pray

9 Ways to Strengthen Prayer in Your Church

  • 14 March 2017
  • Randy Wollf

man looking at horizonIt’s five years from now. Amazingly, your church has grown incredibly in the area of prayer. People are setting aside time each day to pray. They’re worshipping Him throughout the day. You see life groups and ministry groups making prayer a central part of their group time. You see a church where God is doing amazing things as He responds to the prayers of His people.

Sound exciting? How do we realize this kind of vision? Here are nine ways to strengthen prayer in your church:

#1 – Enlarge People’s Vision for Prayer

How do we challenge people to grow deeper in prayer? Preaching and teaching on prayer can definitely help. In addition, here is an idea that can blow away people’s conceptions about how God can respond to prayer today. Tell people about some of the spiritual revivals that have happened over the past 300 years (for starters, see The Role of Prayer in Spiritual Awakening video or text version). Knowing how God has responded to concerted, extraordinary prayer in the recent past can inspire us to pray in focused and persistent ways today.

#2 – Equip People to Pray

Most Christians know how to ask God for stuff. Yet, do we truly practice thankfulness, confession, and adoration of God? Do we realize deep down that the goal is not just to pray for a set period each day (as good as that is), but to develop a lifestyle of prayer?

We can teach about prayer through sermons and workshops, but there is nothing quite like combining training with practice. One of the most powerful equipping times for my church leadership team was when we went on a two-day prayer retreat (see 5 Reasons to go on a Prayer Retreat for more on prayer retreats). We all read a book on prayer prior to the retreat, had some training sessions, and then spent time in prayer. It was powerful!

#3 – Build on What is Already Happening

Seven Ways to Make Scripture Come Alive

  • 13 January 2017
  • Randy Wollf

Sunflower reaching upConfession time: I don’t always enjoy reading Scripture. Sometimes, it’s routine, even boring. Yet, I’ve also experienced incredible “Aha!” moments as God has spoken wisdom into my life. God’s Word has often encouraged me to carry on, even in the face of a big challenge. 

I’ve discovered that the times Scripture impacts me the most is when I actually engage with what God is saying―to meditate on His words. 

I’d like to offer seven ways for engaging Scripture that I have found life-changing.

Pray Through Scripture

I am currently using a Bible reading app on my phone to read through the Bible in 18 months. I like this approach, but sometimes find that I’m just reading to get it done. What has helped is to purposefully pray through the passages as I read them. For example, when reading Psalm 46, I can praise God that He is my refuge and strength. I may find myself confessing those times when I have tried to find safety outside of God. Depending on what I’m going through, I may respond to this passage by committing challenges to the Lord that need His strong helping hand. Praying through Scripture is a way to engage in a conversation with God about what He is showing me. It makes Scripture real and personal.

Journal in Response to Scripture

Journaling is another great way of engaging with Scripture. When I went through the two-year Navigator 2:7 Bible Study Series, we had to journal about our Bible reading each day. The approach was simple. We recorded a key idea and then applied it to our lives. Many have found that life journaling is a great way of getting into the heart of Scripture. One of the great benefits of journaling is that you can trace themes that God might be emphasizing in your life.

Memorize Scripture

Six Ways Anyone Can Share Christ

  • 9 February 2016
  • Randy Wollf

I don’t consider myself an evangelist and I’m not an overly outgoing person. Yet, over the years, God has given me numerous opportunities to lead people to Christ. I vividly remember when our neighbour Cathie prayed to receive Christ in our living room. We had prayed for her, loved her, and when she was ready, we shared the Gospel with her. 

In a previous blog, I shared eight biblical reasons for sharing Christ. In this post, I would like to share six practical and powerful ways that any Christian can share Christ.

Pray

Several years ago, a guest speaker at our church preached on the importance of praying for the unsaved people in our lives. He challenged us to pray for five unsaved neighbours, for five minutes a day, for five days a week, and to continue this for five weeks. He encouraged us to BLESS our unsaved friends and family by praying for their:

Bodies – health, protection, strength

Labour – work, income, security

Emotions – joy, peace, comfort

Social life – marriage, family, friends

Spiritual life – salvation

As the five weeks of praying regularly for my unsaved neighbours turned into months and years, I was amazed by how God answered those prayers. Cathie was one of the people who was on my prayer list. As Hudson Taylor once said, “We need to learn to move [people] through God by prayer alone.”

Love Each Other

When Christians love each other (I’m talking about a deep, sacrificial, life-on-life kind of love), it sends a powerful signal to a world that is desperate for love. Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).

Be a Blessing

I remember walking to church one Sunday morning. I was a pastor at the time. One of my neighbours came out of his house just as I was walking by. He was dressed in his painting clothes and seemed quite agitated. He told me that he was hard-pressed to get some painting done before a contractor arrived to do some work for him. Part of me wanted to help, but I couldn’t just abandon my church responsibilities. So I wished him well and continued my trek to church.

Even though I probably couldn’t have helped my neighbour right then and there, I realized that I had become rather selfish in my interactions with my neighbours. I didn’t really want to get involved in their lives. That day marked a turnaround for me as I attempted to be more of a blessing to my neighbours.