Let’s be honest – even church leaders sometimes struggle with praying regularly. Our schedule is so busy that it’s difficult to find time to pray. If you struggle with prayer — whether you're a pastor or a lay leader — here are some simple ways to increase your praying this week.
- Focus on one task God has given you that you know you can’t do – and pray. Sometimes, frankly, we’re so accustomed to doing ministry in our own power that we pray only when circumstances demand it. Take a good look at that “impossible” task God has given your church, and then seek His grace and power. If you can’t think of an impossible task, ask God to give you one.
- Pray through the church membership list. Everybody in your church, including those who are inactive, needs your prayers. Schedule to pray through names every day so that you pray for each church family at least once a month.
- Send a prayer email each day to a church member. As you pray through the membership list, send a brief email to at least one member or family. Writing the email won’t take ten minutes, but the benefits of sending it could last a long time.
- Pray as you drive. Think about how much you can pray for as you drive – teachers and students in schools you pass, leaders of other churches you see, church members whose homes you drive by, workers in offices you pass, people you see on the street. You might, in fact, be the only person praying for any of these folks today.
- Use the church bulletin or schedule as a prayer guide. The bulletin should be more than a list of announcements; it should be a call to prayer. If the young people are meeting on Tuesday night, pray for them. If the ladies’ Bible study is on Thursday morning, pray for them. If your church is busy at all, you can pray a lot through the bulletin.
- Pray with each staff member once a week. Get outside of your own world, and talk with the people who walk with you to lead your church. If you don’t have staff members, visit with other leaders each week. Learn about their burdens. Listen to them with undivided attention. Intercede for them. I assure you that you won’t be wasting your time as you pray with others.
- Schedule a prayer walk once a week. Find a place in your community where you can go for an hour a week. Walk, look, think, and pray. Let that time be time for just you and God. In fact, tell your church or your small group about your plans – let them hold you accountable to spending time with God.
- Pray through your church facility once a week. You know what teaching, training, fellowshipping, worshiping, etc., take place throughout your building. You might even know where people sit each Sunday. Walk the building, praying for specific Bible study leaders, worship leaders, and attenders as you go. Stand in your leadership role on Sunday with the integrity of knowing you’ve covered your church family in prayer.
- Pray with your spouse every day. As Christian leaders, we have no excuse not to pray with our spouse daily. Even five minutes of prayer is better than no prayer at all.
What other suggestions would you make?