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.