Lydia Discipleship Ministries
Equipping the church to disciple hurting people

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“Pray without ceasing”
[Developing Prayer Partners
on Your Ministry Team]

“Prayer is the greatest area of defeat in most Christian’s lives”

Many who minister to the deeply wounded fail to realize the incredible difference having an effective prayer partner/team can make. Whether you are a counselor, a pastor or a friend, we would encourage you to pray about including these essential folks in your ministry.

Where should you start? Perhaps the following questions will jog your mind as you pray about the role of prayer in your ministry. Also, these would be good questions to prayerfully bring before the Lord so that you and/or your prayer team have His perspective on prayer.

Begin by clarifying your own "theology of prayer"

Resolve your own “prayer past”
Many times we have what might be called "prayer baggage", that is, unresolved issues that grow out of seeingly "unanswered" prayers in our past. Sometimes revisiting these issues with the Lord helps to settle potential barriers to prayer that grow out of these disappointments.

Equip/train the prayer partners that undergird your ministry:

- my expectations of their part in the ministry
- if/when during a session to interject their ideas
- how to communicate with each other during the session

1) The thought: “My prayer won’t make a difference
-“Pray about everything. . .”  (Phil 4:6) the Lord's command is                                very clear; He views prayer as vital

- “The effectual prayer. . .”    (James 5:16); encouraging your                                 prayer partner/team to memorize verses related to prayer like                                   this one can be helpful

- “ We wrestle not against flesh and blood. . .”  (Eph. 6:18); this                                     verse highlights the real source of the battle again effective                                        prayer and is a good reminder that prayer IS spiritual warfare!

- “Ask and you will receive. . .”  (Matt. 7:7-10); encourage the                                         team to grow spiritually by exercising faith

2) Being overwhelmed by the needs or problems of the hurting person
- Remind them of verses like: “Not by might nor by power but by                                  My Spirit says the Lord;” and “What is impossible with man is                                    possible with God”

- Encourage them to "debrief" with the Lord after each time of                                     being a prayer partner during which they "dump" all the horrible                                 memories of abuse, disturbing thoughts, etc., that they have                                       been exposed to during the session; this will help keep them                                     from being overwhelmed

3) Having no desire to pray
- Help them realize they can reject these thoughts or feelings

- Remind them of past times when prayer was crucial/decisive

4) Distracting thoughts
- teach them how to “take every thought captive”

5) Having fleshly attitudes against the counselor/counselee; they may not                      agree with what you as the counselor/pastor are saying; the enemy                           can really make use of any unspoken disagreements and try to put a                        wedge between you and the prayer partner
- Set things up ahead of time so there is an avenue for them to                                    mention their disagreements; some people write notes to each                                 other during the session while others prefer to discuss                                                 disagreement later, after the person has gone home

-  When appropriate, help them recognize and deal with pride

-  Help them realize that attitudes toward the counselee may                                         come out of their own woundedness that need to be resolved                                    by the Lord; for example, if your prayer partner was sexually                                       abused as a child, they may react negatively to a counselee                                       who is a perpetrator of abuse

6) Beliefing that “my prayers did it!” In this hindrance to prayer, the                                 person takes the credit for what the Lord has done
-  Point out this issue of pride and encourage the person to                                           repent

  Anyone involved in a prayer ministry needs to be saturating their mind in the           Scriptures. Listed below are some skills related to steeping our mind in the            Word that need to be emphasized:

1) Teach them how to use the “weapon of praise”
- Encourage them to memorize verses of praise and exaltation                                    of Christ to silently pray back to God, especially when there                                        appears to be a blockage or problems during the session

2) Teach them how to “see His face in the Word”
- Train them to read a passage of Scripture and then ask                                              themselves, "What does this show me about God's                                                     character?"

3) Teach them how to use the Word as the “sword of the spirit” against
                   specific strongholds
- As they discern in prayer during the session, what specific                                         stronghold or barriers to truth are in the person's life, they can                                    pray through verses related to these strongholds

4) Teach them how to turn Scripture into affirmations of choice
- For example, when doubts about the importance of their                                             prayers arise in their minds, show them how to combat these                                     thoughts by saying things like: "I choose to believe the truth that                                 "the effective prayers of a righteous man CAN accomplish                                          much."

5) Teach them how to memorize Scripture
- Many people feel defeated when they try to memorize because                                 they only try one method -- that of reading it through a few times                                 and then closing their eyes and trying to repeat the verse.                                           Although this method works for some people, God created                                        each individual's mind to input information is slightly different                                     ways. For some, picturing the scene the verse relates to is the                                   most effective tool to memorization. For others, reading the                                       verse slowly aloud, with particular emphasis on important                                           words is helpful. Other need to use "eurhythmics" that is large                                    motions with their hands and arms that act out the verse as                                        they say it aloud. Encourage your prayer partners/team to                                           experiment and find out the memorization method that works                                     best for them so that they can be successful in the                                                        memorization attempts.

6) Teach them how to meditate on Scripture
- Show them how to take a verse and pray that verse back to                                       God; for example, the verse "God is near to the broken-                                              hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit;" they might                                  meditate by praying through this verse as follows: "Lord, I thank                                 You that your thoughts, Your compassion is towrad those who                                    are heart broken and crushed inside."

- Encourage them to ask the Lord lots of questions about a                                          verse as they meditate over it; for example, the verse "Draw                                      near to Me and I will draw near to you;" they might mediate by                                    asking the Lord, "What does it mean to draw near to You? Am I                                 drawing nearer to You each day, each week?"

7) Give them written out prayers
- Sometimes giving your prayer partners/team a list of specific                                    prayer concerns and/or actual written out prayers can be                                            helpful. [See "Praying for Hurting People"]

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