Effective Prayer Ministry:
Planning Strategies for Praying Together
If you are going to have an effective prayer ministry, whether it be personal, with a prayer partner(s), or corporately in the church, you need the following:
When you understand and practice the above elements in prayer, then you are ready to:
It is then that you will begin to see an increase in participation and the development of a passion within others to meet with God through prayer resulting in praise to our Lord.
Planning Strategies for Effective Corporate Prayer
Church leaders can pursue the relational aspect in prayer, understand its purpose, be impassioned, view prayer as a priority, know its power, adhere to scriptural principles, and make it a personal practice in their own lives, and still not have a praying local church body. Why? How can that be?
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The reason may be a lack of strategic planning. Notice the adjective before planning -- strategic. Having effective corporate prayer is not just a matter of scheduling some meetings or developing a program. To truly be a church of prayer is to engage in spiritual warfare. What nation would go into battle without carefully planning their strategy? To do so would undoubtedly lead to failure.
- They assess their situation.
Your plans need to be tailored to where your people are NOW. Do not expect your people to take a giant leap in their perspective, passion, and priority on prayer. Winning the battle over prayerlessness is a process that comes out of growth. As Romans 12:2 says, transformation is a result of the renewing of the mind. It is "then you will be able to test and approve what God's perfect will is -- his good, pleasing, and perfect will." What it takes for your group to get there will not necessarily be what worked in another church.
- They train their troops.
Having assessed your situation, you know the strengths and weaknesses that contribute to the potential success or failure of your mission to become a people of prayer. Begin where the body is to take them to the next level. Lay the biblical foundations. Impart the vision. Model the life of prayer. Zero in on what is missing . . . Personal Relationship, Purpose, Passion, Priority, Power, Principles, Permanent Practice. And, be patient with the process of growth. At the same time, make sure they know this is boot camp. It will not be easy breaking old habits and becoming disciplined. But, the Commander in Chief will give them all the resources they need to become equipped and to win the war.
- They know the enemy and his tactics.
Scripture exhorts us to be aware of the enemy's schemes so we are not outwitted by him (2 Cor. 2:11; 10:3-5; Eph. 6:10-18; 1 Pet. 5:8-9). Satan will try to deceive people into believing they are too busy to pray. He will try to instill fear of praying aloud or with other people. He will use diversions to bring distraction and confusion. He will seek to divide and conquer by using skeptics to cause people to question your methodology.
- They have a chain of command.
All strategic planning must come under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. His wisdom and His command must be sought. That means that He is consulted before you do anything. That means that prayer should permeate all aspects of the process. "Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man's heart but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails" (Prov. 19:20-21). "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" (Prov. 3:5-6).