Prayer is not Important but Essential

Mark 11:17 “And as he taught them, he
said, "Is it not written: "'My house will be
called a house of prayer for all nations.’”
• This church will focus on various types of ministries and activities that will
involve and occupy the time, talent and temperament of its people. This
church will boast on accomplishing many things but relegate prayer to
symbolic corporate prayer and individual practice and commitment. They
recognize the importance of prayer but they do not practice it.
• This church considers prayer important but it does not value it any more than
other ministries for which they divide their time, talents and temperaments.
The prayer ministry is just one of the ministries of the church.
• This church passionately practices and participates in prayer as the
foundational or cornerstone ministry of the church. This prayer ministry
undergirds every aspect and life of the church. Each ministry finds its
motivation and strength in the strategic prayer of the church. Not only does
each ministry find its strength in prayer, but it in turn refocuses its attention
back to strengthen the prayer life of the church.
1. I believe the Bible teaches that prayer should be a daily part
of every Christian’s life.
2. I pray regularly during the day.
3. I believe that prayer works.
4. I feel adequately trained in prayer.
5. I regularly have times of prayer.
6. I pray regularly for missionaries.
7. I pray regularly for lost people.
8. I train others for prayer.
1. The leadership in our church regularly teaches and
emphasizes the importance of prayer.
2. Before our church engages in any major effort we dedicate a
set time to pray/fast.
3. Our church regularly prays for non-Christians by name.
4. Prayer is a major emphasis in our worship services.
5. We have special prayer emphases in our church.
6. Our church maintains a current prayer list that is available to
the church.
7. A significant part of our Sunday School classes or small
groups is prayer.
8. Our church emphasizes prayer for national and international
9. We have people set aside to pray during the worship services.
10. The people in our church regularly pray for the pastor/staff
and their families.
11. Prayer meetings in our church go no deeper than stating
health needs.
12. We see answers to prayer in our church all the time.
13. We have set aside a place in our church where people can
come to pray each week.
14. Our church has time when answers to prayer can be
communicated corporately.
15. Our church is so busy “doing church” we have little time to
16. Our church has participated in prayer walking.
17. Our church regularly prays for a church planter in this state.
18. Prayer is involved in every function of your church.
19. Our church has an intercessory prayer ministry.
20. We have identified prayer warriors from our church to be
engaged in the ministry of prayer.
100 – 66 = Foundational Praying Church
= Symbolic Church
33- 0
= Non-Praying Church
• Prayer is not simply getting things from Godthat is the most elementary kind of prayer. Prayer
is coming into perfect fellowship and oneness with
God. Oswald Chambers
• To invite Him. Prayer is fellowship with God.
Working with God. “We then, as workers
together with Him…” (2 Corinthians 6:1). He
wants us to grow, and we grow when we pray.
Dr. Adrian Rogers
• The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians
from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless
studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion.
He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but
trembles when we pray.
– Samuel Chadwick (1860-1932) Wesleyan Methodist minister.
• Prayer is the key to unlocking God’s consistent and
prevailing power in your life. Bill Hybels
• The greatest workings of God come by corporate
prayer; and we will not see the power of God in
sufficient measure to transform the world around
us until we pray together. As a leader you must
make praying together a priority equal to
preaching and teaching. John Franklin
• Personal prayer in lives alone will not result in the
working of God to the degree needed for spiritual
transformation in our lives, our churches, our cities or
our nation. John Franklin
• The Apostles belief Acts 6:1-4
“Our responsibility is mobilizing prayer &
teaching/preaching within the body”
Examples – Acts 1:14, 24; 2:42; 3:1; 4:23-31
• What Jesus modeled
37 times Jesus says “you pray” 33 are plural
Matthew 18:19 “..if any two of you..”
Mark 11:25 “..if you have anything against..”
• The pattern of Scripture
When believers were gathered together you find
corporate prayer.
1. The Heart Stays in A Loving Relationship
Practice of missions and evangelism was the effect of their
power with God. The by-product of hearing and obeying the
Word of God and praying with others was being on mission.
2. The People of God stay on His Agenda
Guiding the people of God to stay in the presence of God
guarded their usefulness to God. Neither external threats nor
internal conflicts derailed the church.
3. You Model What You want Others to Practice
If you want to teach others to pray, you must model
prayer. The apostles knew the best discipleship strategy was
to model prayer and create opportunities to pray.
If your church would see the power of God in supernatural
ways, if the power of God is to descend so that Christians
are renewed and the lost come under conviction of sin, then
you must lead your people to pray. John Franklin
• Question Asked to 5,000 Leaders
• When was the last time you remember
the manifest presence and power of
God on a regular basis in your midweek prayer meeting?
• Answer:
• Most remain silent or refer to distant
time in the history of the church
1. God – Centered Relationship
If you lead prayer, you must grasp this truth above all
others: your primary job is to help the people of God be
God centered, to teach them that the primary purpose of
prayer is a lifestyle of walking with God.
Prayer meetings are ineffective because leaders allow and
encourage people to be self-centered instead of training
them to be God centered.
2. Meaningful Relationships
We must indeed seek first the Kingdom of God
when we pray, but if we haven’t paid the price to
build deep relationships with those whom we pray,
then prayer will always lack depth
Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-35; 5:12-16, 41-42
Meaningful prayer follows meaningful relationships
3. The Leaders Walk with God
Can anyone give what He does not have?
God limits a discerning heart to those who first
have a seeking heart.
4. Hearts Right with God
Faith and desire set the stage to meet God, and in
the average prayer meeting today they are
desperately lacking
5. Believers in One Accord
Acts 1:14 (first 5 chapters “one accord” 5 times)
6. Leaders Who Lead
Leadership is not accidental
God’s Three Desires
1. Reveal Himself to His People
When His people know Him, they glorify Him, learn to live
in relationship with Him and become like Him.
2. Move His People onto His Agenda
Embrace His agenda – Go on mission with Him – Change the
3. Minister to his people through his people
The result is koinonia, a deepening of the love believers
have for one another
1. Discerning the Activity of God -Where is God at work?
2. Shepherding the Heart of the People of God
We “Undershepherd” by guiding people into the three desires
of God. 2 Chronicles 6 --- Solomon
3. Designing a God-Centered Format
(Template): Focus on God
Respond from the heart
Seek first the Kingdom
Present your requests
Close in celebration
4. Employ
activities that involve participation
Focusing Activities - singing, testimonies, etc.
Participating Activities – groups, holding hands,
Ministering Activities – new members, new
mothers, laying hands on for special needs
Biblical Example: Solomon’s Temple Dedication
• Focus on God (10-15 minutes)
Acts 4:23-24 “Lord you are God who made..” Peter &
John have been threatened with death but begin
prayer focusing on God. The result in v.31 was great
How to focus:
1. Scripture reading focusing on Gods activities
2. Personal & Historic testimonies
3. Worship through song or praise
• Respond from the heart (10-15 minutes)
May be uncomfortable initially. Resist the temptation
to rush ahead. Responses may take on different forms
such as praise, confession, adoration or praise. The key
is to allow Gods people time to respond to his
• Seek first the Kingdom (15-20 minutes)
The heart priorities of the people must be transformed
into the heart priorities of God.
• Present your requests (20-25 minutes)
Help members to see their request from Gods
perspective & allow people to minister to one
• Close in celebration (5 minutes)
Allow people to affirm the blessing of having been
in Gods presence.
• Read a passage & expound on it.
• Have different people read assigned verses on
a particular theme.
• Have people read from different translations.
• Let people read favorite verses on a subject.
• Let people read verses that have spoken to
them that week.
• Ask for personal testimonies.
• Worship through music using songs with a thematic
• Use video: Flash a PP collage of scripture on the
screen or a testimonial.
• Use Drama: Dramatize the scripture used in the service
or act out a related skit.
• Use visual objects: Props, banners, posters, etc.
• Physical location: Create an atmosphere for prayer.
(spotlight on an empty chair, circle that building,
prayer walk around the community)
• Use printed material: use ASK as an acrostic. Matt 7:7
ask, seek and knock.
• Do my people have a passionate, growing love for
• Do my people act and think more like Jesus than they
once did?
• When they go to pray in their prayer closet, are they
praying differently based on what they learned in
prayer meeting?
• Is there greater evidence of God’s activity in our
prayer meetings because my people are changing to
focus more on His desires?
• Is there love for one another growing? Do they have
an increasing heart to ministering to one another? Do I
see their koinonia deepening? Does their love drive
them to persevere in prayer for one another?
• Pay attention to how people’s spiritual
understanding is being affected.
• Listen to what they are learning in the Bible.
• Look for areas of growth in people’s lives.
• Look for areas of growth needed in people’s
• Watch the testimonies that arise. Look for how
God has worked and answered.
• What has come to your heart that bears
• Prepare Hearts
Model and Teach
Change the Mentality
Pray for Reference Points for Dynamic Prayer
Challenge Traditionalism
• Involve Others
• Begin with Leadership
• Consider Small Groups for Informal Mentoring
• Get Feedback
The ultimate goal is to not transform a prayer meeting
but to transform a people
Focus on God
Respond from the heart
Seek first the Kingdom
Present your requests
Close in celebration
• Coming:
Mark 11:17 “And as he taught them, he
said, "Is it not written: "'My house will be
called a house of prayer for all nations.’”

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