16 secrets to an effective prayer life

You're a prayer leader because you know the value of prayer. You've seen God work in answer to prayer and love to spend time with God. But being a prayer leader can be a busy job. There are meetings to attend, programs to plan, prayer groups to organize. You want to help others enjoy the blessings and privileges of conversation with the King of the Universe. It's easy to lose sight of the fact that our most important job is praying. Without prayer, nothing else we do will make much difference, for it will be lacking in the power of God. Truly, it is "not by might, nor by power" but by the Spirit of God (Zechariah 4:6) that our prayer life can be a strong foundation for prayer ministry.

More Prayer, More Power

An evangelistic series had been planned at Joyce Mulligan’s church. She was the prayer coordinator and wanted to support the series through prayer. But what should the prayer team do? Was there something specific God had in mind?

Mulligan got the church’s prayer team together and they began praying for the series. “We prayed lots of short prayers, but we ended up praying for two and a half hours,” she recalls. “It was a beautiful, upper room kind of experience. Everyone was really surrendered and prayed such sincere, committed prayers.”

During that prayer session, God impressed the prayer team to do a couple of things. One was to have each church member write down on small cards the names of all the people they wanted to invite to the evangelistic series. The second thing was to hold a prayer supper the Friday night before the evangelistic meeting was to begin.

At the prayer supper, the prayer team passed out the cards with the names of people who were being invited to the series. Church members gathered in small groups at their tables to pray for each invitee.

God blessed greatly as a result of all the prayer and many people attended and were baptized during the series.

“Sincere prayer is the most important thing,” says Mulligan. “Just pray a lot! When you do that, God is going to send His Spirit. And that will change everything!”

Jesus, Our Example

The life of Christ reveals the ideal of prayer ministry.

Consider for a moment the life of constant service that Jesus lived. He lived only to bless and help others. Yet he daily made considerable time to seek God in prayer.

Mark chronicles Jesus’ hectic life, then pauses to reveal the secret of Jesus’ power. “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and a departed to a solitary place, and there He prayed.” Mark 1:35

Jesus’ personal prayer life was His vital connection with the Father that empowered and guided His daily ministry. He said of Himself, “the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” John 5:19

If you are to be effective in prayer ministry, then like Jesus, you must maintain your own personal prayer life. “Prayer is a necessity; for it is the life of the soul. Family prayer, public prayer, have their place; but it is secret communion with God that sustains the soul life” (Education, p. 258).

Prayer Allows God to Work on Your Behalf

The small Lincoln, CA, Adventist church had neither the resources nor expertise needed when the city mayor asked them to lead a city-wide prayer initiative. So the prayer team prayed. Extensively. Within days major prayer requests for the event began to be answered. Through prayer, and honest hard-work, God provided everything needed for the event.

Paul reminds us to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). So when you lead prayer ministry, pray about everything. A lot.

Pray that God will show you what He wants you to do. Pray for God to open doors. Pray for every single little detail. Pray for the right people to be involved. And most of all, pray that God will be honored.

When God has shown you what to do, then get to work. It may not always be easy, but Jesus will be with you. “You will have to wrestle with difficulties, carry burdens, give advice, plan and execute, constantly looking to God for help. Pray and labor, labor and pray; as pupils in the school of Christ, learn of Jesus” (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 498, 499).

God will be with you and show you how to lead effective prayer ministry. As you spend much time in prayer, He will fill you with His Spirit and make your ministry effective for God.

”Only the work accomplished with much prayer, and sanctified by the merit of Christ, will in the end prove to have been efficient for good” (Desires of Ages, p. 362).

16 Secrets for an Effective Prayer will show you how to grow in your personal prayer life. It is also a wonderful handout that you can share with your church members to help them grow in their prayer journey.

16 Secrets for an Effective Prayer Life

 More Prayer, More Power