Church of God Encouraging New Prayer Emphasis

praying chrch movement diamond 2.jpgThe Church of God (Cleveland, TN) is launching a new emphasis, encouraging its churches to up the prayer level. Under the leadership of Rev. Doug Small, the Praying Church Movement seeks to identify and mentor churches that desire to grow in prayer. Part of the strategy is both to use strong praying churches to encourage and mentor other churches and to connect these churches with experienced regional and national prayer leaders who can consult and coach prayer leaders.

In an effort to challenge churches as to what it means to be a praying church, the Church of God is asking churches that join the Praying Church Movement to sign a covenant of commitment related to what they are endeavoring to see happen in their congregation.

The covenant states:

The Seven Commitments of a Praying Church

  1. Led by a praying pastor, and aided by a prayer leadership team, we commit to bring prayer to the heart of all we do! “Without Christ, we can do nothing!” Therefore, our resources, spiritual and material; our plans and programs, we will bathe in prayer.
  2. We will encourage at-home, daily, to-be-like-Jesus praying. We will reestablish our personal and family altars. We will embrace the discipline of daily times with God, with one another as couples, and as families. We will champion the idea of “prayer rooms/closets.”
  3. We will call our congregation to regular “Great Days of Prayer!” with the goal of establishing a regular prayer meeting for the entire church at least monthly, if not, weekly. We will make the prayer meeting as important as Sunday Morning singing and preaching.
  4. We will honor those who carry a special calling to pray—intercessors. We will identify intercessors, encourage them, train them, team them, deploy them and debrief them.
  5. We will engage in prayer evangelism, turning prayer outward onto the neighborhood, the city, state and nation—and we will adopt a mission field for prayer, one near and one far. We will pray for the harvest. We will seek to identify the people for whom God has made us most responsible, and we will begin the process of evangelism in prayer, look for ways to care, and steward the opportunities to share the gospel.
  6. We will work toward the creation of a prayer room or center, a physical space dedicated to prayer at our church, and we will encourage the use of such a space by members and prayer groups. We will provide resources for prayer--that run through all our departments, until we have a praying church, and not merely a prayer ministry.
  7. We will offer regular training in the area of prayer for our people, leaders, intercessors, prayer evangelism, our youth and children, our families. The goal of a praying church is first to create a core group of people committed to prayer, with an initial goal to enroll 20% of its membership in some aspect of the prayer process. The focus is on changing the habits of the people. At-home prayer and at-church regular prayer meetings are two legs on which the prayer process advances. Eventually, the regular groups (7 for each 100 members). These prayer groups (3-12) operate around a specific focus for prayer! (Life-effectiveness is 6-18 months) PIT crews (personal intercessory support teams) should be considered. It takes 3-5 years to affect the culture of a church!

As part of this effort, the Praying Church Movement is also partnering with the Church Prayer Leaders Network (CPLN). Each church that joins the Praying Church Movement will automatically receive an annual membership to the CPLN. They will then have access to all that the CPLN offers in equipping, encouraging and mentoring prayer leaders. “We are excited to be partnering with the Praying Church Movement,” said CPLN president, Jonathan Graf. “This is a bold initiative the Church of God is seeking to do. I know that the kingdom results will be huge in those churches that participate.”

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