The How To's of Prayer Ministry

3.2 The Prayer Communications Coordinator

Many churches are finding it helpful to publish a monthly prayer letter that can serve as a basis to cast vision, teaching and to communicate prayer needs to individuals who love to pray but are shut-in or unable to frequent an on campus prayer gathering. The prayer letter can contain current targeted prayer requests as well as the names of city leaders, officials, the church leadership, and outreach ministry. A sample prayer letter is enclosed as part of the appendix material. The production of a prayer letter not only gives focus to the prayer life in the local church, it serves as a guide for prayer in other off campus meetings such as home or cell groups as well, along with those just sitting at home praying with a cup of coffee in hand. By listing the names of city leaders, the needs of outreach ministries, and important personal and area prayer concerns the average layperson can pray intelligently and effectively along with the prayer room ministry. The ultimate goal is to unite all of the believers in a given church to fervent prayer for renewal among believers. Through the prayer letter, laypeople can be up-dated about the key spiritual and social issues in their community.

A strategic long-term plan is necessary in the construction of a prayer ministry. The monthly prayer letter gives a point of reference and co-ownership to the vision, whether the participant is on or off campus or involuntarily bed ridden. All have a focal point to contribute prayer concerns. The prayer letter becomes a tremendous tool for relational contact ministry. Often the creation of a prayer letter paves the way for the creation of an actual corporate prayer meeting. One dedicated person can set this in motion! While the prayer communications coordinator's primary task is to manage the publication of the prayer letter, initially he/she may also serve as a catalyst for the creation of the prayer gathering and other catalysing prayer strategies that stimulate a movement among motivated lay prayer people. We recommend that ultimately the person who oversees the prayer letter not also try to manage the monthly prayer gathering, but at the outset one person may wind up doing both tasks until others rise up to take on leadership, and the positions of prayer communications coordinator and prayer pastor are formally created and delegated.

The prayer communications coordinator must be a person with good administrative skills, disciplined, and able to work well under pressure of deadlines. He/she must either possess computer desktop publishing skills or to be able to recruit people who have these skills. Obviously the prayer communications coordinator must be deeply committed to prayer and the vision of a unified church interceding for its community. Some of the specific duties of the prayer communication or pray-letter coordinator are:

Oversee the production of a quality monthly prayer letter or/and prayer calendar, preferably computer generated and with an attractive layout that is easy to read. Elements of the actual production can be delegated out to those with expertise in computer graphics, but the overall responsibility for the timely production of the prayer letter rests with the prayer communication coordinator.
Oversee the distribution of the prayer letter/calendar. Ideally, every believer in the church should have a copy each month to assist them in prayer for special needs within their fellowship. The purpose of the prayer letter/calendar is not just to help bring prayer people together but to mobilize the entire Body of Christ in a local church to pray. Creating a prayer publication in such a way as to make it easy to disburse in the morning worship service within the church bulletin will help facilitate distribution of prayer concerns.
Work closely with the pastor of the church. Be able to take the initiative needed to complete a prayer letter in a timely manner. Formulate a task force to delegate prayer letter responsibilities and information gathering. Come up with a plan to cover the costs of the prayer letter.

Components of A Prayer Letter

1. A complete list of all city government officials, the police and fire chiefs, key school principals and school board officials, and other figures key to the life of the city.
2. A list of church staff as well as outreach ministry in the local church.
3. A list of church prayer concerns (we suggest at least ten) each month. These should be priority prayer concerns among pastoral staff and ministry leadership. Prayer requests should be specific in nature.
4. A section for personal requests from individuals can be included. There should be set criteria for what types of request will be accepted into the prayer letter.
5. A monthly calendar of events (local and regional), revolving around prayer such as concerts of prayer, conferences, and corporate city-wide prayer meetings etc.
6. Answers to prayer
7. The "How To" teachings on prayer
8. Vision casting
9. Praise reports
10. Pictures of the prayer experience
11. It is possible to include the above items on a two sided 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper.