Sunday, May 04, 2008

Facilitating Prayer ~ Make It Personal

I recently had an opportunity to facilitate a one-hour time of prayer with just over 20 pastors. For several days I had, on occasion, asked the Lord what His heart was and how He wanted this time to go. It was not frustrating, but I had not received any specific direction. About 15 minutes prior to start time, I slipped away one more time to be with the Lord. At this point I found myself praying, "Lord, I am not sure how You want this time to go and I feel very poor spiritually at this point." I felt the Lord said, "Good, that is exactly how I like it! In fact, it is the poor in spirit who will receive the kingdom." It seemed like I had heard that before!

So, I soon found myself praying through that and the other beatitudes from Matthew 5:3-12. At this point, I was not processing how I should lead others in prayer, I was simply praying this way for myself. Within just a few more moments, I had a clear sense that the Lord had answered my prayer without me knowing it. What the Lord had just taken me through was not just for me. This was how the Lord wanted our time of prayer to start. Soon after I realized this, I said to the Lord, "Okay, since this is the 'what' what is the 'how'? How do you want this to take place?" Nearly as soon as I asked that question, I saw the group, in my mind's eye, standing in groups of three. So, after some brief introductions, I simply asked the group to gather in groups of three and pray the blessings of the beatitudes on the other two people in the group. I gave an example or two and they gathered and prayed.

It was very clearly the Lord's leading. Not only were there 24 people in the group (making exactly 8 groups of three) but very soon there was a clear sense of God's presence among us. The rest of the hour was also clearly directed by the Lord to the point where I felt it was one of the best one-hour times of prayer I had experienced in a long time.

This illustrates an aspect of facilitating corporate prayer that has become more and more real to me. Many times the most effective prayer activities in corporate prayer have come from what the Lord is doing in me on a personal basis. Facilitating others in prayer is an extension of living my life in healthy relationship with the Lord. As a verse is read and I notice some key words in a special way, or as a song is sung and certain words stand out to me, I try to respond to them personally. Often times, flowing out of my response - and even simply inviting others into my response - has lead to wonderful times for the group.

Dennis Fuqua, International Renewal Ministries

with Dennis Fuqua, Daniel Henderson, & Phil Miglioratti
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