Community Prayer Guide for the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church
Preparing to pray
- Take a Bible so that you can pray according to God's Word – 1 John 5:14-15
- Pray in faith – James 5:15
- Realize you are to always pray, never giving up – Luke 18:1
- Come boldly into the throne room – Hebrews 4:16
- Plan to pray in the name of Jesus – John 16: 23-24
- Know that God will hear you – 1 Peter 3:12
- Claim the power of earnest praying – James 5:16 (Amplified)
- Recognize that power is released hi prayer – Isaiah 55:11
- Recognize whom you are fighting – Ephesians 6:12
- Realize your power, through Jesus, over Satan – 1 John 4:4
- Put on your prayer armor – Ephesians 6:13-17
- Purge yourself of uncleanliness and unforgiveness – Matthew 18:21-35, Mark 11:25
Used with permission. Adapted from Prayer Room Intercessor's Handbook, © 1999 Dr. Terry Teykl, Prayer Point Press, edited by Lynn Ponder, www.prayerpointpress.com.
Individual Prayer for your Community
Below are some suggested prayers to pray individually, each day of the week over your community for several weeks or months. After a period of time God will give you ways to tailor these prayers to your specific circumstances. Be sure to listen and keep a journal as God reveals ways for you to take action, then share them with your pastor(s), prayer leaders and small groups. God may very well be saying the same thing to them.
Sunday: Your Church
- Your Pastor(s) – Pray that he/she spends time with God daily, reading His Word, seeking His face and worshiping Him to renew his/her mind with the mind of Christ (Romans 12:2).
- Church Leaders – Pray that they seek and cooperate with God's plan for the congregation and outreach to the community (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
- Your Congregation – Pray that each person will acknowledge, receive and use God-given gifts, abilities and talents for the glory of God (I Corinthians 12:4-6).
- Church Neighborhood – Pray that your church neighbors and community will be drawn by your winsome ways to the truth of the Gospel and into a relationship with God through Jesus (I Peter 3:15).
- Families – Pray for God-centered relationships among family members (Genesis 28:14). Parents – Pray that they will boldly instruct their children in biblical values and pray together; that the hearts of the parents will turn to their children (Ephesians 6:4).
- Children – Pray that they will learn obedience to parents so they will in turn obey God, their heavenly parent; that the hearts of the children will turn to their parents (Mark 10:14: Psalm 144:12).
- Single parents – Pray for an extra measure of God's grace and protection for those who are raising children alone; that all of their financial needs will be met (Psalm 5:11).
- Single adults who live alone – Pray that they would realize that God is their constant companion, even in lonely times (Psalm 71:3).
- Administrators – Pray that they exercise authority with fairness and justice (Proverbs 2:6).
- Teachers – Pray that they will demonstrate love to students, even in difficult situations (I Corinthians 13:4).
- Support Staff – Whether a school psychologist or custodian, Pray that their highest interest is the well-being of the children (Proverbs 16:3).
- Students – Pray that they will learn at their potential and gain wisdom as well as knowledge (Proverbs 4:7).
- Christians in the schools – Pray that they will demonstrate Christlikeness (James 1:22-25).
Wednesday: Leaders with civil authority
- Mayor/city administration – Pray that they will do what is right and honorable for the city or town (Matthew 5:14).
- Courts – Pray that judges, lawyers and juries will reflect God's justice and that honesty prevails in all court decisions (Micah 6:8).
- City or County Council Members – Pray that they will seek God's counsel before passing ordinances that affect the citizens they represent (Proverbs 3:5-6).
- Policemen and women – Pray that they will be protected from evil intent and enforce the law with integrity (Proverbs 10:9).
- Firefighters – Pray that they will have supernatural protection from fire and that they have success in rescuing people from all forms of danger (Daniel 3:27b).
Thursday: Economic life of your community
- Businesses – Pray that owners will prosper and use their businesses as a way to spread the Gospel and that managers and employees will honor God in their work ethic (Colossians 3:17).
- Industry – Pray for godly creativity to be unleashed in the workplace as more efficient and effective methods for production are employed (Exodus 35:30-33).
- Agriculture – Pray for all people connected with farming to exercise safety practices that will keep them from harm and for God's blessings to rest on their livestock, land and crops (Deuteronomy 16:15 and Psalm 144:13).
- Non-profit Organizations – Pray that they will have the resources to meet people's needs (Proverbs 11:25).
Friday: Outcasts and Needy
- Poor – Pray for God to establish the poor so that their spiritual and physical needs are met with dignity and stability (Psalm 140:12).
- Widows and orphans – Pray for every need of their bodies, minds and spirits to be met (Jeremiah 49:11).
- Prisoners – Pray for jail ministries to reach them with genuine conversion experiences and disciple them with love (Psalm 69:32-33)
- Mentally ill – Pray for the restoration of their minds for God's intended purposes (Isaiah 14:3).
- Physically ill – Pray that God will use any and all means to bring healing for the sick (Jeremiah 17:14).
- Disabled – Pray that they will be filled with hope from God even when discouraged (Isaiah 40:31).
Saturday: Spiritually lost
- Family Members – Pray for those whom you love and care deeply for to turn to God for Salvation; name a family member who needs a personal relationship with Jesus (Acts 2:38-39).
- Neighbors – Pray for those with whom you have regular contact to seek and find God; lift up a person by name (Acts 8:26-39).
- Unsaved of the community – Pray for the churches of your community to be filled with people hungry for the power of Jesus living in them and for the churches to disciple them with open arms and for your church to go to the people who have needs and meet them where they are (Acts 17:16-34).
Corporate Prayer for your Community
Praying together regularly for your community will take you and your church to the next level of intercession. If you do not have a prayer coordinator, ask God to call someone into that position. Having a person responsible for organizing times of corporate prayer will insure that they actually happen. That person can gather resources and intercessors for prayer and train them in prayer for your city, town, village or rural area.
Here are more helpful suggestions:
- Set a time to gather for prayer and stick to it.
- Start with praise and worship - songs, scriptures and personal praises.
- Focus on different topics each meeting.
- Vary your approach - pray in pairs one meeting, prayerwalk one meeting (see below for Waymakers resources), pray as a group another time.
- Don't let the meeting turn into a discussion what you should pray about -just do it!
- Stay on target. Don't let your meeting turn into praying for members of your congregation who need a touch from God. This prayer meeting is for your community and seeking God's will for your church's ministry in the community. If you desire, offer to stay after the meeting and pray for individual needs.
- Don't be discouraged if only a few show up for corporate prayer. The faith of only two or three can move mountains in God's kingdom.
Let's look at some ways to pray for your community and discern your call to outreach as a church.
- Declare scripture over your community aloud
- Isaiah 43:5-7
- 1 Chronicles 16:23-24
- Psalms -just about all of them
- John 4:23
- Isaiah 54:14
- You get the idea. Pray scripture.
- Speak blessing over your neighbors, friends and strangers in your community. (Taken from Light-Houses of Prayer brochure, Houses of Prayer Everywhere.)
- Body – health, protection, strength
- Labor – work, income, security
- Emotional – joy, peace, hope
- Social – love, marriage, family, friends
- Spiritual – salvation, faith, grace
- Using printed resources for your prayer group is an easy and effective way to pray in agreement with one another. It also eases the fear of praying aloud in a small group. Before long, you will find yourselves tailoring the prayers to your community's needs, adding specifics. Here are some suppliers that have proved helpful:
- Waymakers, Box 203131, Austin, TX 78720-3131, www.waymakers.org, 512-419-7729 or 800-264-5214; great inexpensive resources for prayerwalking and praying scripture also Seek God for the City annual Lenten prayer guide
- Prayer Point Press, 2100 N. Carrollton Dr., Muncie, IN 47304, www.prayerpointpress.com, 888-656-6067; Terry Teykl's published materials, especially useful are the Keys to the Kingdom.
- Houses of Prayer Everywhere, 619 Washington Ave., Terre Haute, IN 47802, harvestprayer.com, 800-217-5200; Light-Houses of Prayer home.
- Upper Room Ministries, www.upperroom.org, 800-972-0433; United Methodist prayer materials.
- Pray! Network, part of NavPress, www.praynetwork.org, online resources including archive of Pray! Magazine articles.
- The Father’s Business, Prayer Portions and more resources to order online or by phone: www.thefathersbusiness.com or 205-980-8382, email firstname.lastname@example.org
May God bless you and keep you as you embark on this new adventure in prayer.