Making a Place to Commune With God
Terry Teykl, Thetus Tenney and Teri Spears
Inviting Prayer Rooms
What is a prayer room?
Jesus said, “My house will be called a house of prayer” (Matthew 21:13). If God gives us a task, we must earnestly seek him with all of our heart and soul and strength before we endeavor to do it. It was never his intention for us to operate under our own power, but to receive his divine help through prayer.
A prayer room, simply put, is a place in a church set aside for prayer. Every prayer room is different—some are small; some are elaborate, and some are simple. They vary in appearance just as much as church buildings do. However, most prayer rooms do have several things in common…
• They offer a place that is private. We see prayer rooms in classrooms, offices, junk rooms, storage closets, portable buildings and chapels. Any space that can be closed off from outside distractions will work fine.
• They are comfortable and inviting. Prayer rooms should be a place to sit, kneel or even lay prostrate before the Lord and enjoy his presence. Comfortable chairs, carpet, tables, plants, adequate lighting, good ventilation, decor and even background music add to the prayer room experience.
• They are inspirational and informative. We encourage churches to organize their prayer room into stations, displaying helpful information to guide people as they pray. For instance, one station might have a notebook with pictures of the pastoral staff and their families. Another station might have missionaries and their prayer requests, while another might be dedicated to world leaders. You will find a suggested list of stations in The Prayer Room Intercessor’s Handbook.
• They are safely accessible 24 hours a day. Many churches install prayer rooms with an outside entrance and a combination lock. Usually the room does not give the intercessor access to the rest of the church.
The advantages of a prayer room are…
* It’s a central place to keep a list of congregational needs, lists of local, count and national officials, missionaries, hot spots of persecution, ect., and promote agreement prayer by providing a place where this information can be gathered and prayed over.
* It’s a quiet place to get away from your busy life and pray. It helps you ignore the phone, computer and other modern hindrances to prayer time. Most Christians don’t have a place at home that encourages prayer.
* It makes a statement: “our congregation is SERIOUS about prayer.” Any church that goes to the trouble of building a special room for prayer, or remodeling an extra room for the purpose, makes a special commitment to prayer and intercession. We build special purpose rooms for everything else, such as recreation and eating, so why not for prayer?
* It becomes a wonderful place to meet with two or three others to pray. It can also serve, depending on its location, as a room to pray with those responding to the sermon and a place for private counseling, etc.
Creative ideas for your prayer room
• Pray for the world comer cover it with magazines, clippings and photos, list prayer points to guide people
• A silver bowl to wash hands (purity)
• Icons and sculpture representing the different facets of God’s character
• Have certain objects linked to topics or prayer points to help focused prayer
• Poster with your city’s logo on it with pictures of your city officials as a reminder that they need our prayers
• Child’s toy police badge or firemen’s hat to remind us to pray for those who risk their lives for people daily
• A crutch, wheelchair or photo of a hospital as a reminder to pray for the sick
• Have a missionary map and have the missionaries that your church supports highlighted
• A bowl of dirt to represent getting your hands dirty in missions, mercy ministries etc.
• A silver bowl to wash hands (purity)
• Photos of people drunk, or on drugs to remind us to pray for deliverance for those who are addicted
• Photos of people to remember a friend or pray for the lost
• A church directory to remind you to pray for the families in your local assembly
• A local and state map and world globe for people to focus on specific places
• A yearbook from your local schools as a reminder to pray for the children and youth
• Photos of the church leaders and a list of all the different ministries in the church
• Photo of your pastor and his wife — along with a list of specific requests for them. (something people can pick up a copy of and take with them.
• WNOP Prayer List
• Softened lights — this makes it more conducive for people to enter into the spirit of prayer
• Worshipful music – this brings focus to your prayer and helps us to worship the Lord
• A bulletin board or white board to be used for prayer requests (paper and pens or marker will need to be provided)
• Have several boxes of tissues
• Include plenty of cushions for kneeling
• Notepads — to record anything that God may speak to you
• Prayer Guides
• Hopefully that is enough to get your creative juices flowing and open your eyes to the endless creative possibilities in prayer with God. Don’t be limited by the confines of a room or what you are used to, think out of the box and you will be surprised as to how God meets you. Prayer rooms should not be mundane and boring….they are a place to meet with the Lord and so surely they should reflect something of who He is…
If you’re becoming sold on the concept, here are some Ideas on Starting a Prayer Room:
(1) The location should be accessible to church members from outside the building if possible, or at least have an entrance that doesn’t require opening the whole building.
(2) Some churches use electronic keypads for building entry so members can use the Prayer Room without having a building key.
(3) Pray, and then decide how God wants you to use this room; will it be a place for members to pray, will it be used to house a telephone prayer ministry that takes requests from the community, will it be large enough to have prayer groups meet there, etc?
(4) In keeping with the room’s purpose, decide how to furnish it. Most Prayer Rooms have low-level room light, but provide table lamps for reading. Many of them have a desk, kneeling rails or thick carpet, bulletin boards, prayer lists, Bibles, song books, note paper, etc. Be creative, and be willing to adjust the room as you progress. Make it a pleasant, attractive place that makes prayer easier.
(5) Consider prayerfully appointing someone as the “Prayer Coordinator” – this person will organize and coordinate all the prayer activities, maintaining the prayer lists and Prayer Room. Some congregations have even appointed deacons over such work, or hired staff Prayer Coordinators either part-time or full-time.
The above article, “Making a Place to Commune With God” was written by Terry Teykl, Thetus Tenney and Teri Spears. The article was excerpted from Making Room to Pray and First of All Prayer.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.