You should expect the Spirit to guide your prayers, perhaps with words of wisdom,
knowledge or comfort. You may need to wait a while in quiet to understand where the Spirit
is leading you. You will need sensitivity and humility to find out if what you think you
have been given has any significance for the person you are praying with. It is better to
ask a question e.g. "I feel God has given me X - does this mean anything to
you?" rather than telling them that God has told you that their problem is X! If you
receive words or pictures, you should be wary of interpreting them for the person as you
may put your own interpretation or slant upon them.
You do not need to share everything you receive in
prayer at the time - you may want to share it with your co-team member afterwards to check
it out. If it still feels appropriate then it can be shared with the person later.
When praying, you don't have to close your
eyes all the time - look to see what God is doing through His Spirit. If the Spirit is not
visibly doing anything, this is not an indication that nothing is happening. Neither does
it mean they have a "blockage" caused by sin or demonic possession!!!!!!! You
may want to lightly rest a hand on the person's head or shoulder, or to hold their hand.
Be careful not to be too heavy on them, or let them feel under pressure.
For some, it may be the first time that they
have experienced the power of the Holy Spirit, and they may need a little explanation that
what they are experiencing is both normal, and from God. They do not need to rationalise
what is happening, try to keep them focused on God.
After the prayer is over, it may feel
appropriate to ask them if they would like prayer for the need to be continued. There are
a couple of choices :
* If you are willing, you may offer to continue to pray for them during the coming week.
* You can offer the opportunity of using a prayer chain to ensure that the need gets much
greater prayer support. However, this will lose much of the confidentiality as others in
the church will be involved.
* You may want to offer a further occasion to meet with them for prayer - see also
sections 4 & 6, and if appropriate involve the leaders in this.
These guidelines apply both to ministering to
people and to those seeking intercession on behalf of others. As a church we would like to
encourage people to feel free to come for prayer for themselves, and for others they are
Occasionally a team member may feel they have discerned a need for deliverance
ministry. Since sensitivity is of utmost importance, you must verify your feelings with
the leadership before sharing your thoughts with the person concerned.
If this arises it would not usually be
appropriate for immediate action on the Sunday morning. It may be helpful to explain to
the person you are praying with that they may benefit from additional prayer and that you
would like, with their permission, to discuss the matter with the leadership and to
arrange further prayer time with them. Any necessary deliverance ministry will only be
done under the leadership of one of the church leaders.
Since lay people do not have the same standing as priests, issues relating to
confidentiality require special consideration to ensure the church retains confidence in
In most instances people coming for prayer
can expect strict confidentiality. There may be times when total confidentiality cannot be
given. This would include disclosure of serious criminal activities such as abuse. For
example; if an adult woman disclosed she was being abused by her partner it would not be
appropriate to breach confidentiality but, if the same woman disclosed her belief that her
partner was abusing a child, confidentiality cannot be maintained. If something of
this magnitude were disclosed you must discuss it with the leadership so that appropriate
action can be taken.
If someone raises the need for
confidentiality, e.g. "This will be heard in confidence, wont it ? " you may
find it helpful to respond along the lines of " On the whole yes but there are,
occasionally, serious matters that people want to share that I am obliged to take to the
leadership." Reassurance can be given to the person that what they discuss will not
be subject to gossip.
There may be other issues where you feel
guidance from, or the involvement of the leadership would be helpful. On these occasions
it is essential to obtain the agreement of the person you are praying with before you
You may feel it helpful to offer one or two further opportunities for prayer but it
is important to remember that this is not in-depth prayer counselling. You may wish to
make arrangements to discuss the need for this with the leadership. Praying with others is
also a good opportunity to encourage people in their own prayer life. It may be helpful to
recommend books and courses as well as offering to introduce them to prayer triplets, etc.
"Let us then approach the
throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in
our time of need." Hebrews 4:16.