Presentation on theme: "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2, NIV."— Presentation transcript:
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2, NIV
Most Christians agree that prayer is fundamental to the health and growth of a church. Yet, sadly, many churches dont have a place set aside in their facility specifically dedicated to prayer. This presentation is designed to give some ideas for developing and establishing a prayer room in your church. For illustrative purposes, we draw from the prayer room and prayer ministries at Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri. Obviously, every church is unique. Size of facility and congregation, ministries of the church, and makeup of the church body all enter into the equation of creating such a room. Yet, it is our hope that this example will provide you with ideas and encouragement as you build the prayer ministry in your own church.
This presentation is directed at the leader of prayer ministries in your church. As such, it is important that you seek God for a unique and clear vision of what this prayer room can and ought to become within your congregation. However, for general reference, we want to share Central Assemblys stated purpose for their prayer room: The purpose of The Prayer Room @ Central is ultimately to carry out Centrals vision and to create a culture of prayer. More than a room, The Prayer Room is a place where people can learn about prayer, experience Gods presence, and pray together; a place of strategic significance, where you can pray for the world, our country, and our city; a place of connection where you can pray for our staff, our church, and other people; a place of deep, sincere connection with God.
A prominent sign directing people to the prayer room can accomplish at least two goals: First, it reminds churchgoers that prayer is a central part of how they worship God, grow as believers, and reach the community. Giving visibility to the prayer room helps to highlight the importance your church places on prayer. Second, such visibility reminds churchgoers that theres a room devoted to prayer waiting just for them. Their prayers are needed. After all, the best of intentions often gets lost in the busy-ness of life. A reminder to pray is a good thing. At Central Assembly, the prayer sign is clearly visible at the main entrance. There are many ways you might accomplish this: a signpost, a framed sign, a painted arrow worked into the décor of the wall. See what works best for your church.
Try to provide clear, visible signage for the prayer room. Its important that people in the congregation are able to find it easily. This is especially true in larger facilities, or when the prayer room also functions as a classroom or serves another purpose during Sunday or Midweek activities. A special note on this subject: If possible, it is good to locate the room on the main floor of the church. Some people will have difficulty accessing the prayer room if they have to climb stairs.
While it is desirable that the church have a room exclusively devoted to prayer, this is not always practical, or even possible. As a result, the prayer room often doubles as a class room, nursery, or even storage room. In the case of Central Assembly, as the photo depicts, the room is used every week for a Sunday School class. In such cases, it is still possible to give the room a clear, powerful prayer focus. The following pictures will demonstrate how even a shared room can be uniquely focused on prayer ministry.
Before moving on, its also important to note that the prayer room need not be particularly large, or even highly decorated. A small, simple room devoted to prayer ministry will bring about the kind of spiritual fruit in a church that only eternity will fully reveal.
A great way to decorate the prayer room is by highlighting specific prayer needs and emphases within the church. The Central Assembly prayer room has a bulletin board featuring every member of the pastoral staff and their families. We do well to remember our church leadership in our prayers regularly.
Similarly, the board members and their families are highlighted for prayer in the prayer room. You might want to expand on this in your prayer room by listing or picturing youth leaders, childrens ministry leaders, Sunday School teachers, or other leaders in your church. Again, we encourage you to tailor your room to fit the unique ministries and personality of your congregation.
A computer monitor highlights specific needs in the area of missions around the world. AG World Missions provides valuable software and equipment to makes this possible. More information is contained below. The World Missions Touchscreen software enables prayer partners to have the world at their fingertips. A computer touchscreen allows us to meet our missionaries through videos, biographies and prayer requests, which are regularly updated, and learn what God is doing in the more that 200 countries and territories where our missionaries live and work. Visit worldtouchscreen.ag.org to learn more.
A map of the world serves as a reminder to pray for needs around the planet. You might enhance this feature by highlighting specific world missionaries and ministries supported by your church. Some prayer rooms will post pictures of the missionaries around the map, then draw lines or string thread to their specific locations. This can help put a face to the support your church gives to ministries throughout the world.
In a similar way, a map of our nation is featured. As with the world map, you might highlight ministries and missionaries your church supports around the country. In addition, you could invite members of the congregation to share needs regarding cities or regions of the country they call home. This is especially valuable if you have a large college population in your church. And, in our increasingly mobile society, more and more of us have relocated to our current homes from far-off corners of the country.
The city map allows you to highlight specific ministries and outreaches engaged in by your congregation throughout the community. You might also feature a specific school, neighborhood, or pertinent need from the community on a regular basis. This serves the dual purpose of encouraging prayer for your city and helping to develop a heart and passion for the community among your congregation.
Note that if your prayer room also serves as a classroom, you can still arrange it specifically for prayer during much of the week. If it must be used as a classroom, seek to ensure that it is open for prayer during the morning service. One of the most powerful displays of prayer ministry occurs when prayer partners seek God on behalf of the pastor and congregation during that hour. Also consider configuring the room in a way that promotes intimate prayer whenever possible. In the picture just viewed, the room is set up for Sunday School. However, the chairs can be placed in a circle or even lined up as an altar in front during most of the week. In the same way, installing lighting that can be dimmed can be more cost effective than one might imagine, especially if there is someone in the church qualified to install it on a volunteer basis.
We again encourage you to tailor your prayer room according to your unique congregation, facility, and budget. The fundamental goal is to provide a dedicated place for prayer in your church. Only eternity will reveal the fruits of committed prayer within your church, be they focused on your congregation, your community, and throughout our world. Be sure to check out our Web site for additional resources on establishing a prayer room and equipping a prayer ministry, at www.prayer.ag.org