Learn how to create a powerful prayer team that people won’t just like, but will love.
Today, I’m going to discuss how to establish a prayer team for personal ministry in your church.
But I’m not going to show you how to build just any old prayer team, oh no. I’m going to show you how to create a powerful prayer team people absolutely love!
They’re going to love it because:
And that’s going to happen for those who receive prayer from the team AND the team members themselves.
Let’s find out more.
I Love Praying In A Powerful Prayer Team
I absolutely love doing prayer ministry!
There, I said it.
This morning as I’m writing these words, I’m coming back to life. I haven’t been sick or anything, I've just been feeling groggy ever since I woke up.
Writing isn’t always easy. Sometimes, you just have to pray and work at it until the flow comes and you get into “the zone”. And today is one of those days.
However, in writing this article, I’m beginning to get excited. That’s because I love doing prayer ministry.
I love prayer ministry because I get to make a difference. I get to:
I get amazing feedback too. And that feeds my confidence in ministering to people the next time round.
Two Key Issues Mean You Need A Powerful Prayer Team
If you followed my last post on how to make space for prophecy in your church service, then I hope you’ll have seen how easy it is to implement.
We also saw how a strategy for group prophecy can facilitate a culture change in your church.
However, once you have group prophecy up and running, it tends to lead to two key issues, which you’ll also need to account for:
- When prophecy is happening in your church meetings, people will get curious about it and want to learn more.
- They’ll want to know what’s going on and why it’s happening in your church. And they’ll want to know how to respond, when they encounter it.
Of course, if you’ve been doing it properly, you’ll have prepared your congregation in advance.
But what about people from outside your church membership, including those who happen to walk in off the street? They’re going to need reassurance that what’s happening is legitimate and biblical.
Powerful Prayer Team Turns Issues Into Opportunities
Although I have labelled them as potential issues, I believe they are really opportunities:
When you lay the foundation of a powerful prayer team then that should naturally include prophecy. That’s because of its innate ability to release healing and other spiritual gifts.
Through creating a rock solid prayer team, you’ll also be able to apply “best practice” guidelines, right from the start.
Another advantage of using this time strategically is this:
True prophecy gives prophets a heart for God and a heart for people.
So, when people are growing in personal, one-to-one prophecy, that heart, that compassion for people is going to spill back over into your church meetings.
Thus, you’ll facilitate and augment your existing group prophecy strategy by building a prayer team.
Strategy To Implement A Powerful Prayer Team
Just as we needed a strategy for group prophecy, we also need one for personal prophecy.
That plan should include 3 steps:
- Practical tools
Step 1: Prayer
Rekindle passion for prayer
You’ll want to know that the Lord is in this, so the best place to start is in prayer.
You’re going to need buy-in from members of your congregation too, so it’s a good idea to mobilise them to the cause.
Set a challenge
Teach on prayer and explain why you want to set up a prayer team.
Explain that you can’t pray for everyone personally, all the time, but you want to create a safe environment where people will be blessed. You also want to prepare the church so they can respond to newcomers, wherever they may come from.
Let people know that this will be an opportunity to grow in the spiritual gifts, and ask them to pray and seek God together with you. Depending on the makeup of your church, some members may need reassurance that it’s going to be done safely and sensitively.
Ensure this teaching happens on at least one Sunday, so everyone understands how important it is. Then set up prayer times so everyone can participate
Set an example
Pray in private and in public. You need to know that the Lord is leading you as well as your church and you’ll need the motivation from him to push this through.
Make sure you personally attend most of your set prayer times so you’re seen and people catch hold of your vision.
Stop existing meetings if necessary
If you really want to get a prayer team off the ground, be prepared to stop your existing meetings in order to redirect energies.
After some initial teaching, you could turn one Sunday meeting over to the subject, so you can collect feedback and gauge the engagement of members.
Similarly, you could visit midweek small groups and reiterate your teaching, while you listen to their thoughts and concerns.
Step 2: People
Recruit people you trust
Next, you’re going to need people to populate your prayer team.
Recruit those you already trust, who are ready to step into the role. You’re looking for individuals who are known as prayer warriors or intercessors and prophets who have a pastoral heart for people.
Train your team and set boundaries
This will be similar to the training you did for group prophecy, but with an emphasis on the more intimate nature of face-to-face ministry.
Consider and discuss best practices with the team. Simple guidelines, such as male/female pairs within the team can keep everyone accountable. They will also help safeguard prayer team members and those receiving prayer.
Make sure to include practical details like when and how your team might offer a caring touch to the people they pray for. For example, a touch on the elbow is less likely to cause discomfort or offence, than a hug.*
For those team members who want to prophesy as part of their prayers, ask them to keep it simple and loving. They shouldn’t waffle or embellish prophetic words, but be clear about what God is saying.
Similarly, if strangers to your church also want to take part, don’t shut them down, but pair them up with people who are already trained.
* Covid-19 And Prayer Teams
Physical touch is an issue I suspect will come to the fore as we get used to the “new normal” for churches, post Covid-19.
When we are finally allowed to meet again in large groups for worship, we’ll need to answer some serious questions, such as:
- How can we hug people to let them know they are loved, if either party could be a carrier of the virus?
- Will we ever be able to pray for healing again with the traditional “laying on of hands”?
I believe that this is not a matter for fear, but of godly wisdom.
The Lord will give us his protection, just as he promised in his word.
But we still need to ask these questions and allow him to lead us according to his purposes, before we make any assumptions.
Step 3: Practical Tools For Powerful Prayer Teams
Finally, you’ll need to develop practical tools to empower everyone in the church to get involved.
Link prayer with worship
We’ve already talked about making places and times available for prayer as part of the lead up to having a prayer team.
Worship is a powerful prayer weapon, so if you link prayer and worship together in these preliminary meetings, you’ll set the tone for “BAU” operations when the team is up and running.
Enable and encourage prayer requests
Printed postcards for prayer requests can work well for newcomers to a church service, but prayer teams don’t operate only on Sundays.
Therefore, it helps to set up other mechanisms to receive prayer requests, if you don’t already have them in place.
If your email inbox is already overloaded, set up a new firstname.lastname@example.org address that the prayer team leader can pick up and respond to.
Online gatherings, social media and instant messenger apps, like WhatsApp, can also be valuable sources of requests. Just be mindful of potential legal ramifications, such as minimum age requirements for certain online services.
You may find that some church members who don’t want to join the team for face-to-face ministry, will be perfectly happy to pray over these requests in a different capacity.
Develop specific prayers
I believe it’s important to seek God’s presence in prayer and that presence should be emphasised over words. However, some churchgoers prefer to have a framework for prayer, rather than praying into a vacuum.
With this in mind, you may find it helpful to develop specific prayers to share with the congregation. They can be used verbatim or as inspiration for their own prayers.
I came across this site where the author has done just that with the following kinds of prayer:
- Give us pure hearts and clean hands.
- Lord of the harvest send forth labourers.
- Direct us by Holy Spirit.
- God where you give the vision you also give provision.
- Give us discernment and boldness.
Gather and share testimonies
Last, but definitely not least, I want to share an important truth.
Revelation chapter 12 shows how the devil is defeated, “by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11, NIV).
The context is that of the saints who have overcome many nights and days of the enemy’s false accusations.
The blood of the Lamb is a picture of Jesus’ death on the cross, but have you noticed the other half?
The “word of their testimony” is sometimes translated as “the power of their testimony”.
And over the past few years, I have discovered the powerful effect testimonies have on our faith levels.
Sharing stories of answered prayer has done so much to build expectation, energy and excitement, that we made it common practice to start most Sunday meetings with it.
Try it for your church and I guarantee you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!
Powerful Prayer Teams: Your Turn
Today, as we reached the end of this mini-series, we’ve talked through the process of setting up a prayer team from scratch.
We’ve looked at how your team fits in to a strategy to include and encourage prophecy in your meetings big and small. And we’ve seen how you can involve and develop the spiritual lives of every member of your congregation.
Of course, you may decide to start the other way around: to build personal prophecy into your prayer team first, before tackling public prophecy in your Sunday meetings.
If you’re not comfortable with training the team yourself, invite someone you trust to speak or set up the training. Perhaps you’d like me to preach on the subject via an online meeting?! 🙂
Whichever way you decide to go (both are good) I’d like to be involved in the conversation. Let me know a bit more about how you tick by answering the following question:
What issues do you face in building up prayer and prophecy in your church and how will you overcome them?
Leave Your Answer In The Comments Area, Below.