What Is A "Church Prayer Weekend?"
It is a Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday that are set aside for the purpose of seeking God. Meant to be church-wide, the single aim of each participant during the weekend is to draw near to God.
How to Prepare for a Weekend of Prayer
Perspective: Our perspective will powerfully influence our preparations.
The heart of any work of God is PRAYER. Because God must be sought with a whole heart, we insist on the following three commitments before accepting an invitation to serve a church.
- A commitment to Extraordinary Prayer. This means going beyond the usual in order to pray. For some this will mean getting up early, for others, turning off the TV, and yet for others, giving up a meal - for the purpose of prayer. Extraordinary Prayer is simply this: giving up something significant in order to pray. Without prayer we can expect nothing from God.
- A commitment to clear the calendar. This includes the two weeks that surround the weekend of prayer. "Clearing the calendar" means scheduling no Board or Committee meetings, no adult socials, and no youth outings. When the people of the church are asked to pray, it must be the only request being made of them. The church calendar must be clear in order to make it possible for people to seek the Lord wholeheartedly (Jeremiah 29:13).
- A commitment to free the Pastor(s) for ministry during the times of preparation. The lay leadership must accept responsibility for making all the necessary arrangements for the weekend. In the spirit of Acts 6:3-4, the Pastors must be free to devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word.
What is your perspective? Ours is to give God every opportunity to work in the lives of His people. Preparations: Our preparations should flow out of our prayers. Pray, then plan. In terms of practical preparations, the following should be prayerfully considered:
- An overall Chairman. His/her responsibility is to stay in touch with our office and see to it that others who have preparation responsibilities are getting their jobs done. This person would also work with the Pastor to set up the room you select for use. He/she may want to recruit a small crew for setup. We will also need communion supplies, candles and matches.
- A Prayer Chairman - preferably a husband and wife team. These two will be responsible for creating opportunities for prayer. Our desire is that everyone would pray. The goal is to make it possible for everyone to pray!
- Housing/meals/transportation. This person secures a place for the facilitator(s) to stay and makes whatever arrangements are necessary for meals and wheels!
- Children's Coordinator. If your church has a significant number of young families, then childcare will be an issue. We encourage churches to approach a neighboring church (or one with whom they have a good relationship) to see if they will accept responsibility for providing childcare workers -- even supervision. The point is to free up the people of your church so that they can all attend.
A Prayer Weekend Outline:
- Friday evening - Two hour worship and communion service.
- Saturday (9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.) - A day of prayer, seeking to draw near to God. A one-hour lunch break would be included (everyone brings their own sack lunch).
- Sunday morning - Preaching service. We often use a combined Sunday School class time to teach people how to have "Fellowship with God."
- Sunday evening - A two- to three-hour service for additional prayer, worship or instruction - whatever is appropriate to what the Lord has been doing during the weekend.
Contact Dave Cetti at 503-405-1592 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to explore this further or to discuss the availability of a facilitator for a Church Prayer Weekend.