The Prayer Guide

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For Leaders



Developing a Prayer Strategy

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Although prayer should be a natural and frequent part of every Christian's daily routine, it can easily get neglected. Prayer needs nurturing and encouraging if we are to spend quality time with God regularly, as individuals and together with other Christians.

Church leaders have a key role in developing the capacity of the church for prayer. This may be in an un-structured way, as long as unstructured doesn't mean non-existent!  Just as adding some structure to our prayer times can bring a benefit,  so too can the development of the prayer life of a church through a prayer strategy.

A Prayer Strategy is typically a short document, possibly only with a few bullet points, that outlines how a church plans to develop its prayer life, and ensure that prayer needs are adequately covered. It is best formed by a church council or leadership team, arising from a review of the prayer life of the church. Like any strategy, it will need to have people identified who will be responsible for ensuring that required action happens.

An example of a Prayer Strategy

Bingham Community Church Prayer Plan :

We value prayer highly, and plan :

  • To increase our prayer time - by holding a weekly prayer group, by encouraging all our housegroups to include some time in prayer at each meeting, and by encouraging people to have a daily personal quiet time with God.
  • To pray for our leaders, our mission and ministry by giving prayer needs in each Sunday's newsletter and by holding quarterly half day prayer meetings.
  • To provide regular teaching on prayer on Sunday mornings.
  • To respond quickly to urgent prayer requests from church members via a prayer team co-ordinator, available 24 hrs a day, who will pass such requests onto our prayer network.
A review of the prayer life of a church is an excellent way of beginning the process of developing such a strategy - by examining what is happening, it is possible to identify ways of encouraging further growth in what is already going on, and also spotting the "gaps".

Prayer can have the power of an ever-flowing river, cascading down over mighty waterfalls; or it can be a dried up stream in a barren desert. Regular teaching on prayer is critical to help keep the water flowing. Hoping that the prayer life of a church will grow and develop without such teaching may be optimistic, and so it is likely that an effective prayer strategy will have a direct link into the church's teaching and preaching programme.

Pointers for Prayer : Take a few moments to review the prayer life of your church. Jot down the formal opportunities for groups of church members to prayer together, and the other ways that the prayer life of the church is influenced (eg prayer points on weekly service sheets.) How effective is the prayer life of your church, and what would make a difference to it?  How could you bring this about?