Recently at a YOU Lead women’s leadership training, we had a panel answering questions submitted by attendees. Several past and upcoming posts address those and try to help answer them. This is the first in a series of 5 posts on this subject.
Today’s question is: What does the “prayer group” look like in your church? How many are in the group. How often do they meet? What is the structure of a prayer meeting?
Well, there are probably as many answers here as there are types of churches in existence! So, as with all aspects of women’s ministry, there is no one formula that will fit all churches. BUT, there are some principles and ideas that might spur a group to embrace prayer and prayer groups as essential to their ministry. I will address this topic in several blog posts so keep watching!
Why should we pray, not only individually but with our team and other groups of women? Several reasons stand out:
God commanded it
Prayer paves the way
Answered prayer builds the body
Prayer puts God on the throne
Prayer teaches us to seek His face
Prayer sensitizes your group
So, what else do we need to know before we begin to bring women together in prayer?
1. We must understand that prayer lays the foundation for all aspects of ministry with women. In scripture Jesus says, “when” not “if” you pray! (see Matthew 6:9 and Luke 11:2) So it’s understood that we will pray! And the most important thing is not getting an answer, but getting to know the One who answers…building a love relationship with Christ. When our focus is right and we are truly seeking His interests, then we know how to pray and we expect God to answer His way and in His timing.
2. Next we must be willing to change for Him. Are we truly willing to listen and respond to whatever He tells us? Perhaps we need to stop doing something we’ve done for a long time in ministry to women, or maybe we need to add a new element.
3. Then are we really willing to focus on serving others first? When our women’s minister came on staff at the church where I attend and serve, the first thing she did was wash our feet, pray for us and then instructed our team that we were to become a “servant” team, serving the women in our church and community. In Transformed Lives, the author of one of the chapters on prayer, John Franklin, said this : “God is not nearly as concerned with number of people involved in your ministry as He is with whether or not you love the number He gives you regardless of their actions”. We must focus on serving these women He brings to our church.
Watch for upcoming blog posts in the prayer series.
Some great prayer resources:
Transformed Lives: Taking women’s Ministry to the Next Level, compiled by Chris Adams (Some
of the information above was taken from this resource)
He Speaks to Me, Priscilla Shirer
Discerning God’s Voice, Priscilla Shirer
Oh, God, Please, Leighann McCoy
Whispers of Hope, Beth Moore
Lord, Teach Me to Pray, Kay Arthur
Disciples PrayerLife, Hunt & Walker
Various Studies on Prayer by Jennifer Kennedy Dean
In God’s Presence, T. W. Hunt
The Prayer of Jesus, Ken Hemphill
Follow Me: Lessons for Becoming a Prayerwalker, Randy Sprinkle