5 Ways to Inspire a Churchwide Focus on Prayer in 2019
by Alison Zeller

For the Christian, praying is like breathing - totally and completely essential for life. How well is your church breathing in this spiritual oxygen? Is it a significant part of your worship service and your ministry programs?

Consider how much effort your ministry team puts into the other elements of worship. The music team practices throughout the week and you probably spend hours writing your sermons. But prayer? How much time do you spend leading and emphasizing your worshipers’ conversations with God?

While individuals are busy making New Year’s resolutions, make a churchwide resolution this year: encourage worshipers to go deeper into prayer! Children, new believers, grandmas and grandpas - all Christians can benefit from refocusing their prayer lives. And, by emphasizing prayer as a congregation, worshipers will be able to come together to support and encourage one another.
Pick one of these prayer-centered resolutions for your church in 2019:

  • Start an intentional study on prayer. To guide your study, use CTA’s book, How to Pray. It looks at the biblical promises surrounding prayer and uses God’s Word to encourage a deeper prayer life. Your study could also involve answering common questions or misconceptions regarding prayer.
  • Consider opening a prayer room in your church. This is a dedicated space where people of any age can come to praise their Creator or cry out to their Savior. Ideally, the prayer room should be free of distractions and open frequently, not just on Sunday mornings. For tips on planning your own prayer room, check out this blog.
  • Gather your ministry team and brainstorm ideas for a prayer vigil. You may associate this term with times of crisis, but a prayer vigil is an impactful event no matter when it’s held. You may have heard of the National Day of Prayer or See You at the Pole - these are types of prayer vigils, too. Think about gathering your congregation on a Saturday afternoon to “prayer walk the pews,” asking God to bless those who will fill the pews on Sunday.
  • Give worshipers the tools they need to improve their personal prayer time at home. Did you know that CTA offers prayer journals for men, women, and teens? Each prayer journal offers devotional prompts and space for writing. Send these prayer journals home during the first week in February and encourage worshipers to devote the month to deepening their prayer lives.
  • Select a few specific prayers from the Bible and memorize them as a congregation. You could choose a few psalms or prayerful verses. Then, use them in your weekly services and programs, and encourage worshipers to use the verses as part of their daily prayers.

Too often we lose our focus in prayer. Our conversation with God becomes a grocery list of needs or an afterthought as we lay in bed at night. But this New Year, use prayer to lift up the spirits of all who worship with you. Teach and lead your worshipers to fully realize the power of prayer - the comfort, peace, and joy that come from simply spending time in our Savior’s presence.

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