Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
I have been tasked with building an Intercessors Prayer List for my church. I knew exactly where to come and whom to ask for help with this task. Thank you in advance for sharing.
Please pray and ask God for guidance then share what He gives you with others here in this discussion.
I want to personally thank you for praying for our military. I am a US Air Force Veteran and have two sons who are Army Veterans from the Iraq and Afganistan wars. I encourage you to pray for our military, veterans and their families as they try to adjust to "normal" life after serving overseas. The adjustment is often times very difficult to go through for all concerned. Also pray for their physical, emotional and mental healing.
Secrets to Service Intercession
Are you having as much trouble getting people to commit to weekly service intercession as I am? I think it is because we are asking people
• to bring two cars (if the spouse is not involved),
• to leave the children in child care an extra hour,
• to invest a lot more time on the weekends, and
• to be involved in one of the most draining ministries in the church.
Over the past six years I have been leading five or six service intercession services a week in two megachurches in the Phoenix area. After a while some principles began to crystallize that have made these times easier and more fulfilling.
1) Always Have Two Hooks in the Water. Assign a theme for each service in which you are praying. That way you attract people who have a heart for the topic (missions or our nation, for example) as well as those who are passionate simply for intercession. Right now these are the topics of our six services intercessions: the nation, the lost friends and family members of those who attend our church, health issues, missions and missionaries, families and family issues, and the prayer ministry in our church.
2) Purification and Praise. Begin your time of prayer with a period of repentance and then praise. Good prayer cannot flow from any spot where evil has not been dealt with. Praise is the doorway into the throne room of God and the factory that manufactures faith and boldness. We noticed major improvements in the prayer sessions when repentance and praise took on their rightful place and priority.
3) Give God Control. Another key is to ask the Lord to direct your time of prayer. There are times, even though we have a theme and a pattern, when God causes us to hit on something, and we can tell we are touching heaven. It may or may not be related to a theme or plan, but it is of the Lord, and all else stops that hour as we go with it.
4) Use One Pattern for All of the Services. Ours looks like this:
c) Intercession for the people in the pews, all the facets of the service, and the children’s activities
e) The theme for the hour
f) Personal requests at the end as time allows
5) Stay on Theme. Probably the hardest piece of service intercession is teaching people to pray corporately. Most churches have given up on corporate prayer. Many have no background in corporate prayer, or they did it poorly 20 years ago and never want to do it again. I try continually to teach principles on corporate prayer at each service intercession time. Here are the points I regularly repeat:
a) Pray loud enough to be heard.
b) Pray short.
c) Pray on subject.
c) Don’t preach.
d) Don’t develop another dialect to pray in; use your normal speech.
e) Pray to God, not to the others in the room.
f) Wait your turn.
6) Save Requests Till the End. We usually ask if anyone has any special personal requests that we need to be praying for. I thank all the participants for their openness and quickly remind them—teach them—that this time is about others. If we have time at the end, we pray for these personal needs, but if not, we pray for them during the week on our own.
7) Ask New People to Join the Team. Our involvement pastor did a survey recently and determined that the best method we have of recruiting people to a ministry is their being invited by someone already happily serving in the ministry. We have found that to be true in the prayer ministry. Also, be aware that I seldom find people who are natural prayer warriors. Most don’t even know they like to pray. I just invite people to join me once and let God do the rest. Many do it once and are hooked.
8) Invite Special Guests. If one of our missionaries is in town, I invite him or her to join in our 9:30 a.m. service intercession for our missionaries. It helps the participants pray more passionately for the missionaries and helps the missionaries feel connected to the church.
9) Make the Room Nice. Our prayer rooms are some of the nicest on our campus. They are that way intentionally. We have a map of the world, photos of our missionaries and their families, and quality furnishings. Using a room unsuited for service intercession or poorly furnished could subtly communicate that what we are doing has little value.
We have seen some amazing results from these times of prayer. I encourage your church to start a service intercession time. It is well worth the investment.
I hope this is helpful for you.
Much of this info and much more can be found in my new book Threshold: Transformational Prayer; Transformational Prayer Leadership.
It can be purchased at this link: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&f...
Here is what people are saying about the book:
“Paul is an innovative leader in the prayer world who leads prayer ministry on five campuses weekly. You will find the ideas in Threshold: Transformational Prayer, Transformational Prayer Leadership helpful, practical, insightful and—most important—reproducible.”
—Mark Batterson, New York Times best-selling author of The Circle Maker
“What is the biggest component missing from the church these days? Vision? Passion? Commitment? Nope! What’s missing most is prayer! Prayer is something most of us believe in far beyond our practice. For the past ten years Paul Covert has led our church to become passionate about praying. Not talking about praying, but praying. On this subject Paul is both an expert and a champion. If you want your prayer life to light up and to ignite your church in prayer, this book is a must-read. Far more than mere theory, this book will give you the practical steps that will lead to genuine transformation.”
—Cal Jernigan, Senior Pastor of Central Christian Church of Arizona
“What would happen if the church became the prayer force that God designed it to be? We would see explosive change as the power of heaven invaded the circumstances of earth. Paul Covert offers us a guide that is both practical and reverent. Everything in it flows from his years of experience. I hear it all the time: ‘How can I get my congregation, or Sunday School class, or small group to understand and practice prayer?’ This is what you have been asking for.”
—Jennifer Kennedy Dean, Executive Director of The Praying Life Foundation and author of Live a Praying Life
“I am an idea person. I like to go to seminars and read books that give me good ideas on how to pastor and lead better. If I read a book and it provides me with a couple of good, new ideas, I consider the book well worth the money spent to buy it and the time taken to read it. I have never read a book on any subject that had as many really good and creative ideas as this book does. It will probably take the rest of my life to implement all the great ideas I gleaned from this super book on prayer.”
—Dee Duke, Senior Pastor of Jefferson Baptist Church in Jefferson, Oregon, and author of Prayer Quest
Blessing in your search for what works for you.
Karrol--There have been some excellent suggestions in the responses--I would like to comment on one item--"Intercessor Prayer List"--there are many different types of intercessors--and those in leadership need to recognize that--IE there are list prayers, Crisis prayers, subject focused prayers-(-praying for government, missions, outreaches) Heart prayers, worship intercession, scripture prayers, to name a few.
While it is good to provide lists for your intercessors, the leaders need to recognize that as intercessors grow in the Lord and praying, they often move to praying from their heart--not just mind praying. Look to ways to encourage your intercessors to praying from their heart in obedience to the Lord. This will take some training--and intercessors need to be fed the word of God and encouraged.
If you do this, you should see intercessors growing together, many prayers answered, more blessing coming to your church--and many in the church, in time seeking the Lord on a more personal basis.
List praying is important--but if you can encourage your intercessors to move to heart praying using the lists--you may see more happening. Heart praying is discussed in lesson 4 of the Praying Together Course, here on Pray!Network. That whole course may actually be a good way to offer training to your intercessors. If you do that--please let us know as we like to hear how it has encouraged others. The lessons of the course are now in Podcast format.
Just some thoughts.
We're about the same size church.
First I put together a Prayer Advisory Team.
We started by emphasizing prayer with the Pastor's sermon series on Prayer.
Got the idea of building a temporary Prayer Wall. (It was so successful, we now have a permanent Prayer Wall.)Requested volunteers for Prayer Ministry Team. (Initial sign-up was 12 people.)
At the same time, we designated a Prayer Room (open during church services) and staffed with members of Prayer Ministry Team. (Prayers for morning sermon / pastor, staff, those attending services, and visitors who come to the prayer room for personal prayer.)
We now have 42 people on the Prayer Ministry team. Do weekly Prayer Chain, Intersessor Prayer, staff Prayer Room on Sundays, and other prayer request needs.
Once you commit and focus on prayer, the Holy Spirit will move and bless your church in many ways.
Just doing a general signup for those interested is only the start. You then have to screen out the New Agers, spiritists, Buddhists and counterfeits who want to lay hands on Christians, putting them under demonic influence.
Here's a way to do that: http://orderofsaintpatrick.org/teachings/ministry-sanitation.htm
The agent will come late to duck this and ask to minister anyway. Don't Do It!