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A SIMPLE GUIDE TO “PRAYER-COVER”
PRAYER is the Foundation and the Roof to all our Ministries!
This how-to-manual is provided by the Northern New England Conference Prayer Ministries
It is absolutely impossible to overstate the importance of prayer - earnest, fervent, sustained, continual prayer - to the success of this ministry. Please I implore you, as you prepare for these meetings, make this your top priority! Following are some suggestions, not all of which will be applied in all cases, but prayerfully take what you can use and ask The Holy Spirit to lead you into a deep Prayer Experience as the “Body of Christ”. We will be praying for your success!
I. Prayer coordinator and prayer team.
Choose a prayer coordinator and if you do not presently have a functioning prayer team try to start one ASAP. Choose a leader if possible with natural leadership abilities, one who knows and loves the Lord and who can inspire others with his own zeal and passion for prayer. Just remember that "God grows His own" and sometimes He gives us some amazing "surprises" when we let Him lead.
II Goals, Aims, "Visioning"
I suggest that you call together your board of elders and your church board (either together or separately) to pray for these meetings and to try to answer such questions as "What should we as a church family hope to gain from these meetings". "What is our greatest need as a church family and how can this series help in meeting that need?" Also every church member should be encouraged to put in writing (even if it's only for his own use), their personal goals aims and aspirations.
III How to organize the pre-meeting prayer focus
o Find out who is willing to be involved in prayer ministry and to what degree.
o Have the prayer coordinator develop a "prayer calendar" covering a time period beginning maybe two weeks before the meetings start until their conclusion. On it put the names of those who have agreed to give prayer cover, when and/or for how long they will be praying. For instance, if you have enough dedicated prayer warriors to pull it off, it would be wonderful if during the actual days of the meetings, someone, somewhere could be praying every hour, day and night around the clock.
o In your pulpit presentation in the weeks leading up to the meetings, do all you can to prepare the hearts and minds of the people.
o In your bulletins, church newsletter / pastoral letters (In fact if you don't do pastoral letters this would be a good time to do one!) use a series of reminders to carefully build up interest and enthusiasm in your members.
o "Prayer cells" each with four to six people and a designated leader can give powerful prayer support.
o If interest warrants, call some special meetings, solely and specifically for the purpose of praying for these presentations.
o Creative use of the telephone can yield awesome results.
o Prayer partners (one on one) can call and pray with each other daily.
o If facilities exist for a conference call God is on the line and is "ready when you are". Visit the website www.freeconferencecall.com to obtain your own conference call line.
o Set up a box where guests and members can submit prayer requests. If appropriate some of these could be prayed for publicly in Sabbath School or church. Those not wishing to have theirs read could mark them "private". Those not used could be given to prayer team members to pray for at home.
IV What to pray for during the pre-meetings - Prayer focus
o That everyone present will surrender their wills fully to Jesus.
o Unity! This is the time (and could be the opportunity of a lifetime) for wounds to be healed, for differences to be set aside, for wrongs to be made right, for forgiveness to be earnestly sought and freely given, for church feuds, fights and differences to be set aside and left behind.
o A massive outpouring (baptism) of the Holy Spirit individually and collectively.
o Reformation & Revival – A return to “primitive godliness” to sweep across your church.
o A passion for lost souls and a hungering to share with them what God is dong in your own life.
o Victory over sin, for the chains to fall off, for the captive to be set free, for the strangling and crippling habits and attitudes of a lifetime to be broken.
o Healing. That God's healing grace will be present to totally heal all the wounds that Satan has inflicted - mental, physical, emotional and spiritual.
o If possible make sure that every member gets prayed for by name at least once every day.
o Pray for perceived needs (families and individuals) specifically and by name.
o Pray, pray, pray for backsliders, weak or inactive members, unsaved family members, ex-members, attendees who are not members, etc. Especially pray for any who have left us over real or imagined grievances.
o And don't forget to pray for some divine "surprises".
V How to organize prayer during the meetings
o Set up a prayer room or if that is not possible, designate an area with as much privacy as possible as a prayer center. If at all possible, have at least one prayer warrior on site praying whenever a meeting is in progress.
o If enough interested prayer warriors are available, prayer room coverage can be extended in both directions (before and after the meetings) or even at other times during the day.
o Make sure that someone prays with the speaker personally before each meeting.
o Encourage your prayer coordinator to develop strategies for involving the youth, children's divisions and Sabbath School classes in this prayer initiative.
o Regularly pray with and for any and all support personnel involved in these meetings.
o If some are willing to sign up for a stint (20 - 30 minutes works well) in the prayer room, provide a list of united prayer points to be covered. Or encourage them to pray while sitting in the meetings. Their on-site observations can lead to some valuable targeted prayers.
o Sign up people to pray for the meetings wherever they may be, even if they cannot personally attend.
o At the speaker's option, he may invite prayer team members and others to meet with him for a short season of prayer just before each meeting begins or for a debriefing / prayer session after the meetings.
o Don't forget to pray for some of God's special surprises.
VI Prayer focus during the meetings
o The speaker; Pray that he will be able to think clearly and speak fluently and powerfully with the anointing of the Holy Spirit, being super-sensitive to God's guidance.
o Atmospherics; Pray that people may sense God's presence from the moment they walk in the door. That each team member may perform his part with divine efficiency and that the team as a whole may function as a smoothly coordinated unit.
o That distraction be neutralized / kept at a minimum and that all equipment work properly and reliably.
o Target individuals who have experienced special prayer needs as well as other whose needs may not be so obvious. Try to lift up each attendee every day as well as praying for those who have not showed up. Pray that all may be brought to that "spiritual sweet spot" of assurance and victory in Jesus.
VII Prayer ministries offered to others during the meetings
o Those with special prayer requests could be encouraged to come to the prayer room before or after the meetings where a prayer team member will be available to pray with them.
o It is vitally important that all prayer needs and requests be recognized / cared for during the series. Many will be more vulnerable and open to the Holy Spirit then they have ever been. God will work wonderfully and miraculously upon the hearts and minds of many to prepare them for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Some will reach out for the helping hand of another human being. To these dear ones we must be especially sensitive and attentive.
It would be well if a special "prayer request coordinator" could be chosen whom people could call with their requests. They could be prayed with over the phone, their requests could be shared with the prayer team or, in special cases, they could be put in touch with someone who is so intimately connected with God that he/she can connect with them on the deepest spiritual level. By God's grace many who have given up all hope, who have been disillusioned, mistreated, exploited and abused can be rescued and restored - trophies of God's love, "stars that will shine forever and ever".
o Little prayer, little power - Much prayer, much power.
o Every member a praying member.
o Prayer is the Key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven’s storehouse!
o Forward on our knees.