Igniting Scripture
Through Prayer

Scripture equips the mind. Prayer empowers the soul. Scripture plus prayer awakens the people of God. Awake! brings together Scripture and prayer for individuals, small groups, churches, and entire communities.

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Prayer Resources

Prayer Overview

Vision

For every Bible-believing church in a city, county, or region, to unite in prayer for spiritual awakening in your area, and for the advancement of God’s kingdom throughout the world.

Strategy

To form a 24/7 Prayer Watch, monthly Concerts of Prayer, and other prayer efforts through the cooperative effort of all the churches.

Values
  • Scripture guides us to pray according to God’s will.
  • When churches, pastors, and God’s people unite in prayer, the power of prayer is unleashed.
  • God’s people united in prayer and unified by Scripture are the greatest force for God’s kingdom on earth.
Leadership

Each church or ministry should appoint a contact person and a coordinator (may be the same person) to advance prayer and Scripture as needed. As your church or ministry deepens in both realms, you may naturally begin working with other churches and leaders to foster unity through prayer and God’s Word in your county, city, or metro area.

Get Involved

A growing prayer movement depends on the participation of each church as they are able and called of God. Ideally, each church will be involved in:

  • Church Prayer Meetings. This is where it starts. Each involved church is encouraged to host their own monthly or weekly prayer gathering. This Awake! section of our website offers tools, guidelines, and encouragement to this end.
  • Prayer Watches. Each involved church is encouraged to cover at least one day per month (and up to day per week) on a Prayer Watch. The goal is to have the Watch filled (yet always growing) within 3-6 months of its initiation.
  • Countywide Prayer Gatherings. Participating churches and ministries should plan to gather at regular intervals, either at a shared neutral facility or by rotating between churches.
  • Prayer Coordinator’s Gatherings. As the prayer movement grows, it may be advantageous to establish a monthly prayer and planning session for all prayer coordinators.

Additional aspects of the prayer ministry may include Prayer Walks, Pastor’s Prayer Retreats, and other venues that unfold as God leads your team.

Building a Prayer Ministry

Background

History has demonstrated the power of united prayer coupled with anointed, Biblical preaching as two important vehicles that God has used in His sovereignty to bring spiritual awakening to churches, cities, and whole countries. Prayer that is birthed by God comes from deep conviction in the heart of God’s people through the Holy Spirit.

Organization

Like the skeleton in a person’s body, an organizational structure can serve an important function in a growing prayer ministry. The skeleton alone is not enough, however. A dynamic prayer movement needs to be led by the Lord, as Head, and it needs to reach into the hearts of God’s people. Without Spirit-birthed passion, even the best organizational structure will be lifeless and therefore useless. Two models of prayer ministry that God has used mightily through history are the Prayer Watch and Concerts of Prayer. When these two simple approaches are combined for a church, a city, or for an entire metropolitan area, the results can be even greater.

How to Get Started

Each church can hopefully cover at least one 24-hour period on a Prayer Watch. Many congregations may wish to cover more than one day a month. Your initial goal is ensure that the Prayer Watch is filled, twenty four hours a day, with no breaks. Over time, as more congregations get involved, your Prayer Watch may be filled several layers deep.

We encourage every involved church to also conduct their own monthly prayer meeting, or Concert of Prayer. This monthly gathering will bring strength to the people who are engaged in the Prayer Watch. Both the Concert of Prayer and the Prayer Watch will create an environment that strengthens your church members’ prayer lives.

Finally, monthly prayer gatherings will bring vision and renewed passion into all of the churches, and will help bring unity to the prayer movement. As God leads, other prayer efforts, such as prayer walks and prayer chains can be organized.

Concerts of Prayer

History of Concerts of Prayer

In the mid 1700s, pastor and theologian Jonathan Edwards coined the term “concerts of prayer” to describe corporate gatherings of Christians for intercession and spiritual renewal. Regular prayer meetings at the time became a spark for the First Great Awakening in the United States.

Similarly, the Third Great Awakening was largely initiated and sustained through a movement of prayer. In 1857, Jeremiah Lanphier started a noon prayer meeting on Manhattan’s Fulton Street. The meeting quickly grew to several thousand business leaders and revival spread across the country, spawning some 2 million conversions and great works of social reform. Slavery was cut short in the United States through the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865 largely because of this awakening. The Salvation Army, The Christian and Missionary Alliance, and other Christian movements found their birth during this period, and the mighty Student Volunteer Movement was launched which sent approximately 25,000 students to the mission field in the coming decades.

Such corporate gatherings for prayer and around-the-clock Prayer Watches have worked together through history to strengthen prayer ministry. The New York City “Concerts of Prayer” initiative, for example, combined their Concerts of Prayer with a Prayer Watch that united 35 churches in 1995. The combined effort continued and over the next five years, the murder rate in New York City dropped 70%, making it one of the safest cities in the country with over a million people.

Facilitating a Concert of Prayer

A “Concert of Prayer” is, as the title suggests, the coming together of diverse people in prayer around common themes. As with the angels that surround the throne of God, people united in passionate prayer can discover, operate in, and release extraordinary power and grace.

Just as a concert is guided by a skillful conductor, it is important to organize and facilitate a Concert of Prayer to unite the strains of many personalities and preferences into a harmonic whole. Some suggestions are:

  • Plan a flow for the Concert of Prayer that moves people from praise to confession to intercession to celebration.
  • Mix the methods of prayer in a Concert of Prayer between spontaneous petitions and prayers from the group to prayers led from the front, to small prayer huddles and/or group prayers with 7 to 12 members.
  • Blend hymns, praise songs, and tasteful music into the prayer event, using music as a natural transition between selected themes and formats.
  • Mix the reading of Scripture with prayers in such a way that the Scripture becomes part of the prayer meeting, the basis and motivation for prayer.
  • Offer a brief section for teaching and instruction early in the Concert of Prayer, but do not allow the meeting to become focused more on preaching than on prayer itself. Minimize talking and teaching; maximize the experience of dynamic group prayer.
  • Consider projecting the themes and sections of the Concert of Prayer on a screen or print them on a bulletin to help the participants engage in the flow of the event. See the sample Concert of Prayer for more ideas.
Sample Concert of Prayer Format

For a 60 to 90 minute gathering. There is no limit to the variations of flow and themes and the mix of prayer formats that can be put into a Concert of Prayer. This is only one example.

OPENING HYMN OR SONG

PRAISE

  • Short prayers of praise and thanks offered spontaneously from the group.

PERSPECTIVE

  • Brief teaching on the importance of united prayer.
  • People break into small groups and commit themselves to God.

CONFESSION

  • Individuals come to the mike to confess sins on behalf of the people.
  • Silent prayers of confession.
  • Song of surrender and confession.
  • Declaration of God’s forgiveness and grace.
  • Song of victory and praise.

SPIRITUAL AWAKENING (FULFILLMENT)

  • Prayers in triads for spiritual awakening in your church.
  • Prayers in groups of 7 to 12 for spiritual awakening in your city or town.
  • Prayers from the front for spiritual awakening in the whole country.
  • Song of praise for God’s renewing power.

WORLDWIDE MISSION (FULLNESS)

  • Prayers from the front for God’s kingdom to advance to all the nations.
  • Prayers in groups of 7 to 12 for specific areas of need (consider providing fact sheets or prayer cards about unreached peoples of the world).
  • Open time of spontaneous prayers from the whole assembly for the advancement of the Gospel.
  • Song or hymn with focus on world needs and worldwide mission.

DECLARATIONS

  • Encourage one or more people to testify about what God has shown them through the Concert of Prayer.

DEDICATION

  • A prayer from the front dedicating the whole group to God.
  • Final song or hymn, declaring God’s great victory.

BLESSING

  • A closing benediction or prayer.

Prayer Watch

History of the Prayer Watch

The Prayer Watch is rooted in Scripture and in church history. One of the best-known historic Prayer Watches occurred in the early 1700s in Saxony when a rich nobleman, Count Zizendorf, began sheltering oppressed Christians. Over time, his estate cloistered a mixed and bickering crowd of nearly 300 Moravian, Lutheran, Separatist, Reformed, and Anabaptist Christians. In an effort to manage and guide this new community, Zizendorf began to visit the believers in their homes. He set down rules and guidelines for the community and he organized the believers into a ministry of prayer.

Inspired by the words of Isaiah, the Count set the people to praying around the clock:

I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
they will never be silent day or night.
You who call on the Lord,
give yourselves no rest,
and give Him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem
and makes her the praise of the earth.

(Isaiah 62:6-7)

Zizendorf had earlier named the community “Herrnhut,” which means “The Lord’s Watch.” The Herrnhut prayer watch began in 1727, and fostered spiritual renewal that swept the Herrnhut community. Individuals signed up for one hour time slots, and the prayer watch continued unabated for a hundred years! The impact was felt not only in Saxony, but in surrounding nations. Sixty-five years after the Prayer Watch had begun, the small Herrnhut community had sent over 300 missionaries around the world.

Organizing a Prayer Watch

The key to a successful Prayer Watch is organization and unified vision. Some suggestions are:

  • Decide the hours and duration of the watch, as well as how long should be the time slots for those who sign up. Fifteen minute slots are quite manageable for most people (those so inclined can commit to multiple slots).
  • Encourage couples to pray together and singles to find a prayer partner of the same gender, if possible.
  • An in-house prayer letter or bulletin that contains general, on-going prayer requests as well as specific updated prayer needs can keep the participants focused, united, and inspired.
  • It is good (but not essential) to have a room (usually in the church) set aside for prayer, with prayer resources to support those who come. But unless your church is a commune as was Herrnhut, it is also important to be flexible and to allow people to pray in their homes or wherever it works best for them during their assigned time slot(s).
  • Weekly or monthly corporate prayer gatherings will encourage those who are on the watch. (If these meetings include more than two dozen people, the Concert of Prayer format may be advantageous) As the watch members pray together they will find renewed passion for on-going prayer.
  • Remember that the goal of the watch is not simply to keep people praying, but to keep them praying together with a united vision and with godly conviction.
Helpful Suggestions
  • Ask the pastor to preach a sermon (or sermon series) on prayer.
  • Before or during the preaching of the sermon, locate a leadership team to build and guide the prayer watch. A typical team might include:
    • The pastor or a person appointed by him to lead the watch,
    • A person to organize and update the prayer roster (the list of those on the watch), and
    • A person to handle the newsletter, communications and publicity.
  • Plan the date to begin publicizing the watch:
    • Develop a simple brochure or bulletin insert that outlines the vision, purpose, and procedure for the prayer watch.
    • Find a central location for the roster and encourage people to sign up for time slots.
  • Launch the watch.
Guidelines for Prayer Watches
  1. Find a quiet place where you can pray without interruption. Your pastor may have provided a central place in your church for people on the watch, may encourage each Watch participant to pray in their homes, or may encourage both options.
  2. Begin your prayers, asking for protection and guidance, and read aloud some of God’s promises related to prayer (e.g.: Matthew 18:18-19, John 14:11-14; 15:7,16; 16:23-24, James 5:13-18, 1John 5:14-15; Psalm 91:15—or the whole Psalm, or other Psalms; Jeremiah 29:11-13).
  3. Intercede using the common prayer requests listed below, shared by all on the Watch. These requests will be updated based on input given by members on the Watch.
  4. Pray also for specific requests provided by your pastor, church prayer coordinator, or from other sources.
  5. Consider following a Biblical pattern for prayer, such as:
  • The Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9-13: Which includes elements of adoration and praise, surrender, petition for needs, confession, and prayers for guidance).
  • The ACTS formula: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication (praying for needs of others).
  • A pattern for praying for others such as those found in Ephesians 3:14-19, Philippians 1:9-11, or Colossians 1:9-12, Daniel 9:4-19, and many of the Psalms.
Common Requests for Everyone on a Watch
  • Pray for spiritual awakening to impact every church in your city, county, and/or region.
  • Pray for unbelievers to hear and believe the Gospel of salvation, locally and globally.
  • Pray for churches to experience unity within their walls, and for God to build unity between congregations.
  • Pray for ministries in Christ’s name to help the poor in body, mind, and spirit to form and be energized by God throughout your area.
  • Pray for the protection of pastors in your area and around the world. Pray also for the gospel and sound teaching to fill pulpits around the country.
  • Pray for the government, national to local, to be blessed with God’s wisdom and to fulfill God’s purpose.
  • Pray for persecuted Christians around the world to know God’s strength and enduring grace.
  • Pray for Watch participants to be inspired, encouraged, and anointed of God to be faithful to their times, praying with holy boldness.
  • Ask God to continue building the prayer movement in your area in a way that cannot be stopped. May the Lord receive all the glory and may the glory of the Lord fill our land!

Join the Scripture Awakening Prayer Family

We believe that prayer is the power station behind any fruitful ministry. The need for every church and Christian ministry to flourish is always before us, so prayer should be always be offered to God to sustain and grow God’s work. We routinely ask our Prayer Family to support global prayer needs. Please join our list today.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Why this prayer ministry?

We believe that prayer is the power station behind any fruitful ministry. The need for every church and Christian ministry to flourish is always before us, so prayer should be always be offered to God to sustain and grow God’s work.

Are you praying for revival? If so, what do you mean by that?

Yes, a common goal for every church and ministry involved in a Prayer Movement is to pray for revival. We believe the Church (God’s people) must be awakened (revived). Revival is about the church coming alive, which then will impact our community and the world. We use the word, revival, in this context, to refer to a broad-scale awakening. It must begin with individuals, and it must occur in individual congregations—but we are praying for it to spread like fire throughout our county and across the land.

What is the difference between a Prayer Movement and a Prayer Ministry?

The prayer ministry is our organized and prayerful effort to unite around God’s call to prayer. The prayer movement is what God does, through His Holy Spirit, to inspire and motivate prayer. We can do nothing without the Lord’s guidance and power, and revival or awakening can only come if God moves with His sovereign hand to bring it.

Why a Prayer Watch?

History demonstrates the strength of ongoing prayer. Based on Isaiah 62:6-7, we aim to have ongoing prayer over the county as a protection from spiritual forces of darkness and as a continual power source for God’s kingdom to be advanced.

Why regular prayer gatherings?

The Scriptures are packed with promises about the power of united prayer. These gatherings are being called Concerts of Prayer to create a link to the historic term given by Jonathan Edwards in 1747 that helped birth the First Great Awakening in America. We are praying for an awakening today as well, the coming alive of all believers to the glory of God in the face of Christ.

Are the Prayer Watch and gatherings focused locally only, or globally?

We are praying for both our local ministries and county, and also for the world. The awakening of the Church is the first and greatest thing that can happen for the evangelization of the world.

How do I get involved?

You are welcome to begin praying and then organizing prayer gatherings in your home, church, city, or county. Please review this website to learn how you can encourage your church or ministry to become an active part. Email us your SA contact person if you wish to receive our support with resources, ideas, and networking.

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