It's an Outgrowth of Relationship Requiring the Right Purposes
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.
If prayer is going to be real and meaningful to people, then you must help them understand that prayer is . . . .
more than attending a meeting.
-- It is connecting with their heavenly Father.
more than a programmed event or activity.
-- It is coming into the presence of the almighty God.
more than a Christian discipline.
-- It is communicating with a living and personal God.
Remember in Luke 11:1-4 when one of the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Our Father ...'." Jesus was teaching the personal and intimate nature of prayer.
Make your prayer meetings or prayer efforts about relationship, not merely praying requests. Words are shallow and meaningless when there is no sense of connection. When God Himself is the main attraction, you won't need gimmicks or arm-twisting to keep people coming.
Order the Prayer Ministry Manual for a study on each of the above points involved in the relational aspect of prayer -- connecting, coming into His presence, and communicating.
In developing a prayer ministry you need to ask what you are hoping to accomplish through it. Maybe you are hoping to see God take care of a list of requests. You possibly want to see Him do great and mighty things in your midst or to bring revival. Perhaps you simply want to be obedient to His command to pray. Or, you may be trying to emulate the early church of the New Testament of whom it was said that they devoted themselves to prayer (Acts 2:42).
While all that and much more can happen as people meet together to pray, you will undoubtedly find a greater level of effectiveness when your purposes are centered more on God than on you. When prayer is about Him and not you, you tend to come to Him with the right heart attitudes. Your role, though important, isn't primary.
Emphasize the following purposes and watch the difference it makes in your prayer ministry:
- Use prayer as a means of keeping focused on God.
- Use prayer as a means of acknowledging His grace in your life.
- Use prayer as a means of keeping His sovereignty in place in your life.
- Use prayer as a means of maintaining your relationship with Him.
In the Prayer Ministry Manual you will find some thoughts on the above four points as to what heart attitude we need within each of these purposes and the role we have in it. You will also find a parallel of the above points to Jesus' sample prayer in Matthew 6 (commonly known as The Lord's Prayer). And, you will be guided in determining if you, as an individual, or as a prayer group, have the right purposes for praying.