Jesus formed a prayer team. Unfortunately, when He needed them, His prayer team slept on the job. They paid a personal heavy price (Matthew 26).
Hopefully, yours won't.
Plan and prepare all you want, but a wide-awake prayer team is vital the success of any ministry or program.
But then, it depends upon how you define “success.” If you want a slick, entertaining public persona, hire talented professionals If you want your staff protected and blest, strongholds demolished, captives delivered—and most of all—Jesus glorified by your service, form a prayer team.
Here's what your prayer team will do:
1. Prayer teams influence leadership choices.
A person may be a dynamic speaker. His/her resume may be impressive. While we look on the outward appearances, only God knows the heart's secrets. Only He knows whom He has anointed and appointed for positions of leadership.
For example: Judas Iscariot was dead, leaving a gaping hole in the early church's board of directors. Who could be trusted to fill the important position of treasurer?
After criteria was determined and qualifications were presented, only two made the cut: Matthias and Joseph “Barsabas” Justus.
Before voting on the two, the prayer team went into action: "Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show us which of these two Thou hast chosen, that he may take part of this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell…” (Acts 1:24-25)
Matthias was chosen.
2. Prayer teams cover leaders with prayer.
Everyone faces loneliness, temptation, discouragement, and attacks but leaders often take the brunt. What happens to leaders, spiritual, secular, cultural, and political, impacts everyone.
Esther mustered her prayer team when Haman plotted the destruction of her people (Esther 4:16). Although she was queen, she would not be exempt from Haman's evil plans. Neither would any Jew around her.
Because of her prayer team's fervent efforts, lives were saved.
When you pray for your leaders, remember this: If the enemy takes out your leadership, you're next.
3. Prayer team members pray for one another and others.
One of the greatest blessings we can is to pray for each other. Bearing one another's burdens is a way to fulfill the law of Christ, which is that we love one another (Galatians 6:2).Building a Prayer Team
- Unless disaster looms, it is easy for prayer to get pushed aside, so seek people who already make prayer a priority. Ephesians 6 reminds us how important prayer is to God’s program: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against… powers… of wickedness in the heavenly places… With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and (pray) on my behalf…
If prayer is a priority, your team members will be faithful in their prayer commitments. They won't just say, "I’ll pray for you," but will do it.
- Find people who love others.
- Choose those who have a positive interest in the ministry.
- Choose people who keep confidences.
Prayer Team Ground Rules
- Start small. Ask God to lead you to the right person(s). If you are planning to pray privately as well as in concert, use your head: men should pray with men, women with women.
- You will want a prayer team that communicates quickly and easily. Therefore, find an efficient way to communicate.
- I am part of a prayer team whose members are scattered all over the country. Once a year, we get together in person. Otherwise, we communicate via email. It works for us, but it is better if everyone can physically meet.
- Keep track of your requests and answers. It builds faith and teaches persistence and praise.
- When you meet, take time for members to confess their sins and be prayed for healing before lifting burdens.
- Practice listening in prayer as much as talking to God. He still speaks.
© Rebekah Montgomery 2007
Rebekah Montgomery, author/speaker/teacher, is a gifted, dynamic communicator. She is the author of more than five books and has penned 1,100 articles. She shares tough real-life topics and biblical application in a simple easy to grasp manner. For reprint permissions, or to book Rebekah for your next event visit www.rebekahmontgomery.com. Rebekah is also the editor of Right to the Heart of Women and a publisher at Jubilant Press.
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