Developing prayer communities is hard work. It requires the same level of energy as developing support. You will lose 20% of your network every year. So to keep it growing you must develop more than you are losing.
You probably know all the traditional methods for developing prayer networks. These are very energy intensive, and missing even one newsletter can cause a falter.
I have been working on a new method for developing prayer networks for the past few years. It is also hard work, but requires only a disciplined few minutes each day. It also requires genuine interest in others and a willingness to become accountable and vulnerable to others.
The Lord convicted me a few years ago that I was asking people to pray for me, but I was not praying for them. I wanted people to be praying for me and my ministry, but I was unwilling, or unthoughtful, in regards to praying for them.
Today, I pray for a different established prayer partner each day. On each day of the month, I call, SMS (text message), or email the person for that day, and pray for them. As I pray for them, many of them have become friends and prayer warriors for me. I keep adding people to each day until I find the person who will pray with me and for me. I don’t stop praying for those who don’t return the favor of prayer, but I begin to deepen the relationships with those who pray with me and for me.
James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
Most days the prayer with each person is a matter of minutes, unless there is a crisis or major decision in the works.
My goal is to have 30 prayer partners for whom I pray and from whom I receive prayer each month, a different one each day. With these prayer partners I begin to share my methods and ask them to do the same – find 30 people with whom they share a prayer relationship, one each day on a day by day basis, in person, by phone, SMS, and/or email.
Now the network is growing and has the potential to become 900 people in a prayer/community relationship.
Just one more generation of this kind of prayer/community relationship and the community of prayer has grown to 27,000. Deep prayer needs will move throughout the network. Casual prayer needs disburse as far as there is interest.
You may be praying for 10 people a day, and only one will return the favor of prayer. That’s OK. Build a community of prayer that opens the door for people to share their hearts and share your heart in prayer. These relationships become deep in a short period of time, especially when a crisis is faced.
Keep on doing the newsletters and events, but focus on becoming a leader of a community of prayer.
Hope this helps.
From San Jose, CA