Creating a Prayer Bubble over your church
10 Possible Areas to Raise Up Prayer for Sunday Ministry
By Kim Butts
Sunday mornings are undoubtedly the times of the greatest spiritual attack individuals and families face each week. We have all heard in our churches the stories of those trying to get to church on time: fighting amongst siblings, mystery stains on clothing, sudden sickness, shoes getting lost, arguments among spouses, etc. Pastors, staff, church leaders, teachers, etc. are not immune either!
Meanwhile, in the church building itself, there are often glitches with sound equipment, things that should be in a certain place have been moved without notice, etc. It would seem that preparing to attend corporate worship with other believers is not looked upon favorably by the enemy. It makes perfect sense, for he knows well that prayer and worship that proclaims and honors Jesus defeats his purposes.
One congregation we have worked with is in the process of adopting what they call an “under the radar prayer ministry” that targets these issues specifically on Sundays. They are developing and training teams to do the following:
1. Prepare the Air: A team of people pray for each person in the congregation, and the church staff by name prior to the Sunday services. Often, this can be done throughout the week in a large congregation. Team members split up the members, and all pray for possible visitors.
2. Parking Lot Intercession: Obviously, not every church will have the need for parking lot attendants; however, some larger churches provide cheerful people who are basically the front-line for prayer covering those who are driving onto the church property. These folks, behind the smiles and helpful hand-waving to direct cars to parking places, are being trained to pray for every person and/or family that drives in. They pray for peace, for restoration of joy, for the repairing of any brokenness in relationships, for resolution of conflicts among family members, and especially that each one will have a fresh encounter with Jesus!
3. Greeters: For most churches, these people become the front line of intercession if parking lot attendants are not employed. Similar training happens with these folks! As they welcome people into the building, they are also praying for them to enter into an atmosphere of peace, joy, restoration, renewal, etc. Many of these people are also part of the Need Prayer? Team (see below), but it is not a requirement for a greeter. Quiet, inner prayers on behalf of those who enter the building are just as powerful and effective as those spoken out loud.
4. Need Prayer?: Members of this team wear a round tag, identifying themselves as people who can be approached if there is a prayer need. They will pray immediately with anyone who wishes to be prayed for at any time. In between praying with people they walk around the atrium or entry area . . . or wherever the Spirit leads them in the building to pray. They want to remain visible and available to anyone with a need or a burden.
5. Building Cleansers: The janitor or janitorial staff is trained to not only clean the church building physically but also spiritually. As they move from area to area, they pray for those who are in each office, Sunday school room, etc. Any who work on the gardening/mowing, etc. are given ways to pray as they work on the grounds . . . asking God’s presence and blessing to surround the property inside and out.
6. Communion Prep Team: As communion is prepared, this team prays for each one who will partake . . . that he or she will take the bread and the cup in a worthy manner, and that it will truly be a time of remembrance of the sacrifice of Christ.
7. Ushers: Those who pass out bulletins or show people to their seats or take up the offering, etc. are taught to pray for the people they are serving.
8. Sanctuary Sanctification: Prior to services, this team walks through the sanctuary or wherever the church meets, praying over each chair, that sound equipment and technology will work as it should, and that the service would bring honor and glory to God.
9. Pre-Service Intercession: Whether in the prayer room or some other location, a team of intercessors lifts up the children and youth, teachers, helpers and volunteers. They also pray for any visitors that might come, and for all who enter the building to be met with a sweet presence of the Lord. They pray for the power of the Spirit to speak through the preacher and that the entire worship service might be pleasing to the Father. They sometimes walk through the building praying as they go--an internal prayer walk!
10. Praying Through the Service: Usually a team of two or three (two men, two women or a couple . . . they are very careful that there is not to be an unrelated man and woman, girl or boy together alone) gather to pray through the worship service as it is taking place. For more information on how to train people to do this specifically, click here.
There are other prayer ministries that go on in the church as well, but they are publicized so that others can join in. These teams are behind the scenes. They have a deep desire to permeate the atmosphere of the church with a sweet aroma and expect to see God do amazing things in response to their prayers.
Don't be overwhelmed by all these prayer areas. Start working on establishing a few of them. As you grow, you can add more "stealth prayer" areas. A helpful resource to give to those you are training is "Targeted Prayers for Your Church," by Sandra Higley.
If your prayer team or church leadership would like more training in how to create a “stealth prayer" movement at your church, or want to talk about how your church can take steps toward becoming a house of prayer for all nations, connect with Harvest Prayer Ministries: firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact Kim Butts directly about this topic or other prayer ministry/leadership team training, email her at email@example.com.
© 2014 Harvest Prayer Ministries