Every Pastor worth their salt wants to see their Church grow. If you are one of these, you are not alone. God wants to see your Church grow too! Truthfully, every Pastor should be a growing Pastor. We should look for every opportunity to learn and grow. We should read books, attend conferences and seminars, learn from other Pastors, listen to sermons and training sessions of others who have been on this journey longer than us. I believe that “Growing Pastors Build Growing Churches.” But, having said this, our goal as Pastors should never just be “Church Growth.” Our goal should be to please God, to make disciples, and to fulfill His Call on our life. One of the greatest ways to do this is to “Rally Your Church To Prayer.” Without a renewed focus on prayer, all of our learning and growing will only increase our frustration. We must have both—Personal Growth and Corporate Prayer. I know this may sound trite, but this really is the starting point for every move of God in the Church. If your Church is in a stagnant place and you’re ready to see it come back to life, then the place to start is to “Rally Your Church To Prayer!”
Five Simple Ways To Rally Your Church To Prayer
- Ask the Church to Pray for Their Pastor: Don’t ever be afraid or ashamed to ask your Church to pray for you. First of all, you need the prayer, and they need the practice! We cannot just assume that they are praying for us. We hope they are, but it is important for them to hear you say, “I need prayer!” Just stand in the pulpit this Sunday, right before you preach, and say, “Church, I believe God wants to do a fresh work in our Church and through our Church. As your Pastor, I want you to know that I need your prayers. I’m asking you to pray for me that God would give me wisdom to lead this Church where He wants it to go. If you will commit to praying for me everyday, I want you to raise your hand right now. Thank you for your prayers. God is about to move in our Church in a mighty way!”
- Call the Church to a Time of Prayer and Fasting: Though Fasting is a biblical practice, for many Christians, and Churches, it is a forgotten discipline. Many Christians sitting in our Churches have never fasted. Take a couple of Sunday’s and preach about fasting and then ask your church to join you in a fast. There are many different ways to fast, and whichever way you chose is really not important. The important thing is that you and your Church do it together. At one time, I asked the Church to join me in fasting lunch on Wednesdays. A few years ago, we began doing a 21-Day Daniel Fast at the beginning of every year. One of the most exciting times we shared together was in a Church-Wide 40-Day time of prayer and fasting. We posted a forty-day calendar and encouraged everybody to sign up on the day or days they wanted to fast. The goal was to have people fasting and praying everyday of the 40-day period.
- Give them a Prayer Assignment: I have found that if you want your Church to pray with you, then it is important that you tell them what you are praying. Jesus said in Matthew 18:19, “…that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my father which is in Heaven.” When I am rallying the Church to prayer, I create prayer cards that have specific points that I want them to pray. I also include a Scripture for each point. The object is for us to pray the Word that represents the specific point that we are requesting. I make the cards available for everyone in the Church in order for us to pray the same thing together. We also make the Prayer Points available for them online. I usually have five points on the card and we call it our “Five Point Prayer.” (To see a sample Prayer Card, send me a message and I will email you one.)
- Have them Sign a Prayer Commitment Card: I want to know who is praying with me. Therefore I ask them to sign a Prayer Commitment Card and turn it in to me. In this day of technology, there are now other ways to do this, if you have the technology available to do it. When I am presenting a new “Five Point Prayer”, I now put a Church Text Number on the screen and ask them to get out their phone and text the number on the screen, if they will agree to partner with me in praying the “Five Point Prayer.” This has worked very well for us, and it also allows me to send weekly text messages to all my prayer partners thanking them for their faithfulness in praying the Five Points with me. I can also let them know about answered prayers, as well.
- Schedule a 24-Hour Prayer Chain: This is something that we do once or twice a year and if it is done right, it can literally involve your whole Church, Children, Youth, and Adults. You need 24 people who will agree to be a Prayer Leader. Each prayer leader signs up to lead one hour of prayer at the Church over a 24-hour period. That leader then recruits others to join them at the Church to pray at their designated hour. We usually use our “Five Point Prayer Card” as a guideline. We always start at 8:00 AM on Saturday Morning and end at 8:00 AM on Sunday Morning, just before our First Service begins. It is amazing at the people who will sign up to come pray at the toughest hours—midnight to 4:00 AM. This is always a “shot in the arm” for the Church. Believe it or not, people who you would never expect to come will participate. Do not underestimate your people.
I am convinced that our congregations want to pray. It is our responsibility as their Spiritual Leader to put the tools in their hands and empower them to do it. If you will Rally Your Church To Prayer, you will begin to see an immediate return on your investment. No other one thing will bring immediate results like engaging your congregation in prayer. So, what are you waiting on? Start this Sunday and begin to “Rally Your Church To Prayer!”