Saturday, December 06, 2008

Please Advise . . .

.
Phil,
I would like to know what your recommendations are for resources for Pastors and Prayer Coordinators / leaders. We are helping them to realize and strengthen 3 areas in the New Year

[Note: My replies are under each of the 3 goals] . . .

1. Trying to inspire them to deepen prayer in their personal lives.

Most pastors I know who express a deeper life of praying identify a common factor; a personal experience that altered their understanding of what prayer is. That can happen:
- By listening to another pastoral leader who has a personal experience of a deepened prayer life (rather than a preacher or teacher who primarily tells others what they already know they should be doing) … followed by an unhurried, unscripted opportunity to respond to the Lord’s word in the message
-During a personal prayer retreat, possibly under the guidance of a spiritual formation coach (search at Praying Pastor blog)
-By reading and praying through a book, such as Jon Graf’s The Power of Personal Prayer or Alvin VanderGriend’s Learn to Love to Pray
-With others who devote an extended period of time, possibly in a retreat setting, to seek the Lord under the leadership of the Holy Spirit (usually facilitated by someone from outside that group with extensive experience in scripture-fed, Spirit-led praying) (extensive help at PrayerSummits.net)

2. The need for leaders to have personal prayer shields/networks.

This is a vital component many pastors never seriously consider. By asking persons (of all ages; give youth and children the opportunity of learning to pray for their pastor) in their congregation to devote themselves to praying for their spiritual leader(s), the pastor is lifting high the value of intercession and teaching the reality of spiritual warfare. Prayer Shield by Peter Wagner is a good first step toward introducing and inviting church members into this realm of prayer. Connecting pastors to the National Pastors’ Prayer Network (NPPN.org) provides ongoing communication of new resources and strategies related from pastors’ prayer groups from across the nation and around the globe.

3. Helping pastors / leaders to develop healthy prayer ministries in their churches. We are currently using Prayer Saturated Church (Awesome and practical) for this, but that seems to be a big jump for beginners. Is there another good resource to get it people started with prayer / intercession in their churches?

The Prayer Saturated Church is so comprehensive that it might intimidate some who are just realizing the need to integrate prayer into every meeting and ministry of the church. While that book is essential, here are a few that may be a better first step: My House Shall Be Called a House of Prayer (NavPress) and A House of Prayer: Prayer Ministries in Your Church (LifeWay) provide vision and foundation along with practical ideas to begin a ministry of praying. Fresh Encounters (Henderson) and And The Place Was Shaken (Franklin) are excellent guides for pastors and prayer leaders who want to introduce (or revive) scripture-fed, Spirit-led prayer in their congregation. Both enable leaders to see the difference between directing and facilitating corporate praying.

Start here to check out these resources!
- PrayerShop
- LifeWay
- NavPress

[Note: Readers' suggestions are welcomed - Leave a comment below...]


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