Developing Prayer Partners

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CNN NEWS BULLETIN…

We are here in Orlando, Florida at the site of the most incredible news story in all of recorded history. If I wasn’t here seeing it with my own eyes, I would not believe it. People are walking around in a stupor as all activity has stopped for miles around and everyone is looking up in the sky to see a 14,000 foot mountain in the middle of Florida!!!!! I have with me a local high school student who has reportedly taken responsibility for this cataclysmic event. John, can you tell the listening world what happened?

“Sure, dude! Well, I was reading my Bible and I came across something that Jesus said, and thought if Jesus said it then I could believe it. It was the part in Matthew 17:20 where He said, “if you have faith the size of a mustard seed you could move a mountain.” Well, I have lived in this town all my life and thought, hey, we could use a mountain around here so I asked God to move Pike’s Peak from Colorado to Florida, and here it is! It’s verse 21 that got my attention. This is where Jesus stressed the power of prayer and fasting. I hope people aren’t mad at me because I’m going to be praying a lot more now that I see Jesus was right!”

Do you feel like starting a ministry at your local high school campus is like moving a mountain? Well, without prayer, you might as well be moving a mountain. Here are some tips to help you get others to help you move your mountain! We are talking miracles here! Realize our work is spiritual. We work hard to make a difference in students’ lives and the world. But apart from God, we can do nothing of eternal significance. Prayer is absolutely essential if we are to see lasting fruit from our ministry efforts.

“…. apart from Me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5b Have you settled the issue in your heart? Are you willing to commit yourself to prayer?

RAISING UP PRAYER PARTNERS

As a leader, you need to be able to explain your vision to others. You are calling forth a team of people who will wage spiritual war on behalf of students and leaders. Here are a couple of principles you can use as you call forth those who will intercede:

  1. Clarify your vision.

    Know how to communicate it clearly one-on-one and to groups. Using “word pictures” will help people understand your mission, like moving a mountain, or bringing in a spiritual harvest.

  2. Call people to be intercessors on behalf of the students in their community

    Seek to find people who really believe in prayer. God has burdened some with an extraordinary calling to intercede. Find someone to serve as a Prayer Coordinator.

LET’S GET PRACTICAL – DEVELOP PRAYER STRATEGIES

Some strategies include:

  1. Use the school yearbook to pray by name for each student. Perhaps you could give the students and adults who are praying five or six specific students each.
  2. Assign each of your students, teachers or parents a set of lockers in the hallway of the school. They can pray for the students who use those lockers each time they walk down that hallway.
  3. Ask students and adults to make a “10 Most Wanted List” of students or families they would like to pray would come to faith in Christ. Encourage them to set a specific time to pray for them each day or week.
  4. Go to school board meetings. As you are listening, pray for each school board member and the issues they are discussing.
  5. o to the school in the morning before classes begin or in the afternoon. Walk around the campus, praying for students and school activities.
  6. Mobilize students to lead and participate in “See You at the Pole,” the national youth prayer rally that takes place each September.
  7. Pray through passages of scripture for the school and its students.
  8. Send a letter to every student in the school telling them your ministry simply wants to pray for them. Enclose a self-addressed envelope where they can include any specific prayer requests. Then be sure to pray for those requests. Ask God to give you opportunities to influence those students for Christ.
  9. Consider a 24-hour prayer chain where individuals volunteer to pray for a particular time slot during the day.
  10. Invite your prayer team to outreach sites to pray during the event.
  11. Call your team of student leaders and adult leaders together for a day of prayer and fasting.
  12. Begin or connect with a local mother’s prayer group (Mothers Who Care or Moms in Touch).
  13. Communicate, communicate, communicate. You must communicate requests and answers to prayer with your prayer team.
  14. Organize a clear prayer strategy. Some ideas are:
    • A prayer phone chain
    • A group of prayer partners who are communicated with via mail, fax or e-mail on a regular basis
    • A prayer team whose touch point is calling a local phone number with an answering machine updated regularly with requests and answers.

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You’ve read the article on “Involving Adults in Ministry” and know the importance of gathering a team to help you reach your campus. How do you start this gathering process? It begins with an Adult (Family Night) Informational Meeting.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Have this meeting in a place where people will feel comfortable. Once you start, welcome everyone and introduce yourself. Let them know briefly how you came to faith in Christ and why you want to reach out to students at your school.
  2. Talk about what it is like at the school, and communicate why this ministry is needed. Explain that it is more than a Bible club; your goal is to give everyone on campus a chance to receive Jesus. Share your vision with the people. An example of a vision statement is: “Our vision is to help fulfill the Great Commission among young people, giving every student the opportunity to respond to the salvation message of Jesus Christ, to be discipled in their Christian faith, and to be trained to reach others with the Gospel.”
  3. Then go into more details of how you will do this – your strategy:
    • Evangelism – To win young people to Christ
    • Discipleship – To build them up in their faith through studying the Bible
    • Challenge – To train and equip them to effectively communicate their faith in Christ with their peers
  4. Have a Christian student take a few minutes to share how God has used him/her to influence others at school.
  5. Then talk about a process that will get other students involved:
    1. Start meeting regularly to pray for the ministry.
    2. Meet with and challenge as many Christian students as possible to commit to being involved in a discipleship group.
    3. Begin to disciple the students who respond to that challenge and train them how to share their faith in Christ with others.
    4. Organize creative evangelistic outreaches and follow up students who come to Christ.
    5. When enough students are involved, begin having regular weekly meetings.
    6. Bring students to conferences and retreats that can help them grow in their relationship with Christ.

    This may seem overwhelming to people who have busy lives (including yourself ), so you need to give them some choices. Let them know some of these specific ways to get involved. Remind them that every act of service, no matter how small, is significant.

Involvement Options

  • They can help lead discipleship groups. They can provide transportation for students who can’t drive. They can open up their home for Bible studies or outreaches.
  • They can make flyers, bring refreshments, buy pizza, form a prayer chain.
  • They can form an Advisory Committee (like a board but with important legal differences), providing support and oversight for the local ministry.
  • They can give money to support your ministry.
  • They can give you names of students and other adults at your target school who may want to be involved.
  • And other ways you haven’t even thought of yet!

GET A COMMITMENT!!!

You don’t want your time and effort to have been wasted. Pass out a response card and have them fi ll it out. Let them know that you will get back with those who respond. Then don’t neglect to get back with them! It’s very de-motivating when someone signs up to help and never gets called back.

Close in prayer and break out the refreshments!