I have had the privilege of facilitating times of prayer for pastors in cities as well as for specific congregations. Oftentimes people will ask me about the difference between these two groups. First what is not different. Non-pastors have just as much ability and desire to press into deep times of worship. They have the same love for the Lord and want to express that to Him. What is different is that often they do not have the same “reservoir” of biblical knowledge. They simply don’t know as many Scriptures on a given topic and where to find them.
So, as I have facilitated congregational Prayer Summits I have looked for ways to assist them with this. The goal is always the same: to help them hear the Lord (through His Spirit and His Word) about how He wants them to be praying. One thing I have done is what I have begun to refer to as “Concordance praying.” Not a very stunning or creative title, but it fits. Here is what I mean.
I have personally been very intrigued with the Psalmist’s use of the word translated “lovingkindness, mercy, steadfast love, unfailing love,” etc. There are about 125 uses of this word in the Psalms. Recently, as I was facilitating a prayer session, I wrote out between 75 and 80 references on a white board during a break. Compiling a list like this can be done very easily with many Bible software programs or just using a concordance.
I invited the people to use this as a resource. I asked them to simply look up any of the references on the board, read the verse over a few times, see what the verse says about God’s great love for us, and turn that into a prayer for them and for the group. I told them not to get stuck on any one verse. If one didn’t work for them, jus t go to another one. I also mentioned that if someone else “took their verse” that they should remember it wasn’t “their verse” to begin with and to pray from that verse anyway.
I gave them a few minutes in silence, then invited them to pray out loud. What followed was a wonderful time of people reveling and receiving God’s great love for them! People prayed prayers like, “Father, You say that I can trust in Your unfailing love. I do that sometimes, but right now that is hard to do. Please help me to trust in Your love today.” (From Ps 13:5) Or, “I rejoice in Your love, oh, Lord. You saw what I needed and You met my deep need. Thank You for Your great love.” (From Ps 31:7)
This can work for any topic that is mentioned often in Scripture, such as “grace,” the “cross,” “today,” or “His voice.” Because people may not be used to this, they may need a little coaching. So, you may want to give them a couple examples of how you would pray from a particular verse. But once they “get it” the Lord can direct them into some very meaningful prayers.
So, if you have opportunity to facilitate a time of corporate prayer, you may want to spend a few minutes compiling a few lists of some topics that are meaningful to you and see if they are not helpful to the other pray-ers.
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12)
I would be honored if you would pray for me in a similar way that Paul prayed for his friends at Thessalonica!
In addition to what is on the IRM Event’s Calendar, here are some specifics I would ask you to pray for.
Three summits have taken place this week. Please pray that God would seal and complete the good things He began in these pastor’s lives.
Sunday mornings, through March 6th (except Feb 27) I am continuing to teach an adult class at Camas Assembly of God on praying the Lord’s Prayer.
Feb 17 –Sharing with some leaders in Spokane to assist them in their desire to see a united, serving, praying church make a difference in their community.
Feb 27-28 – Preaching and presenting the Living Prayer Seminar at Powellhurst Baptist Church in Portland, OR.
March 7-9 - Assisting a Prayer Summit for Seattle, WA.
March 10 – Sharing with leaders from Grays Harbor, WA.