The community around our church needs just as much attention as the community within our church. Prayer Warriors wear athletic shoes.
They walk, pray, and connect. In some churches, I’ve seen prayer warriors stand in the lobby, wearing their name tags, and sometimes they approach. Most times, they wait to be approached. If your church is located in a quiet neighborhood, that’s your only option.
However, if your church is located near busy areas where people tarry and walk, perhaps where festivals occur, then your prayer warriors should put on their walking shoes and leave the church lobby. Let those who are elderly and have physical limitations remain behind to pray with the congregation. Prayer Warriors should reach out every Sunday, meeting up with others in their community, getting updates or new prayer requests. Prayer ministries are more than just people who bow their heads and pray; prayer ministries should be about creating community, too, one handshake and one conversation at a time.
Every week in spite of rejection or acceptance, bone-deep weariness or burn-out, a prayer warrior must reconnect, get updates, and continually pray. It’s not just a polite thing or a political thing to make a church or person seem more caring. It’s a lot of behind the scenes, on your knees kind of work. It’s socializing and conversation. Some churches have what they call a Street Team, but to me, that’s just selling Jesus instead of showing how Jesus has influenced our hearts.
Send your prayer warriors out into the streets to connect with believers and non-believers. Here are some tips:
1: Don’t hide your Bible. Someone said they were taught to keep your Bible hidden bringing it out only when you need it. I disagree. To be authentic, we need to reveal our intentions and be open about what we believe and be ready to answer questions or take insult with a smile.
2: Don’t Sell Them Jesus. You don’t know their background or what they believe. Trust in the Holy Spirit to direct your mouth and feet. Approach a person with pen and paper ready and ask them if there are any prayer requests you can pray over during the week. Tell them what church you attend. It helps if your church gives you a name tag that identifies you are with a prayer team. Your goal is to love and that means you may spend a lot of time listening, conversing, and praying. You might jot down the prayer request and pray over it during the week, instead of on the spot. It all depends upon the person.
3: You Represent Your Church. Keep the conversation focused on prayer requests. In this time of our lives, politics are on everyone’s mind. Some use politics to deflect your request and push you away.
4: Follow-Up. Look for last week’s people—the people you prayed for—and get updates or say hello. Show them they are valued by talking to them, too.
5: Don’t Trade Insults or Get Angry. Jokes are common as are prayer requests for world peace from those who want to put some distance from you. Laugh at yourself. The rewards are keeping connections open in future run-ins. In some instances though, you may walk into a dangerous situation like the girl who was hit across the face with her own bible. She never pressed charges or lost her temper, but it could have gone much worse. Always bring a second person as a witness.
6: Mentoring Youth. Try to get the youth in your church to join you. Mentor them to become prayer warriors. Choose only those who can keep confidences.
And finally, remember the enemy doesn’t like it when people pray. A church should be built on prayer and every prayer warrior is needed in this culture–the ones who pray during the week, the ones who are available on Sunday, and those who pray at home. Prayer is the only effective way to change a culture.
How does your prayer group work? Describe your experiences in a prayer group.