This post is primarily for preacher’s, however we will be glad for anyone to look in to this private post. As a young preacher sometime in the early ‘80s, an older preacher told me about how he prayed regularly for the members of the church where he preached.
He mentioned that in this small congregation, he knew where every member would sit when they gathered for worship. He related how through the week he would leave his office and sit in the places where each family would sit on Sunday and pray for that family.
Through the years I’ve heard numerous stories from other preachers who took time to pray for all of the members of the congregation where they preach. I have tried my best to do this at various times during my thirty plus years of preaching.
All of us are familiar with the historical traditions associated with James, the brother of our Lord. Tradition says that he was nicknamed “Camel Knees” because he spent so much time on his knees praying for the church. He developed calluses on his knees from praying so much.
We are also aware of the numerous passages of Scripture that teach us the importance of prayer in our lives (Matthew 6:6-13; Philippians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Hebrews 4:14-16, 1 Peter 5:7, etc.)
During our first full year of work with the Lewisville church, I prayed for every family who was a part of the congregation. During this year (2011), I am attempting to do this again. We currently have about 460 families who make up the Lewisville Church. There are approximately 1100 people listed on our church roll.
This means that we will be praying for nearly forty families each month. We will be mailing a letter in advance to each family who will be prayed for during the month. We will encourage them to give us any specific prayer request that they may have.
The request may be about family or other relationship issues, spiritual concerns, work-related issues, as well as any other special requests they may have. They will be able to submit their requests through email, Facebook, cell phone, texts messages, or by handing them to us personally.
Something we are doing different this year is that our shepherds will be joining me in this effort. I asked them if they would like to participate and they were thrilled with the idea. They will begin each of their meetings by praying for members of the Lewisville church.
If you have never done something similar to this I would encourage you to give it a try. It will bless the members of the church where you preach, but it will be a bigger blessing to your ministry. It was a life-changing experience for me.
If you have done something similar to this, why not share your ideas with us? If you have any questions about this, or if I can help you with it in any way, please feel free to contact me.
Whether you choose not to use this method or if you have your own, I just want to encourage you to pray for God’s people. It will make you a better preacher and a better man of God. The people of God will love you for it and as “Ole Camel Knees” once said, “the prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16).
Dear Father up in Heaven, we thank you for making Your throne available to us. We feel so inadequate, but we know that our High Priest is not inadequate. We know that because of Him we can come to You at any time. Help us dear God to pray more for one another.