How Are Elders and Prayer Leaders Equipped to Pray for Worship and With Others After Worship?

Comments (25)

We recently received a couple questions from a church prayer team leader.

She is wondering two things:

  • "How do we train and equip people to pray for the worship, gathering congregation, pastor, and those who lead?" 
  • "How do we prepare those who pray WITH and FOR others after the service?" 

Let's help her out! Please share your best practices, ideas and resources. 

Posted in:
  • Prayer
  • Worship
  • Q&A

Let's Discuss…

We love your comments! Thanks for your help upholding the Community Guidelines to make this an encouraging and respectful community for everyone.
Community Builder

I'm afraid I don't have an answer as we do not train our post-service prayer volunteers. I'm realizing what an oversight that is. We choose people who are mature in their Christian life, model a life of prayer and wish to be there for others. I can see where training can be affective and bring more depth and meaning to the prayers that are prayed. I look forward to other people's answers.

Guide

One set of resources that I would like to offer is the Embers to Flames Prayer videos. The videos are a recording of a 12 week prayer training that took place last year in Holland, MI at Calvary CRC. Many have found the training to be very helpful in teaching people to deepen their prayer life. 

You can find them on the Home Missions Great Lakes Team website. Follow this link and scroll down the page to "Watch Embers to Flames Videos here". The handouts and class materials are all posted on the page! 

Another good resource is The Worship Sourcebook - it has many prayers suggested for the different elements of the worship service - prayers can be read directly or used as a guideline to pray your own prayer. There is also Prayers of the People - a shorter book of model prayers to help someone pray in church. I would think these could be helpful training tools.

Guide

Great suggestion, Diane!

 

Community Builder

I've really appreciated the Presbyterian Reformed Ministries International trainings that I've participated in, including some at their training center in Black Mountain, NC. For more information see prmi.org

This is an important question.  Thanks for asking it Sam.  In our church I periodically lead a one hour training class for those who will be praying with others after the service.  I have led this in other churches as well upon occasion.  I will give you an abbreviated quick summary of the course.  Basically this session includes things like:  1.  Self preparation (self examination, confession, humility, dependence upon the Spirit, not self, etc.)  2. A little teaching about the ministry of the Holy Spirit - as prayer servants we are totally dependent upon the gifts of the Holy Spirit as we pray for others and ask God to do His work.  3.  We minister under authority of the governing elders of this church.  We follow their leadership and direction.  4.  General Etiquette (Bible, name badge, breath mints, anointing oil, modest dress, personal hygiene).  Pray in pairs or teams when possible.  Ask permission before laying on hands or anointing with oil.  LISTEN!  Avoid telling your own story, listen well to theirs.  Keep one ear to the Holy Spirit and one ear to what person is telling you.  In this context, you don't have too much time for them to talk, so you may need to gently say, "What I am hearing you say is you need prayer for ______; let's pray about that now."  Then start to pray.  Help redirect them from talking too much to seeking the Lord.  Keep your eyes open and watch for visible manifestations of the Spirit's working and evidences of healing.  For example, you may see tears stream down their face when you pray certain things and you know you are right on and the Spirit it working.  You may witness peace flooding over a person.  5.  After listening carefully to the person, seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, choose a prayer strategy.  ex. PRAISE,  Often if we start with praising God, our hearts and minds are opened up to what God may have in mind and clarity may come even if at first you have no idea how to pray.  PRAY IN AUTHORITY OF JESUS,  Always pray in Jesus' name and from our identity in Christ.  INTERCESSION - LISTEN - LOVE - PRAY,  Stand in the gap for the person bringing their needs before the Throne of Grace. BLESSING - If you don't have a clear direction on how to start to pray, you can always pray blessings over the person.  Remember Al VandeGriend's BLESS acronym. Body, Labor, Emotional, Social, Spiritual.  That will give you a good start and the Holy Spirit will flow as you obediently pray.  6.  How to Pray for Healing - How to anoint with oil (James 5:14-18).  Pray in faith believing God to provide answers.  He may not do what we thought, but He will always do something!  Pray expectantly!  7.  Pray Biblically!  Let the Holy Spirit remind you of scriptures and let them roll off your tongue as you pray.  8.  Do not be judgmental or condemning.  It is not our place to judge.  Keep everything that you hear in confidence (unless someone is going to hurt themselves or others - or if you have their permission to tell the pastor or some other key person that should know about this.) 9.  End the session also in PRAISE!  Praise God for what He has done and what He will continue to do in this person's life.  10.  Cutting Free Prayer.  It is a good spiritual practice to always pray after you have ministered to others to give to God all of the things you have heard, all of the burdens, they are not ours to bear.  Also cut free of any ways the enemy may try to attach, defile or transfer his ick to you.  Refuse it in Jesus' name.  Now that was indeed a crash course in prayer ministry!  Go forth to love and serve Him and watch Him do all the work!

 

 

Guide

Thanks Mary! I can't wait to hear what others have to say.

Community Builder

Thanks Mary! Good stuff here. May I copy and use some of your words? I may come to you specifically and ask some more questions too, if I may?

 

 

yes of course Katy, and others, that is why I typed it all out.  Use it!

While we are waiting for what others have to say, I remembered a couple of very important and accessible resources that will address this very question.  Pastor Dave Huizenga has prayer resources that can be accessed on the web through Empowerment Institute, www.empowermentinstitute.org.

Harvest Prayer Ministries has a brochure called "Praying Through The Worship Service" - Training for Intercessors - The Praying Church Series 2000.  It can be downloaded from www.harvestprayer.com.  Topics are Preparation for Prayer, The Place of Prayer, How to Pray through the Worship Service, Additional Suggestions.

Hope this all helps!

Participant

If you want to equip people for prayer for deep healing, you can look at Terry Wardles website, Healing Care: a ministry of formational prayer.  Actually, I will be going to a three and a half day training, from Jan 13-16, at Ashland Theological Seminary, where Terry teaches, on Prayer Formation.  Several other people (mostly shepherding elders and prayer ministry volunteers) from my church are also going.

Joel,

that is so exciting that you and a group are going to the Formational Prayer Training.  I have had that on my to-do list for several years. Pastor Bob Boersma and a group from Providence CRC in Cutlerville also went to that training this year.  It is good training for those who will be involved in deeper level of healing prayer than the "after church" altar ministry.  Mary.

Community Builder

I used to be a part of a prayer ministry before taking my current position in Grand Rapids. Several people from our prayer team went to Terry Wardle's training at Ashland Theological Seminary and found it very valuable in our work of prayer ministry. I've used information from his book and website.

Guide

What is the name of Terry Wardle's book?

Community Builder

It's called "Healing Care, Healing Prayer". 

 

Participant

Hi Sam,  Actually, Terry Wardle has written at least ten books, but the one specific to this discussion is "Healing Care - Healing Prayer."

Guide

Just ordered the book!

Community Builder

Mary is right that this is designed for a deeper inner healing kind of prayer - not after the service on Sunday. In our ministry people signed up for prayer appointments with a 2-3 person prayer team. We scheduled 2 hours for a prayer appointment.

Guide

It would be interesting and helpful to outline the differences between healing prayer after a service and a healing prayer appointment. 

I understand that time is one factor. What are other differences?

Sam,

Just very quickly in a nutshell, after church prayer team prayers are going to be fairly quick, but that does not mean necessarily "light".  I have seen persons healed in this time frame and I believe that God is delighted when persons come to church and walk out healed and transformed.  That is church!  That is the gospel!  That is the Kingdom at work!  I pray that would happen every week at every church.

A deeper healing prayer appointment, that would be set up for a couple of hours or more, digs way down to spiritual roots that may be causing the trouble or dysfunction. Sometimes things are systematically confessed, forgiven, delivered.  Some times deep inner wounds from childhood are healed in these sessions.  Your after church prayer ministry time is kind of like Triage, and some of those persons ought be referred to someone for more intensified healing prayer by those who are trained in such.

Mary

Community Builder

That sounds like a good response Mary. Thanks. I like the image of after church prayer being more like triage, but also recognizing that God is not limited, and he can do significant work in a very short time frame. 

One image that sticks in my mind from my prayer ministry days is that of the paralyzed man who was brought to Jesus by his friends who had to break through the roof to get to him. Sometimes there is work to do to get people to Jesus - but that is always the posture in prayer ministry, bringing folks into the presence of Jesus and letting Jesus do what he will. Often it's not what we would expect or can even imagine. The passage says that Jesus saw the faith of the man's friends, and healed him. Sometimes we need to have faith for one another. It's a great image for me of healing prayer.

As a prayer ministry group we also met regularly to practice praying with and for one another. We also went through a Theophostic video training course (Ed Smith) and we read a book by Leanne Payne together. Regular time as a community, practicing with one another and learning together was wonderful for all of us and built a lot of trust in the group as well. (It was an ecumenical group, so we didn't all go to the same church). We didn't stick to one process or procedure, but felt our learning together gave us several "tools" that we could use, under the direction of the Holy Spirit. The main thing is bringing someone into the presence of Jesus so that Jesus can do his healing work, whatever that may be. Learning to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and Listen to the voice of Jesus is important.

Praise Jesus!  I love that He has us on similar journeys even though they were not overlapped.

We did a once a month healing prayer time for anyone that would like to come at Discovery CRC Church (in Cutlerville) for a couple of years while we were all learning.  I am thinking of starting something like that up again.  So I guess I will just throw it out there.  I would be open to anyone to come, those who have been through the Embers to Flames prayer training, those who want to come and receive prayer, those who want to come and learn, those who want to come to be together with the body of Christ in the Presence of Jesus....

Anyone interested?

Community Builder

I would be very, very interested. 

Community Builder

I would consider being a part of such a group!

Community Builder

Please let me know if one is planned!

© 2014 Christian Reformed Church in North America. All rights reserved.
For website questions or corrections, use the feedback tab at right or contact us.