Christian Concourse logo - "That They Be One as We are One"

   Christian Concourse - PRAYER
Red Tree in mountain rocks

National Pastor Prayer Movement

How Praying Pastors Can Spark Christian Unity

 

by Phil Miglioratti, copied from WORLD CHRISTIAN magazine, March 2000, Vol.13, No.1, pp.19 - 20.  For subscription info: 1-888-524-5070.  "Used by permission."

 

As we take our first steps into a new millennium, the Church of Jesus Christ is experiencing a worldwide prayer movement unprecedented, not just in our generation, but in the history of the Christian Church. Prayer, in a seemingly unlimited variety of formats and styles, is the common denominator of refreshing, renewal and revival occurring on every continent and in nearly every country from Korea to South Africa to Argentina to China, and now, here-and-there in America.

This moving of the Holy Spirit begins within and for the body of Christ but ultimately moves outside the prayer closet taking intercessors and prayer groups into the community and onto the streets. A "so that" movement, calling the Church into strategic prayer ... so that those who pray receive a new passion to share the gospel ... so that millions of men, women and children of every nation, tribe and tongue begin to follow Christ ... so that, ultimately, God is glorified.

Prayer is becoming prominent but not as an end in itself nor as a measurement of success. This "so that" prayer, of God, through God and for God, is moving us toward the completion of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19, 20).

From prayer meetings to prayer mountains, the Spirit has been calling the Church back to our first priority (1 Timothy 2:1). With prayer calendars and prayer conferences, on prayer walks and at prayer summits the Church of Jesus Christ is being summoned to sit at the feet of her Savior and Shepherd. The Groom desires to love His bride; cleansing her, washing her, presenting her radiant, stainless, wrinkle-free (Ephesians 5:25-27) ... so that she attracts the world's attention and interest. Sacred assemblies. Concerts of prayer. Reconciliation walks. God is cleansing and changing us ... so that the "light of the world" is no longer hidden under a bushel.

Pastors' Prayer Groups

A strategic addition to the prayer movement is the emergence of Pastors' Prayer Groups (PPGs). PPGs are simply groups of pastors who meet for prayer.  No special speakers or ice-breakers. As one of our early invitations read, Just Pastors. Just Prayer. But these unassuming gatherings have an untapped power because they exist for one purpose: to pray to the Father, by the leading of the Spirit, in concert with the Son as he intercedes for the Church to become one.

Shepherds of God's Church meeting in humility; "egos and logos" checked at the door, as Jarvis Ward of Mission America reminds us. Humility is the most ignored first step toward achieving the unity Jesus sought from the Father on our behalf. Unity, the essential step we must take so that the world has a reason to believe God sent Jesus on a love-motivated mission (John 17:23). If God has an evangelistic strategy, this is it: a humility-forged unity that inexorably leads to prayer-birthed, love-motivated activity. And, as more and more pastors commit to pray with one another, more and more congregations will assume their place in the fulfillment of Jesus' prayer in John 17:23.

Pastors' Prayer Groups are also unique since they are usually initiated and attended by "anybody pastors," unknown servants who faithfully care for the flock God has entrusted to them. Pastors who live to bless God, not the other way around.

An "anybody pastor" is usually unrecognized beyond the boundaries of his or her local congregation with dreams and goals far exceeding current reality. Somebody yielded in total faith to the leadership of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:25). Someone hopeful in Christ but desperately praying "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in my congregation, in my community as it is in heaven."

The facilitators and leaders of Pastors' Prayer Groups are not the superstars of Christian television or radio nor have they written a best-selling book. The focus of conversation at a PPG is not who preached the best sermon, had the highest attendance or collected the biggest offering.

Seeking the Lord is valued over statistics. Here is where you'll find those Jack Deere identified as the "nameless and faceless" servants God will use to bring a spiritual awakening to our land and transformation to our cities.

Jesus remains committed to his scriptural promise to build his Church (Matthew 16:18). Our problem is we thought Jesus said we were to build his Church for him. So instead of attending staff meetings with the master- a simple way to describe what best goes on at a PPG - we have devised our own programs, which eventually prove to be inadequate substitutes for the presence and the power of our God. Good ideas cannot compete with God ideas.

Prayer Leads to Action

Where groups of pastors meet regularly and primarily for prayer - all heaven breaks loose! Relationships develop as trust grows. These deepened and healed relationships produce repentance and reconciliation; pastor-to-pastor as well as church-to-church.
I'll never forget the Sunday evening I stood before the congregation that sponsored our church's start some 15 years ago. I had to humble myself and ask their forgiveness. We were neither grateful nor cooperative when they assisted us in our early days of becoming an independent congregation.
For most of us in the room that evening, those events were either forgotten or had taken place before we arrived at either church. But the Lord remembered. And when I confessed and asked forgiveness on behalf of our congregation and when their pastor released forgiveness on behalf of the sponsor church, "something happened in the spiritual realm," as one discerning member put it. But the seed that grew into those public declarations was planted when their pastor and I began to pray together on a weekly basis. "For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them" (Matthew 18:20).

The humility and unity experienced in a PPG is contagious. Invariably, the congregations of the praying pastors want to experience the same blessings they see showered on their spiritual leader. They want to pray together, worship with one another, even become enthused to serve the needs of the community as one.

One PPG I was involved in led a Halloween night concert of prayer, an annual Thanksgiving eve multi-church praise service and a combined church food pantry. These five or six pastors of average-size congregations are making a disproportionate impact on their community. Half a dozen congregations anointed with a fresh vision for the kingdom of God, not merely their own church family.

Pastors' Prayer Groups are a movement of "anybody pastors" who want Jesus to be the star. PPGs are for pastors who want to meet regular1y with their captain in the presence of other lieutenants and colonels.

Pastors' Prayer Groups are for pastors to meet together in humility and unity, seeking strategy and authority, doing ministry throughout the city and declaring the victory that Jesus has defeated sin and death.

May those who look back on the first days of this new millennium read of a prayer movement that captured the hearts of the shepherds ... so that the sheep were led to perform the greater works their great shepherd told them to expect. And may hundreds more "anybody pastors" take the courageous first step of gathering even one or two others to plant the worldwide prayer movement in their community.

   

-Phil Migioratti facilitates the National Pastors' Prayer Network and serves on the National Prayer Committee. In the past he began serving as city coordinator for Strategic Focus Cities in Chicago, Illinois.  You can contact him at:
 
National Pastors' Prayer Network
    c/o Pastor Phil Miglioratti
    1130 Randville Drive 1D
    Palatine, IL 60074
    847-991-0153
    phil@nppn.org
    http://www.nppn.org  
    Register your PPG:
    http://www.nppn.org/ppg/registration.asp  

 

Content - © Copyright 2010, 2011, 2014 Christian Concourse Ministries, Inc.  All rights reserved.

 

Home    Site Map    Contact Us    Support for this Ministry    Disclaimers    Privacy policy    We Rate With GuideStar

--we are proud to have our website hosted by edifax--