Prayer Partner Ministry

Part Two
Personal Prayer Partners

In Part Two of the Prayer Partner Ministry every church member is encouraged to become a Personal Prayer Partner to someone else in the church, developing a relationship with one or more praying friends. Personal prayer partners pray together weekly–or even daily. Their prayers should be for personal needs as well as for the church and community. Sometimes two or more prayer partner groups may choose to meet together for united prayer.

The personal prayer partner concept has a scriptural basis:

“Two are better than one,
because they have a good return
for their work:
If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Eccl. 4:9, 10, 12.

There is unusual power in united prayer. God has planned for His people to join together in prayer, not only for Christian fellowship, spiritual nurture, and growth, but also for accomplishing His divine purposes and reaching His chosen goals. (Wesley L. Duewell, Mighty Prevailing Prayer, Zondervan, ©1990, page 123.)

Jesus emphasized this truth when He said, For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. (Matt. 18:20.)

The person who has an active prayer partner relationship with two or three others is not easily overcome by Satan and will find joy in praying God's blessings down upon the church.

Suggestions on How to Begin a Personal Prayer Partners Ministry

  1. Ask the Lord to teach you to pray. (Luke 11:1-13.)
  2. Make a decision to devote time for personal devotions each day.
  3. Attend prayer conferences, seminars, and classes. Here you can learn about prayer in fellowship with others who are also called to prayer. (Eph. 4:11-13.)
  4. Recognize the importance of intercessory prayer and understand that God calls everyone to this ministry. (Eze. 22:30.)
  5. Ask the Lord to lead you to one or more persons whom He is also calling to prayer. (Matt. 18:18-20; Eccl. 4:9-12.)
  6. Begin to pray with and for each other (either by phone or in a small group).
    Pray for: The outpouring of the Holy Spirit, encouragement, wisdom, discernment, spiritual growth, and protection, as well as personal needs. (Eph. 6:18, 19; Col. 4:2-4; 2 Thess. 3:1, 2; Heb. 13:18, 19.)
  7. Pray for your pastor and leaders–in your church and in the denomination.
  8. Identify what you feel are the needs within your church and pray for: unity, revival, ministry, etc.
  9. Pray for individuals and situations as the needs present themselves. (Many of these requests should also go to your prayer chain). (Eph. 6:18, 19.)
  10. Study the Bible for examples and principles of prayer: Neh. 4; Eze. 37 and 47; Isa. 50:4; Dan. 9; Matt. 6:9-15, etc.
  11. Read books on prayer and share your insights with your prayer partners.
  12. Ask the Lord to guide in your prayer ministry, choosing whom you should pray for.
  13. Pray not only for your family but also for the people in your church and in your neighborhood. Seek to find the places where God is working and join Him there.
  14. Ask for the fullness of the Holy Spirit to be poured out upon those you pray for: your family, church, pastor, conference, union conference, division, and the General Conference, plus the world-wide work of God.
  15. Pray also for world government and your city and neighborhood that the good news of the gospel may reach everyone.
  16. Remember that your prayers for others will only be as powerful as your own personal prayer life. Praying with your prayer partner should not take the place of daily personal prayer time.

Suggestions on How to Pray in the Spirit

The apostle Paul counsels us to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18. (Italics supplied.)

Our question often is, How do we pray in the Spirit? It’s obvious from this passage that praying in the Spirit is a valuable part of praying for others. Ellen White tells us this about Jesus:

“Love for God, zeal for His glory, and love for fallen humanity brought Jesus to earth to suffer and die. This was the controlling power of His life. This principle He bids us adopt.” Desire of Ages, p. 330.

Wesley L. Duewel, in his book, Mighty Prevailing Prayer, suggests eight important dynamics of prevailing prayer which will ensure that we are praying in the Spirit:

  1. Desire: This is a great urgency and heart hunger to pray, the Spirit of grace and supplication, prophesied by the prophet Zechariah (Zech. 12:10). God is willing to give this to us now if we ask Him for it. (Pray David’s prayers of great desire, such as Ps. 42:1,2, Ps. 63, Ps. 84:1, etc.) It is in answer to these urgent prayers that the Holy Spirit will be poured out in Latter Rain power which will light up the whole world.
  2. Fervency: This is the heart of Christ, a heart burning with love for those for whom Christ died. Study the prayers of Moses, Samuel, David, Elijah, and other biblical prayers and seek to develop passion in your own prayers. God is not pleased with half-hearted prayers.
  3. Importunity: This is the refusal to accept denial. When we are praying for the things God has promised and we are praying in the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to continue to pray until the answer comes, pressing our requests to the throne of God. “Thy will be done”, is our intense prayer.
  4. Faith: “Prayer is not limited to the humanly possible.” When we pray in faith we are asking God to do what we cannot do. Jesus tells us that prayers cannot be answered without faith.
  5. The Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is the One who gives us words for prayer; He even puts our unspoken heart desires into prayer (Rom. 8:26,27.)
  6. Uniting in prayer: Jesus tells us that if two or more agree about something in prayer it will be done by the Father ( Matthew 18: 19,20). Here we see the importance of prayer partners.
  7. Perseverance: When we feel confident that God is calling us to pray for a person or goal we should continue to pray for weeks, or even years–until the answer comes or the call to pray about it is lifted. Do not lose heart.
  8. Praise: Praise fixes our minds on God. It cleanses our hearts of pride and self and gives us a sense of victory and hope. It confounds the enemy (review the story of how praise wrought the victory for Judah in the days of King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chron. 20.)Use praise scriptures and songs as you pray.

(Read more about how to prevail in prayer in Mighty Prevailing Prayer, by Wesley L. Duewel, Zondervan Publishing House, ©1990.)

Counsel from Ellen White

“Christ’s lessons in regard to prayer should be carefully considered. There is a divine science in prayer, and His illustration ( Luke 11:13) brings to view principles that all need to understand. He shows what is the true spirit of prayer, He teaches the necessity of perseverance in presenting our requests to God, and assures us of His willingness to hear and answer prayer.

“Our prayers are not to be a selfish asking, merely for our own benefit. We are to ask that we may give. The principle of Christ’s life must be the principle of our lives. ‘For their sakes,’ He said, speaking of His disciples, ‘I sanctify Myself, that they may be sanctified.’ John 17:19. The same devotion, the same self-sacrifice, the same subjection to the claims of the word of God, that were manifest in Christ, must be seen in His servants. Our mission to the world is not to serve or please ourselves; we are to glorify God by co-operating with him to save sinners. We are to ask blessings from God that we may communicate to others. The capacity for receiving is preserved only by imparting. We cannot continue to receive heavenly treasure without communicating to those around us.

“Prayer is not to work any change in God; it is to bring us into harmony with God.”

(Quoted from Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 142, 143.)

Next: Part Three: Friendship Prayer Partners