Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
Phil Miglioratti likely would not want me to put his name and that of E.M. Bounds in the same sentence, but, there, I did it. Both are “prayer warriors” as the term is often used: Miglioratti as host of PrayNetwork.org today and Bounds as the author of published works on prayer, the most notable one that was gathered into one volume of 600 pages, E.M. Bounds on Prayer. I read all 600 pages and the author and the book still fascinates me; what Bounds focused on was the why of prayer, not the how. He died in 1913 at the age of 78.
Miglioratti toils onward with his website which is a clearinghouse on all things prayer, reaching what he calls “many different segments/styles/strata of prayer-driven people, prayer authors, congregational prayer leaders, pastors, little old ladies who pray the hell out of their neighborhoods, and former magazine editors,” meaning me who needs prayer the most.
Some of the site, he says, is “simple faith, much is serious thinking, some strategic-tactical-resources. Certainly all is biblical, Christ-centered, Spirit-guided, to the glory of God our Father.”
His background in prayer ministry, he says, started with a praying grandmother before he was born, and in opportunities to lead prayer before he knew what he was doing, being young and idealistic. He facilitated prayer at Willow Creek Community Church’s New Community on Wednesday nights in the late 70s that “gave me valuable experience in leading the church by following the Spirit.”
Phil pastored a church for 19 years—“the last half was a head-long plunge into building a prayer culture.” Opportunities to serve on the National Prayer Committee and coordinate the National Pastors’ Prayer Network came after that. He responded to several of my questions:
How can Christians participate with you on the site?
“They can look over the site to see what a learning community looks like; take the couple minutes to become a member (that requires a quick profile); join a group that you have an affinity with, and post a simple blog commentary or upload an article you have written.”
Any examples of people reached or helped or saved?
“As administrator I often see ‘thank yous’ going back and forth from persons who have been blessed by the prayer support they have received to a personal need or family crisis. Some of our groups result in persons exclaiming how much they have learned. And I know of several persons who have taken time to contribute articles or blog postings and have indicated how it has benefitted them by seeing others helped.”
How do you explain your ministry to others?
“I believe the Lord wants our praying transformed. How? As he renews our mind about prayer—prayer starts with God, not our needs; prayer is a lifestyle, not a list (Ro 12:2)—so much of our prayers are telling things God already knows, then instructing him on what to do about it. We need to pray by asking the Spirit to give and guide us in our prayers, so that we discern the mind of Christ (the will and the word of God), so that when the Father responds to our praise or petition, God is glorified.”
The quotable E.M. Bounds has said: “Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still. He will never talk well and with real success to men for God who has not learned well how to talk to God for men.” So many of us are poor pray-ers, but Phil Miglioratti is helping men and women be better at it. He has 4,900 members; the site is accessible/viewable to the public, but members can reply/comment/post. He speaks on invitation and helps churches strengthen their prayer ministries.
PrayNetwork.org is a learning community: You can join free to read what others are saying, review resources from a wide spectrum of perspectives, research through the hundreds of blog and discussion postings, but also be a contributing member of the community by posting commentary, writing brief reviews, identifying resources that have aided your ministry. “So,” he says, “join a group, jump into a discussion, and upload video clips that prompt or train us to pray.”
Ronald Keener / Ronald E. Keener was editor of the national business and leadership magazine, "Church Executive," for eight years, and writes from Chambersburg, Pa.