Church Growing: Through Prayer

What makes a site grow?

What makes things grow? The short answer is God ( 1 Cor 3: 5-9). Jesus looks for fruitfulness ( John 15), Jesus is the architect and the builder, but he has co labourers……namely you and I ( 1 Cor 3:9). The following is a list of things that Jesus uses through you and I to build his church. It should be noted when we speak about ‘build’ we mean , both in maturity and numerically.

1.) prayer, both private and public

a) Private disciplines of an elder ( Luke 5:16;6:12)
  • Lists are not bad “Cassidy has a daily list, weekly list and a monthly list”
  • Regularity on time of day and rhythm help
  • Praying with a pen in hand helps, when I get distracted I jot the thought down to move on.
  • Praying in tongues is helpful (Jackie Pullenger’s testimony)
  • Different forms of prayer are good ( eg working your way through a Sunday, moving from the sheep making their decision to go to the meeting, car park, door, intro, greetings, singing, gifts, offering, sermon, ministry time, visitors, backsliders responding etc )
  • What to pray for? Specific people, presence of God, backsliders to return, salvations, divine connections between people, church finances etc
b) Day to day eldering: ( Luke 9:28; 10:2)
  • When you are counseling or giving advice do you stop to pray WITH the person?
  • When you have people around for meals, “grace” is a great moment to bring God into the occasion.
  • when you run admin meetings, is God present? Do you pray with people? Or is it just business?
  • Pre- service prayer sets the water temperature for the meeting
  • By texting a person with a verse or thought out of a prayer time, you are being loving, obedient and encouraging a culture of prayer.
  • We need to fight for prayer time with co elders, not just when “we are told to”
  • When you pray during a service you are communicating to God most importantly, but by doing it publicly you are also communicating to people. Are you installing faith or boredom; depth or religion?
c) public prayer meetings:( acts 1:14;3:1)

When we talk about getting the entire church to pray, there is always a trade off between frequency and numbers who will pray at each meeting. You need to think through what you are calling your people to. You can have 5 prayer meetings a week with 20 people in each ,  or you can have one with 80 to 100.

10 TOP reasons why people do NOT come to prayer

  1. Some might think “Prayer is not as important as Sunday service”  because : ( not all the elders come, the elders don’t look prepared, deacons lead the meetings and that never happens on Sunday, there is no worship and they would never do that on a Sunday, it starts later than advertised)……. Adjust these things to show  that it is important.
  2. Some might say, “I am scared of what I will have to do at the meeting”… So don’t impose stuff for people to do. Don’t be rude, treat people with dignity, and tell them in advance that they can just tag along and watch, and that it’s a safe environment.
  3. Some might say, “I am just not the praying type. Its not my ministry”……so teach into the priesthood praying, give constant feedback of answered prayers, and prayers of ordinary people being answered.
  4. Parents will stress that they “Need to feed the kids”…… So make a plan to help them
  5. Parents will also note that they “Need to put the kids to bed”….. So set the time wisely
  6. Others may suggest that they would love to but I am scared to go out at night or don’t have transport….. So get lift clubs going
  7. Some may argue that, “The meetings are so boring”… So…..You come filled with faith and change what you pray for, who prays and how you pray.
  8. Because the meetings are long , or vary in length, some might say “I can’t plan the rest of my evening”…. Be disciplined, if ministry happens and people want to stay, you should still release the meeting or your word starts to mean nothing.
  9. If the meetings are irregular, or sporadic some might say, “I get confused as to when to come”…. So get into a rhythm that is not complicated.
  10. Some might also say, “I forget to come”….. Talk about it a lot, use social media, texting etc to spur he church on

5x  public prayer killers , please do your best to avoid them

  1. Making people get into twos ..NEVER do this, even groups of 5-10 is freaky for a new believer, if you want to put them in groups at least make it 20 in a group and don’t rotate around the group. If you ignore this advice you will halve your prayer meeting every week till you only have intercessors left.
  2. Praying for the same thing every week. I suggest looking at your prayer meeting over a month and try to have half the time inward and half the time outward.
  3. Using the same old method every time , the following methods work well : all praying out aloud together, tongues all together, 1 person praying while the rest agree, splitting the room in half with each praying together through prayer pointers, bringing people to the prayer meeting to pray over, hooking up people via Skype/phone into the prayer meeting, praying with the aid of slides, forming large groups with a ringleader in each (standing on a chair) giving prayer pointers, musicians helping with intercessory worship, allowing people to give testimonies and responding to that, releasing the gifts to operate and guide a meeting, call people up for ministry in areas of need like employment etc.
  4. Springing requests for people to pray or requests for comment off the cuff. People will suspect that the environment is very unsafe, they could be next.
  5. Allowing weirdos to dominate. Govern the meeting like a Sunday.