Suppose you had to choose one consistent characteristic. One thing found in every movement, that you absolutely must do regularly. What would that one thing be? The answer is clear. It would be extraordinary prayer.
Ever since church multiplication and movements began to be spoken of, prayer has been identified as a major cause. Wherever you find a DMM or CPM, you will also always find a foundation of extraordinary prayer.
This was evident in the early church – the first Jesus movement that spread rapidly around the world.
Prayer In The Early Church
In Acts Chapter Two, it says that the believers were devoted to prayer.
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”Acts 2:42 NIV
Later, we see the movement leaders (apostles), list prayer as one of their most essential priorities.
“But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”Acts 6:4 NIV
3 Groups Of People Who Must Pray
In his 2011 article, Steve Smith wrote that in every movement you see three groups of people praying.
- The initiators of the movement
- Outside prayer supporters
- New believers who rise up within the movement
Smith writes about the third group saying that Church Planting Movements (CPMs) “become explosive when new believers take up the intercession baton- praying for the overall vision and the salvation of their family, friends, co-worker, and neighbors.”
I can attest to the truth of this in the movements I have worked with as well.
Developing A Prayer Plan
As you work to see a Disciple Making Movement (DMM), develop a clear, written prayer plan for this. It is best to formulate this as a team. A plan will ensure that prayer is consistent, even as the movement begins to
Many church planters enter a new community with much prayer. This key DMM activity must stay a central value in the movement as it grows. Prayer is key to movement growth and depth continuing.
5 Things To Include In Your Prayer Plan
1) Prayer Walks
Choose a segment of the community and “walk the land.” Observe, pray scriptures, bless the area, and ask God to move in the lives of those you see there. Prayer walks have often led to the discovery of Persons of Peace. Neighborhoodprayer.net has some good tips on how to do a prayer walk.
2) Individual Prayer Commitments
Ask each team member to make a specific prayer commitment. Share with your team the vital necessity of multiplying prayer efforts and ask them to lead the way. How much time each day (or week) will each person spend in prayer? Especially focusing on your End Vision and the lost around you?
3) Regular Corporate Prayer Times
Plan times (at least weekly) to pray together as a team or church, for the lost and for the launching of a movement. Many like to include a monthly all night prayer event or corporate fasting times.
4) Extraordinary Prayer Mobilization
Identify someone on your team who is a good communicator. Decide how you will mobilize more prayer for your region and the peoples there who don’t know Christ. Prayer calendars, booklets or other tools can be developed. Set a goal of how many prayer partners you want to see raised up for this vision. Be sure to update them regularly so they stay motivated and informed.
5) Use Simple Tools & Train Everyone In Extraordinary Prayer
One of the most effective simple prayer tools I have used is the Lost and Saved List. Encourage each team member (and the believers in the movement) to pray daily. Lift up the people on their list who don’t know Jesus. Encourage them to pray for those they are training (or hope to train) in disciple-making activities.
Praying for the Lost and Saved List activates faith and prepares the soil for the seed of God’s word. Read more about how to use a Lost and Saved List here.
Chris Galanos in his book From Mega-church to Multiplication wrote, “If we want to see results
So simple, but so true. The early church practiced extraordinary prayer.
If we want to see the gospel spread rapidly through our region we must be serious about consistent, sincere, and frequent prayer.
Choose something from the list above and take at least one step this week to increase your prayer life.
Do you already have a prayer plan? Let me know about it in the comments below. Have other ideas you think should be included in a prayer strategy for movements? I’d love to hear about those too.