One of the often overlooked aspects of church growth is prayer. Without a strong prayer ministry in the local church, we fail to invoke the most powerful and effective tool of revival in our arsenal. For this reason, I encourage every church to have a department devoted to promoting prayer.
The Prayer Department will be responsible for encouraging, by a wide variety of methods, early morning prayer, regularly scheduled prayer services, and pre-service prayer. The director tracks attendance and alerts the pastor when participation begins to drop. They also promote regular family devotions by highlighting materials and tools to make family prayer time a part of every church family.
Extremely successful is the Annual Prayer Revival in which a special speaker is scheduled to preach and teach on prayer and fasting for a series of nights, and the church then practices what they preach for an extended time following every service.
Other annual prayer events like Watch Night service, starting the year with 40-Days of Prayer and Fasting, Quarterly Prayer and Fasting Week, and the Fall 24-hour Prayer and Fasting Chain. The annual Children’s Prayer Revival has also become a powerful tool to promote prayer among the youth.
The director also oversees special prayer ministries such as the Prayer Hotline, the Intercessors Prayer Teams, Prayer Walks, and Prayer Partners – all of which encourage more people to be active in a dynamic prayer ministry.
Some churches launch and maintain a Prayer Library in which books, articles, CD’s, DVD’s, and other resources are kept that allows members to borrow tools for developing an active prayer life.
Evangelism events should always be supported by prayer. When the church gathers for outreach, it is always helpful to have a prayer team back at the church interceeding for their success. Home Bible Studies can also be supported by a prayer partner so that while the lesson is being taught each week, someone is praying at the same time for that study to change the heart of the one being taught.
The “Intercessors Prayer Teams” have revolutionaized some churches. These prayer teams pray and interceed for whomever is preaching while the Word is going forth. The teams are rotated so a team is not missing more than one service per month – but in truth they are participating in the Word by supporting it with prayer so it accomplishes its intended purpose.
Strongly consider launching a Prayer Department in your local church. Appoint a prayer ministry leader, give them a job description, and make prayer a priority in your church. The long term effect will bring growth – both numerical and spiritual – for your church. If you would like a job description for this ministry call 1-800-800-0247.