Tag Archives: prayer

“Inspire All” An Interview with An Indian Movement Leader

movement leader interview

Recently, I had the privilege of sitting down for a conversation with the leader of a growing movement in India. Knowing my readers would not have that same opportunity, I decided to record our conversation and share it with my readers.

C. Anderson: How did you begin your disciple-making work?

Movement Leader: We began by doing prayer walks, visiting the many unreached villages nearby. For three months all we did was pray. We then began to distribute tracts and share the good news with those who expressed interest. read more

How to Develop the #1 Habit That Releases Movements

Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution and then failed to do those things? Most people have. We say, “I’m going to lose 10 kilos.” Or we might say, “I’m going to start exercising.” We make resolutions, we set goals- then we go back to our old ways. Sometimes this makes us not even want to set goals! The problem isn’t with goal setting. If a goal is to become a reality though, you have to change your behavior. There is one regular practice that will make a bigger difference than any other. It is the development of a daily intercessory prayer habit.

Habits Matter

We are creatures of habit. Habits are not things we think about. We just do them. I don’t think about if I will drink coffee in the morning. I just do. I don’t think about brushing my teeth either. It happens automatically. When I meet someone, I always say, “How are you?” Another habit.

There are many important habits we need in our life if we want to release movements. Sharing your testimony freely needs to become a habit. Praying for the sick should become normal behavior. Making room in your calendar to focus on discipling new believers – it needs to be a typical thing for you.

The most important habit to develop, out of all of these, is the habit of regular prayer and intercession.

How can you develop this habit? How do you make intercessory prayer a regular, natural, normal part of your life?

“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16 NIV

Keystone Habits- One Change That Creates Others

“The Power of Habit”, a popular business book by Charles Duhigg, describes what he calls keystone habits. A keystone habit is a new behavior that once it develops, catalyzes change in many other areas of our lives. The habit of regular intercessory prayer is a keystone habit for a disciple maker. It makes evangelism easier. You will see the release of the anointing you’ve been wanting. A powerful passion to reach the unreached around you will grow.

intercessory prayer habit

5 Things You Can Do To Develop This New Habit

1) Make a fresh decision to develop an intercessory prayer habit.

This is hard if you have wanted to prioritize prayer in the past but haven’t. It is difficult to try to do something again and again but fail. Don’t let the enemy’s lies tell you this isn’t important enough to try once more. Don’t listen to the voice in your head that says, “I’m not really an intercessor. That is a gift for other people.”

The Father wants to help you become like His Son. Jesus regularly went away and prayed. If it was a habit in His life, it can become one in yours. Start with a fresh decision to try again.

2) Write down 5 reasons why developing this habit will help your ministry.

Knowing your “why” is key to moving forward in anything new or difficult. A lot of us don’t like to take time to write things down. You may like to talk more than pick up a pen. Maybe you even hate journaling. Recording things in written form, however, makes them clear. It helps us to commit. Take a minute right now. Jot down 5 benefits to your disciple-making efforts if you started interceding daily.

3) Choose a time to start. Mark it on your calendar and set a reminder.

Now you need to commit. We put our good intentions into practice by marking our calendars. A lot of people are not very calendar oriented. I understand that. Perhaps you are someone who has a diary somewhere, but you can never find it. Using a calendar is another important habit. I’ll write about it in another post sometime! But for now, at least set a reminder on your phone every day for a month. Choose a specific time you will intercede daily. Don’t start with huge goals. Start small. Maybe it is only 10-15 minutes a day. Later, you can increase this if you want to. Consistency is more important than quantity when it comes to habits.

4) Find someone to join you.

Encourage a friend, spouse, or colleague to take this journey with you. Share your new habit with a like-minded person and set goals together. We are much more likely to succeed when we have a partner in our journey. Who can you talk to this week about developing a stronger intercessory prayer habit? Ask them today to join you. Set up the first time you will check in with one another about this.

5) Decide now what you will do to celebrate when this becomes a habit. read more

Before Your First Discipleship Group – DMM Basics 101

“I love the idea of making disciples of new believers and seeing those discipleship groups multiply! I’m in!” you might be saying.  “But where do I start?  What do I need to do first to see a disciple making movement begin?”

There Are 3 “Basics” That Are Needed As Every DMM Gets Started.

  1. A Prayer Strategy
  2. Abundant Seed Sowing
  3. Finding the Person of Peace

I played basketball in college.  I wasn’t amazing, but I enjoyed it.  It was fun to be a part of a team.  I loved the games.  I hated the practices.  Our coach would push us hard on the court in the early morning practice.  We had to dribble, shoot lay-ups and free throws until we were sick of it.  We ran back and forth, up and down the court dribbling and passing the ball until we could do it in our sleep.  It was these basics that won the games.

It is easy to try to rush through these 3 important steps in seeing discipleship begin.  Don’t do it.

Develop a Prayer Strategy

John Wesley said, “God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.”  Every church planting or disciple making movement that happens, starts with prayer.

discipleship groups
It starts with prayer!

Many disciple makers start with regular visits to the area they want to reach. Then they do prayer walks through the neighborhood.  They ask God to speak to them and show them what the spiritual strongholds are in that area.  They pray and raise up others to pray for those “strongholds to be broken” and for God’s blessing to come.

Others organize intercessory teams to pray on site.  Some people make maps of the area taking note of important locations like the temples, mosques or key places of commerce and government. Some organize all night prayer or 24-7 prayer chains within the team.  They saturate the place with prayer.  In the midst of this, they begin to sense from the Holy Spirit what God wants to do there.

Even after the first discipleship groups begin, prayer must be a central part of the disciple maker’s life.

Do you have a short and long-term prayer strategy? Are you consistently prioritizing prayer in your efforts to reach this new place or people group?

Abundant Seed Sowing

As you begin to know your community, boldly share the gospel with many.  This is what will lead to seeing discipleship groups in the near future.

When I train rural church planters in Asia, I often do a drama about a wise and foolish farmer.  The foolish farmer sows only a few seeds and then is surprised that he doesn’t get a harvest.  The wise farmer knows that in order to get a great harvest you must sow thousands of seeds.

Abundant seed sowing works! There is a common “mistake” for those trying to start their first discipleship group.  They share the gospel with a few people.  Those people don’t seem interested or are even resistant.  They then decide that they don’t want to “turn people off,” so they will just make friends first with everyone and slowly share the gospel.  Friendship evangelism is a nice idea.  The problem with it is that it takes a very long time before you see fruit.  Often, before we are even sure the person is open to the good news, we invest a lot in getting to know them.  Then, when we finally share Jesus with them, we find out they are not interested.  This is deeply disappointing and the end result is we don’t start any discipleship groups.

Instead, find ways to share the gospel with hundreds (if not thousands) of people.  There will be some who are open.  God has already prepared people to believe.  You find them through sharing the gospel abundantly with as many people as possible.

Finding The Person Of Peace

Luke 10 refers to the person of peace.

“If the man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you.”- Luke 10:6 NASB

Jesus sent His disciples out to heal the sick, cast out demons and to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom.  As they did that,

they were to find the “Person of Peace” who would offer them hospitality, a place to stay and would also gather others to hear their message.   read more

Prayer- A Leader’s First Ministry

prayer and leadership

A Disciple Making Movement (DMM) leader’s most important role is to intercede for those they lead.  Leader’s who accomplish much, do so on their knees.  It is in the place of prayer that we hear His voice, gain direction, strength, perspective, encouragement and where ultimately the real breakthroughs happen. Prayer in leadership is essential.

Prayer Can Not Be Delegated

The work on our knees can not be delegated to others. It is the responsibility of every Christian leader to pray themselves.  We need to lead the way in prayer.  That is not to say that we don’t also mobilize and raise up many others to intercede.  We do.  We must.  There are others who may spend more actual hours in prayer than we do, or who may carry the work of intercession in very significant ways.  As leaders, delegation is an important skill.  This is one that you cannot delegate away though.

Biblical Leaders Prayed

In scripture we find many examples of leaders who saw prayer and intercession for their people as one of their most important tasks.  We read of Moses and the way he interceded on behalf of Israel.  We read of King Hezekiah’s prayers of intercession.  Paul prayed much for those among whom he planted churches.  Of course, the greatest example is Jesus.  He not only prayed for His disciples, for Jerusalem, and for the multitudes but even now He, our great Lord and Leader, still prioritizes making intercession for us (Rom 8:34).

Prayer Is Real Work

I often find in missions efforts, that church planters see prayer and intercession as something they do in the mornings or at certain prayer meeting times, but then they go on to do their “real work” after that.  Prayer is part of our ministry as leaders of movements and as trainers of trainers.  We must pray much for those we train, coach and lead.  Intercede for revelation, for protection, for anointing, for breakthrough.  Lift up those you are training and sharing Christ with.  Cry out to God for the lost around us and the lost around those we have trained.  We pray for revival and outpouring of God’s spirit in each and every life, in each and every house church that is started.

These days I find myself crying out often throughout the day “Lord, send your Spirit.  Visit your people once again.  Come and let your Presence be felt in our lives again.  Set us ablaze.  Send fire from heaven to rest on each church planter.  Overflow from them and spill over to touch the lost around them.  Raise up radical, obedient disciples of Jesus who passionately share good news and make disciples everywhere they go.  I want an outpouring like we have never before seen, Lord.  This I boldly ask You for!”

Join me to intercede for breakthrough and revival.  God promises to respond to our heartfelt prayers.

What better way could a leader spend their time and energy than in prayer?