My work is featured or scheduled to be featured in 12 books. Take Root and Write
, Adding Zest
and the Internet Café
invited me to join their team. The Christian Reads
gang accepted me into the team although I’m not published. My own “prayer warrior” experiences have clarity and intimacy with God that I believe are fueled by prayers from others.
Before the prayer team my family was in the midst of chronic sickness and transition. Within months our daughter moved out of steady therapy to a pre-school program where she became a help to others with special needs situations. I can’t tell you the times I’ve been anxious and then I’m flooded with peace. I give God the glory for all these things.
Yet I believe part of the call on my life is to encourage you to build a prayer team.
There are a few things that I think set apart a prayer team for success. Please prayerfully consider starting and implementing these things with your team.
1.Pray about whom to invite.
It’s important you only invite people who have made a proclamation for Christ. Salvation is essential. Believing in God is not enough. As soon as one enters into a committed prayer ministry there is an element of spiritual warfare.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8, NIV
The Holy Spirit will guide you to the right person or people. I’ve never had the same amount of people to invite each year and not every person I invite accepts. I truly believe God leads and I trust Him through the entire process.
2. Only invite people of the same gender.
This is obvious and yet the articles I read on emotional affairs show me women are sharing too much with men who are not their husbands. Do not think you can keep boundaries by including someone on your prayer team that is of the opposite sex. Prayer is such an intimate act and this is a special ministry. Don’t play with fire.
Keep your prayer team of the same gender.
Make sure your prayer team members are the same gender as you are.
3. Discourage those that want to invite themselves
I learned the hard way accepting an enthusiastic praying person into something so personal, private and with boundaries is not a good idea. I don’t discourage prayer by any means; I just don’t randomly allow people to invite themselves. If someone wants to pray but you don’tbelieve they are someone to invite, thank them and ask they pray for your general ministry. For me, I ask them to pray for my writing. It doesn’t give specifics, and yet it is a true area I need prayer. By allowing anyone to join, even with the best of intentions, I believe boundaries will be skewed.
In my instance, the person felt they had the right to tell me what to write or not write and if I became in their eyes disobedient, they were angry. It’s not the way to have a prayer team. Learn from me and prayerfully invite your team members. Everyone else, keep it general.
4. I send out invites in November and ask them to prayerfully respond before the end of December.
I emphasize them praying about it. Their praying is a ministry. I even suggest they create a prayer team. I believe prayer teams need a domino effect. My first prayer team was hit hard in every possible way. It was a battle for them and yet their prayers yielded so much fruit. I don’t want anyone to accept lightly. I’ve let the ladies know I’d rather they decline and be honest than think they have to accept to please me and take on a burden they were never meant to carry.
5. I outline the boundaries in the invite so they know what I’m expecting.
My guidelines are that my praises and prayers are confidential. I do give specifics on the writing ministry. It is a lonely life and sometimes I share personal details or specifics on a project that is not ready for public promotion. I let them know I have no expectation they be on their knees praying every day for hours on end. I think the most active intercessors are the busy moms praying during a diaper change or folding laundry. I tell them as my name and writing pop in their heads, lift up a prayer. Each month I send a list with praises and prayers for their use if they want it. If I’m able, I send each member a thank you, often a book. So far, I’ve invited each previous team back for the next year. Most re-commit, but not always.
That’s it! It’s not complicated but I believe creating a prayer team is life changing for the intercessor and the person requesting prayer. You’re worth it. No matter what your vocation or status, why not take a leap of faith and start your team today?
New International Version Bible Verses on Prayer from BibleGateway:
So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.
I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my
The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the
prayer of the righteous.
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in
[Further Instructions)Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
[Instructions on Worship] I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession andthanksgiving be made for all people.
And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.