I added a parttime job to my plate in March of this year: interim teaching paster at my home church. Our pastor of 14 years has taken a new church, and I will fill in until we find a new senior pastor.
When I knew in mid-January that I was going to start preaching in March, I began praying in earnest about the series I should preach first. The Lord led me to the theme of hunger and thirst for Him—personal revival.
As part of my five-week series, the elders and I decided to have our people read and pray through the devotional prayer initiative Thirsty: A 31-Day Journey to Personal Revival by Jamie Morgan.
In God’s wonderful providence, my wife JoLyn and I were totally re-charged at the Asbury Revival a few weeks prior to starting my role. Our pastor asked me to share on our impressions of Asbury two weeks prior to March, and as a result God put a fresh hunger for Jesus in our people.
I planned on 60 copies of Thirsty to pass out to a congregation of 70–90 adults on an average Sunday. That was not enough as almost everyone purchased a copy. Every week until Easter when we ended, I brought more copies as people purchased for their friends and other small groups outside the church. I was still getting calls for more copies in mid-May, a month after we finished the series! Ultimately, I sold close to 125 copies of Thirsty.
Instead of experiencing the typical doldrums a church feels when a beloved pastor leaves, we have a spiritual excitement among the congregation. People are thirsty for Jesus. Our weekly prayer meeting has more than doubled in size! On Easter Sunday we had our largest attendance since pre-COVID days.
While I give full credit to Jesus for this blessing, He certainly used a prayer guide to get an entire congregation longing for more of Him.
Prayer Will Turn on the Tap
I recently said to a pastor friend, “In my 25-plus years of working with churches to help grow prayer, I know of no better way to get the most people praying the quickest than to do a prayer initiative for 21, 30, or 40 days. It will take the prayer life of your congregation to a new level!”
If you want to see more prayer in your church, get your people praying together using a devotional prayer guide. God used Thirsty to fire up our church. He can use a unified prayer initiative to enliven your group as well.
Besides Thirsty, our ministry produces 16 devotional prayer guides for churches. We just released three new guides that I recommend to you. Reclaim a Generation Volume 2 will rally your people to pray for your neighborhood schools. Do It Again, Lord! will put a passion in your people to pray for revival and awakening in the Church and nation. And The 21 Most Effective Prayers in the Bible will open more people up to the blessing of prayer.
Try an all-church prayer initiative and see how God uses it in your church!
–Jonathan Graf is the president of Church Prayer Leaders Network and the publisher of Prayer Connect magazine.