Here’s a critical truth for Christ-followers: if we’re alive, it’s for the purpose of fruitful labor (Philippians 1:22).
In a word, we’re here for work.
When we offer Him our five-loaves-and-two-fish worth of effort, He multiplies it in ways we can’t even imagine.
The thing is, all too often I distort this truth by forgetting that the work doesn’t start with me, and it’s not accomplished by my own strength.
God is the One who calls me, and He is the One – the only One – who can equip me.
So whether your ministry is in your church or your community, will you join me in praying the Scriptures over your service to the Lord?
Table of contents
Prayers for Ministry
Pray that all that you do in your ministry would be done in love (I Corinthians 16:14). Acknowledge to the Lord that any other motive will profit you nothing (I Corinthians 13:1-3), and ask Him to keep your purpose pure.
Agree with God that He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things, including your area of ministry, so that in all things He might have preeminence (Colossians 1:17-18). Share with Him that you want Him to be preeminent in your ministry.
Ask the Lord to help you work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. Confess to God that you are serving the Lord Christ with the goal of pleasing Him, and not other people (Colossians 3:23-24).
Claim God’s promise that as you wait for the Lord you will renew your strength, mounting up with wings like eagles, running and not growing weary, walking without becoming faint (Isaiah 40:31).
Thank God for the example of Jesus Christ, who came to earth not to be served, but to serve others and give His life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). Pray that you would be willing to sacrifice whatever God asks, in order to serve Him well through your ministry.
Pray that God’s grace would equip you to let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16). Ask Him to keep you from serving with the purpose of bringing glory to yourself.
Ask for God’s grace to help you fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart, ever remembering what great things He has done for you (I Samuel 12:24). Pray that you would serve devotedly, from a heart overflowing with gratitude for all God has done for you.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for demonstrating to me a life sacrificially devoted to ministry and service. I confess that my natural tendency is to serve myself, and I pray that You would help me to follow in Your footsteps, remembering how much You have done for me. It’s in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, that I pray. Amen.
If you’ve come here for a 1-2-3 step plan to develop a prayer ministry in your church, you might be disappointed. We can provide general guidance on factors that will make for a more effective prayer ministry but the specifics depend on your church. Where you begin depends on a number of factors. (The link above will take you to the Prayer Ministry training section on the site. To get that content plus more in document form, click on the image cover.)
Questions to Get You Started on a Prayer Ministry Tailored to Your Church
Where do people stand in terms of the value and need for prayer?
You may need to provide some initial instruction or training about prayer to lay the groundwork if people don’t have that sense. Use Sunday School classes, small groups, and sermons to teach about prayer. Don’t forget about the more informal training that comes from providing an example, testimonies of how God answers prayers, little blurbs in bulletins, newsletter, social media feeds, etc. You might suggest helpful resources about praying like books or articles. — To build a culture of prayer in a church takes a consistent, regular emphasis on prayer as well as actually turning to God in prayer at every turn.
If your church already seems to have a culture of prayer, then it may just be a matter of putting a structure in place that works for them. Questions that follow will help you think through a plan tailored to your church.
How many people are truly interested in being a part of a prayer team?
While you probably desire a big turnout, you may need to start with 2-3 people, while laying the groundwork in others. Rather than let that get you discouraged, remember God’s promise that where two or three are gathered in His name, He is there (Matt. 18:20). The excitement of meeting with God in those who come could be a contagion for others to join.
What are the logistics you need to put in place before you begin such a ministry?
While it is often good to connect meeting to pray to a time people are already at church, like before or at the end of a service, rather than making them come out special, it does present some challenges. You need to think that through in order to remove obstacles people might have in attending. For example, depending on the time your worship service ends, you may run into the lunch hour. Depending on the people who stay, you may have childcare issues. The more you think through and plan for these obstacles, the better you will be able to meet with people’s excuses. If you don’t work through these issues ahead of time and people come but get discouraged, you may find it harder to get them out in the future.
How will you structure the meeting?
In some churches a rigid, formal approach may not work. In other churches a more spontaneous approach may not work. Think of the traditions of your church. While you do want to stretch people, taking them beyond where they are in their prayer life, you don’t want to frustrate them or scare them away. Begin where people are and slowly take them beyond. Regardless of the structure, make it worth their while to be there. Make the real focus on meeting with God.
What will you pray about? How will you determine what to pray about?
Perhaps there are specifics you sense this meeting should focus on, growing out of the needs at your church. If you are going to have a pre-planned agenda, be clear with people about the purpose of the prayer time. If people come thinking you are going to pray for their personal needs and you never get around to it, they may soon stop attending. If you are going to open it for personal requests, guard against spending the majority of time taking requests with little time left for praying.
Think through these questions with your church in mind. While you can learn from what others do, begin with where your people are and go from there.
Prayer for Ministry Partners II
Father, it is our prayer that good will come to _________. He/she is generous and lends freely. He/she conducts his/her affairs with justice.
Lord, Your Word says that surely ________ will never be shaken. He/she is a righteous man/woman who will be remembered forever. He/she will have no fear of bad news; his/her heart is steadfast, trusting in You, Lord.
________’s heart is secure, he/she will have no fear; in the end he/she will look in triumph on his/her foes. He/she has scattered abroad his/her gifts to the poor; his/her righteousness endures forever; his/her horn will be lifted high in honor.
We pray that Your plans will be fulfilled in ________’s life, and we thank You for Your mercies on his/her behalf.
In the name of Jesus, amen.
“Equipping every member of the Body of Christ for a fruitful journey with Him…” “Equipping every member of the Body of Christ for a fruitful journey with Him…” ;
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