by Jonathan Graf
You may be interested in why a ministry primarily focusing on raising prayer in the local church is now launching a new ministry that focuses on individuals and helping them learn to pray! It is an interesting God thing. Here is the story.
Let me first share that launching this new ministry in no way means we are adandoning our primary ministry of helping prayer leaders and pastors to grow prayer in their churches. That will continue alongside our Love2Pray initiative, and in fact should flourish even more as Love2Pray moves individuals into more active prayer lives that pray for churches, communities and nations. It should develop new prayer leaders for churches!
The Story Begins
The story of Love2Pray actually begans 27 years ago, when I began developing the idea for Pray! magazine. You’ll see the connection later.
The immediate story begins in January 2021 when a CPLN board member and I were discussing the need to expand the potential reach of the Church Prayer Leaders Network. Since our main ministry only focused on one or two people in a church (pastor and main prayer leader) we had little reach into the average person who sat in the pews. While we produced Prayer Connect, which certainly ministered to more than just those individuals, we needed something that was geared toward helping individuals with their personal prayer lives.
That began me in a season of prayer and much pondering of the situation. In early May, our Prayer Connect editorial team had a session where we would plan what the topics would be for our next 4 issue themes. We had just welcomed Niko Peele, a young ministry leader on college campuses, to the team as a part time assistant editor. Niko presented the idea of making one of the issues on the growing prayer and revival movement among GenZers. That resonated with all of us and we selected January as the key time.
About a month later, we had a planning session on that topic where we discussed in detail what it would cover and who would write the articles. The month between those two meetings, God began to speak into my spirit that this issue was going to be a key piece in the launch of a new ministry initiative that would reach individuals–especially GenZ and Millennials.
Very shortly after that, God started to bring the pieces together. It was like Isaiah 60:22, which says “in its time, I will do this swiftly.”
5 Things Come Together
First, a confirmation and idea came from a friend and technical consultant I use, Jorge Diaz. On a zoom call with Jorge when we were talking about content delivery to our CPLN audience and all the content we had available, out of the blue Jorge said, “I think you need to do a monthly membership for a younger audience.” He explained that his daughter (25) wouldn’t think twice of spending $3-$5 a month on a digital product that delivered content in an important area where she wanted help or coaching. I started think about what this would look like.
Second, God laid on my heart, that while our audience for CPLN and Prayer Connect was largely Baby Boomers, this new ministry would focus on GenZs and Millennials.
It would be almost entirely digital in its delivery, through email and text.
It would have elements that allowed for social interaction between members, where they could set up prayer partners and prayer groups to study about prayer and pray together.
It would utilize the 10,000 plus pages of content our ministries had produced over the years through 46 issues of Prayer Connect, 61 books on prayer published through PrayerShop Publishing, and many articles and ideas posted online at prayerleader.com. But it would deliver the content in simple, bite-sized chunks via email, text, and PDF download.
Third, God brought us a key young staff member who will be hugely beneficial in this ministry. When our longtime order taker and bookstore manager Joanne Telle retired in September, God brought to our team, Amy Crane, a young millennial who has a lot of aptitude and even a love for all the technology that it takes to run a digital-based ministry. She has been working feverishly the past month setting up content in Love2Pray’s delivery system.
Fourth, God revealed that it should be called Love2Pray, because spending time with Him in prayer should be a delight. That phrase is also the title of our all-time best-selling book, Love to Pray by Alvin VanderGriend. A 40-day devotional, Love to Pray has the most complete, easy-to-understand, theology of prayer I have ever seen. We plan to use Love to Pray as one of the first initiatives that get delivered to new members.
Fifth, we would make available–a majority of them free to members–the prayer initiatives and Bible study books we have developed over the years. We would also use the content of VanderGriend’s daily guide for Kingdom-focused prayer, Patterns for Prayer, and deliver it daily to members to assist them in moving their prayers beyond just personal needs. And we would also heavily use the teaching content of my book, The Power of Personal Prayer, a book first published 20 years ago by NavPress, when I was editor of Pray! magazine. This book, which has been revised, shortened, and repackaged for a younger audience, releases in December 2021. Its content will largley be used to answer questions about all aspect of prayer.
My Original Calling
What is truly fascinating to me in all of this is that God seems to have brought me full circle in prayer ministry, bringing me back to my original calling in prayer ministry.
When I launched Pray! magazine in 1997, my heart was to reach average believers in the pew who were struggling with prayer. The magazine also became very popular with prayer leaders and pastors. So much so that by 2003, my main ministry reach was to help churches grow in prayer. God was certainly in that transition. But now, it seems as if He is moving me to again embrace individual intercessors to help them grow in their personal prayer lives. We will not lose CPLN’s focus on prayer leaders and churches, but a major emphasis can now be the individual again.
I am excited by what God is doing. Here are four ways you can help us:
1. Pray for us. We have experienced more attacks from the enemy than at any other time in our history! Satan does not want us to launch this ministry that seeks to raise up prayer warriors among the next generation.
2. Share about Love2Pray. As we put posts on our Facebook and Instagram pages, please share them with your friends! Or make up your own posts that include our logos and link them to this url: love2pray.net.
3. Donate to this project. We are seeking the Lord for the necessary funds ($10,000) to come in over the next 6 weeks to help us launch Love2Pray. You can give online, using the form below, or send a check made out to CPLN, and mailed to P.O. Box 10667, Terre Haute, IN 47801; mark the memo “Love2Pray.”
4. Sign up yourself. Soon the mechanism will be set up for you to join Love2Pray as a member. Even if you are not a GenZ or Millennial, you will be blessed by Love2Pray too as it helps you grow in personal prayer.