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Prayer Team Essentials Prayer in the Congregation Prayer Partners
Pray the Bible Way Prayer Warrior Prayer Resource Table
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Create a Prayer Resource Table

When I went back to the local congregation of the Worldwide Church of God I was baptized in, I soon learned they were hurting, and diminishing in number. I knew that one of the main pillars of church growth, first spiritual, and then as a by-product, numeric, for Calvary Chapel congregations all across the country is their connective expository sermon format of preaching. This form of preaching teaches the Word of God in a very thorough manner, and in such a way that fosters a very close relationship between their members and Jesus Christ. The second main pillar of growth in their congregations is effective prayer. They both know what effective prayer is and practice it. They make books available that foster a thorough knowledge of what prayer is and how it works for the believer. Knowing this, and seeing the situation within my local congregation I (with permission) set up a Prayer Resource Table. I bought seven copies of Pastor Jim Cymbala's Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, and seven copies of Marie Chapian's Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy, and five copies of Basil Miller's George Muller, Man of Faith and Miracles (The personal story of one of the greatest prayer-warriors of the past century). These books I put on the table for loan. They are to this moment in almost total circulation all the time. The table focuses on one subject, and the most important subject in Christianity, because Christianity centers around our relationship with God. The Bible is merely a tool meant to lead believers into a good prayer-relationship with the Triune God that will last for eternity. So Prayer is the one of the main pillars of personal and church growth. I also included as free give-away books these two Calvary Basic's books, EFFECTIVE PRAYER LIFE, by Chuck Smith, and SPIRITUAL WARFARE, by Brodersen. These two booklets are very good, and Chuck Smith's EFFECTIVE PRAYER LIFE covers the subject of prayer very thoroughly in a short space of time. Another book I supply for borrowing is John C. Maxwell's PARTNER'S IN PRAYER, to help the congregation understand the principles of prayer and prayer partnering to assist their pastors. His book is available online at: . EFFECTIVE PRAYER LIFE and SPIRITUAL WARFARE are available online at: , click on OTHER MATERIALS, and scroll down to Calvary Basics Series and click on that. You'll find both books in that section. I don't know if you can order online yet, but I usually order by mail and ask for a bulk discount, explaining what it's for. I mail my order to this address: The Word For Today, P.O. Box 8000, Costa Mesa, CA 92628. The cost is $3.50 per booklet, but I usually get a better bulk rate from these wonderful people.

Now what has this table done? First, I notice that many people are friendlier and more spiritually alive in services, and hanging around to fellowship longer. The average weekly attendance has gone from 83 per week to 97 per week in a little over two months. And I personally sense a spiritual ground swell taking place. Our pastor has just started preaching using the connective expository sermon format, but it's too early for that to be having the effects I'm observing in our congregation right now. It has to be this resource table. It wouldn't hurt to read some of the books, and promote them in the pulpit, devoting a few sermons to giving short book reviews of the contents of some of them. My pastor in that local Calvary Chapel did this with Pastor Cymbala's Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire and I went right out and bought it. But not everybody will do that. But when you make it available for borrowing as a resource, they snap it up in a flash. People read these books, and then rave about them to their church friends, and when they return them, they're snatched up by these friends. And so it goes, spiritual fires being lighted on a constant basis.

Another thing I do is print up a one page insert ad, listing the books available for borrowing and the books available for taking free, and place this within the church bulletin on a weekly basis. Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire and Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy I usually order from because they are fast. You might try as well (list by title and author in the search section.) I have found them at both sources.

And before you do any of this, purchase the books for yourself and read each one through completely. Practice what you preach. And then spread the word.

Another resource you may provide for your cassette library is Charles Stanley's six tape series titled LEARNING TO PRAY THE BIBLE WAY. It is truly an awesome series on effective prayer. It is available online at: . (Click on Product Search, go to Topic Search and click on Prayer, then click Search. You'll find LEARNING TO PRAY THE BIBLE WAY about 20 items down. As a pastor resource on prayer, you'll find this an awesome resource. Cost $33.00, but worth every penny.)

Now what is the real purpose of this prayer resource table? All the books offered are easy to read, most being biographies of very interesting Christians who lead exciting lives because of their intercessory prayers. These books, being easy and interesting to read will readily turn your congregation on to intercessory prayer, and many will have their prayer lives transformed as a direct result of reading them. What then? One of the books mentioned is not so easy to read. It is more like a textbook. Pastor John C. Maxwell's book, PARTNERS IN PRAYER teaches about prayer-partnering between congregation and pastor. The statistics mentioned in this book about church growth as a direct result of prayer-partnering, both spiritual and numeric, are simply astounding. From dying congregations of 25 or less becoming congregations of 500 or more, to a congregation whose growth had hit a plateau at 500 growing to over 1500 in three years. But this book is not easily digested by pastor or local member until they are turned on to the subject of intercessory prayer. That is the purpose of the prayer resource table. Each book I have selected is highly interesting and easy to read. They are Christian adventure stories, all hard to put down once started. Pastor Maxwell's PARTNERS IN PRAYER is better taught in segments, chapter by chapter. That's why, at the end of this article there is a link, going to a secondary title page which has transcripts of the individual chapters of John Maxwell's book which can be downloaded and printed up by pastors to make notebooks for class instruction on prayer partnering. It should be taught, chapter by chapter, and not all at once. Copies of the book PARTNERS IN PRAYER should also be ordered for all the people desiring to be a part of a prayer-partner ministry, as these chapters segments are also excerpts and not the complete text. [CLICK HERE to access the individual chapter excerpts of PARTNERS IN PRAYER.]

"Unity Meditative Prayer-Groups is looking for a few good prayer-warriors (to quote the famous US Marine Corp ad). These groups are strictly for those who are interested in the type of prayer-group that will both strongly enhance their own personal walk with Christ, as well as assist in bringing powerful spiritual unity within the entire body of Christ. CLICK HERE to read more about these Unity Meditative Prayer-Groups."


content Editor Peter Benson -- no copyright, except where noted.  Please feel free to use this material for instruction and edification
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