#006    STARTING A PASTORS’ PRAYER GROUP   By Phil Miglioratti

 

FIRST, PRAY!

You must have known that would be primary!

“Lord Of The Church,

How Would You Use Me

To Gather Pastors

So That We Might Pray To You With Humility & In Unity

Seeking Your Authority & Strategy

To Do Your Ministry & Declare Your Victory

To Everyone Throughout Our City!”

 

NEXT...KEEP PRAYING!

Ask the Lord to identify intercessors who will work with you to make this a:

Prayer-birthed strategy

Prayer-based ministry

Prayer-bathed activity

 

THEN, INVITE!

Most pastors are too busy to respond merely to a letter or flyer. Letters or flyers should include your personal invitation, describing your intent, and then should be followed up with a personal phone call. Like everything else in ministry...it’s about relationships, relationships, relationships!

WHEN YOU WRITE, CONSIDER PARAPHRASING SOME OF THESE THOUGHTS...

 

EACH PASTORS’ PRAYER GROUP LEADER:

Is a Christian who believes Jesus is the only Savior for the whole world;

God in human flesh.

Is committed to the “complete unity” the Lord Jesus desires for His Church.

Is praying for revival; an awakening and empowering of the church that

alerts and attracts the world to the gospel.

Is willing to call the pastors in his/her area to prayer.

Is asked to challenge the PPG to meet again; quarterly, monthly, weekly.

Is responsible to contact at least 12 pastors each time the group gathers.

Is asked to recruit one other pastor to begin a PPG.

Is to insure that their PPG cooperates rather than competes with local

ministerial and denominational groups.

Is responsible to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit by balancing both

spirit (freedom + diversity) & truth (scripture based prayers + petitions).

YOUR QUESTIONS...

WHAT IS A PASTORS’ PRAYER GROUP?

A gathering; not a ministerial or a new program or organization

Of pastors; those who shepherd the congregations in the community

Who pray; especially for revival, reconciliation and repentance.

“WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A PPG LEADER?”

A Pastors’ Prayer Group Leader:

 

“WHAT DOES A TYPICAL PPG MEETING LOOK LIKE?”

A circle of chairs.

At least 2 or 3 pastors; some in coat & tie, some in sport shirts.

A few Bibles....

“HOW LONG DOES THE MEETING LAST?”

An hour...at least

PPGs that gather often usually meet for 90 minutes; the first 30 devoted to

updating one another and the final 60 devoted to talking and listening to the Lord.

“WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FACILITATE THE MEETING?”

The PPG Leader facilitates by simply making sure the group:

.Begins and concludes at the times their invitation promised

.Introduce themselves to one another

.Knows they have freedom to pray “their own” way

.Stays focused on prayer

.Has opportunity to decide about frequency of future gatherings

“HOW DO I KEEP THE MEETING FOCUSED?”

When your PPG begins, use 1/59 Plan---1 minute to talk about whatever you want;

59 minutes to talk about whatever the Lord wants! Do not rehash last Sunday’s sermon or compare attendance statistics or talk to each other about prayer requests---”We are each here to pray...the Lord is ready to listen and speak...so let’s pray!”

“HOW DO I PREPARE FOR A PPG MEETING?”

Pray.

Ask the Lord to send those pastors he wants to meet with.

Seek a focus or “word” from the Lord that you could share as a spiritual headline.

Knock again and again, hoping the Lord will “add to your number”.

“WHAT HAPPENS AS THE PPG CONTINUES MEETING?”

Relationships. We discover that the Lord has called us together to pray...so that...we might begin to “love one another” by listening, encouraging, exhorting, and praying with & over one another.

Ministry. We find ourselves drawn to gather our people together for concerts of prayer, worship & praise, feeding the hungry, prayerwalking the community.

WARNING: If these benefits become the focus of the gathering, the group becomes a ministerial or task force rather than an opportunity to meet with the Chief Shepherd and receive his assignments. Prayer must be the initial and ongoing motivation for gathering. Whatever else the Lord brings through relationship or ministry, that must never replace or even crowd out time spent in intercession and petition.

“HOW CAN I TELL OTHER PASTORS HOW TO PRAY?”

You don’t...but since most pastors spend only a few minutes each day in prayer and have much to learn, your example and leadership will be essential. In fact, that is one of the reasons some avoid prayer groups; they are better at preaching to others about prayer than praying with others. But as the Holy Spirit sweeps over our cities, many are eager to pray in a manner that takes them into the presence of God

Simply explain that everyone prays differently; a result of our varied church styles and our varied personalities. “Please exercise the have freedom to sit, stand, kneel, lie prostrate or pace; just be careful not to distract others from their focus on the Lord. And leave the sermons in your office...direct your thoughts to God. If you disagree with the style or substance of someone’s prayer, honor them by keeping silent until you can discuss it in private.”

“BIBLES?”

Always bring your Bible to prayer.

This lets the group know you expect the Lord to do more than listen; you expect him to speak. And you expect him to speak through his written word as a foundation for our well intentioned prayers. The Holy Spirit will then be able to prompt prayers by leading individuals to scripture, making clear the mind of Christ. Encourage scripture reading, praying through a scripture passage, a song of praise...

“SONGS?”

You don’t have to sing professionally to use a song of praise to begin, direct to a new focus, or conclude in prayer. After all, praise is simply prayer with a melody.

“WHAT IF ONLY A FEW SHOW UP?”

Remember...Jesus shows up when even 2 or 3 gather in His name!

Focus on the authority you have together in Christ and the power of the Spirit. The size of your authority is determined by the size of your love for God’s people.

And don’t be disappointed if just the “anybody” pastors show up. This type of gathering usually draws pastors who truly understand they can never be too busy to pray and those who have the courage to be humbled before their colleagues.

 

“CAN YOU SUGGEST A FORMAT THAT MIGHT HELP US GET GOING?”

Rule #1 = Tear up the grocery lists!

Nothing hinders Holy Spirit guided prayer more than one person preaching-praying through a list of items!

You may want to use the word P-R-A-Y-E-R:

Praise!--Honor God for who he is & thank Him for what he has done

Repent!--Confess sins; personal and corporate

Ask !--Petition that God’s kingdom comes and his will is done

(God’s reign and rule in our lives, churches, communities).

Intercede on behalf of his people;lost and found.

Yield!--Humbly submit to the leadership & decisions of the Holy Spirit

Expect!--Release faith; when we pray his will, he answers

Rejoice!--Praise him for who he is and what he will do...

You may want to use a sequence of themes:

“We come together in humility...

Asking the Spirit to grant us unity...

So we may receive authority and strategy...

To do greater works of ministry...

And declare victory throughout the entire city!”

Or, “As shepherds in the church, we want to see---

Revival throughout the church

Reconciliation between peoples

Repentance in our nation

Redemption among those lost for eternity.”

Or: “Lord, tell us how to pray:

To the Father, in the name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit

We ask you, Jesus, to keep your promise to build your church

So that the gates of hell no longer prevail against us

We ask you to increase our faith so we make boldly obey your commands

We ask you to make us one as you and the Father are one so we work

together in unity and harmony

We ask you to fill us with your Holy Spirit so our ministry is not by our

might nor by our power but by your Spirit

We ask you to send workers into your harvest field so that you will add to

the church daily those you are saving

We ask you to help us to love one another so the world will know that you

love them and we are your disciples

We ask you to teach us to pray as we listen to our Chief Shepherd’s voice.”

Pray for:

Revival In Your Church

Reconciliation In Your City

Repentance In Your Nation...because

"When the princes in Israel take the lead,

When the people willingly offer themselves...praise the LORD!”

Judges 5:2

“HOW DO I BUILD THIS THING FROM SCRATCH?”

Consider the 1/3/12/120/5,000 Strategy our Lord & Leader used:

1 = The Apostle John.

Ask the Lord for a spiritual companion like John. Someone who will share the burden of this vision. It may be a prayer warrior in your congregation who never attends.

3 = Peter, James, and John

Ask the Lord for at least 3 other pastors who will see the vision and feel a passion to “go a little farther” in their commitment.Pastors who will make this gathering their priority.

12 = The 12 Apostles

Commit to make at least 12 personal contacts each time you call your PPG together. The very first PPG began when one pastor sent out a dozen letters, resulting in a PPG that has met weekly for nearly 6 years, then 300 letters which helped add 4 more PPGs a year later, then 2,000 letters which brought 200 pastors together in 3 dozen groups.

120 = The Believers in the Upper Room

Enlist the members of your congregation to pray for the PPG pastors and congregations. Tell them about your involvement and how it blesses you; those who love and care for you will be joyful to hear that you have this special time and place to meet with the Chief Shepherd while with other shepherds. Many of them have been praying for your spiritual nurturing and recognize this is an answer to our Lord’s prayer for the spiritual unity of His Church. Find a spot in your bulletin or on a monthly calendar to remind your church to prayer for your PPG...and for a great harvest in your region!

5,000 = The Curious and Hungry Crowds

Pray for your entire region.Intercede on behalf of every lost person in your area. Ask the Lord to make them curious about the gospel by empowering His Church to live wonder-filled lives. Seek him for ways to meet their needs practical and spiritual needs. Keep knocking in faith that every prayer of every pastor is heard and stored, made ready for a great release of power, truth, and love.

“WHY SHOULD I WANT THIS ADDED RESPONSIBILITY?”

Remember...Jesus prayed we would become one as he and the Father are one; a spiritual and organic unity. Our best attempts at unity have been theological and organizational. These efforts have yet to prove to the world that God sent Jesus as their salvation because he is in love with them!

This movement must begin with the pastors.

Praying together is the most effective way of beginning the kind of relationships that produce the kind of love that attracts that kind of attention.

Every new Pastors’ Prayer Group brings a powerful hope to another city that Jesus wept for and a people that Jesus died and rose for.

Is it really possible that you do not have an hour somewhere in your schedule for a task and a time such as this? What does your “boss” think?

 

MY QUESTION TO YOU...”WILL YOU PRAY ABOUT THIS?”

"What?"

I am convinced that Jesus has selected a pastor to begin a PPG in your area.

That pastor has already received a burden for prayer and a passion for unity.

Possibly you are that pastor.

"So What?"

Whenever pastors spend time seeking the Lord together, a blessing is released.

A personal blessing. For their family. Into their congregation. Throughout their region! Guaranteed!

"Now What?"

Every successful PPG is led by someone who takes the time to write, phone, even visit other pastors to invite, explain, and yes, remind them of the meeting.

Every PPG Leader is expected to make as many contacts as possible so that every pastor in the area (community, town, region) knows they have been invited to pray.

Talk with our Chief Shepherd, then let me know if I can add your name to the list!

I would like to help you initiate a new (or network several) Pastors’ Prayer Group.

Both the lost and the found in your area will be blessed if you do!

?-May I add your name to the growing list of PPG Leaders? Network Facilitators?

Phil Miglioratti

National Pastors’ Prayer Network

PASTORS’ PRAYER GROUPS

715 East Golf Road, Suite 205  Schaumburg, IL 60173

847/884-0007  847/884-0928 (fax)  phil@nppn.org   or   phil@nppn.org  (e-mail)  www.missionamerica.org/prayernetwork.html

 

NPPN FORUM—Your comments, questions, observations are welcomed if they add to our understanding, are constructive rather than critical or judgmental -Do not return nor edit the text; just the title, followed by your comments -Include your name and ministry role - Email your comments to: phil@nppn.org

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