Someone once said: “Ministry without prayer becomes work in the power of the flesh. Prayer without ministry is complacent Christianity. An 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.