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(Part 5) Prayer is the Water for your Ministry

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

The Power of Prayer in Your Ministry

One of my favorite prayers in the Bible comes from Hannah in Samual 1:11.

"O Lord of Heaven's Armies, if you look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut."

As Hannah's story continues in the scriptures, it tells us the Priest who was watching her at that time believed her to be drunk, praying, weeping in distress, and pouring out her heart to the Lord.

Have you ever been so overwhelmed with emotion and desperately praying that others may have thought you were intoxicated or crazy? It is a place of such agony and brokenness you cannot even find a way to eat to feed your body, as your soul feels so hungry and starving for the Lord. I have spent many of the last years praying over the lives of children, calling out to Jesus for him to do only the miracle he could.

In some ways, those prayers have been answered. In many ways, they were not.

Prayer is an essential part of life and an even more critical part of the ministry. Ministry is not just a profession or a job but a calling that requires a deep connection with God. Prayer is the act of communicating with God, which allows us to develop a deeper relationship with Him. It is impossible to have an effective ministry without an active prayer life.

Prayer is the Water for your Ministry

Just like a plant needs water to survive, prayer is like the refreshing water for our ministries. Through prayer, we gain clarity in our ministry, wisdom from God, and the strength to carry out the tasks. Without prayer, it becomes challenging to trust in God's will and believe He is always leading us in the right direction. But with prayer, we can find guidance and comfort on our journey.

I have been doing ministry in raising my family for many years and more formally for the past six years. I am still very early in this calling. Yet, I have endured more isolation in this role over the past years than I experienced in any other space. My husband is on active duty, and we know the isolation many others may never experience as we move to places that continually keep us from our families.

I love being with people, and I am highly relational. Isolation can be daunting and discouraging. Yet, in these moments, I have learned the value of persistently praying over my family ministry and those to whom we are called to serve. Prayer has been the only thing that has kept me from throwing in the towel when things seem to get too difficult. It consistently reminds me that even though I may feel lonely, I am never truly alone. I have a Father who is always there to listen. The power of prayer can never be underestimated in ministry; it allows us to draw closer to God and remain focused on our purpose.

Prayer Unites and Connects Ministry Teams

Prayer unites ministry teams and strengthens their bond of fellowship and unity. Prayer is a powerful tool that helps to break down walls of division, misunderstanding, and conflict. When people pray together, they develop a deep sense of connectedness and cooperation that allows them to work together seamlessly. It creates an environment where people can be transparent, vulnerable, and honest with one another, creating a culture of trust and respect.

It was a little awkward when I first served others to ask if I could pray for them. I can assure you I am batting 100%. I have never had someone tell me, "Nope, I am good. No prayer for me, thanks!"

Prayer should be one of the first priorities in every meeting. Praying before getting started reminds us why we are here and gives our team a sense of purpose and mission.

Prayer Brings Breakthroughs in Ministry

Prayer can break down walls of opposition and bring breakthroughs in ministry. When we pray for vulnerable children and their families, we are pushing back the darkness! We often pray for people with multiple generations held by the chains of injustice, poverty, and despair. But prayer has the power to break those chains! We can speak life into those situations and speak words of faith over them. Prayer can bring hope and healing in ways that we never imagined possible.

Prayer opens the door for the miraculous to happen, and it releases the power of God to accomplish what seems impossible. Through prayer, God intervenes and provides the resources, opportunities, and favors that ministry leaders need. Prayer enables ministry leaders to overcome obstacles, challenges, and difficulties that may arise in their ministry.

Prayer Empowers Discipleship and Evangelism

Prayer is the heartbeat of discipleship and evangelism. Through prayer, ministry leaders are infused with love, compassion, and boldness to reach others with the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ. This powerful tool intercedes for the lost, the sick, and the hurting, allowing leaders to see through the eyes of Jesus with understanding, empathy, and deep compassion. Prayer is the key to discipleship, equipping new believers to forge a profound connection with God and flourish in their faith journey. Let the power of prayer ignite your ministry!

Ministry is often demanding, and ministry leaders can quickly become exhausted, overwhelmed, and burnt out. We are dealing with a calling that surrounds children, the very heart of the Father. We often carry the stories of children struggling, moving from home to home, or believing their best interests were not considered. At some point, you will wonder how you can continue to go on. Prayer can help sustain us during difficult seasons, bring hope when we feel discouraged, and remind us that God is at work even when it seems like the world has gone silent.

Prayer Brings Renewal of the Spirit

When we entered foster care, it was with a heart to serve children with special needs or medical complexities. I hoped to sit in a room surrounded by two or three children created uniquely and perfectly by the Father. This would indeed be a full-time calling. I have prayed and called out to him. Rather than the relentless pursuit of advocacy for vulnerable children, church engagement, and agency meetings, can I do that, Jesus? Can I sit in my house with these precious babies?

One day, I remember crying out to God to release me. "Lord, I'm tired and weary. My ministry has become an endless cycle of paperwork and meetings, not what you had initially called me to do. How can one person fix this broken system?"

God sweetly whispered: "I never asked you to fix this system. I only asked you to change what you could."

This calling will be heavy, but God has never intended it to be a burden.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."

1 Peter 5:6-7

When you feel weighed down by this calling, it is a good reminder that you are likely shouldering responsibilities that are not your own. It is time to cast them to the more capable shoulders of the Father. Through prayer, we can come with our brokenness and find healing. Through prayer, we can be empowered to live out the calling that God has placed on our hearts. It's a reminder that He is always in control, bigger than any problem or challenge we may face.

Prayer is one of the best ways to ensure that ministry leaders remain spiritually and emotionally renewed. Prayer provides a much-needed break from the busyness of ministry and allows leaders to rest in God’sGod'sence, experiencing His peace, joy, and comfort. It also helps ministry leaders to process difficult emotions, such as stress, anxiety, and depression, and find healing and restoration.

Prayer is essential to the life and vitality of any ministry. Ministry leaders must prioritize prayer, recognizing that it is the foundation of their work. Prayer unites teams, brings breakthroughs, empowers discipleship and evangelism, and provides spiritual and emotional renewal. As ministry leaders, let us commit to a lifestyle of prayer, seeking God’s will for our ministries, and trusting Him to lead and guide us every step of the way.

As any living creature will die without water, your ministry will likely perish without prayer. A regular rhythm of praying together helps build strong relationships, invite the presence of God into our work, and equip us to live out our mission with passion and courage.

Please join me in a word of prayer right now:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Please be near to your faithful followers. Send your Spirit to bring the comfort and peace that only you can give, reminding us daily of the privilege of serving the Almighty King in such a way. May Your will be done in our midst, and may we remain faithful servants of Your Kingdom.

Help us keep our eyes focused on You, and when that focus shifts, renew and strengthen our trust in You.

We ask that you raise up your army, reminding each believer of the command to care for the Fatherless. We ask that you bring like-minded others to combat the isolation that this work can bring.

Give us strength, courage, and boldness to speak out in love and truth. We pray that You would fill our ministries, and each person we serve, both the lost and those who know you, with life-changing encounters with You, as only You can do.

We ask all of these things in Your holy name, Amen.

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