The Praying Church
I believe God wants every Christian church to have an organized prayer ministry if it is going to maintain optimum spiritual health. Spiritual churches require spiritual health. Recreational churches require sporting and exercise related activities, but spiritual churches require spiritual activities. Social churches require entertainment and arts activities, but spiritual churches require spiritual activities.
There is nothing wrong with incorporating recreational, social, and community activities into the life of our local church. This gives a healthy balance within its walls, but without the activity of prayer – we will not have a spiritual church!
God calls those of us with a burden of prayer to stand in the gap for our church, that we may grow in spiritual health. His Spirit bids some to a ministry of prayer that all may not perish by the ways of this world. As a Prayer Warrior you are stepping up to the plate and standing with the few, the called, the remnant of intercessors whose prayers will call down God’s grace and keep out Satan’s schemes.
We don’t have to be prayer giants only believers who have a strong conviction that prayer is the activity of the church we want to see referred to, relied on, and practiced in the all the affairs of our local church.
There are three functions within a church prayer ministry:
- Pastoral Prayer
- Intercessor Prayer
- Evangelistic Prayer
The function or focus of Pastoral Prayer within the context of our local church prayer ministry is to prayerfully support the ministry and the person of our pastor.
Intercessory prayer focuses on encouraging our membership to engage in intercession and assumes the function of taking those requests and committing themselves to truly intercede for those folks who are in situations requiring concentrated prayer.
Evangelistic prayer is to set our petitions on calling the Spirit of God to save souls. We are to pray for specific soul-winning requests and events of the church.
A living, breathing prayer ministry within our church can incorporate many creative and appealing activities, which would hopefully draw all age groups to participate.
Key elements of a prayer ministry are:
- Personal: To renew a personal passion for Jesus through praying unceasingly (1 Thess. 5:17);
- Corporate: To reclaim the church as a house of prayer with a passion for lost people (Matt. 21:13, Luke 19:10) and
- Kingdom: To link believers in focused prayer for evangelism and awakening (Matt. 18:18-20; 2 Chron. 7:14)
In the very near future it is our desire to develop a comprehensive prayer strategy comprised of those who want to see the Billings church become a strong, praying church. Our vision is to have a true spiritual awakening through the power of prayer.
“Will God really make the pouring out of blessing on others dependent on our prayers? Yes, He makes us His fellow workers. He has taken us into partnership in His work. If we fail to do our part, others will suffer and His work will suffer.” (Teach Me To Pray, Andrew Murray)
Prayer Ministries Coordinator
Billings Seventh-day Adventist Church