When we look at many of our congregations, we realize the world has gotten ahead of us in a number of ways. There are many distractions, many influences taking one’s attention in directions away from the Word of God and undermining one’s personal discipleship and ministry. So a congregation might have many youth at risk of getting into one kind of trouble or another, many inactive members, divisions in the body of Christ. A congregation may have many parents and grandparents at a loss as to how to raise their offspring in a good way considering the influences of media and peers on their young ones. In the face of all this what can be done? What is God asking us to do, to be about?
God has given us the gift of prayer. This is not only a good but also a powerful resource we have. God our Father wants to hear our prayers as we come before Him in the name of Christ. Prayer can transform lives by the Holy Spirit.
Today’s technology can work in helping to have this happen. We at Adults Saving Kids (Parents Arise) are working to revise our Prayer Project Lifesaver program. Originally this was used by a congregation so one adult was asked to pray for one particular child every day. If the person praying ran out of ideas of what to pray, a list of 31 prayers was given them to use, one per day for a month. This worked well and some congregations are still active in this.
What we now see is this Prayer Project Lifesaver can be expanded in several ways. First, because of cell phones and texting, many people in a congregation can receive a text of one prayer each day. If they don’t have a cell phone, they could receive an email. If they do not have a cell phone or computer, they could be sent a month’s worth of prayer requests by snail mail or pick them up at church. They can then personally select a quiet moment for praying.
Secondly, the recipients of the prayer request can state who they would designate as the people they would pray for. This might include their children or their parents/ grandparents/grandchildren and others they would want to include. So every person in a congregation capable of praying including children could take the prayer request, perhaps designate a time they would pray the prayer and then pray that prayer or another for the different people they took responsibility to pray for. Each would pray for at least two people. Also two people would pray for each member.
A task force or committee in the congregation would manage this making sure that every person in the congregation would be prayed for. They would also make sure the daily prayer is getting to all the people in the congregation in some readable form. There would be a theme or verse for the week with prayers for that week further supporting that theme. This could be in the bulletin or on a bulletin board. Confidence would come knowing one is praying Jesus’ name.
So this project would now be expanded so it includes a whole year with 365 different prayers sent out, one every day. To have this become workable and alive, both sermons and instruction in prayer, educating and inspiring people to embrace the gift and power of prayer would be important. God’s promises to listen and act would be stressed.
What is needed at this point is for leaders to pray for how this can be formulated & managed plus ideas for different prayers that could be used. Further thinking on this needs to happen. Some of the prayers would be praise prayers, thanksgiving prayers, confession prayers but most would be intercessory prayers. The purpose of this would be to grow in Christ, to build up the body of Christ, to be praying so that people are strong in the Lord, safe in the Lord and shrewd in the Lord. Prayed-for people would be more whole & fruitful, having the faith to love one another in unity, bear each other’s burdens and equip each other to be prepared through Christ for their family ministries & workplace ministries.
- M. Bounds said, “The poorest people in the world are those who has no one to pray for them.”