I have been a part of my church’s formal prayer ministry since the beginning. Where God was leading me with the prayer ministry was to gather sometime on Sunday morning for a time where we could pray for the church or meet with those in need of prayer while at church. There are times when a message just smacks you in the head and you need someone to pray for you right then.

Why is it that when people turn in prayer requests, the only thing they think of is to turn in ones about health? Most of the requests I see are health related. Don’t get me wrong – they are important. But the ones about ‘I’m losing my job’ or ‘pray for my marriage’ are few and far between. Or how about something where we can rejoice with you – are you pregnant? Did God open up an unexpected door for your business? Or the ones about ‘my mom’s nephew’s cousin’s neighbor’s former roommate.’

Get personal. What is happening with YOU. We can bring ALL things to Him. EVERYTHING. Nothing is too small. Pray with authority. Don’t be wishy washy. If life stinks, be honest and pray for joy to come and start thinking that way. I know that sounds like Tony Robbins, but spiritual truths work no matter who is using them. They have more power if they are connected to the Word of God as opposed to the ‘power of positive thinking.’ If it is good, give thanks. If you are feeling that you are under attack from all sides, pray for defense. He is our defense, you know.

I know over the course of this blog, I will talk alot about prayer. It is something I am absolutely passionate about. Something I am still learning alot about as well. Whatever is said for you is also for me. All believers need to know that they have tremendous power when they pray. It is our connection to God… our way to talk to Him. We can’t know Him unless we talk to Him.



  1. Elena · May 11, 2008

    I was thinking about this kind of thing the other night. I’ve experienced the following phenomenon in various gatherings of Christians: folks who had “nothing going on” (read: nothing bad/stressful/health-related) didn’t ask for prayer. Or there is a certain situation that is needing prayer, and during a time of prayer request sharing (sharing our lists, really) is not usually the best time to spin the entire tale including backstory. (Wouldn’t it be better to have a more freeform time of sharing + praying mixed in? Someone shares about a situation and the group “discusses” it and intercedes as the conversation takes place. Would such an organic approach “work”? Work in the sense of being organized and not chaotic, rather than effecting a change. ‘Cause we know, prayer changes things…we’re going to be effecting a change in some way!)

    I think many of us Christians really are at the baby-stage when it comes to prayer. Either we don’t know about some aspects or don’t develop them….for example, the concept of praying for our walks with Christ (the more “abstract” concepts like the enlightenment of our hearts to know His love more), praying Scripture, and what truly praying in faith means.

    A development of our prayer lives would be a great addition to what our small group is already doing.

  2. Katherine Coble · May 12, 2008

    In the traditional church, the line between “prayer request” and “gossip” has often been very thin. I know that for years I was hesitant to mention any prayer requests at all because I didn’t want my husband’s job or my job or other stuff to be part of ladies’ fellowship lore. Then I realised I didn’t care.

    Of course, the last time I asked for prayer for an issue regarding my Christian walk in my new Sunday School class was also the last time I went. I was met with a bunch of weird stares–as though I’d asked for help with a “juicy” problem like porn addiction.

  3. Jonnelle · May 12, 2008

    Kat, you are absolutely right. At my previous church, there were over 200 people on the prayer team. I can tell ya that over 200 people in a 3000 person church were not called to intercessory prayer. They wanted the gossip. Anyone who wanted to sign up could do so. I hated that. When I found out how many people were on the “prayer team,” I stopped turning in requests and would only share them with trusted friends.

    When I started talking to the leadership at Cross Point about the prayer ministry, I was adamant about taking steps to prevent (or lessen the likelihood that it would turn into) gossip.

    I also have a problem with the whole taking prayer requests thing anyway. It’s one thing in a small group of 8 people who you know well. It’s another to drop it in the offering bowl as it comes around. I don’t think it is as effective as those who are personally close to you praying for you… or you (generic) learning how to pray for yourself with power, thanksgiving, joy, and authority and doing so. I’ve turned them in at CPCC because I know who is praying over them. They know me. A lot of times, they know exactly what is going on with me.

    My post was from an assumption that you were in a safe place and felt like you could share. It stinks that there are people who attend a group for a year or more and the most we get are “everything is fine” when there are those of us who *really* want to be there for you – spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

    Vulnerability and trust have to start somewhere.

    Also, I think it has a lot to do with spiritual maturity. The stares you got say to me that they may think that once you become a Christian, your walk with God goes on auto-pilot. It makes me wonder have they read Job, Habakkuk, or Jesus in the garden. There are some serious struggles with God and what’s going on in their lives. Yet, ultimately, they come back to God and submit to Him and give thanks. OK, maybe Jesus wasn’t jumping up and down for joy when the soldiers arrived but he did obey the Father.

  4. debday · September 13, 2008

    We have not because we ask not. This was a topic of our Bible study the other evening. Being SPECIFIC when we ask for prayer as well as when we pray. For example, if we pray for someone to find a job and they are offered a job as a janitor when they are seeking a position in financial counseling it may be ‘an answer’ but not THE answer needed! LOL.

    We also tend to think we are ‘bothering’ God to ask prayer for ‘just…’ a cold, or a strained relationship or…there is no such thing as ‘important or less important requests in God’s eyes. He is our heavenly FATHER and anything which concern us concerns Him!

    Thanks for sharing!

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