7 Values of a Praying Church

May 14, 2013

Ibaraki_Kasugaoka_Church_light_crossWhat is a praying church? I am asked this question, in some form, regularly. There are mulitple ways I could answer this question, but perhaps the most constructive is to talk about the values of a praying church.

I believe it’s critically important to know the “why” before you find out the “what” or the “how” in just about anything you do. Most of the time leaders want to know “how” to do a ministry without knowing the key premises behind that ministry. If we have a clear picture of the “why”, i.e. the values behind something, the “how” tends to work itself out. Often we spend too much time on “how” because we don’t know “why”. Over the last several years, I have spent hours dialoguing with leaders from the prayer & mission movement about the “why’s” or the values of a praying church. These values are ones that we considered to be essential to help form and grow a community with a culture of prayer. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully it’s helpful.

  1. Orthodoxy of the Faith – Firmly rooted and grounded in the historic Biblical doctrines of the Christian Faith. With the post modern drift from orthodoxy, this point becomes essential.
  2. Prayer Based Community – Establishing prayer as the centerpiece of body life. This is prayer as a culture and not as an event or ministry. For prayer to have this level of importance in a church community the senior leader has to take initiative in cultivating it. A praying church must have a culture of prayer.
  3. Fasted Lifestyle – Embracing and living the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus spelled out the value system of the Kingdom of God in the Sermon on the Mount. For a prayer based community, or any other Christian community to thrive, it must embody this way of life.
  4. Great Commission – Engaging in regular evangelism, compassion and justice initiatives to the lost,  poor and the oppressed. Obedience to the great commission goes hand in hand with persevering prayer and helps strengthen intercession.
  5. Spirit Led Ministry – Operating in the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish works of ministry, from the basis of communion and intimacy with God. Without the power and leading of the Holy Spirit our ministry is lifeless and powerless.
  6. Spiritual Breakthrough – Contending for revival and spiritual breakthrough that releases another Great Awakening. Jesus desires a bride from every tribe, tongue, people and nation. Massive widespread breakthrough is necessary for Him to receive the reward of His sufferings.
  7. End Times – Preparing the church with urgency for the Lord’s return. Great revival and great difficulties are coming to the earth, culminating with the Lord’s return. Leaders must prepare people to stand through the most challenging time the earth will ever see (Mat 24:21, Dan 12:1).

My prayer is that the church across our nation and the nations of the earth would embrace a value system that launches her into radical encounter with God through a culture of prayer. The church’s greatest hour is still before us and her destiny is to be a praying people, fully in love with Jesus, abandoned to His will (Rev 22:17). The bride will be a praying church!

What values do you think are important for the church to become a praying church?

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4 responses to 7 Values of a Praying Church

  1. 

    Bro i think you hit the nail on the head in so many ways that it would be hard to add to the list, but a thought or two on some foundational truths that will help build and sustain a prayer culture could be a clear and robust theology of the first commandment and ministry unto the Lord with practical handles of walking out being a priest before the 2. Lord in our daily lives (dwelling place theology) (corporately and individually).
    3. When i think of prayer culture i think of those set of values and behaviors that determine and describe the norm or culture of a people group.
    4. A family vision for intercession and transformation(justice), seeing how for both practical and spiritual dynamics the church will be made up of families.
    5. Clear theological development of the role of intercession of the new testament church as the foundation and basis of normal/ new testament christianity.
    6. Lastly, a citywide vision that contains in it the cultural mandate and the way in which the government of God is released in a city and the chosen vessel and vehicle that God wants to use to accomplish His purposes(prayer/worship/church). Hope these brief thoughts add to the ethos being developed.

  2. 

    A very good word Mr. Humphrey. I’ve been wanting to write a reply all day and finally get the chance..

    A simple definition of a praying church could be a corporate gathering of believers in Jesus who come together to find out what the will of the Father is and then do it.

    I do think there must be an understanding of what true prayer is. Many churches pray, they ask God to bless their meetings and then hash out every human idea possible. Very few churches come before Him with prepared hearts and wait to hear what He has to say. I can assure you that all of the points listed above will be covered by a church that waits, hears, and does, and it will come easy because His yoke is easy and His burden is lite.

    Why a praying church? Jesus wants a Bride. Our first ministry is to Him and all fruit that remains will come from the inner chamber. As we learn obedience we grow in maturity. “If you love me you will do what I say” As the gentleman stated above, as we spend time with our lover, we will become like Him. He will teach you the priestly secrets, He will share His burden of intercession. He will give you His strategy for taking a city. He will warn you and show you how to overcome when spiritual attack is near. He will let you know the needs of those who live around you and provide for you to meet them. He will show you when your brethren are weary and to wash their feet. He will tell you when to pray for the truth to be uncovered and when to cover something up in love. All the delicate issues that face us every day, if we walk with Him, we will walk the fine line of wisdom and ride the waves instead of getting plowed down by them. We will overcome.

    There are building blocks to the Kingdom, and the same is true for the prayer movement.

    There is first the individual House of Prayer.

    There is the family whose Home is a House of Prayer.

    There is a church that functions as a praying church or House of Prayer. Not all churches are called to be 24/7 gates but every church can function as a House of Prayer.

    There is a city whose priests and govn’t recognize Jesus as Lord and call on Him in prayer.

    There is the Nation whose God is the Lord.

    As the church and its value system I believe you should teach these core building blocks with the idea of systematic discipleship. Teach the first 3 as everyday how to’s and the last 2 as the goal.

    For example in teaching building block #1. You teach intimacy and personal Scripture study and all the Scripture that goes along with our personal relationship. I do not believe successful corporate prayer meetings truly happen unless individuals are in their own prayer closets and in the Word at home first. I believe they all build on each other. “Line upon Line, Precept upon Precept”

    To sum it all up Main value of a praying church: Jesus is our First Ministry.

    • 

      Love your input here, especially from the individual to the nation as a house of prayer. And for sure… intimacy with God via ministry to Him is the foundation of a culture of prayer. Thanks for your post.