As I said in Part 1, none of us would deny that there is power in prayer. We would also agree that prayer is an essential spiritual discipline for the Christian. And yet where in the church is this spiritual discipline taught? I suggested that Sunday School is a great community in which prayer can be taught, modeled, encouraged, practiced, and checked on.
As I shared last time, Chuck Lawless has written a great article entitled 10 Ideas to Power-up Your Church to Pray. His ideas also apply for a praying class and a praying disciple! In Part 1, I shared the first five of his ten ideas: focus on the family, calendar, targeted, drive-by, and progressive dinner praying. In Part 2, I will share the second five of Chuck’s ideas which are listed in all capitals followed by my commentary:
- BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION PRAYING. Every class should practice this one. Many classes sing happy birthday to class members once each month. Why not pray for those having birthday that month. Publish a list. Challenge the class to pray the entire birthday week for the individual.
- PRAYER SURVEY PRAYING. Pray for the community. Go door-to-door throughout the community asking for prayer requests. Simply ask, “How c an we pray for you?” Write down the request, name, and address. Make sure to pray for the request. Return and check on requests as might be appropriate!
- PRAYER POINTS PRAYING. Set a specific time during the week (or day) to pray for the class, class members, the church, the community, or any other specific need. This could work even better with prayer partners contacting each other and praying by phone at a specific time during the week. This method creates accountability and provides encouragement. Another option is to provide small colored dots for people to place in the middle of their watches to remind them to pray for what has been identified by the class that week or month.
- SPOTLIGHT THE CHILDREN PRAYING. Prayerwalk the preschool and children’s classroom space. If security is an issue, set aside a time through the week when the space is empty. Pray for the teachers. Pray for the children. Pray for the faith foundations that are being laid. Pray for their parents. Pray for their schools. This could be done with the youth classes as well.
- NEIGHBORHOOD WALK PRAYING. Challenge class members to prayerwalk their neighborhoods. Ask them to walk down the street praying for each of their neighbors. This can also be done in a new neighborhood in which no class members live. Pray that each home resident will come to know Christ and strong disciples. This will produce better physical health and more openness to respond in love to their neighbors.
Which of these ten methods could your class do this week? Remember, there are hundreds of ways that prayer can be practiced. Don’t just ask your class to pray; teach them to begin doing it! Lead your class to practice prayer. Watch as they grow as disciples! Be revolutionary!