When intercessory prayer is woven into the fabric of your church, your ministries can stand strong and do exactly what God calls them to do. Every ministry of your church, from worship to hospitality, from nursery to seniors, from Bible study to softball, has the opportunity to incorporate intercessory prayer. Not only does this help the ministries to grow in healthy ways, but it also allows more opportunities for church members to grow in their prayer lives.
What are some ways you can season your church ministries with intercessory prayer?
- Open and close your ministry’s meetings and gatherings with prayer.
- Invite the folks participating in your ministry to share prayer requests through the week. Pray together each week (or at each gathering) for those prayer requests. Remember to include Praises of how God answers those prayers.
- Designate a volunteer “prayer chaplain” for your ministry, who can follow up on those prayer needs, and who will help your ministry stay prayerful.
- Whatever Bible verses you use in your ministry, invite your participants to begin praying those Bible verses together. Do a quick mini-teaching of how to turn a Bible verse into a prayer.
- Encourage different individuals in your ministry to lead the group in prayer, so everyone can have experience in praying out loud. Not everyone feels comfortable praying out loud, so don’t pressure them and don’t put them on the spot. But make it very easy for them to try. (I offer an online class, “Learn to Pray Out Loud,” that helps people get past this fear of praying out loud.) A small-sized ministry group is often the perfect place for people to practice praying out loud.
- Get to know the person who coordinates intercessory prayer at your church. Let that person know the best ways to pray for your ministry. You might write out a few “prayer points” that your church’s prayer leader and prayer team can pray for your ministry on a regular basis. You can also post these prayer points in your ministry’s location, in your written materials and website, or on a church bulletin board. Even better, ask your church’s prayer leader to set up a bulletin board where all church ministries’ “prayer points” can be listed. (Remember: These “prayer points” are about your ministry in general. These are not the confidential prayer needs shared by your participants, which should only circulate to the group and possibly confidentially to the pastor and prayer leader of your church.)
- Ask participants in your ministry to be praying for the ministry at home during their family prayer time. This means not only praying for the people in the ministry, but it also means praying for the ministry itself. Ask them to share with you what God shows them as they pray.
- Choose a Bible verse that reflects your ministry in each season of the year. Encourage your ministry participants to pray that Bible verse together through that season. Post the Bible verse publicly in your church so everyone can join you in praying that verse.
- Assign “prayer partners” among your ministry participants. This connects two or three individuals or families so they can pray for each other.
- Choose another ministry of your church to pray for. It should be a ministry with a completely different focus than your own. Ask that ministry’s leader how you can pray for them. Lead the participants of your ministry in praying together for that other ministry. Watch what God will do. Even better, encourage your church’s prayer leader to coordinate all ministries of the church in praying for each other.
Don’t be overwhelmed by this list. It’s called “seasoning” for a reason. Try one of these first and then add others as you are ready. Mix and match through different seasons of the year. Follow God’s leading. But find ways to season your church ministry with intercessory prayer.
What are some ways you have included intercessory prayer in your church ministry?
If you are interested in growing an intercessory prayer ministry in your church, you might find my book helpful: It Takes a Spark: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Kindling the Fire of Intercessory Prayer in Your Church. I wrote this book based on my own experiences of growing intercessory prayer at our church, and I wrote it to help you grow your prayer ministry step by step.
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