DIOCESAN PRAYER MINISTRY
In St. Paul’s letters to the churches which have been preserved for us in the canon of the New Testament, we see that the great missional Apostle considered it a priority of his own ministry not only to offer doctrinal instruction and counsel to the churches in his care, he also prayed for them (Romans 1:8, 1 Cor 1:4, Eph 1:15-17). It is safe to assert that Paul believed prayer was vital to the spread of the Gospel and, in particular, to the planting of healthy, new churches. Furthermore, when you consider that the great moves of the Holy Spirit in the history of the Church were always preceded by concerted and extraordinary prayer from God’s people, then it is clear how essential the role of prayer should be to any church movement.
The thing is, churches can run without prayer and often do. Dioceses can run without prayer and often do. The question is — “Is what they’re doing worth doing if they can do it without prayer?” We do not think so. Jesus commissioned his church to storm the gates of hell. The world is still full of the “this kind” of spirits that Jesus confronted in the story of the demonized boy. Evil and darkness are as intractable and entrenched as they were in the first century. Do we really believe that programs and committees and ecclesiastical exertions and pronouncements are going to change that? Jesus doesn’t. “This kind” will come out only by the power of God—that is, by prayer!
At the outset of our life together as a diocese, we want to prioritize prayer, because the work of the church is God’s work, not ours. We readily recognize our own limitations and so it is through prayer where our dependency on God is most tangibly revealed. We must be a diocese that prays. To that end, we need people of prayer to come together to pray, regularly and consistently.
As we begin our diocese, we will seek to form the following two teams:
INTERCESSORY PRAYER TEAM
This team will be made up of people from diocesan churches who volunteer to intercede for diocesan prayer needs. We will create a mechanism to receive prayer requests from our churches. Those prayer requests will then be distributed to our intercessors for prayer. The Intercessory Prayer Team will also intercede for the calendar of events in the diocese, praying over meetings like regional retreats. They will pray for the mission of diocese by praying regularly for new church plants. We will also look to this team to help create and distribute cycles of prayer for our diocese to ensure our churches and clergy, as well as our mission, are being prayed for on a consistent and regular basis by the people in our churches.
To be a part of this team, please email Canon David (firstname.lastname@example.org).
DIOCESAN PRAYER COHORT
This team will consist of recruited prayer leaders from our diocese as identified by our clergy. They will be in routine correspondence with the Shepherding Team to pray for the diocese. These prayer warriors will be tasked with covering the mission of our diocese in prayer. In so doing, we will depend on them to join our leaders ‘in the spirit’ as we forge ahead to break new and hard ground for the Gospel. Therefore, we will also depend on their intercessions for the spiritual wellbeing of our diocese and protection from spiritual attack. This team will be asked to pray without ceasing, and as they do, will be an invaluable asset to our mission.