By Amy Thompson
I remember one of my first small group experiences as a young adult was about prayer. Several members of the group wanted to learn how to pray, so our group leader found a book that would guide us in learning all about prayer. It was during that time that I formed a foundation in understanding the importance of prayer. My prayer life has been shaped over the years through further studies and readings, through experience, and through the influence of others.
As our conference and local churches engage in Kingdom work, we must be rooted in prayer. The work of the conference priorities is rooted in prayer. When you hear Conference Director Tina Harris talk about Pathway Out of Poverty, she begins her comments with “First Pray” and she ends her comments with “Don’t forget to pray.” Conference Director Roger Ross followed a nudge from his own prayer time and created the Congregational Excellence Prayer Team. The prayer team receives monthly emails that include prayer prompts focused on New Places for New People, new church starts, new projects or events. In a short time, he has over 590 people on the prayer team.
The Missional Leaders team prays together weekly about the work of reaching and equipping leaders across our conference. If we are to accomplish these goals related to our conference priorities then we must be rooted in prayer as these are God size dreams.
As leaders in the local church, our work should be grounded in prayer. As your church dreams and explores ministry, how is prayer included? Having time to pray for discernment while visioning and planning is important. We sometimes need to slow down our pace and allow time for prayer and discernment of God's will for the plans. Some of the best stories I hear from local churches are when there is an emphasis on prayer and the prayer warriors are included. Every church has individuals we can identify that have an amazing commitment to prayer. Ask your leadership or ministry teams to share prayer requests with these prayer warriors in order to seek guidance from God when planning or visioning or when feeling stuck. The power of prayer will shine through in these situations.
Kingdom work requires prayer. I encourage you to include within your prayer time a focus on an area within your local church. I encourage you to ground your meetings, your planning, and your events in prayer. I challenge you to invite others within the church to be in prayer about ministry within the church by giving them prayer prompts. I challenge you to join the Congregational Excellence Prayer Team in order to be a part of something bigger than yourself and your church. The power of prayers from individuals all across the conference will unleash the Spirit and amazing Kingdom work will result. You can sign up at www.moumethodist.org/subscribe.