The first step in learning to be a house of prayer is – prayer. The congregation needs to gather to pray together. This is not merely people praying in the same room. It is people, the church, praying as one, from the office of the church; and in addition, embracing the discipline of daily, personal prayer.
Simultaneously, a small group of leaders will meet quietly and learn about prayer ministry together. They will ‘do’ prayer and explore models of prayer for the congregation. At first, their learning will be conceptual. Then, practical – exploring other models of congregational prayer. They will complete research on the history of prayer in the congregation and collect data to determine the current level of congregational prayer. They will assess prayer needs in the community, the mission field of the congregation. From such facts, they will develop an informed plan to engage the congregation in a serious pursuit of God’s presence and a spiritual awakening. They will envision the congregation – calling the people to prayer engagement. They will recruit additional leaders to a stable prayer leadership team. The enlarged team will expand the prayer effort, growing all four dimensions of the praying church – the congregational prayer meeting, encouraging the family altar, identifying and mobilizing intercessors, commissioning prayer teams and groups, turning prayer outward onto the community – prayer evangelism. Then, they will work to strengthen the congregation as a house of prayer for the nations.
The depth of the process is found in the fifteen milestones, which are built on the concept of the Seven Markers of a Praying Church, the four dimensions and two cogs that drive the entire process. And they represent a comprehensive vision of how to integrate these principles into the life of a congregation. The milestones are outlined below. Consider purchasing this new resource to provide a roadmap for prayer ministry.
PHASE I – Learning About and Doing Prayer – The Launch (3 Simple Processes)
MILESTONE ONE: Launch a Church-Wide Prayer Meeting
MILESTONE TWO: Develop a Prayer Leadership-Learning Team
MILESTONE THREE: The Personal Prayer Life Challenge
PHASE II – Discovery
MILESTONE FOUR: Research and Discovery
MILESTONE FIVE: Planning – Articulating Vision and Mission, Strategy and Tactics
MILESTONE SIX: Affirming Leaders (Leadership Structuring and Affirmation)
PHASE III – Going Public: Feeding the Prayer Fire and Finding Leaders
MILESTONE SEVEN: Envisioning the Congregation
MILESTONE EIGHT: Church-Wide Enlistment
PHASE IV – Expanding Leadership Teams and Long-Term Planning
MILESTONE NINE: Multiple Leadership Teams
MILESTONE TEN: Diversified Training
PHASE V – Engaging the Four Dimensions
MILESTONE ELEVEN: The Family Altar
MILESTONE TWELVE: Organizing Intercessors
MILESTONE THIRTEEN: Prayer Evangelism
MILESTONE FOURTEEN: Prayer Groups
PHASE VI – Maturing the Praying Church
MILESTONE FIFTEEN – The Prayer Room/Center
PHASE VII – Forever
This blog is an excerpt from the newly released Milestones – Markers on the Journey Toward Becoming a House of Prayer. This book is a roadmap toward making your church ‘a house of prayer for the nations.’ Whether you follow this guide fastidiously or casually, you and your prayer team will be stretched in their thinking, advised, admonished, counseled, about the practical aspects of change as your congregation re-centers itself in Christocentric, transformational prayer with a missional interface.
Receive this book for FREE with your paid membership in The Praying Church Movement, a network of local prayer leaders who are on a journey to bring prayer to the heart of all they do.
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.