Dave Butts, the former leader of Harvest Prayer Ministries began his article titled "Prayer Power in the Church" with this quote by S.D. Gordon,
“The great people of the earth today are the people who pray! I do not mean those who talk about prayer; nor those who say they believe in prayer; nor those who explain
I'm starting a mini-series of blog posts on the importance of prayer in the church. And I'm going to begin with the argument that the activity of prayer ought to take priority over all of other activities in the local church.
You mean prayer ought to take priority over Bible study?
It's more important than fellowship?
If I were to do a survey of how many churches make a priority of prayer, I would most likely be disappointed. When compared to the priority of children's and youth activities, nurturing relationships with each other, women's ministries, men's ministries, and weekend gatherings, the presence of corporate prayer experiences on the church's calendar would lag far behind.
Barna discovered that the culture we live in today has impacted the way we approach prayer in the church, this is what he has to report:
"The forces of our individualistic culture...
I love that we've begun a new thing that has become a church-wide trend. Many of our churches ring in the new year with an emphasis on prayer that includes a 21-Day fast.
I'm writing this post on Day 2 of our 21 days and am feeling the physical and spiritual effects of this fast already! Every year we challenge our congregation to join us in a fast. We provide resources to help them know what fasting is all about, and we create a daily devotional guide to accompany them along the way.
In order to hold each other accountable, we ask participants to sign-up by giving us their email address. These emails go right into an online group where we can send the group emails of encouragement along the way. And, because we want our people fasting and praying MORE than just for 21 days in January, we use these 3 weeks as a time to recruit them to become a part of our ongoing prayer and fasting team. I share with you what that team does in this blog post, What is a Prayer and...
At our church we have a team of over 100 people who've committed to fast and pray once a week, or one day a month specifically for the purpose of praying for our church. We provide this team of prayer partners with a private prayer list. The list is compiled by collecting prayer requests from church staff members. Staff share their requests both for their personal lives and for their areas of ministry. At the first of the list we include churchwide annual goals (what we update monthly). Each month we update our requests and list praises for the answered prayers we've experienced.
In order for you to capture the spirit of this vital ministry, let me share the introduction I wrote for the first private prayer list we sent to our team members this past January 2022:
Happy New Year! If you have just now joined our praying and fasting team, WELCOME! We are so glad you are here. This list is for your personal use as you fast and pray a day a week, or a day this month.
Every church knows that prayer is important but these churches have prayer ministries that work. And I'm not just saying they work! I'm saying they are structured in such a way that there is a time, place and plan for people in the congregation to participate in their prayer ministries.
Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama
On the Church of the Highlands website you will learn that they are "here to help people know God, find freedom, discover their purpose, and make a difference." When you click on their "about" page, there are several ministries listed from left to right on the page. The first option of ministries is prayer.
Don't you love that? This is a congregation with their priorities in order! When you click on the video of Colette Green, their prayer pastor, she shares that prayer is foundational to the life of the Church. Then she tells you how their prayer ministry functions and how you can be involved.
I LOVE IT!
Hello my friends!
I want to take a minute to tell you about the trip I took this month to visit with Teresa and Toni at Indian Rocks Baptist Church in Largo, Florida.
About a year ago, Teresa called to learn more about the Prayer Clinic ministry. We became fast friends when we recognized the kindred spirit we share as prayer leaders in our churches. Teresa started teaching the 4-session course, Teach My Heart to Pray to those who expressed interest in learning more about prayer, and the Prayer Clinic ministry at IRBC. By December, she was teaching their deacons the prayer study, and in January she, and her solid Prayer Clinic team, launched the Prayer Clinic ministry in 3 locations during all 3 weekend services on their massive campus.
The Prayer Clinic team is in the greeting area where the pastor meets people after services; they are available at the altar where people can come for prayer in response to the message; and they staff their prayer room where they...
I've written 19 books, and most of them are on the subject of prayer. I could write a book a week between now and the day I die and I'd never exhaust the subject, nor would I reveal the entire mystery of prayer. (That's not going to stop me from trying, though!)
But perhaps the most useful tool I've had the opportunity to create is this 4-session study called, Teach My Heart to Pray. If you haven't already done so, take a minute to watch the attached video.
Teach My Heart to Pray is designed to teach anyone and everyone what prayer is; how prayer works; what answers you can expect to your prayers; what barriers there are to our prayers' answers; and how to pray through to a break through. The study is designed to be taught in a Sunday morning, Sunday evening or Wednesday night church setting. It could also be used in home groups.
The material can be taught by me (on video) with a facilitator who is good at turning the video on and off, and leading discussion. Or, it can...
It's back to school time and if you're like me, you are eager to get those precious little people scrubbed clean and loaded up with new school supplies, hugged and kissed, and out the door, and off to school. The return to a "normal routine" is welcome this time of the year.
But as you send your people back to school, you do so with a bit of sadness over the fact that they are another year older, there are less marbles in your jar (have you seen the marble and parenting illustration?), and other people are about to be pouring into the minds and lives of your cherished offspring.
Unless you're homeschooling. If you're homeschooling you are giving yourself pep talks as you gear up for another year of pouring out and in to the children who call you "Mom" and/or "Dad."
I've written on this topic before and decided today to simply give you links to the blogs and podcasts that provide you encouragement as you commit to pray your students through this upcoming year in school....
Our people come to the altar to pray during our Sunday morning worship services. They come because we invite them to come.
Yesterday (May 29, 2022) we invited them to come to lament and repent over the state of our world today. Just this past week we suffered the reality of another mass shooting event at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX. We also suffered the exposure of 20 years of cover-ups and mishandling of sexual abuse in the SBC (the world's largest protestant denomination and the one we at Thompson Station Church are affiliated with). The war in the Ukraine continues to rage as does the craziness in Washington DC, and the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial. Our newest supreme court judge in waiting can't (or won't) define what it means to be a woman. (Something I did on Mother's Day--click here if you want to see how; and listen to our podcast this summer as we launch a series called "The Truth about Women" beginning next week.)
We are living in a season of increasing...
Before you can influence the people in your church's small groups you need to build a relationship with a prayer point person in each group. Read on for simple step-by-step instructions on how to do just that.
If we want to change what goes on in our small groups, we will first need to connect with the leaders of the groups. The best way to reach your small group leaders is through the pastor on staff who leads them.
If you don't have a pastor on staff who leads them, make sure your pastor knows that you want to reach out to them and tell him what you're up to.
"Pastor, I want to help mobilize our people to pray in their small groups, and I'd like to start by connecting with our small group leaders. One of our primary goals for this year is to get our people actively praying for those who are lost. Would you be good with me reaching out to...
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