When I go through deep waters in ministry, my life saver has been in contacting our prayer team for extra prayer support. It’s also an encouragement to the prayer team to share celebrations of answered prayer.
However, when it comes to forming prayer teams we can be filled with conflicting thoughts:
- with all the needs around us, isn’t it selfish to ask people to pray for us? or
- it’s embarrassing to share personal needs which may reveal our weaknesses or
- can we trust people to keep matters confidential? and
- who can we approach to join our prayer team? Etc.
There is no place however for independence and ‘going alone’, in Christian ministry. As mentioned, having a prayer team surrounding us in prayer is probably the thing that has enabled Pam and me to persist in ministry for decades.
The apostle Paul had a team. Who is in your prayer team and do you regularly make use of them?
- Moses’ hands were held up by Aaron and Hur while he prayed for Joshua. Ex 17: 8-13. i.e. Joshua is fighting while Moses is praying. This is a picture of Moses interceding with his hands in the air. When his hands lowered and stopped praying the battle went against them. However they won the battle through intercession even though it was a small team.
- Even Jesus pleaded with his team of disciples to surround Him in prayer in Gethsemane’s garden. They didn’t do well. Matt 26:36-41.
- In ministry whether we realise it or not, you are facing great principalities and powers of darkness out to destroy you. Paul knew that and in writing to the church at Ephesus asks for prayer. He asked not that he would be kept from persecution, but that he might have the boldness to preach the gospel! Eph 6:19.
- “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” Matt 18:19.
- ‘Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favour granted us in answer to the prayers of many’ 2 Cor 1:11.
You need to be intentional about forming a prayer team. As it just won’t happen begin to pray and plan now!
If Moses and Paul acknowledged a need, so must we. Why?
- Because we are involved in a spiritual battle – Ephesians 6.
- We need godly wisdom and spiritual insight – James 1:5
- Our families are involved and also need prayer support. I well remember one day when 3 major things went wrong in our personal lives. Prayer helps us cope when these events come our way.
- We need prayer for direction and guidance. Be open for team members to give input.
How to choose people:
- Pray about who you should approach to join your team. They are often already friends or people you have a relationship with.
- Make sure they can be trusted with confidential details. Share as much as you think is wise.
- Chose people who know how to pray. Most will count it an honour to stand alongside you.
- Ask the prayer team for their input as to what they think God may be saying in your situation. Any encouragement from scripture, prophetic words and pictures are worthwhile.
How to keep them informed:
- Contact them regularly, at least once a month through emails, phone calls and various media apps as the needs arise. Urgent needs can be sent immediately.
- Share significant matters with them, not just trivial stuff.
- Give them answers to prayer, as a means of encouragement
- Thank them constantly for their valued support. That is essential.
Be open also to pray for their prayer needs. When you see fruit for your labour, give God the glory and remember people prayed!
There are many Biblical examples
‘Intercessory Prayer’ by Dutch Sheets
‘No easy road’ by Dick Eastman