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NPPN Roundtable Article #061


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#061
    Pastors’ Prayer Groups: The Rhythm of Seasons & Reasons
    by Phil Miglioratti
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Pastors’ Prayer Groups: The Rhythm of Seasons & Reasons

On the 7th anniversary of the National Pastors’ Prayer Network, more than 850 Pastors’ Prayer Groups are proudly identified in our web directory (www.nppn.org/ppg). Each PPG is an indication of commitment; usually one Pastor who takes the initiative to call others to the place of prayer (Colossians 4:2) and several others who recognize both the need and potential of Pastors praying with and for one another.

Birthing a new PPG is never easy. The only task more difficult than starting a PPG is sustaining that PPG!

Even those PPGs that continue to meet year after year, do not necessarily sustain vitality and viability.

PPG leaders must recognize three types of participants:
    .Worship: Those who come primarily to pray and praise
        “Let’s pray…”
   .Relationship: Those who hunger for authentic fellowship
       “Let’s talk and get to know one another…”
   .Partnership: Those anxious for action
       “Prayer and talk is fine, but let’s do something!”

Many PPGs fail to sustain vitality because the leadership caters to only one of these three types.
    Too much talk will discourage those who want to pray and those who want to plan collaborative ministry.
    Too much discussion about what and how to reach the community turns the PPG into a task force.
    Prayer that goes vertical but not horizontal, fails to build relationships which enable the group to cooperate on combined ministry or collaborate on issues of justice and caring for the poor.

PPGs serious about impacting their community by influencing the lives and decisions of strategic leaders in their congregations and in their community must develop an intentional rhythm to their gatherings.

PPGs which meet monthly (or quarterly)  seldom develop a depth of relationship that acts as glue to keep the group together through the changes of seasons, ministry transfers, and the personal priorities and passions of individual members.

PPGs which meet more often and develop significant relationships often only pray for one another and fail to find a purpose that propels the group forward and outward.

PPGs that survive and succeed develop a rhythm…

€PPGs: Seasons

Yearly
    Event     - Prayer Summit
    Time Commitment     - 3 to 4 days
    Purpose     - Seeking Christ together as leaders of the
              Church in our City
    Grouping     - With pastors and leaders from across the city
    Format:
        .Inspiration – Brief scripture focus
        .Intercession – Extended sessions of prayer
        .Interaction – Facilitated  “unpacking” of what God has said

Quarterly
    Event    – Prayer Retreat
    Time Commitment     -6 to 8 hours
    Purpose     – Strengthen spiritual relationships and
               offer extended personal ministry for each member
    Grouping     – Your Pastors’ Prayer Group
    Format:
        .Worship – singing and scripture and supplication
        .Ministry – Praying for each member individually

Monthly
    Event     – Prayer Journeys
    Time Commitment     – 2 to 3 hours
    Purpose     – Bring prayer to strategic churches and city sites
    Grouping     – Your PPG
    Format:
        .Visit & pray with a nearby pastor
        .Travel to and pray with another PPG
        .Pray onsite (city hall, crime scene, business sector, school….)

Weekly
    Event    – Prayer Group
    Time Commitment     – 1 to 2 hours
    Purpose     - Praying with one another for one another and
               for revival  in the church that prompts a national
                spiritual awakening  leading to community
              transformation
    Grouping     – Your PPG
    Format:
        .Start on time
        .Encourage “catch-up” before and after
        .Facilitator sets the focus
        .Start praying!

Daily
    Event     – Prayer Prompts
    Time Commitment     – 3 to 5 minutes
    Purpose     - Praying for the members of your PPG
    Grouping     – Your personal commitment
    Format:
        .Prayer Partners, or
        .Each day of the week, all pray for the designated person, or
        .Employ Pastor Dee Duke’s method (Prayer Quest, NavPress)

€PPGs: Reasons

Every PPG encourages prayer for one another; most pray for each other’s congregations and ministries; many pray for revival and awakening – But the possibilities and potentialities are much greater, indeed.

    Worship
Praising and thanking God as leaders representing the Church (Acts 6:4).
Praying 2 Chronicles 7:14 on an individual and corporate basis.

    Fellowship
Praying for one another on a personal basis (James 15:13-20 ).

    Stewardship
Seeking strategy to deploy congregational giftings and resources to
fulfill the Great Commission.

    Leadership
Asking God for favor to cast vision for unity and call other leaders to prayer.

    Citizenship
Petitioning for divine appointments resulting in opportunities to serve the
political, educational, and business leaders in your community.

    Discipleship
Praying for wisdom to equip the saints to recognize the potential to be a
market place minister through their profession at their place of work or school.
    
€PPGs: A Prayer Format…

   UPWARD – Glory
Praise and exaltation
    DOWNWARD – Humility
Confession and repentance

    INWARD – Responsibility
Praying the desires of our heart
    OUTWARD – Ministry
Interceding for others; individuals, and institutions; systems and structures

    BACKWARD – History
Giving thanks for God’s powerful acts in Scripture and our community
    FORWARD – Destiny
Praying in hope; agreeing with God on His dreams & decisions
for the future of our community and country

So ...
    How long has it been since your PPG spent a day in prayer together without the interruption of cell phones?
    When was the last time you went together to a conference on prayer or to a Prayer Summit (www.prayersummits.net)?
    Are you hearing prayers that would lead to revival in the Church? A Christ-awakening in your community?
    Other than requests and petitions, do you hear a steady diet of thanksgiving? Prayers of corporate repentance? Intercession for local and national leaders?

As a PPG leader (or member), what can you do to sustain vitality and viability by utilizing the variety of seasons and reasons in the life cycle of the group?

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The NPPN Web Roundtable -

1. Distribute (e-cast or photocopy) to your Pastors’ Prayer Group

2.  Schedule a specific time to discuss the article

3. Assign one of the PPG members to facilitate the discussion and another to take notes

4. Consider using this format:
    “What?” is the author’s purpose? Points? Positives? Problems?
    “So What?” are the implications? Benefits? Barriers?
    “Now What?” can we do to implement what is good? Action points?

5. Send a synopsis of your discussion to the NPPN Web Roundtable:
    phil@nppn.org
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The NPPN Web Roundtable - -
This article will continue to be posted and distributed throughout the NPPN - with the ongoing addition of comments and questions from NPPN respondents. The NPPN produces and provides these articles to initiate a national conversation among pastors' prayer leaders. Opinions reflect the views of each author or respondent, not the NPPN or any other person or organization You are encouraged to contact the author or subsequent respondents directly. These ongoing discussions are intended to inspire, instruct, and inform those who lead pastors' prayer groups and facilitate pastors' prayer networks. The NPPN reserves the right to edit articles and responses for purposes of length or tone. Our call to humility and our commitment to biblical unity will serve as our guide and our guard.
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Add your insights to the NPPN "Web Roundtable"        http://www.nppn.org/CommentForm.htm
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Copyright 2004, NPPN - Permission granted for duplication or distribution among facilitators and intercessors who are committed to gathering pastors for prayer.

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--->Unless clearly identified as "Personal To _____" or "Confidential" all information and comments sent to phil@nppn.org will be considered for use in a future NPPN Update.
 --->Copyright 2003. However, permission is granted to freely redistribute to those who will partner in praying for and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone in our nation and beyond.
 --->Opinions reflect the views of each author or respondent, not the NPPN or any other person or organization
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