Spending time in prayer is one of the most important and valuable goals we can accomplish in any area of life. Ministry and prayer always go hand in hand. I can’t imagine ministry apart from intentional, focused prayer. After fourteen years of following God’s call, I am more convinced than ever that prayer is the key component to ministry.
This blog series is about getting your ministry started, whether it is a church ministry, a ministry program, or a personal ministry.
In my last blog, God’s Calling, God’s Commission, and Getting Your Ministry Started, I talked about the first stage of this process. The initial step in ministry is not something done by us, but by God. The first stage is God’s calling and commission. Our part is simply accepting and receiving God’s calling in our life. If we believe that God called and commissioned us, then hearing from Him in the details is essential. If God is the one who establishes our calling and commissions us to go, then prayer is vital. We need prayer, because we need God’s direction as we move forward in following His call into ministry.
Prayer is the Second Stage
Although prayer is the second stage, I also know that God calls and commissions those who belong to Him and have a personal relationship with Him. Prayer is a part of that relationship. It is how we talk to God; so naturally, prayer and a relationship with God precede God’s calling and commission.
In reality, prayer is crucial at every stage of the process, but today I want to concentrate on getting started in ministry. I think back to the beginning of my ministry and how I did not have the slightest idea what to do. I shared my story of being clueless in my blog post, The Day God Called Me to Women’s Ministry.
Prayer came easy to me in the beginning stages of ministry, because I was clueless. I needed God for everything. I needed Him to help me understand what was happening in my life. I needed Him to show me how to proceed in the future. I needed His vision and direction for this calling. So I prayed. However, I soon realized that while God had called and commissioned me, I could not do ministry alone.
In Ministry, We Need Prayer and We Need Others Committed to Pray
Not only do the called and commissioned pray, but they ask others to pray as well. We need other people, and we need their prayers. If God called and commissioned you, He also placed praying people around you. Look around at the people with whom God has surrounded you. The praying people usually stand out. The people who believe in you and your calling usually stand out. Those are the ones you want to join their hearts and prayers with yours.
Here is how to Identify your prayer partners:
1) Their passion and love for God is evident.
2) They highly value prayer.
3) There is a sense that they have been placed in your life by God.
4) Your life’s path keeps crossing with them
5) They believe in God’s calling on your life.
If you can make these five observations about a person, you have probably identified someone God placed in your life to be your prayer partner in ministry.
Why do we need prayer partners in ministry?
First, God never intended us to do ministry alone. Success in ministry will come when we are doing ministry with others. It is how He designed the church, the body of Christ to function and work together. I wrote about the impact of praying with others in Different Yet One. http://www.onfire-ministries.org/different/
Second, the Bible speaks to the necessity of praying together in various ways. We see that Paul needed prayer partners in Romans 15:30-32. And God gives promises to those who come together to pray in agreement in Matthew 18:19-20.
“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
When God’s people pray together, God honors those prayers with His presence and promise of provision. As believer’s join their hearts in prayer, it helps us move forward and progress as we follow God into ministry. Their prayers encourage and build our strength and confidence.
Once you have selected a few committed prayer partners, they need to hear specifics from you.
They need to know how to pray in agreement with you. So write out your list of prayer needs as related to God’s calling, commissioning, and ministry direction. Give them that list so that they can be focused in praying for those needs in their personal prayer time.
Finally, plan a regular time to pray together. When first getting started in ministry, try to set up a weekly time to come together and pray. Praying each week may only be for a season as you can always change the frequency of the times you pray together. For example, you might pray together once a week for the first month and then every other week or monthly after that. It won’t take long for you to see the value of praying together in ministry.
When you make prayer a high priority in your life and ministry, God will bless you and get you to the place where He wants you to go. So, dear sister, PRAY! PRAY! PRAY!