Developing a Dynamic Prayer Meeting
By T. Tenney
A format is the organization and process flow of the prayer meeting. In this one hour model, 5 segments are listed.
Focus On God — 10-15 Minutes
The Goal: To set the people’s focus on God. God desires an intimate relationship with Him. Therefore, a prayer meeting must begin with God. The focus can be set on God by highlighting any reality about God — who He is, what He can do, what He likes or dislikes, the reality of His purposes, etc… Prior to the prayer meeting prepare yourself by seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance to know what to emphasize about Him and the implications of our relationship with Him,
Respond From The Heart — 5-10 Minutes
The Goal: To create an opportunity for the heart to respond to God. When the focus is on God, the heart will respond to Him as the Holy Spirit reminds the people of key issues such as surrendering personal agendas, faith, gratitude, dependence, repentance, praise, honesty, thanksgiving, etc. Having and intentional segment allows the people to solidify their response which will prepare their mind and spirit as they continue their prayer.
Seek First The Kingdom — 15-20 Minutes
The Goal: To lead the people to be on God’s agenda. God said if we seek first the kingdom HE would give us everything else. That is why this segment occurs before we ask our requests. Deliberately utilize this time to encourage an outward focus on God’s addenda by praying for carious themes such as missions, evangelism, social impact, the backslidden, the homeless, etc. Remember also to pray consistently for projects and efforts occurring in the life of your church in which God is leading. Present these themes so that they become heart issues, not head issues only.
Present Your Requests — 15-20 Minutes
The Goal: To pray for needs from God’s perspective and minister to one another. Teach the people how to think of prayer requests from God’s view-point. Also use this segment to minister to one another as prayers are offered for various requests such as the sick, marriages, financial concerns, crises, the youth, mothers, bereaved, traveling mercies, etc.
Close In Celebration — 5-10 Minutes
The Goal: To reaffirm expectations in God. This closure will be a reminder to people to expect God’s answer. You can use different means such as giving thanks, singing, clapping, unified declaration, etc. When God is present people want to respond, and it sends them out on a positive note.
* Focus on God
As a reminder of what God can do, read Ephesians 3:14-21. Recruit a member to give a testimony of how God answered prayer during the week.
* Respond from the Heart
Encourage dependence by praying in small groups.
Encourage faith and put hands together to symbolize expectation receiving.
* Seek First the Kingdom
Have mission team come to the front and other members surround and pray for them on their upcoming trip.
Pray in small groups for local Christians on site.
* Present Your Requests
Have every member write a prayer card and send to the Hones family currently battling with cancer.
Pray for couples with troubled marriages. Let congregation symbolize standing in the gap for these couples by standing in pairs to pray.
Pray in small groups for those needing jobs.
Have open prayer time in small groups to pray for needs on members hearts.
* Close in Celebration
Have members sing “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” in a spirit of thanksgiving trusting Him.
An activity is any way or means to focus the heart on God, elicit participation, and facilitate ministry to one another.
There are 3 groupings organized to highlight their importance to you as a leader. Activities can occur anywhere in the format and may fit in more that one segment.
The Goal: To set the people’s focus on God. The Holy Spirit stirs hearts through various focusing activities such as the leader’s words, use of Scripture, singing, testimony, drama, etc. Especially use these type activities at the beginning of prayer meeting when you are seeking to set the focus on God. Continue orienting people to God as you progress through the prayer meeting. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, select what’s appropriate for your prayer meeting.
The Goal: To involve as many people as possible both numerically and physically. This structures likely opportunities for God to speak and work through all the body. You facilitate this two ways:
Numerically: God wants His people (not a select few) to participate in the prayer meeting, therefore: 1. Give away leadership roles in various ways including having a number of participants read Scripture, give testimonies, guide prayer times, etc. 2. Give everyone a chance to vocalize their relationship with God. Create these opportunities through activities such as singing, small groups, individually praying our loud all at once, responsive reading, large group sentence prayer, etc.
Physically: People’s bodily participation often encouraged their heart to participate. Utilize various activities such as coming to the altar, kneeling, writing a prayer card, clasping hands, standing to pray with another, breaking into small groups, etc. This doesn’t have to be calisthenics. It could be as simple as taking another’s hand, but don’t create spectator mode by allowing them to just sit there in the pew.
The Goal: For the body to minister to and build itself up in love. God wants us to minister to each other. Employ activities such as kneeling beside an-other at the altar, having new mothers stand and congregation pray for them, having participants put their hand on each other’s shoulder, having the church surround someone with a special need, having small groups surround those struggling with cancer, etc. Incorporate these activities into the format to let the body build itself up in love.
Focus On God
* Who He is
* What He can do
* His View
Respond From The Heart
Seek First The Kingdom
* The lost
* The backslidden
Present Your Requests
Close In Celebration
* Leader’s words
Ask people to have different roles in leading, testifying, reading Scripture, etc.
Individually praying out loud all at once
Large group sentence prayer, etc.
Come to the altar
Stand in pairs
Go to someone else during the prayer meeting
Writing a prayer card note
* Sincere love for one another
* Praying for one another
* Bearing each others burdens
* Blessing one another
* Encouraging Unity
This article “Developing A Dynamic Prayer Meeting” written by T. Tenney is excerpted from World Network Of Prayer Web Site (wnop.org).