SIDEBAR: Revitalization and Prayer
by Danny W. Davis
In his book, Turnaround Churches: How 300 Churches Turned Around and Yours Can, Too, Ed Stetzer writes a chapter titled, “Top Ten Most Common Transformations for Comeback Churches.”1 Prayer is number one. The most radical element of transformation in declining churches is a new attitude toward prayer. Churches committed to revitalization must make strategic prayer a priority.
Emphasize and Teach Prayer
One of the first things I did after becoming the pastor at our church was to start teaching about prayer.
Our church has a Wednesday Bible study and prayer meeting. We spent several weeks talking about and doing prayer. Over a 12-week period, we worked through two courses centering on prayer and the work of the Holy Spirit. But we did not simply learn and fill in blanks. We set aside time during the Wednesday service to pray. It has brought us a renewed faith and drawn us together in unity.
Recruit a Revitalization Prayer Team
Prayer is the vehicle to winning the spiritual battle in any church effort.
Wednesday night prayer is wonderful. It helps model prayer for all who attend. This should not be the only prayer emphasis in the church, however. Every pastor needs to recruit a group of intercessors for his or her church. Let this team know how to pray. Trust the team will help you and the leaders hear from God.
Ask the Community What to Pray
Our strategy for revitalization includes greater community involvement.
Part of this strategy is being available to pray for community needs. Do not be afraid to ask your local government leaders about prayer needs. I read the local newspaper with an eye for opportunities for our congregation to pray for our community. God is now opening doors of influence for our church and me.
DANNY W. DAVIS, Odessa, Missouri
1. Ed Stetzer, Comeback Churches: How 300 Churches Turned Around and Yours Can, Too, (Nashville, Tennessee: B&H Publishing Group, 2007), 192.