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 Markers of a Praying Church

  1. Led by a praying pastor, aided by a prayer leadership team, we commit to bring prayer to the heart of all we do! “Without Christ, we can do nothing!” Without prayer, we fail to invite Him into the process. 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 until daily prayer is a delight, and we take joy in spending private time with God. We will champion the idea of personal prayer rooms/closets.
  3. We will call our congregation to regular prayer, with the goal of establishing a regular weekly prayer meeting for the entire church. We will make the prayer meeting as important as Sunday morning singing and preaching. We will emphasize special days of prayer laced prayer into the fabric of the Sunday worship service. We want a pervasive movement of prayer, not merely prayer activities. Eventually, we will offer numerous ways to connect in prayer – prayer groups, prayer chains, embedded intercessors for various ministries and more.
  4. We will honor those who carry a special calling to pray – intercessors. We will identify intercessors, encourage them, train them, team them, deploy them and debrief them. But we will not confine the intercessory ministry to this team; rather, we will see them as models for prayer, as those with white-hot hearts whom God has called to be at the hidden forefront of spiritual beachheads we are called to claim. We want a spirit of intercession to grip our entire church, a spirit of prayer – and particularly, prayer for others, selfless prayer, prayer for the lost, prayer for the nations, prayer for spiritual awakening!
  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. We will employ the strategy of the ‘three Greats’ – we will pray, care and look for opportunities to share the good news.
  6. We will offer regular training in the area of prayer – for our people, leaders, intercessors, prayer evangelism, our youth and children, our families.
  7. We will work toward the creation of a 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.

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…

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).

Faith and Social Position

DECLARATION OF FAITH

  1. THE PURPOSE OF GOD

We affirm our belief in the one-eternal God, Creator and Lord of the world, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who governs all things according to the purpose of his will. He has been calling out from the world a people for himself, and sending his people back into the world to be his servants and his witnesses, for the extension of his kingdom, the building up of Christ’s body, and the glory of his name. We confess with shame that we have often denied our calling and failed in our mission, by becoming conformed to the world or by withdrawing from it. Yet we rejoice that even when borne by earthen vessels the gospel is still a precious treasure. To the task of making that treasure known in the power of the Holy Spirit we desire to dedicate ourselves anew.

(Isa. 40:28; Matt. 28:19; Eph. 1:11; Acts 15:14; John 17:6, 18; Eph. 4:12; 1 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 12:2; II Cor. 4:7)

  1. THE AUTHORITY AND POWER OF THE BIBLE

We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety as the only written word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We also affirm the power of God’s word to accomplish his purpose of salvation. The message of the Bible is addressed to all men and women. For God’s revelation in Christ and in Scripture is unchangeable. Through it the Holy Spirit still speaks today. He illumines the minds of God’s people in every culture to perceive its truth freshly through their own eyes and thus discloses to the whole Church ever more of the many-colored wisdom of God.

(II Tim. 3:16; II Pet. 1:21; John 10:35; Isa. 55:11; 1 Cor. 1:21; Rom. 1:16, Matt. 5:17,18; Jude 3; Eph. 1:17,18; 3:10,18)

  1. THE UNIQUENESS AND UNIVERSALITY OF CHRIST

We affirm that there is only one Savior and only one gospel, although there is a wide diversity of evangelistic approaches. We recognize that everyone has some knowledge of God through his general revelation in nature. But we deny that this can save, for people suppress the truth by their unrighteousness. We also reject as derogatory to Christ and the gospel every kind of syncretism and dialogue which implies that Christ speaks equally through all religions and ideologies. Jesus Christ, being himself the only God-man, who gave himself as the only ransom for sinners, is the only mediator between God and people. There is no other name by which we must be saved. All men and women are perishing because of sin, but God loves everyone, not wishing that any should perish but that all should repent. Yet those who reject Christ repudiate the joy of salvation and condemn themselves to eternal separation from God. To proclaim Jesus as “the Savior of the world” is not to affirm that all people are either automatically or ultimately saved, still less to affirm that all religions offer salvation in Christ. Rather it is to proclaim God’s love for a world of sinners and to invite everyone to respond to him as Savior and Lord in the wholehearted personal commitment of repentance and faith. Jesus Christ has been exalted above every other name; we long for the day when every knee shall bow to him and every tongue shall confess him Lord.

(Gal. 1:6-9;Rom. 1:18-32; I Tim. 2:5,6; Acts 4:12; John 3:16-19; II Pet. 3:9; II Thess. 1:7-9;John 4:42; Matt. 11:28; Eph. 1:20,21; Phil. 2:9-11)

  1. THE NATURE OF EVANGELISM

To evangelize is to spread the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures, and that as the reigning Lord he now offers the forgiveness of sins and the liberating gifts of the Spirit to all who repent and believe. Our Christian presence in the world is indispensable to evangelism, and so is that kind of dialogue whose purpose is to listen sensitively in order to understand. But evangelism itself is the proclamation of the historical, biblical Christ as Savior and Lord, with a view to persuading people to come to him personally and so be reconciled to God. In issuing the gospel invitation we have no liberty to conceal the cost of discipleship. Jesus still calls all who would follow him to deny themselves, take up their cross, and identify themselves with his new community. The results of evangelism include obedience to Christ, incorporation into his Church and responsible service in the world.

(I Cor. 15:3,4; Acts 2: 32-39; John 20:21; I Cor. 1:23; II Cor. 4:5; 5:11,20; Luke 14:25-33; Mark 8:34; Acts 2:40,47; Mark 10:43-45)

  1. CHRISTIAN SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

We affirm that God is both the Creator and the Judge of all people. We therefore should share his concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression. Because men and women are made in the image of God, every person, regardless of race, religion, color, culture, class, sex or age, has an intrinsic dignity because of which he or she should be respected and served, not exploited. Here too we express penitence both for our neglect and for having sometimes regarded evangelism and social concern as mutually exclusive. Although reconciliation with other people is not reconciliation with God, nor is social action evangelism, nor is political liberation salvation, nevertheless we affirm that evangelism and socio-political involvement are both part of our Christian duty. For both are necessary expressions of our doctrines of God and man, our love for our neighbor and our obedience to Jesus Christ. The message of salvation implies also a message of judgment upon every form of alienation, oppression and discrimination, and we should not be afraid to denounce evil and injustice wherever they exist. When people receive Christ they are born again into his kingdom and must seek not only to exhibit but also to spread its righteousness in the midst of an unrighteous world. The salvation we claim should be transforming us in the totality of our personal and social responsibilities. Faith without works is dead.

(Acts 17:26,31; Gen. 18:25; Isa. 1:17; Psa. 45:7; Gen. 1:26,27; Jas. 3:9; Lev. 19:18; Luke 6:27,35; Jas. 2:14-26; Joh. 3:3,5; Matt. 5:20; 6:33; II Cor. 3:18; Jas. 2:20)

  1. THE CHURCH AND EVANGELISM

We affirm that Christ sends his redeemed people into the world as the Father sent him, and that this calls for a similar deep and costly penetration of the world. We need to break out of our ecclesiastical ghettos and permeate non-Christian society. In the Church’s mission of sacrificial service evangelism is primary. World evangelization requires the whole Church to take the whole gospel to the whole world. The Church is at the very center of God’s cosmic purpose and is his appointed means of spreading the gospel. But a church which preaches the cross must itself be marked by the cross. It becomes a stumbling block to evangelism when it betrays the gospel or lacks a living faith in God, a genuine love for people, or scrupulous honesty in all things including promotion and finance. The church is the community of God’s people rather than an institution, and must not be identified with any particular culture, social or political system, or human ideology.

(John 17:18; 20:21; Matt. 28:19,20; Acts 1:8; 20:27; Eph. 1:9,10; 3:9-11; Gal. 6:14,17; II Cor. 6:3,4; II Tim. 2:19-21; Phil. 1:27)

  1. COOPERATION IN EVANGELISM

We affirm that the Church’s visible unity in truth is God’s purpose. Evangelism also summons us to unity, because our oneness strengthens our witness, just as our disunity undermines our gospel of reconciliation. We recognize, however, that organizational unity may take many forms and does not necessarily forward evangelism. Yet we who share the same biblical faith should be closely united in fellowship, work and witness. We confess that our testimony has sometimes been marred by a sinful individualism and needless duplication. We pledge ourselves to seek a deeper unity in truth, worship, holiness and mission. We urge the development of regional and functional cooperation for the furtherance of the Church’s mission, for strategic planning, for mutual encouragement, and for the sharing of resources and experience.

(John 17:21, 23; Eph. 4:3,4; John 13:35; Phil. 1:27; John 17:11-23)

  1. CHURCHES IN EVANGELISTIC PARTNERSHIP

We rejoice that a new missionary era has dawned. The dominant role of western missions is fast disappearing. God is raising up from the younger churches a great new resource for world evangelization, and is thus demonstrating that the responsibility to evangelize belongs to the whole body of Christ. All churches should therefore be asking God and themselves what they should be doing both to reach their own area and to send missionaries to other parts of the world. A reevaluation of our missionary responsibility and role should be continuous. Thus a growing partnership of churches will develop and the universal character of Christ’s Church will be more clearly exhibited. We also thank God for agencies which labor in Bible translation, theological education, the mass media, Christian literature, evangelism, missions, church renewal and other specialist fields. They too should engage in constant self-examination to evaluate their effectiveness as part of the Church’s mission.

(Rom. 1:8; Phil. 1:5; 4:15; Acts 13:1-3, I Thess. 1:6-8)

  1. THE URGENCY OF THE EVANGELISTIC TASK

More than 2,700 million people, which is more than two-thirds of all humanity, have yet to be evangelized. We are ashamed that so many have been neglected; it is a standing rebuke to us and to the whole Church. There is now, however, in many parts of the world an unprecedented receptivity to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are convinced that this is the time for churches and para-church agencies to pray earnestly for the salvation of the unreached and to launch new efforts to achieve world evangelization. A reduction of foreign missionaries and money in an evangelized country may sometimes be necessary to facilitate the national church’s growth in self-reliance and to release resources for unevangelized areas. Missionaries should flow ever more freely from and to all six continents in a spirit of humble service. The goal should be, by all available means and at the earliest possible time, that every person will have the opportunity to hear, understand, and to receive the good news. We cannot hope to attain this goal without sacrifice. All of us are shocked by the poverty of millions and disturbed by the injustices which cause it. Those of us who live in affluent circumstances accept our duty to develop a simple life-style in order to contribute more generously to both relief and evangelism.

(John 9:4; Matt. 9:35-38; Rom. 9:1-3; I Cor. 9:19-23; Mark 16:15; Isa. 58:6,7; Jas. 1:27; 2:1-9; Matt. 25:31-46; Acts 2:44,45; 4:34,35)

  1. EVANGELISM AND CULTURE

The development of strategies for world evangelization calls for imaginative pioneering methods. Under God, the result will be the rise of churches deeply rooted in Christ and closely related to their culture. Culture must always be tested and judged by Scripture. Because men and women are God’s creatures, some of their culture is rich in beauty and goodness. Because they are fallen, all of it is tainted with sin and some of it is demonic. The gospel does not presuppose the superiority of any culture to another, but evaluates all cultures according to its own criteria of truth and righteousness, and insists on moral absolutes in every culture. Missions have all too frequently exported with the gospel an alien culture and churches have sometimes been in bondage to culture rather than to Scripture. Christ’s evangelists must humbly seek to empty themselves of all but their personal authenticity in order to become the servants of others, and churches must seek to transform and enrich culture, all for the glory of God.

(Mark 7:8 ,9, 13; Gen. 4:21,22; I Cor. 9:19-23; Phil. 2:5-7; II Cor. 4:5)

  1. EDUCATION AND LEADERSHIP

We confess that we have sometimes pursued church growth at the expense of church depth, and divorced evangelism from Christian nurture. We also acknowledge that some of our missions have been too slow to equip and encourage national leaders to assume their rightful responsibilities. Yet we are committed to indigenous principles, and long that every church will have national leaders who manifest a Christian style of leadership in terms not of domination but of service. We recognize that there is a great need to improve theological education, especially for church leaders. In every nation and culture there should be an effective training program for pastors and laity in doctrine, discipleship, evangelism, nurture and service. Such training programs should not rely on any stereotyped methodology but should be developed by creative local initiatives according to biblical standards.

(Col. I:27, 28; Acts 14:23; Tit. 1:5,9; Mark 10:42-45; Eph. 4:11,12)

  1. SPIRITUAL CONFLICT

We believe that we are engaged in constant spiritual warfare with the principalities and powers of evil, who are seeking to overthrow the Church and frustrate its task of world evangelization. We know our need to equip ourselves with God’s armor and to fight this battle with the spiritual weapons of truth and prayer. For we detect the activity of our enemy, not only in false ideologies outside the Church, but also inside it in false gospels which twist Scripture and put people in the place of God. We need both watchfulness and discernment to safeguard the biblical gospel. We acknowledge that we ourselves are not immune to worldliness of thoughts and action, that is, to a surrender to secularism. For example, although careful studies of church growth, both numerical and spiritual, are right and valuable, we have sometimes neglected them. At other times, desirous to ensure a response to the gospel, we have compromised our message, manipulated our hearers through pressure techniques, and become unduly preoccupied with statistics or even dishonest in our use of them. All this is worldly. The Church must be in the world; the world must not be in the Church.

(Eph. 6:12; II Cor. 4:3, 4; Eph. 6:11,13-18; II Cor. 10:3-5; I John 2:18-26; 4:1-3; Gal. 1:6-9; II Cor. 2:17; 4:2; John 17:15)

  1. FREEDOM AND PERSECUTION

It is the God-appointed duty of every government to secure conditions of peace, justice and liberty in which the Church may obey God, serve the Lord Jesus Christ, and preach the gospel without interference. We therefore pray for the leaders of nations and call upon them to guarantee freedom of thought and conscience, and freedom to practice and propagate religion in accordance with the will of God and as set forth in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We also express our deep concern for all who have been unjustly imprisoned, and especially for those who are suffering for their testimony to the Lord Jesus. We promise to pray and work for their freedom. At the same time we refuse to be intimidated by their fate. God helping us, we too will seek to stand against injustice and to remain faithful to the gospel, whatever the cost. We do not forget the warnings of Jesus that persecution is inevitable.

(I Tim. 1:1-4, Acts 4:19; 5:29; Col. 3:24; Heb. 13:1-3; Luke 4:18; Gal. 5:11; 6:12; Matt. 5:10-12; John 15:18-21)

  1. THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Father sent his Spirit to bear witness to his Son; without his witness ours is futile. Conviction of sin, faith in Christ, new birth and Christian growth are all his work. Further, the Holy Spirit is a missionary spirit; thus evangelism should arise spontaneously from a Spirit-filled church. A church that is not a missionary church is contradicting itself and quenching the Spirit. Worldwide evangelization will become a realistic possibility only when the Spirit renews the Church in truth and wisdom, faith, holiness, love and power. We therefore call upon all Christians to pray for such a visitation of the sovereign Spirit of God that all his fruit may appear in all his people and that all his gifts may enrich the body of Christ. Only then will the whole church become a fit instrument in his hands, that the whole earth may hear his voice.

(I Cor. 2:4; John 15:26;27; 16:8-11; I Cor. 12:3; John 3:6-8; II Cor. 3:18; John 7:37-39; I Thess. 5:19; Acts 1:8; Psa. 85:4-7; 67:1-3; Gal. 5:22,23; I Cor. 12:4-31; Rom. 12:3-8)

  1. THE RETURN OF CHRIST

We believe that Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly, in power and glory, to consummate his salvation and his judgment. This promise of his coming is a further spur to our evangelism, for we remember his words that the gospel must first be preached to all nations. We believe that the interim period between Christ’s ascension and return is to be filled with the mission of the people of God, who have no liberty to stop before the end. We also remember his warning that false Christs and false prophets will arise as precursors of the final Antichrist. We therefore reject as a proud, self-confident dream the notion that people can ever build a utopia on earth. Our Christian confidence is that God will perfect his kingdom, and we look forward with eager anticipation to that day, and to the new heaven and earth in which righteousness will dwell and God will reign forever. Meanwhile, we rededicate ourselves to the service of Christ and of people in joyful submission to his authority over the whole of our lives.

(Mark 14:62; Heb. 9:28; Mark 13:10; Acts 1:8-11; Matt. 28:20; Mark 13:21-23; 1 John 2:18; 4:1-3; Luke 12:32; Rev. 21:1-5; II Pet. 3:13; Matt. 28:18)

CONCLUSION

Therefore, in the light of this our faith and our resolve, we enter into a solemn covenant with God and with each other, to pray, to plan and to work together for the evangelization of the whole world. We call upon others to join us. May God help us by his grace and for his glory to be faithful to this our covenant! Amen, Alleluia!

STATEMENT BY PASTOR REGARDING SAME-SEX MARRIAGES

  1. I am a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, credentialed by the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee).
  2. Affirming that God’s grace is available to all, I recognize our obligation before God to love all persons, understanding such love in the context of God’s revealed truth.
  3. Based on scriptural passages such as Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:3-9, it is the long-established biblical/religious belief of the Church of God, to which position and belief I adhere, that marriage is a spiritual union in which one man and one woman are joined by God to live together as one.
  4. It is my personal religious belief and the belief and policy of my credentialing Church that same-sex marriages are not God’s design for marriage and are contrary to biblical teaching. Therefore, I will only perform or participate in marriage ceremonies or marriage blessings between one woman and one man.
  5. According to the requirements, Alive Ministries: Project Pray, and its various ministries, Project Pray University, Prayer-Connect Community Leadership Networks, Prayerborne, City Vision Team, Church of God Prayer Ministries, Alive Publications, shall only hold, provide facilities for, conduct or preside over weddings, wedding receptions and anniversaries (and other gatherings related to weddings, receptions, and anniversaries) that celebrate the marriage or blessing between one man and one woman, as marriage is defined in the Bible. This shall include any activity or service involving marriage or relationships between one man and one woman, such as dedication of children.
  6. This ministry, and I as its president/Pastor, rely on all protections of the free exercise of religion granted by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution as well as other applicable state and federal laws.

Prayer Coordinator Doug Small

P. Douglas Small is Prayer Coordinator for the Church of God and President and Founder of Doulos Enterprises and Alive Ministries, an organization he has led for more than 25 years. He served as pastor for sixteen years and in various education roles for fourteen years. He is a published author and conference speaker, as well as a consultant to local church and citywide prayer initiatives.  He also serves as a member of the National Prayer Committee and on the leadership team of the Denominational Prayer Committee. He is the prayer consultant to the Billion Souls Campaign initiative.

Congregational Prayer Ministries Coordinator

One of the goals of the Church of God Prayer Ministries Office is that each Church of God congregation has a Prayer Ministries Coordinator. Does your church have a prayer coordinator? Would you be interested or know someone to appoint in your church?

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Congregational Prayer Leader

 

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General Job Description

The prayer ministries coordinator is a “pastoral level” staff person who oversees the general operation of the congregation’s prayer ministry, all four tracks –

  • Personal/family prayer enrichment;
  • mobilizing intercessors;
  • prayer evangelism;
  • and church-wide prayer activities.

The prayer ministries coordinator assumes responsibility for the operation of the prayer center (or prayer room), whether directly or through delegation, including tracking the organizing, scheduling, staffing and training; providing general leadership of the prayer activities carried on by the center.

With the pastor, the prayer coordinator implements the vision of prayer and the long-term strategic process aimed at mobilizing the whole church in a prayer ministry that touches the city, and the world. With the director of discipleship ministries, a comprehensive prayer training program is set in place.

Specific Responsibilities of the Prayer Ministries Coordinator:

  1. Works with the pastor in implementing vision; works with the prayer ministries architect in translating vision into strategy, and strategic process into an implementation plan (the role of the architect is vision-to-strategy-to-implementation conceptual design).
  2. Implements four tracks of prayer – raising the level of personal at-home, daily prayer among the people, teaching and training them to be a praying people; identifying and deploying, training and teaming intercessors; interfacing prayer with the harvest, calling the entire church to the task of “loving neighbors” into the kingdom of God – prayer evangelism and mission; under-girding the ministries of the church in prayer, and challenging each department to make prayer the common feature of every ministry.
  3. Recommends to the pastor a team of key leaders who will provide staff-level and lay-level leadership in the prayer ministry; and with approval, secures their commitment.
  4. Gives leadership to the ministry of prayer at the staff level (as facilitated by the pastor), to the strategic prayer team, the church prayer council, to implementers, intercessors, and to the prayer center staff. (See the structural chart)
  5. Provides leadership in the areas of prayer training; the prayer center; city-state-national liaison functions; special prayer events; prayer groups; intercessors; prayer evangelism (including lighthouses).
  6. Along with the pastor, the prayer coordinator envisions the entire staff regarding the prayer ministry and trains the prayer leadership team offering similar training to other departmental leadership teams in the aspect of prayer ministry leadership.
  7. Oversees the general prayer ministry of the church, through the prayer council, and stewards opportunities for congregation growth in prayer, and the expansion of vision and mission out of prayer.
  8. Seeks to see the entire congregation involved in some aspect of prayer, mobilizing the entire church as “an army of prayer warriors.”
  9. Sees that the prayer strategy of the church is defensive (concern for the enemy’s tactics, and prayerfully ministering to the wounded, sick and discouraged) and also offensive (vision, mission and evangelism focused). It includes a prayer strategy for protection and for the potential of the church – with balance.
  10. Serves as a liaison between the pastor, church department heads, and the prayer ministry, integrating prayer into every aspect of church life, every department and church venture assuring that the church does not merely have a prayer ministry, but that prayer is the center of all ministry in the life of the church.
  11. Assists the pastoral staff, if necessary, in securing a personal intercessory prayer support team (of not less than 3 persons).
  12. Establishes a structure and team, along with resources, for simultaneous intercession, for each corporate worship service.
  13. Serves as, or appoints, the prayer center coordinator whose role is securing watch leaders, and securing the prayer volunteers, for 24-7 prayer ministry in the center. (See prayer center leader duties)
  14. Develops a process to activate prayer chains, call prayer alerts, as needed.
  15. Establishes a resource library on prayer.
  16. Works to create a prayer training track in the Christian Education department of the church understanding “that to teach people to pray is to teach them to triumph!” Identifies resources for prayer training in all areas of church ministry – children, youth, singles, families, men and women, seniors. Encourages discipleship teaching and training in the area of prayer ministry.
  17. Introduces new converts and new members to the prayer center – by means of an ongoing orientation process.[1]
  18. Helps plan and organize church wide prayer events in the church (prayer advances; workshops; walks; missions; treks; youth prayer).
  19. Works to develop specialized prayer ministry teams: city-prayer focus teams; prayer walking teams; healing ministry teams; prayer counseling teams; etc.
  20. Establishes a relationship with local, state and national organizations active in providing resources and in coordinating prayer at the city-wide level and beyond.
  21. Involves the church in city-wide prayer efforts, state and national prayer emphases (National Day of Prayer; Meet Me at the Pole; Seek God for the City).
  22. Works to establish a network of small groups of prayer.
  23. Develops an information network to get the prayer needs of the congregation to the prayer center and to intercessors; answers to prayer celebrated to encourage.
  24. Establishes a balance between “crisis prayer” in the center for needs; and “vision prayer” in the center for mission and harvest.
  25. Charts the seasons of the church, with the help of the intercessors, looking for patterns of set-backs and advances, asking “When have we had our greatest surge forward? What precipitated that? And when has the enemy seemed to find a door-way open for division and confusion? …” Working with intercessors, praying and watching, observing patterns, we acquire prophetic observations – offered to the elders and pastoral staff for consideration.

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