Church of God State Prayer Leaders Directory

This list represents only the states or regions that have appointed a Prayer Leader or Leadership team for their state/region and have notified the Prayer Ministries Office.

Please check the listings below and provide missing data by emailing

This list was last updated on March 28, 2017.

Team Leader Paul Lett
Address: 265 Hunter Ridge Ln
Pell City, AL 35128
Phone: 205-515-9314

Team Leader: James Decanter
Address: 3484 State Highway 42
Turrell, AR 72384-9077
Phone: 870-740-8156

Team Members:
Alvin Yancey

Danny Pankey

Lowell Sartin

Danny Rigney

Lee Parnell

Patricia Tucker

Team Leader: Reverend Linda Querry
Address: 4848 W. Douglas Ave
Apt. #104
Visalia, CA 93291
Home Phone: 702-348-4004
Cell: 702-373-1215

Canada (Ontario)
Team Leader: Madge James-Wisdom
Address: 113A Linden Ave
Scarborough, Ontario M1K 3H9
Phone: 416-269-1889

Team Members:
Dulcia Thomas
905 4548331

Robert Francis
647 965 6459

Andrae Blake
647 876 4615

Delton Fraser
416 543 7316

Lisia Malcom
416 574 9682

Patricia Wynter
647 204 3028

Cordell Thorpe
905 874 6889

Eunice Riggan

Canada (Quebec)
Team Leader: Paul Leslie
Phone: 514-591-7431

Canada (Western)
Team Leader
Sylvonne Layne
Address: 15 Gull Wing Bay
Winnipeg, MB R3X 1E5
Home: 204-253-5131
Cell: 204-471-2514

Team Leaders: Fletcher and Kathy Wright
Address: 6724 Bock Road
Ft. Washington, MD 20744
Business: (301) 567-9500
Home: (301) 567-2344
Mobile: (301) 257-3439

Team Members:
Dwayne and Donna Dixon
Address: 29620 Dover Acres Road
Easton, MD 21601
Business: (410) 822-3088
Home: (410) 822-2034
Mobile: (410) 924-7770

Lovell and Vera Wilson
Address: 1802 Birch Bay Ct.
Frederick, MD 21702
Business: (301) 663-5444 x3003
Home: (301) 695-7526
Mobile: (301) 606-5060
Email 1:
Email 2:

David and Ruth Davis
Address: Rt. 1 Box 126
Elk Garden, WV 26717
Business: (301) 334-3221
Home: (304) 446-5470
Mobile: (304) 257-3439

Florida (North)
Team Leader: Tom Odom
Ocoee Church of God
1105 N Lakewood Ave
Ocoee, FL 34761
Phone: (407) 656-8011

Florida (South)
Team Leader: Ester Calderon
Address: 411 SW 182nd Way
Pembroke Pines, FL 33029
Mobile: 954-871-9539

Georgia (North)
Team Leader:
Carroll Allen
Address: 140 Courtney Lane
Rossville, GA 30741
Phone: 706-866-5074
Cell: 423-902-9742

Jacob King
Address: 2001 Liberty Square Dr.
Cartersville, GA 30121
Phone: 770-382-9489
Home: 770-769-4016
Cell: 678-899-5244

Jung Sun Bell
Address: 1255 Bramlett Blvd.
Lawrenceville, GA 30045
Phone: 404-997-9564

Shane Bailey
Address: 1844 Old CCC Camp Rd
Chatsworth, GA 30705
Phone: 706-695-9388

TJ McBride
Address: 635 Jefferson Cir
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: 678-272-0914

Joseph Raymond
Address: 1906 Chadberry Walk
Stockbridge, GA 30281
Phone:  404-429-8772

Howard Strickland
Address: 612 Shenandoah Dr NE
Calhoun, GA 30701

Adam Wright
Address: 46 Buchanan Ln
Clayton, GA 30525
Phone: 706-490-3331

Jerry Lynn Young
Address: 340 Ivanhoe Dr
Fayetteville, GA 30215
Phone: 678-817-0967

Georgia (South)
Team Leader: Larry Daughtry
Address: 6670 New Jesup Hwy
Brunswick, GA 31523-4100
Phone: 229-391-0461

Team Member:
Address: 183 Hwy 96 E
Jeffersonville, Ga 31044
Phone: (478) 335 8473

Great Lakes Region (Wisconsin/Chicago)
Team Leader: Arthur Guice
Address: 160 Constance Lane
Chicago Heights, IL 60411
Phone: 708-833-7512

Team Leader: Lek White
Address: 45-578 Lokea Pl
Kaneohe, HI 96744
Phone: 808-561-1855

Heartlands (Oklahoma-Kansas)
Team Members:
Lavon Abitbol
Address: 2850 Park Street
Claremore, OK 74107
Mobile: 918-341-4246
Home: 918-409-7604

Robert and Paula Peterson
Church: New Hope Church of God
Address: 509 Regent Street
Ardmore, OK
Business: (580) 223-9404
Cell: 580-465-7492

Sharon Simmons
Address: 4700 Alameda Street
Norman, OK 73026
Phone: 405-618-4755
Cell: 405-618-4755

Ken Angel
Address: 622 N. Townsend Street
Ada, OK 74280
Phone: 580-332-1429
Cell: 580-320-1117

Helen and Gary Barnhart
Address: 104 W. Thompson Drive
Kingfisher, OK 73750
Phone: 405-375-6090
Cell: 405-229-1917

Cheryl Lawson
Address: PO Box 1835
Muskogee, OK 74402
Cell: 918-680-0027

Gerry and Barb Dupuis
Address: 2106 W Rose Lane
Ulysses, KS 67880
Business: (620) 356-3888
Mobile: (620) 575-5562

Hispanic East Central Region
Team Leader: Orlando Valenzuela
Address: 2020 Bates Pike SE, Apt 404
Cleveland, TN 37311
Phone: (404) 886 8087

Hispanic North Central Region
Team Leader: Felix Robles
Address: 2445 North Mapplewood
Chicago, Illinois  60647
Phone: (773) 772-2832

Hispanic North Western Region
Team Leader: Alvin and Lizbeth Perez
Address: 21440 SE 299th Way
Kent, WA 98042
Phone: (787) 602-3662

Hispanic South Central Region
Team Leader: Frank Espinoza
Address: 1540 Jami Rd
Pleasanton, TX 78064
Phone: (830) 399-0317

Hispanic South Western Region
Team Leader: Reverend Imelda Tucker
Address: Church of God Southwest Region
149 N. 3rd Ave
Upland, CA  91786
Phone: (323) 807-9112

Team Members:
David Mays
Address: 110 Grayson Rd.
Eldorado, IL 62930
Business: (618) 237-8193
Home: (618) 273-5035
Mobile: (618) 978-2011
Other: (618) 977-4514

Rod Joplin
Address: 407 Stonebrook
Benton, IL 62812
Business: (618) 439-3833
Home: (618) 438-0841
Mobile: (618) 218-1796
Other: (618) 218-6114

Eric Wyzard
Address: 114 West Alden Place
Dekalb, IL 60115
Business: (815) 758-6557
Mobile: (815) 501-1455
Other: (815) 501-1990

Tod W. Parchman
Address: 149 State Hwy. 37
West Franfort, IL 62896
Business: (618) 937-4766

Brian Mixon
Address: 1258 Garretts Prairie Road
West Frankfort, Il 62896
Business: (618) 627-2526
Home: 618-937-6330
Mobile: (618) 922-6278
Other: (815) 501-1990

A. Ted and Judith Ann Anderson III
Address: 1716 Harlan Rd.
Mt. Vernon, IL 62864
Business: (618) 244-1337
Home: (618) 242-0771
Mobile: (618) 214-3879
Other: (618) 214-8269
Email 1:
Email 2:

Team Leaders:
Sam and Judy Abbott
Business: (219) 942-8777
Mobile: (219) 688-3449

Team Members:
Steve and Pam Gwaltney
Address: 5860 East Valley View Drive
Lexington IN 47138
Business: (812) 794-3182
Mobile: (812) 820-1792

Mark and Enola Joplin
Address: 2535 South Miller Street
Shelbyville IN 46176
Business: (317) 398-4787
Mobile: (317) 364-1010

Terry Owens
Address: 2401 Curdes Ave
Fort Wayne, IN 46805
Phone: 260 484-6910
(260) 413-7314

Team Leader:
Carletta Douglas
Address: Cathedral Church of God
3313 Lexington Road
Winchester, KY 40391
Home: 859-745-2442
Cell: 859-771-8601

Team Members:
David Douglas
Address: Cathedral Church of God
3313 Lexington Road
Winchester, KY 40391
Phone: 859-744-6939
Cell: 859-771-8602

Mark and Jennifer Hisle
Address: 101 Calvary Court
London, KY 30741
Phone: 606-528-8100
Mobile: 606-231-1257
Mobile: 606-864-4848

Kenny and Karen Potter
Phone: 606-776-8063
Phone: 606-776-7098

Sylvester and Fran Dunn
Phone: 606-521-0159

Mike and Sherry Smith
Phone: 502-608-4309

Pat Dew
Phone: 270-871-4490

Margaret Justice
Phone: 270-836-0215

Dianne Reddick
Phone: 270-836-5791

David and Pam Calvert
Phone: 502-370-8349

Gary and Theresa Ballinger
Phone: 859-312-6879

Bill and Lisa Harrison
Phone: 859-248-5529

Henry and Aggie Montgomery
Phone: 606-831-0076

Betty Shaver
Phone: 270-256-9377

Carol Clem
Phone: 859-808-0159

Sandy Bronnert
Phone: 859-351-9775

Robert Gayheart
Phone: 859-351-3216

Steve Ormsby
Phone: 606-312-1100

Team Leader:
Jackie and Laurie Pounders
Address: 22191 Sharp’s Chapel Road
Bush, LA 70431
Home: (985) 892-2997
Mobile: (985) 630-6290

Nolan and Stephanie Francis
Address: 191 Woodbury Dr
Houma, LA 70364-2381
Phone: 985-223-0804

Midlands: Iowa/Nebraska
Team Leader: Diana Angran
Address: Solid Rock Church of God
1300 Rock Valley Rd
Centerville, IA 52544
Phone: (641) 856-8308
Mobile: 641-436-1243

Team Member:
Nelson Foster
Address: Relevant Church
4100 Merle Hay Rd, Ste 4A
Des Moines, IA 50310
Phone: (515) 339-5304

Team Leader: Debra Schilling
Address: 5303 Orchard Dr
East China, MI 48054
Phone: 586.567.4941

Bill & Sandra McKay
Phone: 810-687-1457

Melody Nichols
Phone: 734-818-7314

Wayne Terry
Phone: 586-703-7473

Ministry to the Military
USA Team Leader and Liaison:
Jennie Humann

Team Leader: Cheryl Hannan

Team Members:
Brett Cooper
Address: 10680 CR 101
Union, MS 39365
Phone: 601/656-1536
Cell: 601-650-8182

Larry Hays
Address: 700 Church Rd East
Southaven, MS 38671
Phone: 662/349-1337
Cell: 601-807-4097

Randy Rigney
Address: 431 Old Hwy 13 S
Morton, MS 39117
Phone: 601/732-8017
Cell: 601-927-5865

Ronnie Walters
Address: 1501 Old Fannin Rd
Flowood, MS 39232
Phone: 601/790-4443
Cell: 601/613-7166

Team Members: Jeffrey Clark
Address: 3202 W. Republic Road
Springfield, MO 65807
Mobile: (417) 830-9322

Don Thomas
Church: Spirit Life Church (Worship Leader)
Address: 3202 W. Republic Road
Springfield, MO 65807
Mobile: (417) 872-7360

Leta Padgett
Phone: 314-729-0704 ext.17

New Jersey
Team Leader: Joann Garzarella
Phone: 732-409-2923

Team Leader: Philip Bonaparte
Phone: 609-658-8702

New Mexico/El Paso, Texas
Team Leader: Carl Dawson
Address: 421 West Ave I
Lovington, NM 88260
Home: 575-396-0095

Team Member:
Hosea and Mabel Melendez
Address: 3700 Hveco Valley Dr, #3906
El Paso, TX 79938
Mobile: 915-849-0557

New York
Team Leader: Christopher Capaldo
Address: 8 Applewood Road
Saint James, NY 11780
Home: (631) 584-4240

Team Member: Tyrone Tyson

North Carolina (Eastern)
Team Leader: Tim Cowan
Address: 101 West C St
Erwin, NC 28339
Home: 910.897.8228

Team Members:
Phyllis Cowan

Richard Dial
Address: 204 Misty Groves Cir
Morrisville, NC 27560
Cell: 919.632.6370

Joe Ferguson
Address: PO Box 38
Bunn, NC 27508
Phone: 919.340.4591

North Carolina – Western
Team Leader:
Andre Hester
Address: Monroe Deliverance Center
1000 Little Rock Court
Monroe, NC 28110
Home: (704) 635-8235
Cell: (704) 517-4481

Team Members:
Aaron Powers
Address: Gate City Church of God
110 E. Newlyn St.
Greensboro, NC 27408
Home: (336) 542-0506
Cell: (336) 953-8914

Stewart Lankford
Address: Bethlehem Church of God
PO Box 6324
Bethlehem Station
Hickory, NC 28603
Home: (828) 495-7759
Cell: (828) 244-8200

Calvin Grier
Address: West Charlotte Church of God
3406 Pine Meadow Drive
Charlotte, NC 28269
Home: (704) 598-5250
Cell: (704) 905-4005

Shane Silvers
Address: Whittier Church of God
PO Box 129
Whittier, NC 28789
Office: 828-497-6262
Home: 828-497-9238
Cell: 336-269-4440

North Central Region: Dakotas and Montana
Team Members: Dan Lindeman
Address: 805 10th St West, PO Box 336
Lemon, SC
Church Office: 605-374-3686
Cell Phone: 701-928-0782

Steve Willis

North Central Region (Hispanic)
Team Leader: Felix Robles
Address: 2445 North Mapplewood
Chicago, Illinois 60647
Phone: (773) 772-2832

Northern New England
Team Leader: Frank Siciliano
Address: Park Avenue Church of God
29 Park Ave
Portland, ME 04101
Phone: 207-807-5443

Team Leader: Rich and Angel Boll
Address: 14545 N Gallatin Blvd
Brookpark, OH 44142
Phone: 216-760-5148

Team Members:
Queen Williams
Address: PO Box 6606
Canton, OH  44706
Phone: 330-209-4684

Jane Smith
Address: 12709 Misty Ave
Union Town, OH  44685
Phone: 330-267-6075

Gerald Murphy
Address: 336 Mogul Dr
Galloway, OH  43119
Phone: 614-832-5715

Derek Wooten
Address: 4236 N Gensen Loop
Cincinnati, OH  45245
Phone: 803-372-8837

Pacific Northwest
Team Leader: Barbara Mathews
Address: 8713 Tieton Dr.
Yakima, WA 98908
Office: 509-965-0075
Cell: 509-941-3254

Team Members:
Keith and Hae Suk Arensmeyer
307 E. F St.
Shelton, WA 98584
Home: 360-462-0053
Cell: 360-951-2341

Aminiasi and Sala Vakalala
3418 Serene Way
Lynnwood, WA
Sala cell: 206-396-9075
Home: 425-742-2624

David and Faith White
2323 53rd St. SE
Auburn, WA 98092
David cell: 425-773-3029
Faith cell: 425-773-5944
David’s email:
Faith’s email:

Team Leader: David W Martin
Address: 7378 Dar Lane
North East, PA 16428
Home: 814-725-4994
Cell: 814-384-2310

Co-Team Leader:
Delphine Allen
163 Hawthorne Ct
Wyomissing, PA 19610
Home: 330-289-5886
Cell: 330-283-5886

Robert Brookins
816 Acacia Ave
Reading, PA 19605
Home: 610-921-2216
Cell: 330-283-5886

Carmen and Rose Butler
Address: 1505 Leishman Ave
Arnold, PA 15068
Home: 724-335-0994
Cell: 724-681-8894

Baby Daniel
Address: 727 Stratford Dr
Philadelphia, PA 19115
Home: 215-671-0859

Dorothy Hilliard
Address: 208 Market St
Warren, PA 16365
Home: 814-313-1707
Cell: 716-581-0537

Felix Poyser
Address: 1315 Moore Ave
Yeadon, PA 19050
Home: 610-394-6472
Cell: 215-869-7781

Gerald Prentice
Address: 631 Weiser St
Reading, PA 19601
Home: 610-378-0416
Cell: 610-763-0601

Rocky Mountain Region (Colorado-Utah-Wyoming)
Team Leader: David Naranjo
Address: 3415 W 34th Street Rd.
Greeley, CO 80634
Cell: 970-405-0606
Office: 970-330-6082
Home: 970-356-4509

South Carolina
Team Leader: Peggy Scarborough
Address: 1561 Dick Pond Road
Myrtle Beach SC 29575
Cell: 843.650.2407

Southern New England
Team Leader: N. Bibiche Zagabe-Ndiku
Address: 205 Millbury Street
Worcester, MA 01610
Home: 508-459-8688
Cell: 508-847-4554

Team Leader: Roland Sharp
Phone: 931-212-4166

Team Leader: Steven Molton
Address: The Bridge Church of God
PO Box 7351
Fort Worth, TX 76111
Office: 817-834-4506
Cell: 817-262-8971

Team Member:
A.D. Fretwell
Address: 365 W College St
Lewisville, TX 75067
Phone: 214-435-4604

Team Leader: Stephen Sneed
Address: 72 Brookdale Cir
Bristol, VA 24201
Home: 276-669-4724
Mobile: 276-619-1494

West Virginia
Prayer Leader: Darrell Buttram, Jr.
Address: 123 Larkspur Drive
Huntington, WV 25701
Home: 304-617-2301
Office: 304-522-7160
Mobile: 304-523-6203

Team Members:
Stacey Dingess
Address: New Beginnings Worship Center
307 Broad St
Summerville, WV 26651
Office: 304-872-4469

Rudell Bloomfield
Address: Mountain View Church of God
PO Box 1246
Oak Hill, WV 25901-1246
Office: 304-465-5511

Harold Newsome
Address: Crosspoint Church of God
3066 S Chicos Rd
Kearneysville, WV 25430
Office: 304-261-1276

First Steps


The FIRST YEAR Discovery Process

How do you begin a prayer process in your church?

Have an envisioning evening for the launch of a new level of prayer ministries in your church! Do some of these things:

  1. Share the stories of what God is doing through prayer.[1]
  2. Show one of the shorter transformation videos.[2]
  3. Talk about the need for prayer – and the joy of prayer.
  4. Describe your vision for prayer ministries in the church.
  5. Spend a good share of the time praying – pray individually, pray into the vision for prayer!
    1. SAY: We announced an evening to talk about prayer ministries, and I am delighted that you came. What brought you here? Let’s pray that to God! “God when I heard about this meeting … my heart leaped … I knew you were calling me to this …”
    2. SAY: What do you envision happening in our church by prayer? Let’s pray that to God! “God, the desire of my heart is to learn to pray … so many of us want a closer walk with you … Lord, would you teach us to pray?”
    3. You could ask these questions and get “shared” responses. But when the people pray their responses, the effect is different! Dramatically different.

After the meeting – Appoint a local church “prayer discovery task force.”

  1. Composition of the team – the team should be primarily composed of people who have a sense of “call” to prayer ministry. This is not your permanent prayer leadership team, although we would expect that some permanent prayer leadership team members would emerge from this group.


  • Size of the task-force – probably about 12.


  • The diversity of the task-force, if possible, should be comprised of young and old, male and female, single and married, black and white, Pentecostal background and non-Pentecostal background.
  • Consider a staff liaison to the task force (although for purposes of vision, your involvement in the early stages will be very important). It would also be helpful if there was an elder as a part of the task force, or at least a liaison.
  • Along with the prayer discovery task force, you will want to formally identify your “prayer council.”[3]


  1. Function of the task force.

Create a prayer resource manual detailing all the prayer activities already exist.[4] This would be in initial form a “ragged” notebook in which all the various activities and initiatives of and out of prayer were compiled in one volume. This notebook is NOT FOR PUBLIC consumption. It is a for-our-eyes-only compilation of existing prayer activities.


  1. Conduct a survey of prayer ministry interest in the congregation.
  2. Suggest and promote prayer learning/experience options in the next six months.
  3. Explore options for prayer ministry in these areas:
    1. Discover the appropriate “level” of intensity for the prayer ministry (note the various and intensifying levels):
      1. An aggressive, balance, integrated prayer process?
      2. … with a dedicated prayer room?
      3. … or with a prayer center?
      4. … with a 24/7 prayer process?
      5. … with a 24/7 center? [5]
      6. … with a 24/7 city-impact center?
    2. Function of intercessors.[6]
  • Interface of prayer and mission (prayer evangelism[7]).[8]
  1. Prayer support for ministries; and integration of prayer into ministries.
  2. Identifying prayer resources useful for Metro.
  3. Ways and Means to teach and encourage personal-devotional prayer.[9]
  • Development of a prayer discipleship, teaching-training plan.


  1. Structure of the task force


  1. The Senior pastor serves as the “visionary leader” of the task force. You need a person with good strategic planning/thinking skills. Staff liaison. An elder (council) should be a part of the team or one appointed to serve as a liaison. The functional team leader should be appointed by the Senior pastor.
  2. Within this task-force we would create “focus-teams” where possible around the interest of the members of the team …
    1. Each focus-team would be composed of 3 individuals from the “prayer discovery team” with a possible addition of 2 additional members from the congregation.[10]
    2. Focus-teams recommended:[11]
      1. Prayer Center focus team.
      2. Intercessors focus team.
  • Prayer-Evangelism focus team.
  1. Youth-Prayer focus team.
  2. Personal/Family Enrichment focus team.
  3. Prayer Ministry integration focus team.




  1. Schedule of the task force …


  1. Month One – appointment of the task force.
  2. Month Two – orientation of the task force …and structuring of the focus-teams.[12]
  3. Month Three – addition of the “at-large” members to the focus group teams; specific assignments of the focus-teams.
  4. Month Four-to-Six – focus teams work, meeting as necessary; the task-force meets not less than monthly.
  5. Month Seven – Resource manual is compiled detailing all Metro prayer ministry activities; focus-group reports and recommendations are assembled.
  6. Month Eight-to-Nine – Task force translates focus-group recommendation into a 3-5 year prayer implementation plan.


  1. Process …
  2. The Senior Pastor must cast the vision for Church’s prayer ministry. A part of the discovery phase will be our prayer support for God to speak clearly to the Senior Pastor about Metro’s blueprint for prayer ministry.
  3. Alive Ministries: PROJECT PRAY (Or some other prayer coaching network) would serve at the pleasure of the Senior Pastor in the area of “architect” – helping to translate the vision for prayer into a strategic process in conjunction with the focus – discovery teams.
  4. At the end of the discovery phase, a permanent prayer leadership team would be appointed with a prayer-coordinator … and the prayer implementation plan would unfold.[13]



Learning Components


Your prayer ministry advances on two legs – learning and doing. Most of our people have to be “taught” to pray, how to pray. Learning leads to doing. And doing reveals the “learning gaps,” the areas where more teaching is required. Low levels of participation are often indicators of fear. When people are invited to pray, they do not know what might be expected of them, so they avoid invitations to prayer. Teaching, especially experiential learning, helps them become accustomed to prayer.



  • PRACTICUM – principles applied, how is this practiced?
  • PICTURES – stories, examples, illustrations



  • Where are you in your PROCESS – are you on track; on schedule? Ahead, behind? Has your response been what you thought it would be?
  • What are your current PROBLEMS/SUCCESSES?


Sustaining the Plan

A 3-5 year transformational process should be planned and carefully laid out! Each of the above team members should be looking to build their teams in each of their areas.


The first phase of building a prayer ministry is “discovery.” Develop a plan. That plan should include all four dimensions on two legs. The two legs are “learning” and “doing.” Prayer is better caught than taught. The doing events give expression to the learning events, and test the depth of interest in prayer in the church and your capacity to mobilize. The doing events show the gaps in learning – and the learning should always be tested by the doing!


If the leadership team is not a praying team and is not open to learnthe prayer ministry will fail. If the leadership team does not become a team – if they pursue their “pieces” of the prayer ministry without a seamless approach to prayer, without regard for the whole, without a sense of where the prayer ministry is to take the church, namely to revival, then the prayer ministry will fail and competitive prayer options will emerge. Humility is an essential! Prayer should change the ethos of the whole church.


[1] There are a number of stories that I shared regarding prayer in the leadership seminar. You can replay them as video or simply retell them. Here are some websites from which you can often pull inspirational stories. Be careful, not all “Prayer Stories” sites are Biblically sound. And not all stories true. I often check out stories on this site:  A reliable story site is  Another site is as well as

[2] The video I use is “Transformation II – Preview clip.” It is shorter than either Transformation I or II and contains excerpts from both. Available from: or by calling 800-668-5657  They have a number of excellent videos documenting the work of the Holy Spirit around the world out of prayer.

[3] The “prayer council” would be comprised of all the leaders for every prayer ministry already in existence. These people are the backbone of the current prayer stream of any church but they have rarely been convened. Sometimes their interests in prayer are so specific in focus that they have not connected with other people of prayer in the same church. By bringing these people to the table, we will advance the discovery process. Some members of the discovery task force should be drawn from this group, but not exclusively. The discovery task force may interface with this group several times. And when the task force is transitioned into a prayer leadership team, that prayer leadership team will continue to relate to this prayer council. As new prayer ministries are launched, the leaders of those ministries are added to this council. The goal is a non-competitive seamless prayer process in the local church.

[4] This is probably a 2 – 3 month project. The manual would list each “prayer ministry,” the person designated as the leader. The purpose of the prayer ministry – its focus, its target participants, the frequency and duration of its meetings, the length of time in existence, a vitality rating, a projection for its future including ministry expansion plans and maximum number of participants anticipated. See attached sheet – sample prayer ministry profile sheet – for more information.

[5] The creation of a 24-7 center requires 168 man-hour volunteers. I would not recommend that as an immediate step. Further, without 24 hour on-site security, you have additional complications. At this point, I would recommend that your team consider a prayer center which is staffed during certain peak-use hours, open for use during certain other daylight hours. Around this day-time function, you can begin to build a continuous 24 hour prayer stream combining prayer-center activity with at-home prayer chains. Again, I would not make the “24 hour” model my top priority. CAUTION: You want to launch a prayer process that is sustainable given the amount of manpower which the church can allocate to it presently. That is a decision which we can wade into as we determine the level of interest and test commitment with church-wide prayer exercises during this discovery phase.

[6] At some point, we may want to convene just those who feel called to do the work of intercession. And as a part of the discovery process, we will want to look at “teaming intercessors.”

[7] Al VanderGriend has combined a 3-word phrase which is a blueprint for prayer evangelism – prayer, care, share. These three words reference the connection between the “great commitment – prayer,” the “great commandment – love,” and the “great commission – sharing the gospel.” Much of our “great commission” work in America as evangelicals has been without a “deeds of kindness” social interface. As we pray for our community, the neighbor around our church and the city, God wakes up in our people unique ways to express his love – thus prayer translates to our being available for God to love our city through us; and such sincere prayer for our city, combined with loving acts of kindness, opens doors for the gospel.

[8] This includes, but is not limited to the way the prayer ministry connects with the city-church.

[9] This may be anything from bulletin inserts to additional congregational prayer exercises; it may also include prayer experiences, continued teaching of prayer both at the church-wide level, and in the discipleship arena.

[10] These additional team members would be drawn from the pool of people expressing interest in prayer at meetings such as the one we had last evening.

[11] With 6 “focus teams” and a 12-member discovery team – each focus team leader would serve on only one “focus team (exceptions could be made) and each team member would serve on two focus groups (allowing for some cross pollination of ideas). These teams would be given assignments

[12] Somewhere in the Month 2 – 4 period, an overnight retreat for this leadership team would be helpful; or at least a full-day in-town planning meeting to prepare it for the next 3 months of activity.

[13] This does not mean that no prayer implementation will take place before that time. In fact, a part of discovery will be prayer learning and doing experiences along with the affirmation and reshaping of existing prayer ministries. We want to avoid running head-long into piece-meal implementation without a long-term understanding of the Church’s prayer needs.

The 4-dimensional Model of Prayer

Most churches have a single-dimensional model for prayer. They have a prayer meeting that is one-style, one-time, one-leader for all. They are limited in terms of the prayer formats that are used. The prayer focus is routine and too narrow. Intercessors sometimes take over the prayer services with a level of passion too hot for the typical participant not accustomed to such fervent prayer! At other times, prayer meetings degenerate into a litany of prayer requests.

What is needed is a multi-dimensional model. A growing church needs many opportunities for prayer – different times and places. It needs a prayer ministry that is diverse in its focus.

There are four areas which need to be intentionally developed if the church is going to have a balanced prayer process. These are not exercises in prayer or even prayer ministries. These four areas represent the way in which we should measure and balance the prayer ministry.

The Four-Fold Focus

  • A praying people – personal transformation. At home, daily prayer. Family prayer times. Couples connecting in prayer. Fathers and mothers, praying with children. The discipline of gratitude at meal times. Holiday prayer. Fathers blessing their children. Moms and Dads praying over fevered brows. Homes that are consecrated. Homes where the act and sound of prayer is not strange.
  • A praying church – total dependence upon His hand! Doing the business of God – prayer. And doing nothing without prayer. Making the church a praying church – living out of His presence, depending in His strength, serving beyond ourselves.
  • Identified and Mobilized Intercessions – the prayer engine of the church is intercession and intercessors. These people are called and gifted to pray. All of us are to be intercessors. But there is a core of people with hot-hearts for prayer. Find them. Affirm them. Disciple them. Mobilize them. Train them. Debrief them. Direct them.
  • Prayer Evangelism – Claiming the harvest by prayer. Asking for God’s presence to anoint as we love the lost open to the gospel. Prayerfully looking for the opportunities to share the good news of God’s love. Conduct prayer walks and prayer missions. Ask every Christian to begin to pray for unsaved friends and family. Prayer and the harvest must be connected.

Seven Commitments to a Praying Church

  1. Led by a praying pastor, and aided by a prayer leadership team, we commit to bring prayer to the heart of all we do! “Without Christ, we can do nothing!” Therefore, our resources, spiritual and material; our plans and programs, we will bathe in prayer.
  2. We will encourage at-home, daily, to-be-like-Jesus praying. We will reestablish our personal and family altars. We will embrace the discipline of daily times with God, with one another as couples, and as families. We will champion the idea of prayer rooms/closets.
  3. We will call our congregation to regular ‘Great Days of Prayer!’ with the goal of establishing a regular prayer meeting for the entire church at least monthly, if not, weekly. We will make the prayer meeting as important as Sunday Morning singing and preaching.
  4. We will honor those who carry a special calling to pray – We will identify intercessors, encourage them, train them, team them, deploy them and debrief them.
  5. We will engage in prayer evangelism, turning prayer outward onto the neighborhood, the city, state and nation – and we will adopt a mission field for prayer, one near and one far. We will pray for the harvest. We will seek to identify the people for whom God has made us most responsible, and we will begin the process of evangelism in prayer, look for ways to care, and steward the opportunities to share the gospel.
  6. We will work toward the creation of prayer room or center, a physical space dedicated to prayer at our church, and we will encourage the use of such a space by members and prayer groups. We will provide resources for prayer – that run through all our departments, until we have a praying church, and not merely a prayer ministry.
  7. We will offer regular training in the area of prayer – for our people, leaders, intercessors, prayer evangelism, our youth and children, our families.

The goal of a praying church is first to create a core group of people committed to prayer, with an initial goal to enroll 20% of its membership in some aspect of the prayer process. The focus is on changing the habits of the people. At-home prayer and at-church regular prayer meetings are two legs on which the prayer process advances. Eventually, the regular church-wide prayer event should spawn prayer groups (7 for each 100 members). These prayer groups (3-12) operate around a specific focus for prayer! (Life-effectiveness is 6-18 months) PIT crews (personal intercessory support teams) should be considered. It takes 3-5 years to affect the culture of a church! 

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Prayer throughout the Year

Listed below are great resources to assist you in planning prayer events and activities throughout the year. In addition, there are many ongoing prayer initiatives by various organizations that you or your church can support. Click to learn more>


Transform USA – First Thursday, 11am-1pm EST, 641-715-3655, Access Code 530603

National Day of Prayer Task Force – First Thursday, 8pm-9:30pm EST, 712-432-0075, Access Code 4961322

Fellowship of Prayer Strategists – Second Thursday, 7am-8am CST,

America’s National Prayer Committee – First Friday, 10:30am EST, 712-432-0232, Access Code 672

Liberty Prayer Network – East Coast 4th Watch – Sundays, 3am-6am EST, 641-715-3570, Access Code 448141

Prayer Surge NOW – Saturdays, 7:30am-11am EST, 712-432-0075, Access Code 6149782,

Saturday Night Fire – Saturdays, 9pm EST, 641-715-3580, Access Code 466086


Great Day of Prayer – Promoted by the Church of God – First Sunday of each Quarter

Fasting for His Favor! – Promoted by the Church of God – January 10-31


Collegiate Day of Prayer – Multi-denominational movment promoted by the National Prayer Committee – Usually the fourth Thursday, check website to confirm.

  • Find resources at
  • Adopt a College Campus for Prayer; find others praying for revival on America College campuses.

Seek God for the City – Promoted by Waymakers, a Multi-denominational Effort – Begins 40 days before Palm Sunday


Seek God for the City continues to Palm Sunday

  • PossibleRegional Prayer Rallies

40 Days for Life – A Multi-denominational initiative. Check the website for dates:


Great Day of Prayer – Promoted by the Church of God – First Sunday of each Quarter

Seek God for the City concludes on Palm Sunday


National Day of Prayer – Multi-denominational initiative promoted by the National Day of Prayer Task Force – First Thursday

  • The only ‘day of prayer’ mandated by Congress!
  • Led by the National Prayer Committee and the National Day of Prayer Task Force
  • Resource materials at

Pentecost Sunday – Multi-denominational – Pentecost Sunday

Global Day of Prayer – Pentecost Sunday

  • This international prayer effort reaches to more than 150 nations.
  • Resources at include video feeds, printed materials and more.
  • 10 days of Prayer leading up to Pentecost Sunday (Resources in Seek God for the City)
  • 90 days of Blessing following Pentecost Sunday
  • Resources for this event in the United States

Day of Prayer for Syria – Leaders organized this day of prayer in 2013. Check the website to find updated information for future events.


World Weekend of Prayer for Children at Risk – First weekend in June – Check their website for more details.


Great Day of Prayer – Promoted by the Church of God – First Sunday of each Quarter

Call 2 Fall Sunday – Promoted by the Family Research Council – (Sunday at the end of June/beginning of July) Check website for exact date.

  • Go to for prayer resources and to register your church in the event.

30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World – Ramadan moves each year, since Islam is based on a 360 calendar – Check website for detail –


Operation: 9-1-1 – Promoted by theChurch of God during the September Saturation Prayer

  • Pray at 9 AM and PM – for 1 minute, with 1 motive: A Spiritual Awakening in America.
  • Florida and Kentucky have a variation of this – check with prayer leaders in those states for resource materials

Patriot Day – A Cry Out America Initiative – September 11 each year

See You at the Pole – A Multi-denominational event – Fourth Wednesday

  • This is a nation-wide Youth Prayer event, kids at US schools meeting around the flagpole for prayer near the start of every school year.
  • Resources at

Saudi Global Day of Prayer Check their website for the exact date


Great Day of Prayer – Promoted by the Church of God – First Sunday of each Quarter

Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem – First Sunday

10 Days Uniting the Church with Jesus at the Center – 10 days between the biblical Feasts of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement

  • Resources and confirm dates each year at

Fall Prayer Campaign – Promoted by the Church of God

  • Build your own 30 days of prayer. Past themes include “Days of Consecration” and “Days of Action!” Saturdays have been outlined as options for a prayer breakfast, and then community prayer endeavors. Wednesdays we have focused on prayer training and prayer experiences. Sundays focus on preaching/teaching on prayer.
  • Archived materials for previous 30-day Prayer Campaigns

Global Prayer for Unreached People Groups – Last Sunday

  • For the last 2,000 years the Church has striven to complete the Great Commission. But it still remains unfinished to this day. With explosive population growth, the church has to pick up the pace.
  • The Billion Soul Global Prayer Task Force, commissioned by world leaders from the annual Global Church Linking Forum, is leading a global effort to challenge the Global Church to collectively pray at least one billion prayer minutes for the unreached peoples of the world. The overarching purpose is to bring awareness, aim and action toward praying for the salvation of the lost and for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Learn more at>

Following are videos courtesy of Beverly Pegues, Window International Network -click the links to watch


International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church – Second Sunday

Solemn Assembly

A ‘solemn assembly’ is the mechanism we find in Scripture to accomplish corporate repentance. For more than two decades, we have been doing identificational repentance in America. But it is not enough. There has been no revival. It is right to consecrate, to set apart, to create the space and time for God to do a work. But identificational repentance, consecration in behalf of another – these are not enough. Such prayer cannot take the place of authentic, personal and widespread awareness of how we as a nation have offended our holy God. Intercessors, a remnant, have been praying and repenting. But the church itself, even the ministry leaders, have not torn their garments and wept at the potential of calamitous judgment. There are too few tears among Christians.
Solemn Assembly is a foreign term today, but it was the mechanism given by God to deal with national sin. In an age of hyper-individualism, we privatize everything. But sin, like a toxic liquid or vapor can’t be confined by barriers and borders. The pollution it creates requires a group clean-up effort. When a family sins, there are family consequences (Joshua 7; Prov. 15:27; Acts 5:1-11). When a city sins – it must repent (Jonah 1:5-9). When a people sin, the nation they constitute must repent before God. The idea is not mystical. If the sin, the destructive social and moral actions continue – the nation, the city, the company, the family will implode. It will self-destruct. Acceptance of sin as normal pervades and permeates. It removes all the protection that moral law and restraint provided, and does so in the name of freedom. The result is not only toxic, in terms of attitude and behavior, it is deadly to both the individual and to the social entity.
Every nation, every city – has ledger in heaven, an account of sins and of righteous deeds. In Ezekiel 14, God declares if “a nation sins” it will face judgment. God is the “governor among the nations.” Faith is not merely a ‘private’ thing. “He increases the nations … destroys … enlarges … and straightens them again” (Job 12:23). Edward Payson declared that “the perfection of God’s moral government … extend[s] to nations and communities, as well as to individuals.” James Hervey noted, “How then shall He that is Ruler among nations, maintain the dignity of His government over the kingdoms of the earth, but by inflicting national punishments for national provocations?” Spurgeon said, “National sins demand national punishments … God’s dealings with mankind proves that though a nation may go on in wickedness … multiply its oppressions … abound in bloodshed, tyranny, and war … an hour of retribution draws near. When it shall have filled up its measure of iniquity, then shall the angel of vengeance execute its doom … at the bar of God each man must be tried for himself. [But] … The punishment … of nations, is national. The guilt they incur must receive its awful recompense in this present time state.” John Knox said the moment of national judgment came when iniquity was so manifest, that even the flatterers could not excuse it.
Multiple times, Israel called a Solemn Assembly. They repented. Fasted. Sacrificed. Turned from sin. And God sent a revival. At times it was the king, at other times a prophet or priest who called the nation to repent. Solemn Assemblies have been critical in America history as well. The early Presidents frequently issued calls to prayer in the face of emergencies. John Adams declared, “The safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and blessing of Almighty God.” Lincoln said, “The awful calamity of civil war … may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins. … We have forgotten God … We have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become … too proud to pray to the God that made us!” Imagine a President saying that today, in response to September 11, or floods or tornadoes, or the rising tide of national debt?
The last authentic call, by a President to a genuine solemn assembly of penitence, fasting and humility, in consideration of the connection between national calamity and sin – was arguably Lincoln, April 30, 1863. We are 150 years overdue for a genuine national solemn assembly called by a President, Congress or the Supreme Court. Barring such a happening – national judgment may be inevitable.
“Why should I pardon you? Your sons have forsaken Me And sworn by those who are not gods. When I had fed them to the full, they committed adultery And trooped to the harlot’s house” (Jeremiah 5:7).

Resources here…

30 Day Prayer Initiative

This annual effort – a 30-day prayer initiative – aims to ‘saturate’ all we do in prayer. In the season from September-November, a special program emphasis is planned. In the past, we have offered a 30-day prayer saturation effort; a 40-day pre-election prayer guide; and other resources. In most states, the estimate is, that some 20% of our churches participate in some aspect of prayer during this time. Reports include services ripe with the presence of God, extended seasons of prayer, tearful encounters with God, a lingering hunger for God, and the rebirth of the ‘prayer meeting.’ Preaching and teaching materials are available including prayer resources, prayer breakfasts, action ideas and solemn assembly guides.

30-Day Prayer Initiative


Bulletin Support

Undergirding Prayer – Devotional

The Release of Worship – Devotional

The Curse is Broken – Devotional

An Appeal to God – Devotional

                        In My Distress – Devotional

The Nations Are Your Inheritance

Into All the World – Devotional

Sermon/Teaching Resources

Prayer That Produces – Douglas Holt

The Marks of An Authentic Christian – P. Douglas Small

The Brim of Iniquity – Southern Baptist Resource

Stories of the Great Awakenings – Various







Each Sunday will have a special corollary theme with support materials:


  • Seeing His Face. A call to holiness, humility, brokenness and transparency.

Sermon Resource: “Seeing His Face” – Dr. David Cooper

Additional Resources:

Ten Ways to Deepen Communion with God – P. Douglas Small Prayer Resource Guide, p. 23.

Indicators of a Healthy Personal Relationship with God – P. Douglas Small, Prayer Resource Guide.


  • Sensing His Heart for the World. A call to see the harvest, to consider the area around us our mission field.

Sermon Resource: How to Pray for Your Unsaved Family and Friends”

– Juan Garcia

Additional Resources:

Praying for the Yet to Believe – P. Douglas Small

Prayer Resource Guide, p. 62 – 63.

Prayer for the Nations – P. Douglas Small

Prayer Resource Guide


  • Serving by Demonstrating His Love. A call to care. A call to make a difference in neighbors. A call to be missional.

Sermon/Teaching-Training Resource: “Serving By Demonstrating His Love!” – Samuel Santana

“The Great Commission At Home!” – Leonard Albert

Additional Resources:

Conducting a Sunday Morning Neighborhood Prayer Walk –

  1. Douglas Small, Prayer Resource Guide, p. 116.
  • Sharing by Declaring His Truth (the Gospel). A call to evangelize, to share our faith, to witness to friends, to talk openly about faith in ways that solicit search hearts to enquire of His goodness.

Sermon Resources:

“Praying for your Neighbors!” – Charles Fischer

“Where Has the Go Ye Gone?” – Leonard Albert

Additional Resources:

“Where Has the Go Ye Gone?” – Leonard Albert

Note: This resource is far beyond a sermon. It is a training manual, rich with material to be used in this 30 Day season.



  • Men’s Prayer Gathering (Prayer Guide, DVD, etc.)

The Great Commission at Home – Leonard Albert

Note: This resource is far beyond a sermon. It is a training             manual, rich with material to be used in this 30 Day season.

The Power of a Father’s Faith – P. Douglas Small


  • Women’s Prayer Gathering (Prayer Guide, DVD, etc.)

Prayer Service and Weekly Prayer Guide Support – Pam Brewer, Peggy Culpepper and other contributors


  • Intercessor’s Prayer Gathering (Prayer Guide, etc.)

“How to Pray for Your Unsaved Family and Friends!” – Juan Garcia[1]

Additional Resources:

Conditions of Effective Prayer – P. Douglas Small, Prayer Resource Guide

Praying for Non-Believers – P. Douglas Small, Prayer Resource Guide, p. 85


  • Pastor’s Prayer Gathering (Mini-Summit)

Dennis Fuqua – International Renewal Ministries

  1. Douglas Small – Leading a Relational Prayer Encounter


Wednesday Prayer-Training Events

  • The Priority of Brokenness (Personal Repentance)

Sermon/Teaching Resources:

Repentance – P. Douglas Small


Additional Resources:

Sanctuary Cleansing Service – P. Douglas Small, Prayer Resource Guide, p. 113.


  • The Place of the Solemn Assembly –

The Church (Corporate Repentance)


Solemn Assembly Manual – P. Douglas Small

Elements of a Solemn Assembly (Power Point) – P. Douglas Small



  • The Prerogative of Servants – They Can Go Anywhere!

The Servant Heart – Access to Power.


See Leonard Albert – The Great Commission at Home


            Additional Resources:

Praying For Missions – P. Douglas Small, Prayer Resource Guide, p. 69.


  • The Privilege of Sharing God’s Love – Witness!


See Leonard Albert – The Great Commission at Home


            Additional Resources:

            Praying For the Nations – P. Douglas Small, Prayer Resource                   Guide, p. 104.


  • The Power of Living by God’s Principles – Discipleship!


8 Days of Awakening Resources


  • Prayer Guide

Claude King: Consecrate the People


  • How to Use the Guide (Integration of Resources)

Claude King


  • Couple’s Prayer Experience

The Prayer Precepts of Jesus – P. Douglas Small, Prayer Resource                                     Guide, p. 64.

            Couple’s Prayer – P. Douglas Small, Prayer Resource                                            Guide, p. 88.


  • Family Altar Renewal

The Family Altar Dedication – P. Douglas Small, Prayer Resource                                     Guide, p. 64.

            Blessing Your Children – P. Douglas Small, Prayer Resource                                Guide, p. 35.

            The Bless My Children Prayer – – P. Douglas Small, Prayer                                   Resource Guide, p. 45-46.

            Praying With and For Your Kids – P. Douglas Small, Prayer                                 Resource Guide, p. 43.


  • Congregational Solemn Assembly – Wednesday Evening

            Solemn Assembly Manual

Elements of a Solemn Assembly


  • Rosh Hashanah – Day of Prayer (Church open all day; Prayer stations; Prayer focus every half-hour throughout the day)

Personal Prayer – P. Douglas Small, Prayer Resource Guide, p. 21.

Indicators of a Healthy Personal Prayer Life – P. Douglas Small,                           Prayer Resource Guide

Days of Prayer – P. Douglas Small, Prayer Resource

Guide, p. 89.


  • Prayer Ambassador Materials

Ten Ways to Pray for Government Officials – Charles Stanly, Prayer Resource Guide, p. 60.


  • Youth Prayer Service

Prayer for Youth At-Risk – Steve Smith


  • Saturday: Prayer Walking Guide

Prayer Walking Guide – Steve Hawthorne, Waymakers


  • Saturday: Noon-time Prayer Guide

Greene County Model

Alternative Model


8 Days of Action Resources


            See “Great Commission at Home!” Leonard Albert

Personal Prayer Retreat – P. Douglas Small, Prayer Resource Guide, p. 30.

A Neighborhood Praise Parade – P. Douglas Small, Prayer Resource Guide



Prayer-walk your church facility and campus –Small, Power Point

Prayer-walk your city

Join in Noon-time “Cry Out America!” rallies on courthouse steps

Compassion Action

Conduct a “We Care!” campaign            To Be Created

Do special projects

Give the gift of prayer!

Prayer Tents

Soup, Salad and Supplication – P. Douglas Small, Prayer Resource Guide

Look for open hearts with whom to share the gospel!

Do target evangelism efforts!

Consider those who are:

–     Relationally close (friends and family)

–     Geographically near (neighbors)

–     Scripturally assigned (the widow and orphan; the             rejected and abused; the sick and displaced; the broken- hearted and those in prison)

–     Spiritually assigned (felt needs are drawing the church; there is an open door, an invitation, a connection)

Flea Market Prayer – P. Douglas Small, Prayer Resource, p. 91.

Conducting a Neighbor Praise Parade, p. 100.



[1] Used Previously.

A Reformation of Transformational and Missional Prayer

Five-hundred years ago, God began to restore the fallen tabernacle of David. And the Church entered into a reformation – and that reformation continues. Each article of furniture in the tabernacle is begin restored, though not with its legalism, its rituals and rites, but with the spiritual intent for which it stood.

Luther rebuilt the altar – justification by faith. Wesley rebuilt the laver – the sanctified and consecrated life, the ‘holy club.’ In the great missionary thrust by Moffat and Livingston, Carey and the Moravians, bread began to be taken from the table and carried to a world that had not yet received the invitation to come to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And then, in the Pentecostal outpouring, God relit the lampstand, restoring apostolic gifts and graces to his church, and proliferating experiences in the Spirit in the Charismatic renewal.

Now we stand at the Altar of Incense, and God is calling the church to become a house of prayer. He is restoring worship and the joy of the sweetness of His Presence.

The next step, will be through the torn and ripped veil, the global embrace of the cross-experience by the church – a church that will be rejected just as its bridegroom was rejected, and in such dark days, already as (more than 400 of our brothers and sisters in Christ, die as martyrs daily) the glory of the Lord will be seen over His people, as the glory was seen over the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant.

My House Shall be Called a House of Prayer for the Nations

The desire of Jesus was that the temple be a house of prayer for the nations. It wasn’t. It was full of religious activities – the priests in their rich garments, the sacrificial ceremonies, the formality of the pomp and priestly procedures, the rituals and rites of cleansing and consecration, repentance and restitution. In the midst of all the elaborate and sacred ceremonies, the blowing of the Shofar, the fire and smoke, the blood of the altar and the water of the laver, the wonder of all the symbolic action – the simplicity of communion with God had been lost. And getting to God had become a complicated maze.

The money changers extracted an enormous surcharge from those who needed to make change to pay their offerings of restitution or vows of consecration. The sheep merchants had inflated the price of the approved lambs. Those with meager means who wanted to offer a burnt or peace offering (Leviticus 1; 3), and who needed to offer a sin or trespass offering (Leviticus 4; 5) could hardly afford to do so. The common and poor people wanted to get to the altar to get right with God. Some wanted to consecrate themselves and then offer the peace offering (Leviticus 3). That would return to them a portion of the sacrifice, according the law, and allow them to eat it in the presence of God as a symbol of their fellowship and union with Him (Leviticus 7:15-18). But the temple system placed obstacles, loaded with exorbitant fees, between them and God. To purchase the lamb, they needed to exchange their money. Upon exchange, they met excessive exchange fees. With reduced funds, they encountered inflated prices for the sacrificial lambs. Most of the time, the lambs they brought could not pass inspection. They didn’t qualify as perfect enough for an offering. It was all a rip-off.

Jesus thundered through the temple overturning tables. “My house shall be called a house of prayer!” (Matthew 21:12 – 13; Mark 11:15 – 16) He was a prophet, crying out – not against the exchange of currency or the availability of lambs in the temple – but against the obstacles that prevented the people from praying! Against the arrangement that put an unreasonable price on prayer and access to the grace of God.

But there is more! When we quote this passage, we often leave off the last phrase – “for the nations!” No prayer ministry is complete unless it has a global and missional focus. It is incarnational, global and missional praying that Jesus longed for in the temple. Jerusalem was to be a blessing for and to the nations. The call to Abraham was that through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed (Gen. 22:18).