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Steps to Developing a One-Month House of Prayer

Possible Hindrances to Unity in a House of PrayerThese are general guidelines to developing a One-month House of Prayer. I’ve added a few ideas to the list from my experience with other Houses of Prayer. You may want to add more or subtract what does not fit your situation, but the important thing is to begin and make it your own for your city.

Initially concentrate on applying these points, and let the Holy Spirit guide you in every step. You may want to copy this page and give it to others who are praying with you for a House of Prayer in your city. Here are the steps:

  • Pray regularly and diligently for several months before the month of prayer – We, and many of the churches involved, prayed for the month of prayer long before we started it. The congregations in the location began to meet for prayer. In Virginia Beach we prayed daily for the work in Spain. And for several months before the event, we met for prayer every Monday evening with a group of people who had a vision and burden for it. Many of them would eventually join us in Spain. It is important to pray for a prayer event of this size. We found a strong correlation between the success of the Houses of Prayer and the amount of prayer beforehand.
  • Seek God wholeheartedly and become desperate for His presence – A sense among believers that we must know the Lord is the driving force behind the House of Prayer. We need a sense of desperation. We prayed every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning from 5:30-7:30 A.M. for the 24/7 House of Prayer we had in Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, and Richmond (USA) in April of 2007. These prayer meetings were quite fervent. Bathing the area in prayer three to six months beforehand was key for successful corporate prayer.
  • Build trust with local churches – The work in Spain began ten years earlier than the actual time we launched a month of prayer. We talked about initiating a month of 24/7 prayer in the targeted area one year in advance. Before we could do this we met with pastors, spoke in many of the churches about prayer, held training seminars and teaching on prayer, and ministered in other ways. Elijah Company, Inc. had a reputation in the churches of encouraging the congregations and not trying to build its own vision, but it was a united vision of what God wanted to do in that region. We took sufficient time to communicate this to the pastors.
  • Find a group of pastors and leaders who will act as catalysts – Among the fraternity of pastors, there were some who acted as catalysts. The president of the group was a relational person and motivator who effectively shared the vision. The pastors, in turn, took enough time to adequately communicate the vision to their congregations. It takes time to inspire and motivate people to pray, so make sure you take sufficient time for this.
  • Cast the vision for prayer – Teach about prayer from the Bible, cast a vision for the prayer room, recommend books on prayer, and share stories of answered prayer. Encourage everyone to get involved. Link them with resources. Let individuals pledge hours in the prayer room during your House of Prayer. You might have them write down their commitments so as to be accountable. Be careful not to pressure people or put them on guilt trips.
  • Organize a good communication system – We had an excellent means of communicating. A quality website was developed. This site explained the purpose of the effort, location where the event was to be held, who should be involved, registration information and forms, contact information, and payment options for those needing accommodations. We also set up a website for the Virginia House of Prayer and made several thousand attractive brochures to pass out to the churches and to interested individuals. Keep the motivation going, possibly through a newsletter with testimonies of answered prayer, words of encouragement, and updates. Encourage people to visit the website. It will help them to feel a part of what God is doing.
  • Enlist other cities to come and help motivate the Church to pray – International participation in Spain ignited the passion in local believers. They felt that if others were willing to come at their own expense to pray for their area, the Lord must have really spoken to them. Some of those internationals were pacesetters, as they modeled the effectiveness of long hours of prayer through the days and nights. The local people were encouraged to see people able to pray for long periods. Intercessors are a key resource. Increased excitement about prayer is probably an answer to their prayers.
  • Have an on-call team of intercessors – The intercessors were our on-call team to fill in any empty prayer slots a couple days in advance. You want people who don’t mind being on call to pray in an emergency. I found this to be so helpful because emergencies do arise, and not everyone will show up. I would feel relieved because I knew there were people who would fill in any gap of time joyfully. You may want to have different individuals on call daily, with their number and name clearly posted near the prayer room. Then everyone knows who to call if there is an emergency.
  • Write a memo of understanding for all who are involved in praying – A memo of understanding was attached to the website. This made it clear to all involved, both locally and internationally, what we were going to do. Some areas in the memo included: key relationships, goals, motivation, training and equipping, types of prayer, doctrine, the prophetic, team praying, ministry outreach, personal support, personal time, costs, registration, medical coverage, travel arrangements, and arrival and departure dates.
  • Meet with the leadership to pray and debrief together – After your 24/7 House of Prayer finishes, meet together with the leadership team to debrief, pray, and talk about what’s next. How does God want to further develop prayer in your city? Don’t make any big announcements of a long-term House of Prayer too quickly and then not be able to do it. It’s better to go slow and work your way up gradually. You can extend a week or a month at a time or commit to a few hours a week. People will be hungry for more, and there will be no unrealistic expectations and then discouragement.

A one-month House of Prayer welcomes God into your city.

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International

Wisdom – Taking it into the Prayer Room

11017668_964162400313534_4613183786382334611_nTaking it into the Prayer Room

After having completed the application assignment alone, get with a group and go through the points together. Discuss practical wisdom that you can apply in the prayer room, your personal action plans that you will apply individually, and guidelines in starting a House of Prayer. Evaluate and assess your city and Christian community.

Then with the Bible and some musical instruments such as a guitar or keyboard, take it into the prayer room. Begin with praise and thanksgiving before praying through some of the Scriptures for your city (Psalm 25:4-5; 43:3-4; Ephesians 3:8b-11; Colossians 1:9-10; 2:2-3). Pray through the evaluation and assessment of your city that you made together with others, bringing to the Lord areas that are weak in your community. Pray for a Spirit of wisdom and revelation using your memory verses (Ephesians 1:17-19a).

Ask the Lord to help you apply the guidelines in starting a House of Prayer in your city. Pray specifically through several of the guidelines and points of wisdom. Pray that God helps each one of you to apply your prayer action plan. Pray that He helps each of you to develop a dynamic prayer life in the prayer room. Thank Him for what He will do in your city. End with praying “Our Prayer for Wisdom in Developing a House of Prayer.”

Guidelines for Houses of Prayer

10469208_968330713230036_3995578248377717720_n“Of what infinite importance is the place the intercessor holds in the Kingdom of God! Is it not indeed a matter of wonder that God should give men such power? Yet there are so few who know what it is to take hold of His strength and pray down His blessing on the world… God rules the world and His church through the prayers of His people. That God should have made the expansion of His Kingdom to such a large extent dependent on the faithfulness of His people in prayer is a stupendous mystery and yet an absolute certainty. God calls for intercessors; in His grace He has made His work dependent on them. He waits for them.” Andrew Murray

Starting and maintaining a House of Prayer is not a simple task, yet it is God’s desire and of infinite importance. His work depends on it, but it takes His wisdom and partnering with His Spirit to do it in the right way. You want to do everything in obedience and under the direction of the Holy Spirit (Psalm 127:1; John 3:8). You want to always seek to do what you see the Father doing. It is a lot of hard work for everyone involved.

This is why teamwork is so important—teamwork with the Holy Spirit and with others. Starting and maintaining a House of Prayer is
a relational ministry involving not only relating to God, but also
relating to others and praying in unity (John 15:14-15; Luke 10:1-22;
1 John 4:7-12). You want to include others who may even be different than you—different cultures, denominational backgrounds, ages, and genders. You want to build unity but enjoy diversity (Colossians 3:11; Ephesians 4:3-6).

Houses of Prayer require careful planning and clear guidance.

It’s easier to maintain a House of Prayer for a day or a week, but to have it 365 days a year is another story! You need dedicated people to keep it going when it’s long term.

We noticed that many joined us in the exciting stage at the beginning of our first one-month House of Prayer in Spain. But the second one was harder because the excitement had worn off, and some of the excitement seekers left. God had brought the House of Prayer to a different stage, and a new level of commitment was needed. But when we are partnering with the Holy Spirit, none of these things need to discourage us. After all, let’s always remember that God’s heart is for day and night prayer.

As you think about starting a House of Prayer in your church or city, fervently pray about every aspect of it. Ask yourselves the following questions:

  • How long should we continue? This is a very important question to answer. Do you want to have a one-week House of Prayer and later work up to a longer one? Do you want to have a one-month House of Prayer and include other churches in your city? Do you want to pray a few consistent hours a week all year and then increase your hours as you grow? Or do you want to have a short 24/7 in your own church to spread the vision for prayer?
  • When should we start, and who should be involved? This is important to determine in advance. You should prayerfully ask God when you should start and who should be involved. Is it to increase prayer in your church or to involve your entire city with other churches and other denominations?
  • Where should our prayer room be located, and what should be in it? Prayerfully choosing the location of the prayer room is important. If it is citywide, the location should be neutral. This is because it belongs to the city and not one individual church. But realize that God is using a variety of places. He loves creativity and variety. What you put in the prayer room and how you decorate it is also extremely important. You are creating an atmosphere for prayer.

A fixed location is a great blessing because there is a sense of God’s presence in a place that is designated for prayer. So often I have heard individuals say that they could feel God’s presence in the prayer room. Many have said, “I can pray easier without distractions in a prayer room.” For some special reason, individuals are able to leave their daily life behind when they come into a place that is used only for prayer. It’s almost as if you can immediately take a giant step forward into intimacy with God in the prayer room.

A designated prayer room gives a sense of community and accountability with others who want to pray. When I used to go into the prayer room in Virginia Beach and pray for our nation with other women who have that same burden, I felt so united and linked in purpose. There was a sense of community. The burden became lighter, and we all left with a sense of victory. And when you knew that others were going to be there at 12:00 noon on Thursdays, you felt more accountable to show up to pray.

Prayer rooms are so good because Christians are looking for a place that is holyand in an unholy worldit’s like a breath of fresh, clean air.

You are entering holy ground. Often we took off our shoes because of a sense of the holiness of God. The creative environment of most prayer rooms point people Godward in a time when we desperately need to see things from God’s point-of-view instead of men’s.

Now that I am living at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOPKC), I always hear visitors say how powerfully they sense the presence of God in the global prayer room. With a few hundred people united in worship and prayer at any given hour, you can sense the power and majesty of God on a daily and hourly basis. It’s beautiful!

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International