Someone once said: “Ministry without prayer becomes work in the power of the flesh. Prayer without ministry is complacent Christianity. A hour of prayer at the beginning of the meeting actually shortens the overall meeting time by bringing a greater spirit of unity, by emphasizing spiritual priorities, and by opening people’s hearts to the Spirit’s guidance,” (Anonymous).
Many of us may know this to be true but making prayer a greater part of a classis meeting can be daunting. Where do you start? Doug Kamstra, in his “Classical Prayer Leader’s Resources” binder gives a few ways of getting started praying at Classis:
- Stop to pray before important discussions
- Pray for three churches at each meeting
- Pair up churches. Have the delegates from one church pray for the other; then the delegates from the second church pray for the first.
- Begin with a concert of prayer. The chair of the previous classis could serve as the leader.
- Have a prayer room available at each classis meeting
- Have a staffed prayer room available at each classis meeting. Provide the intercessors with an agenda.
- Have each church share one item for thanksgiving and one item for intercession during roll call (or have them added to the credentials)
- Pray for these items as a whole group
- Break into small groups to pray for them
- Print them up and pass them out as a bulletin insert for the churches
- Give them to the (staffed) prayer room to be prayed for throughout the day
- Invite intercessors to attend each meeting of classis to pray (in the session, silently) for the items being discussed.
- When ministers present their reports (both classis ministries and outside ministries) as a member of classis to offer a brief prayer.
- Invite delegates, intercessors and interested persons to a special prayer meeting for classis held either the evening before (if your churches are close together) or beginning an hour before classis begins the morning.
- Have people from the classis come and share their testimony (of how a church in classis or a ministry classis sponsors and/or supports) and follow this up with prayer.
Praying at classis meetings does not have to be elaborate. We just need to start making prayer a part of the day rather than an afterthought. Begin small and then see where prayer brings you. You just may find out that soon you cannot do without.