The phrase “all systems go” harkens back to the era when space ships and missiles were in their heyday. It describes the pre-flight phase when all aspects of their complicated mechanisms were in sync and ready for launch. As leaders, we want every aspect of our ministries to function at optimal effectiveness. Since God is our source of wisdom and power, our best shot at this is “all systems pray.”
In 1998, when God taught our ministry to actively honor Him, we made an incredible discovery: as we spent time with God, He revealed His strategies for our ministry through the Word and the Spirit. When we implemented His strategies, they were far more effective than ours. We soon began to pray, “Father, show us where there are man-made structures and programs within our ministry, and show us Your superior ways.” He’s been faithful to do that, and it’s motivated us to establish prayer throughout our ministry.
1. Board Meetings. Think beyond opening and closing in prayer, to praying throughout the meeting whenever more insight is needed. Jesus is right there at the table with you, and talking to Him can become as natural as talking to one another.
2. Staff Meetings. Again, opening and closing in prayer is good, but stay attuned to opportunities to pray together as a staff – new ventures, upcoming events, special needs, etc. It’s encouraging to hear others’ passion in prayer, and to follow God’s prompting as themes emerge.
3. Department Meetings. These prayer times can be even more specific, because you’re gathered for a narrowed focus. Spend time talking to God about upcoming projects and events. The team’s faith will be built as God speaks through His Word and His Spirit.
4. Corporate Intercessors Gathering. Secure a small group of intercessors who pray with you and a few key associates for the ministry’s top priorities and new initiatives. These initiatives are often breaking into new territory, and prayer will provide much-needed direction.
5. Location-based Prayer Meetings. Gather a small group of intercessors who join with the director to pray for the specific needs of your service locations. If you have multiple locations, you know that each one has unique challenges and opportunities.
6. Monthly Prayer Sheets. Compile a list of prayer requests covering the full scope of your ministry – from corporate issues to department projects to individual client needs (kept anonymous). These can be snail mailed or emailed, providing a powerful way for prayer partners to engage with God on the ministry’s behalf.
7. Prayer Flares. Send emails or texts to a designated group of people who want to intercede in the midst of a client crisis. In our ministry, this would typically be prayer for an abortion-determined woman who’s currently at one of our locations.
8. In the Moment. Seize the chance to pray as needs arise – whether personal or ministry-related. These impromptu prayer times can be one-on-one or with a small group. Create an environment where it’s second nature to turn to the heavenly Father in prayer.
Imagine your ministry as a space ship, and think through all of its various mechanical systems. In ministry lingo, think of the critical success factors – those areas that need to perform well for greatest fruitfulness. Those are the places you’ll want to shore up with ongoing, focused prayer.
God says, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known” (Jer.33:3). Let’s take Him up on it.
What are some of the ways your ministry implements prayer? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.