11 Creative Ideas for Committed Prayer
By Greg Addison
The attendance and spirit at the 2017 Prayer Conference showed the ongoing desire of Arkansas Baptist pastors to continue to pray for revival and spiritual awakening. It is a blessing to travel our state and learn about the numerous ways pastors are leading their churches to pray.
I am growing as a pastor as I listen and learn all the different ways that prayer is being changed from a line on the order of worship to a meaningful, engaged aspect of the church. Here are some of the creative ideas being used by pastors:
- Begin the service by having the men come to the altar for opening prayer.
- Begin the service by asking members of the congregation to gather together in groups of 3-4 and pray out loud. Give them 3-4 requests to pray through before closing in prayer.
- Adopt an unengaged people group as a church, then set aside 10 minutes on the first Sunday of every month to teach them more about the people group, share requests from the assigned IMB missionary, and have a prayer time following one of the above methods.
- Adopt a church plant and commit the second Sunday of every month to pray for your church plant. Every prayer during the service can be about different aspects of the church plant. I.e. Opening prayer is for their service, offertory prayer is for God to provide their needs, invitation prayer could be for their invitation, etc.
- In many churches, a select group of deacons (rotating through the deacon body) meet prior to the service to pray over the pastor.
- Many churches have a prayer ministry that includes a group of people, on a rotating basis, who meet in a "boiler room" and pray throughout the entire service.
- In one church, a group of deacons goes to the side of the stage and huddle together to pray during the invitation. It is a powerful encouragement and reminder to the congregation and establishes an incredible environment for the invitation time.
- A few churches have begun having a prayer team meet at a set time on Saturday or early Sunday morning to prayer walk the worship center to prepare for the morning worship service.
- Numerous churches have changed Sunday and/or Wednesday evening programming to prayer services. They will distribute prayer requests from the church. The pastor or leader will guide prayer times for the church, events, salvations, and for revival and spiritual awakening in Arkansas.
- Lead the church through a week of prayer. Provide a daily prayer guide in the bulletin, affirm the prayer times on social media, plan a day of fasting—from Thursday evening to Friday evening—as an end to the week. Have members share testimonies on the following Sunday.
- Pastors are beginning to preach more on prayer to equip and focus their people.
These are only a few of the ways pastors are leading their congregations to committed times of prayer!
As our staff travels the state serving our churches, it is evident that a church committed to praying for revival does so as a result of pastoral leadership. It also is a blessing to watch Arkansas Baptists follow their pastors and pray.
It is not difficult to lead your church to pray more effectively together as a congregation. It only requires a commitment on the part of the pastor to be intentional about making it happen. Small but consistent efforts work quickly and effectively. It does not require risky changes in culture or the worship service. Many of the most powerful moments come by simply utilizing the existing prayer times in a more meaningful way.
It is not difficult to lead your church to pray more effectively together as a congregation. It only requires a commitment on the part of the pastor to be intentional about making it happen.
Consider some of the ideas above for your church. Start small. Experiment with a few different methods. Enlist a few trusted leaders to brainstorm and plan with you and then listen to their feedback about how the congregation responds.
Please contact our offices and share with us ways you are leading your church to pray more intentionally! Prayer emphases, changes in schedule or worship services, prayer meeting times, ways to structure prayer teams—any and all of the ideas will help pastors. We have incredible pastors all over Arkansas, and sharing ideas encourages and equips each of us. As we say often, we are better when we cooperate together!
We as pastors are the key to shepherding our congregations to become more committed and focused on praying for souls to be saved and for God to move through revival in Arkansas. It is so encouraging to know that Arkansas Baptists are deepening the commitment to specific prayer for revival. It is awesome to have so many pastors from whom we can learn. The greatest foundation in this prayer movement is knowing that we are joining together to pray to our Lord who answers prayer.
Try something this coming Sunday. Let's pray!
Read the first article in this series, God Is Moving in the Hearts of His People.