WHERE DO I START?
It is worthy of note that there is only one occurrence in the New Testament in which the disciples ask to be taught something by Jesus. The only thing they ever asked our Lord to teach them was to pray (Luke 11:1). This shows us several things about prayer:
- Prayer is something we must learn and grow in
- It does not always come naturally
- Many times, we learn from others who are further along than us.
To be an Acts 6:4 pastor requires a life of constant personal prayer, first and foremost. You can not lead your people where you have never been. Christ so perfectly exemplified this for us while on the earth. Develop a deep and daily intimacy with God.
Lastly, we often say prayer is more caught than taught. Find other mature believers whom you can learn from by praying with them.
LEADING YOUR CHURCH TO PRAY
Behind every praying church, you will always find one thing: a praying pastor who exemplifies and champions the need to seek God's face. The pulpit ALWAYS drives the church, and churches will never be true houses of prayer unless their pastor leads them to become such. Pastor: Regardless of how you feel, your personal giftings, or how slow going it may be, you alone are the primary agent of change in regards to prayer. This cannot be delegated.
THE POWER OF A PRAYING COMMUNITY
This is not all to say that the church rises and falls on the shoulders of one man. Pastors should surround themselves with other praying leaders; from both inside and outside the church. You will find great strength and solace in a coalition of prayer warriors. Many times, its where we best learn to pray, and find fresh grace to endure in all other areas of ministry.
The 6:4 Fellowship is here to be that community. But don't stop here. Search out other pastors in your area, and begin to seek God together with them. Or find on our Regional Resource Churches, and partner with them.
Watch this powerful testimony of a local pastor who has taken part in a powerful pastoral praying community of over 20+ years:
ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE JOURNEY
You can be assured of this, when you set your heart to lead in this way, you will face much opposition. The enemy hates nothing more than a praying church. Many times, church members will be resistant to change, or simply want just to be entertained. But you must believe, that while it is not an easy work, it is a worthy work. Take heart. Be committed for the long haul. And one day you will see the great fruit and powerful working of God through this commitment to the few and most important things. "But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the word." Acts 6:4.
OTHER HELPFUL TOOLS
WORSHIP-BASED PRAYER…Many 6:4 pastors have found great help to start leading their churches in prayer by using this simple 4/4 pattern based on The Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6.
RECOMMENDED READING...A helpful list of books to encourage and equip you in this pursuit of prayer and the ministry of the word.
PRAYER GUIDES...utilize and adapt the pre-made formats for leading corporate times of prayer through a specific text of Scripture.
PRAYER COACHING....Need something a little more "hands on"? Many of our pastors have been helped tremendously through this 3-month praying coaching experience with one of our partner ministries, Strategic Renewal.