Church Prayer Ministry

Your church-wide prayer meeting is a public commitment, a congregational appeal – “We must be a house of prayer for the nations.” It’s ideal to host a weekly prayer gathering. Less than monthly, and you are not taking prayer seriously. If you simply start a prayer meeting on the ideological ruins of old prayer paradigms, you may fail. Think about your prayer gatherings on a broad continuum. Consider the ‘content’ of your gatherings, the style of leadership you will provide, and the degree to which and how the people will participate. Here is a simple outline for a prayer meeting with scriptural references:

  1. Focus on God, singing and possibly by leading a processional (2 Chron. 5:1-13);
  2. Bless the people at the appearance of God’s glory, connecting the blessing to the Presence of God (2 Chron. 5:13-6:11);
  3. Pray a prayer of dedication or consecration (2 Chron. 6:12-42);
  4. Lead the people in their response to God; shepherd an appropriate reverent action (2 Chron. 7:1-4); here is the opportunity for a deliberate and intentional act that seeks to honor God and show Him reverence.
  5. Bless the people and attend the altar of sacrifice (1 Kings 8:55-64).

To simplify, watch the movement:

  1. The people focus on God.
  2. He reveals Himself; His Presence is manifest and there is a blessing in His Presence.
  3. Holy space has been created, the temple appropriately sanctified and dedicated. Preparation anticipates a meeting with God. In the Old Testament, it was a place that was consecrated; now it is a people.
  4. The people respond. This is unscripted. The Spirit is now directing hearts.
  5. There is a blessing followed by additional time at the altar.

So how do you lead a prayer meeting? Focus on God. Wait. When His Presence comes, leaders create a holy space and time for Him.

This is an excerpt from The Praying Church Made Simple, a new resource for congregational prayer ministries. The purpose of The Praying Church Made Simple is to establish clear beginning points for revitalizing the congregational prayer effort; and to set forth a simple approach to prayer mobilization for the smaller congregation.

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P. Douglas Small is founder and president of Alive Ministries: PROJECT PRAY and he serves in conjunction with a number of other organizations. He is also the creator of the Praying Church Movement and the Prayer Trainer’s Network. However, all views expressed are his own and not the official position of any organization.