Sample excerpts taken from
"PARTNERS IN PRAYER"
By John Maxwell
[The following is a nice sample of a superb
book about effective prayer and prayer-partnering written
by John C. Maxwell. There is so much more vital information
included in this book than I have given you here. Consider
this as just an appetizer. So be sure to order "Partners
in Prayer" online at: http://www.christianbook.com.
You may also want to check out EQUIP'S site http://www.pastorsnet.org
where pastors and their families are linked with prayer
partners and caregivers. Applying the principles found
in the complete book will enliven and bring growth to
your congregation spiritually, which will then lead
to numeric growth as well.]
By Max Lucado
Some months ago I enjoyed a four-week summer
sabbatical. I set three goals during the month. First,
I wanted to plan an autumn series of lessons on grace
(which I did). Second, I aspired to break ninety on
the golf course (I did that too--once). And third, I
wanted to learn more about leadership skills. It was
through this third goal that I came to know John Maxwell.
A coworker recommended I seek his advice, so I gave
him a call. He invited me to come and speak to the Skyline
congregation in San Diego. I did. I gathered some ideas
on leadership, but much more, I gained a passion for
My Sunday at Skyline was bathed in prayer. The Prayer
Partners met me as I walked in the door and met me as
I walked off the platform. They were praying for me
as I flew, as I spoke, even as I rested. I was so convicted
about the importance of Prayer Partners that I asked
God to grant me 120 members who would covenant to pray
for me daily and pray with me fervently.
Upon returning to the pulpit I announced my dream to
the congregation. Within a month exactly 120 people
had volunteered to form the team. We divided the volunteers
into four groups and assigned each group one Sunday
per month on which they would arrive early and pray
for the congregation.
That was six months ago. Has God honored the prayers
of his people? Here is a sample of what God has done
since we organized Prayer Partners:
- We have broken our Sunday attendance record twice.
- We finished the year with our highest ever average
- We finished the year--hang on to your hat--over
- We added three new staff members and six new elders.
- We witnessed several significant healings.
- I completed a challenging book on grace.
- Our entire staff attended a part of the inaugural
Promise Keepers Pastors Conference
- Our church antagonism is down, and church unity
And most significantly, we called the church
to forty days of prayer and fasting, inviting God to
shine his face upon us. God has honored the prayers
of his people. More than ever I'm convinced: When
we work, we work; but when we pray, God works. (emphasis
Thank you, John Maxwell, for your example. Thank you
for going to the effort of putting into print what you
have put into practice. I speak for thousands who will
benefit from this book when I say: You're a friend to
all who dream of a growing kingdom.
UNLEASHING THE POTENTIAL OF PRAYER
Show me your ways, O LORD, teach
me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all
I grew up in a Christian household where
prayer was important. And as a pastor, I spent time
in prayer every day. But it wasn't until God brought
me a prayer partner that my life and ministry exploded
with power, and the results began to multiply in an
It all started in 1981 when I became the senior pastor
at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, California.
My wife, Margaret, and I moved to San Diego with our
children, Elizabeth and Joel Porter, after I spent two
years as the executive director of evangelism at Wesleyan
World Headquarters in Indiana. Before that I spent eleven
years as the pastor to two churches in Indiana and Ohio.
I was excited about being a pastor again, and especially
about coming to Skyline. I was eager to get to know
the staff, evaluate the church's ministries, assess
the leadership, and identify the key leaders who were
going to help me accomplish the church's mission. I
was trying to accomplish as much as I could as quickly
as I could, which was making me maintain a very heavy
On a Tuesday morning after I'd been at Skyline for about
six weeks, I was reviewing the day's schedule when I
saw an appointment scheduled for a person whose name
I didn't recognize.
"Who's Bill Klassen?" I asked.
"He's your ten o'clock appointment," replied Barbara,
"I see that, but who is he? Is he in leadership?" I
asked. I had spent the last few weeks focusing much
of my attention on getting to know the leaders in the
"No, he's not in leadership," said Barbara. "As a matter
of fact, he doesn't even go to church at Skyline." Barbara
could see that I wasn't happy. "He said he had to see
you. He was very persistent," she added emphatically.
"Well," I said, "give me about fifteen minutes with
him, and if we're not done, interrupt us." My plan was
to figure out what his agenda was, fix whatever problem
he had, kindly but quickly, and get on with the work
I had to get done that day.
ONE LAYPERSON CALLED TO PRAY
Bill turned out to be a gentleman of about
sixty with hair white as snow. His face was gentle,
almost radiant...He began telling me about himself,
how he had worked in construction in Canada and sold
sailboats in Washington and southern California, and
how he had worked for the Navigators ministry as a discipler.
"John," Bill said. "I believe God has called me--a layman--to
disciple, encourage, and pray for pastors. And the reason
I came here today was so that I could pray for you."
He wanted to pray for me? I thought. In all
my years as a pastor, I've never had a layman pray for
me. My own agenda began to melt away. I felt the
spirit of God crushing me, saying, "John, My agenda
is more important than yours. Your life is not like
a one-way street where you just minister to other people.
There are people who want to minister to you. I am sending
this layman to pray for you."...