Monday, November 27, 2006

RESOURCE ~ Mobilizing Your Church to Pray

Mobilizing Your Church to Pray

“As God’s house is a house of prayer, prayer should enter into and underlie everything that is done there. Prayer belongs to every sort of work relating to the church. As God’s house is a house where the business of praying is carried on, so is it a place where the business of making praying people out of prayerless people is done. The house of prayer is a divine workshop, and there the work of prayer goes on. Or the house of God is a divine schoolhouse, in which the lesson of prayer is taught, where men and women learn to pray, and where they graduate from the school of prayer.” E. M. Bounds

Mobilizing your church to pray does not happen instantly - It’s a process that you must keep cultivating. Never grow tired in this great endeavor, because you shall reap if you do not grow weary. The greatest things that God does in the church usually take much time and perseverance on our part. Cultivate prayer again and again, and never give up. God wants prayer to be at home in your church. Having a prayer mindset is key.

“Prayer is perfectly at home in the house of God. It is no stranger, no mere guest; it belongs there. It has a peculiar affinity for the place. It has a divine appointment to be there.” E. M. Bounds

There are so many wonderful testimonies of what God can do when a church has a prayer mindset. I will give you one example - Mt. Zion was an old church founded in 1873 that was facing major problems, was falling apart and dwindled down to 15 church members! The church was ready to close its doors for good, but the small group of church members decided to pray boldly that God would use their small country church in a great way in their community! As they prayed, God began to breathe new life into their old church. New enthusiasm is catching fire, and God is giving them a vision to reach their community. Attendance is growing and their outreach is expanding - a tent revival, community BBQ’s and hayrides are ways they are reaching out to the lost. “This little country church is ‘on fire with the Holy Spirit’ and people are continuing in prayer for God’s guidance, the needs of others, and renewal in each of their lives. And prayers are being answered.” This can happen when we mobilize our churches to pray.

“This little church is a lighthouse, spreading the light of God to the people next door and to surrounding communities. The people of this church have become a praying community, and Mt. Zion is living proof that God answers prayer.” William Sherry

How to Mobilize Your Church in This Process

“For prayer to become the center of church activity, the congregation must have a mindset that makes it so, and that mindset must be nurtured and fed.” (Ideas taken from Dutch Sheets)

* Prayer for prayer - Pray for a spirit of prayer to come upon your church. Keep on persevering and know that the enemy will try to hinder prayer in your church.

* Get support from your church leadership - Get support from your pastor and other leaders in your church. Start a prayer task force and choose 4-5 respected members of your church to be part of the group. This group will be responsible for promoting and planning prayer in your church.

* Evaluate the present prayer ministry - Look at the prayer meetings that exist in your church. Look at where organized prayer could be implemented. Are their finances available for the prayer ministries in your church?

* Teach about prayer - Provide teaching where you can give your church God’s perspective on prayer. Individuals will get God’s mindset about prayer as they learn more and more about the prayer ministry.

* Offer prayer opportunities - Provide variety so that everyone can get involved. This includes traditional prayer, authoritative prayer, structured prayer, visionary prayer, contemplative prayer, relational prayer, spontaneous prayer, and harp and bowl prayer.

* Train people to lead these prayer meetings - Provide materials for learning and practice team praying. This will make it easier for other church members to commit to praying with a particular prayer group.

* Maintain, report and give feedback - Report answers to prayer and give feedback about what is happening with the prayer ministries in your church. This should be done to the whole church. Short 2-3 minute testimonies about answered prayer is highly motivational.

“As God’s house is a house of prayer, the divine intention is that people should leave their homes and go to meet Him in His own house. The building is set apart for prayer. God has made a special promise to meet His people there. It is their duty to go there for that specific end. Prayer should be the chief attraction for all spiritually-minded churchgoers.” E. M. Bounds

“God rules the world and His church through the prayers of His people. That God should have made the expansion of His kingdom to such a large extent dependent on the faithfulness of His people in prayer is a stupendous mystery and yet an absolute certainty.” Andrew Murray

Together in the Harvest,
Debbie Przybylski, Intercessors Arise
deb@intercessorsarise.org
www.intercessorsarise.org

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