What We Offer

Prayer Leader Empowerment Program

Serving, encouraging and equipping today’s prayer leaders.

The Prayer Leader Empowerment Program serves those who serve others via formal or  informal prayer ministries and leadership roles.

Let us serve you:

Define and embrace your calling as a prayer leader

If you have a heart for prayer and want to help others more fully enjoy the powerful gift of prayer, you’re a Prayer Igniter and we’re here to serve you through our Prayer Leader Empowerment Program.  You don’t necessarily need an official title or position to be a prayer leader.  Many of us serve by answering an inner call to form prayer partnerships, organize prayer chains or start prayer groups.  Others of us might serve in more formal roles as ministers, priests, prayer coordinators, intercessors, teachers and spiritual directors.

The Joy of Being a Prayer Leader. Helping others develop meaningful, powerful prayer lives is one of the most significant callings of our faith.  As prayer leaders the joy and peace we have found through prayer makes us eager to share this glorious gift with everyone, especially those we know and love best.

When we work to encourage and build stronger prayer lives in those around us we enable them to receive God’s power that only comes via prayer.  This includes:

  • The ability to intimately communicate with our Lord
  • Strength and power to weather life’s storms
  • Help in overcoming fears
  • The means to gain self control over harmful habits and attitudes and become more Christlike
  • The way to find and follow God’s vision for our lives and serve well in God’s Kingdom
  • The pathway to salvation, healing, forgiveness and reconciliation
  • The key to increasing our love for and trust in Jesus
  • The ability to help others through the gift of intercessory prayer

Receive support in overcoming common obstacles to getting others involved in prayer ministries

As with all great callings, being a prayer leader also brings challenges.  We offer help in how to deal with the following common obstacles faced by prayer leaders.

Sometimes others don’t respond.

Jesus faced this challenge right in the middle of His triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  The Bible says, “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes.’������� (Luke 19:41)

As prayer leaders we are keenly aware of the unnecessary stress, turmoil and grief those around us go through while blind to the fact that help is only a prayer away.  We understand the truth of the words to the hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” that say:

“Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear.

All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”

Daily life crowds out prayer.

The necessities of living can swallow up our time and distract us from prayer.  Even the disciples struggled and failed when they couldn’t overcome their need for sleep in the Garden of Gethsemane.  The Bible says, “Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping.  ‘Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?’ he asked Peter.  ‘Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.�����”  (Matthew 26:40, 41)

As prayer leaders we’re up against similar obstacles in our day and age.  These include:

  • Electronics that keep our minds constantly plugged into the world of work, socializing, material possessions, trivia and entertainment
  • Overloaded daily schedules
  • The disappearance of places of sanctuary, solitude and quiet
  • An emphasis on action, productivity and results that can be measured in dollars and cents
  • Too few intercessors faced with an avalanche of requests

Spiritual forces oppose prayer.

Jesus constantly dealt with spiritual opposition from the devil and the people the devil was able to manipulate and use.  (See Matthew 16:23, John 8:44)

Jesus used prayer to counteract the devil’s schemes.  Jesus tells Peter, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.  And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”  (Luke 22:31,32)

One of our roles as prayer leaders is to stand in prayer against evil.  This requires mental, spiritual and physical energy.   Thankfully, we don’t fight on our own strength but rather through the work of the Holy Spirit.  The Bible assures us, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”  (1 John 4:4)

Our ability to pray doesn’t require us to understand everything that is transpiring when we take stands against evil.  The Bible says, ���In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”  (Romans 8:26,27)

Waiting for answers.

And finally, as prayer leaders we are up against cultural expectations, notably impatience and the desire for instant self gratification.�� Others quickly drift away from prayer when the answers they expect don’t come quickly.  As prayer leaders we often act counter-culturally by believing that even when we don’t see instant results, God is at work.  We draw comfort from the assurance Daniel was given by an angel that God is even now invisibly at work in the spiritual realm.  “Do not be afraid, Daniel.  Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.  But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty one days.  Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.”  (Daniel 10:12,13)

With these challenges and many more in our calling as prayer leaders we all need daily help and encouragement in our work.

Find and implement a variety of new ideas for finding prayer programs and ministries that meet the needs of your group

Our ministry serves prayer leaders in any denominations in any size church or group.  We offer support, ideas, encouragement and practical tools for getting others engaged in prayer.  Here’s what we offer.

The Prayer Igniters Toolkit. The Prayer Group Leaders toolkit provides a variety of resources, ideas and training on how to evaluate your church’s prayer needs, how to read signals that others are open to prayer, where to discover new ideas, how to adapt them to the unique needs of your group and how to effectively implement these programs.

To sign up for a free membership and access to our complete library of Prayer Igniters materials, click here.

The Prayer Ideas Website. The Prayer Ideas website provides a free, user contributed storehouse of ideas on Christian prayer any time you need it 24 hours a day.   Prayer Ideas offers tips on how to pray, praying for specific needs, reviews of books on prayer that others have found helpful, true stories of answered prayer, Scriptures on prayer, listings of places of prayer that you can visit and listings of prayer resources such as speakers, authors and musicians.     (click here to visit Prayer Ideas )

The Global Missions Program. Engaging your group in an international prayer outreach mission can generate enthusiasm and excitement about prayer.  Opportunities range from interceding for prayer leaders in another country to traveling abroad on short term prayer mission trips.  (click here to learn about global outreach)

Gain encouragement and inspiration from other past and present prayer leaders

Here are several examples of true stories of encouragement for prayer leaders.  More can be found in our Free Online Materials after you have filled out the online membership information to receive your password.

William Walford

William Walford lived 150 years ago in the country town of Coleshill in England.  He was blind which limited his vocational horizons so he put his time to use by whittling simple household items.�� William had none of the marks of a great prayer leader, yet he continues to influence prayer lives today.

Walford occasionally preached in small country churches and because he couldn’t see to read, he composed his sermons in his head and memorized impressive amounts of scripture.  One source says, “His scripture memory was so keen that some people thought he knew the whole Bible by heart.”   Walford also spent much time in prayer and enjoyed composing poems in his head.

A man from New York named Thomas Salmon visited Coleshill and met Walford and here is an  account of a very memorable visit:

“…He repeated two or three pieces which he had composed, and having no friend at home to commit them to paper, he had laid them up in the storehouse within. ‘How will this do?’ asked he, as he repeated the following lines, with a complacent smile touched with some light lines of fear lest he subject himself to criticism. I rapidly copied the lines with my pencil, as he uttered them, and sent them for insertion in the Observer, if you should think them worthy of preservation.”

The Observer published Walford’s composition on September 13, 1845 and it was later set to music as the hymn “Sweet Hour of Prayer” which continues to speak to all of us who have hearts for prayer today.

Here are the lyrics Walford wrote:

Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief,
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare,
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
The joys I feel, the bliss I share,
Of those whose anxious spirits burn
With strong desires for thy return!
With such I hasten to the place
Where God my Savior shows His face,
And gladly take my station there,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His Word and trust His grace,
I’ll cast on Him my every care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
May I thy consolation share,
Till, from Mount Pisgah’s lofty height,
I view my home and take my flight.
This robe of flesh I’ll drop, and rise
To seize the everlasting prize,
And shout, while passing through the air,
“Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!”

The story of William Walford points out the far reaching impact any Prayer Leader might have who faithfully lives a life of prayer in their small corner of the world within the confines of their own inabilities, disabilities and lack of resources.  Although blind, more clearly than many others of acclaimed vision, Walford continues to help us see the intimate beauty and joy of the close communion of prayer with our Lord.

(resource: http://chi.gospelcom.net/DAILYF/2003/09/daily-09-13-2003.shtml Christian History Institute)

Jeremiah Lanphier

Around the same time here in the United States New York City in 1857 a lay minster named Jeremiah Lanphier was struggling to rebuild the congregation of a vacated church after the neighborhood around it changed drastically.  The middle class congregation had relocated to a safer area, leaving Lanphier behind to do mission work out of the church property at the intersection of Fulton and William Streets

Lanphier tried unsuccessfully to interest the new rough and tumble immigrants and labrorers  of Lower Manhattan in religion.  The area was gripped with a recession and jobs were few and far between.  Many turned to drink, making their lives even more miserable and precarious.  Day after day Lanphier tried and failed to reach the residents, routinely ending up in the empty sanctuary praying all by himself, saying, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”

Noticing the stress on the faces of the business people around him, Lanphier decided to hold an hour prayer meeting at noon once a week during the work day lunch hour.  He printed out handbills with the following message:

As often as the language of prayer is in my heart; as often as I see my need of help; as often as I feel the power of temptation; as often as I am made sensible of any spiritual declension or feel the aggression of a worldly spirit.

In prayer we leave the business of time for that of eternity, and intercourse with men for intercourse with God.

A day Prayer Meeting is held every Wednesday, from 12 to 1 o’clock, in the Consistory building in the rear of the North Dutch Church, corner of Fulton and William Streets (entrance from Fulton and Ann Streets).

This meeting is intended to give merchants, mechanics, clerks, strangers, and business men generally an opportunity to stop and call upon God amid the perplexities incident to their respective avocations. It will continue for one hour; but it is also designed for those who may find it inconvenient to remain more than five or ten minutes, as well as for those who can spare the whole hour.

On the day announced in the flier,  Wednesday Sept. 23,  Lamphier sat down alone in a room in the church and began to pray.  Fifteen minutes passed, then twenty.  Finally after 30 minutes one other person showed up to pray.  Eventually a total of 5 men arrived.  The next week 20 showed up, then the week following week, 40.  By third week they decided to begin meeting daily.  By February, 700 people were coming daily including both men and women.  Soon prayer meetings had begun all over the city and the newspapers began to report on the movement.  During the spring it is estimated that 10,000 people were attending noon prayer services.  The prayer revival rapidly spread throughout the country and perhaps 500,000 conversions took place.

This extraordinary prayer revival is called “The Layman’s Revival” because it did not begin with the dynamic preaching or leadership of a famous minister but rather had its origins in the laity.�� Lamphier had no idea the impact a simple noon day prayer service would have on the entire nation.  And he leaves all prayer leaders of every age a very simple yet powerful prayer, “Lord, what would you have me do?”

(resources: http://www.christianpost.com/church/General/2007/09/christians-mark-150-years-of-fulton-street-revival-23/index.html,  p://www.prdienstberger.com/nation/Chap6ndp.htm)