City Hall Prayer: Building an Effective Prayer Team
Quality, Not Quantity Firstly, I want to encourage you to not focus on the numbers of people who are consistent in prayer, but celebrate those that you do have who are willing. I don’t think that God is too interested in a conversation with someone who is only grudgingly joining in and also, no one likes to be guilted into prayer. In the story of Acts 12, when James had been beheaded and Peter was in prison. Luke emphasizes that the church had gathered in earnest prayer in verse:5 which can also be described as fervent. This same word for prayer was used for the depth of Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane when he came back and prayed more fervently, or intense. Luke 22:44. This deeper level of prayer consumed those praying for Peter and the outcome was miraculous as an angel came and lead Peter out of prison! It certainly wasn’t Peter’s great faith, but Luke brings it all back to the church praying in verse 12. (He remembered that many had gathered to pray). Don’t measure a successful prayer meeting only by numbers and attendance. Rather build / mentor your team into cultivating a deeper and more strategic prayer focus which can be measured by the outcome or fruit of you prayers.
Praying the Word Encourage your team to refrain from prepared prayer, but rather, choose prayers that are from the heart and for the moment. Seek to pray as a team, not just an individual by building on what one-another prays. An excellent way to achieve this is to have a Bible text that your whole group prays. The Bible can become your main tool of prayer with the benefit of teaching us to listen to what God is saying, not just what you are praying. We always remind people that prayer is supposed to be a dialogue with God, not a monologue with ourselves doing all the talking! Seek out scriptures that lend support to the issue you’re interceding for. For example, if there is known corruption in your local municipal government you could begin to pray Psalm 89:14 – Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you. By praying the Word, you are actively seeking to align yourself with the will of God, which guards your meeting against selfish prayers, or prayers of opinion and judgment. You goal is to be Word based and Spirit led. An excellent resource to help pray the Word, is the material from the ASK Prayer Network. http://asknetwork.net/
Needed: Seasoned Facilitators Seasoned facilitators are needed who are able to help lead the direction of prayer and also able to coach people to be engaged in what is being prayed. We encourage each team to have two facilitators to ensure that there is always a leader present. Some things that every group needs to be reminded of:
Give everyone equal opportunity to pray
Not to compete in prayer
Stay away from preaching or sharing information in prayer
Keep the prayers vertical; not opinions and judgments
No prayer hogs!
This is not a time for personal prayer ministry. Stay on track.
Listen to how the Lord directs you
Have someone briefly journal the direction of prayer. We also encourage facilitators to build relationships with your team. Consider some social times and have some fun, which is key to building a sincere level of trust with one-another.