INNER ~ VIEWS #008 Mell
*Mell, tell us first about your role with the National Association of Local Church Prayer Leaders.
I am the National Director of Church Relations. As a ministry we exist to help pastors and prayer leaders initiate, sustain, and expand prayer ministries within their church.
*What led to the new book you have complied, Fight on Your Knees: Calling Men to Action Through Transforming Prayer?
In Colorado Springs, we are seeing men respond to a new call
to pray. We have seen an average of about 250 to 300 men attend periodic prayer
gatherings. We designed the meeting with a masculine context and we’ve kept the
talking to a minimum. Everyday believing men are responding well, and they are
actually amazed that they can spend an hour and half in prayer and worship.
After personally seeing this new surge in men praying, I wanted to help
motivate men across our nation to seek the Lord.
Many men feel powerless, hopeless, and purposeless. These
negative attitudes are removed as men experience the power of praying God’s
purposes into their lives, families, and cities. We give men direction and
guidance into their calling to be freedom fighters on their knees.
I’ll lift out a quote from the conclusion that Coach McCartney wrote, “If we want to see our nation change, we now have a window of opportunity. With all the instability in the world, what are we to do? If you are a Christian, this call to war is inside you. It is resonating with your spirit. And I want you to know that you, as one man, are not powerless. You can make a big difference.”
Jack Hayford once said, “As the men go so goes the church.”
We can add, as the men go so goes the nation. It is incredible what happens in
a family when men start praying consistently with their wives and children. One
survey noted that, “When couples pray together daily, only one out of hundred
divorces.” I can’t think of a better way to build a healthy church than to
build healthy families.
In addition to personal devotions, we have included sections
on how to pray for your pastor and church. One chapter that pastors will
rejoice about is entitled, “Men Under Authority.” It’s all about men properly
relating to their church leadership. There is also a powerful appendix, which
you wrote, Phil, entitled, “Pastors’ Strategies for Mobilizing Men to Pray.” We
have another appendix that provides guidelines for conducting a men’s prayer
Quin Sherrer wrote of the book, “Every Christian man who has
wondered how to pray and every wife who wanted him to pray with her and for her
will find this a ‘must read’ book for their home.”
Historically women have been responsible for carrying much of the prayer burden for our churches. As a man, I am forever grateful for the leadership women have given to the prayer movement! Phil, you said it best when you described prayer as a plane and you noted that the women’s wing has been strong and doing well, but now God is calling men to become more active in prayer and build the other wing of prayer for the prayer force in our churches to have optimum impact.
Yes, we have a chapter called “The Warrior’s Heart” written by
Jim Chosa, a Native American, who describes how the Crow Nation trained their
young men to be warriors. Steve Shanklin contributed a chapter on “The Legacy
of a Praying Father” with sections on prayer mentoring and how living a life of
integrity influences the well being of our children.
*Lately, the Body of Christ has been encouraged to avoid militant terms, such as crusade ... Could this book incite an extreme reaction or be offensive to those we are praying for?
Deep inside every Christian man is the call to be a warrior
who will give his life for those he loves. We are not encouraging any kind of
militant, aggressive action against other faiths or ethnic groups. What we are
calling men to is to be self-sacrificing, godly men who will stop being
self-absorbed and will pray for their families, cities, and nation. As Dutch
Sheets says (p. 13-14), “Men who are purposeless merely exist. Their lives make
little impact on the world around them….The purpose of this book, men, is to
awaken purpose in you—to make you a spiritual freedom fighter. If freedom is
truly to ring in our homes and nation, it will happen only as we take seriously
our biblical charge to pray fervently for our nation and our own families.”
Fight on Your Knees, edited by Mell Winger, is a unique
collection of fourteen respected spiritual leaders of ethnic, professional and
denominational diversity. This book will challenge and encourage men to enlist
in the growing army of intercessors. Contributors include: Dutch Sheets, Bill
McCartney, Ted Haggard, Steve Shanklin, Dale Schlafer, and Wesley Tullis.
To order Fight on Your Knees, published by Navpress, call 800-366-7788, or purchase it online at a 20% discount at www.navpress.com. Retail price is $13.
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