes of time with people in need. So let me share a couple of items we cover with our teams that you might want to mention in your training or orientation as well.
First, don't scare people. Many of the people who will approach us for prayer are nervous to begin with so don't add to their fears. How? Several ways: using big words they don't understand, having several people they don't know lay hands on them or surround them so they can't get out. We might not see the problem but our team members need to be especially sensitive to just who is coming for prayer and do everything they can to help the people feel safe.
Second, don't promise more than you, the church or God can give. For example, don't claim that everything will work out or that you know God will heal them right then. Sometimes things go wonderfully and yes, God still does miracles, but He is in charge of that, not us. Also, don't suggest that they call the church for more help unless the church leaders have offered that and can really assist people in need.
Third, don't pray long. Some people feel they need to pray for every possible thing they can think of related to the presenting problem. Most people however want us instead to go before God with them and share the basic need. Length is also another way to add to their fear quotient.
Fourth, don't break confidences. What happens in the prayer time should stay in the prayer time unless there is some indication that they or someone else could be hurt in some way. However, normally these requests are just that - requests for prayer - not announcements. Broken confidences during prayer times are great ways to send people to another church.
Fifth, don't talk with other prayer leaders or people in the church who are nearby. Prayer team members need to be attentive to those coming for prayer and that is it.
So, help your volunteers and staff make your times of prayer extra special and safe for those who need your prayer. Prayer does make a difference. Let's just make sure it's a good difference.