Prayer Calls are powerful tools designed to share moments of corporate prayer through technology. Services like freeconferencecall.com offer the ability to connect thousands of persons on the call at no cost to the sponsoring church, group, or individual. We have seen how these prayer calls have spread literally all around the world with persons calling in from different time zones.
Start on time and end on time. This consistency builds credibility and trust in those who are participating.
Use Ignite as a resource to guide your prayer call. The reflection questions and scripture will be key in providing fresh insight and inspiration for each day’s prayer call.
The person(s) who will lead the call should practice using the codes that are inputted in order to conduct the conference call. We recommend disabling the chime feature, as well as muting the line.
Conference calling services not only provide a telephone number that can be used consistently, but also provides a “playback” code, so that those who missed the live call can call in and hear it for themselves, or hear it again or play it again.
Establish a consistent time to bring the call live. Typically this can be 2 to 5 minutes before the call officially begins. If a longer period is chosen then some kind of music or message should be provided so that those calling in realize that the call is active and will begin promptly at the designated time.
Establish a format. Your call may begin with a brief greeting identifying yourself as the convener, followed by a brief overview of the scripture and theme. After this introduction, then one can pray and conclude with a brief benediction or closing thought or phrase. (Our current prayer call last for 10 minutes)
Have a back-up. Let’s face it, life happens. Maybe your cellphone is running low, or you overslept, or you have to attend to a sick family member. There should be a person designated as a back-up so that if the convener for that day is unable to login, the back up is ready and prepared to take over and lead the call.
Each day in Ignite corresponds with a hashtag. Hashtags are those # signs followed by words without spaces or punctuation that allows users to connect by theme and topic. To instantly create a stream for your group or congregation to follow just add your own hashtag: as an example #igniteDay4 #1stBaptist. We have seen persons post pictures of the book cover, tweet specific quotes from the book, and share testimonies about how their 50-day journey has changed their lives.
There are dedicated social media platforms that have been created around personal pictures and video including instagram, snapchat, vine, and tumblr. Challenge your group or congregation over the course of the week, to practice “picture evangelism” by sharing pictures of themselves praying, praying in unusual places, pictures of their prayer space, and/or other themes related to prayer. Be sure to develop unique hashtags so that all of these pictures can be easily found online.
Ignite was written in a systematic manner to develop various aspects of our prayer lives as well to communicate who God is, and how the kingdom of God operates. While Luke 22:31-34 serves as the skeleton of the book, there are many other scriptures and theological concepts at work within its pages.
There are web-based companies that allow you to download a list of phone numbers that can be called in mass with a pre-recorded message. We strongly discourage downloading the telephone numbers of your entire membership and calling them without their permission. Rather, you may want to set up a text-to feature, where persons can simply text a code like #ignite to a given number to opt-in to this feature.
Most churches have a prayer ministry that is strong in spirit, but often underutilized or disconnected from the needs of the congregation. Providing a telephone number for persons to text brief prayer requests is a great way to get real time prayer assistance.
Whether it is an entire room, a kneeler, a special pillow, or even just a corner of a prison cell, there is something to be said for having a designated place for prayer. Ritual is important for how our minds work. It helps us to make the mental shift from our normal routine to a different mode of thinking and being. Encourage
50-day Ignite journeyers to designate a prayer place. Emphasize that this is not about building a superstitious shrine, but about strategically structuring a space that signals to that individual the necessity of prayer. This becomes the place where that person regularly meets with and spends quiet time with God.
Joining in a prayer campaign with other churches and ministries is a great way to pool the collective strength of the kingdom of God within a specific community. The great part about this movement is that it is scalable and organic. Once tools like conference call, meet-ups or social media groups are established, then it’s just a matter of getting the word out to the various congregations. This prayer movement is a great way to build relationships and trust across ethnic, economic, and denominational lines. We have witnessed how the relationships formed between congregations through prayer have led to collaboration in other areas.
Calling persons together to pray in public places is a great way to witness to the power of God through prayer. Those organizing should be sure to check into any legal restrictions of such gatherings, and should carefully communicate the kind of engagement that is intended. We have seen how providing t-shirts with the words, “let’s pray together” or “Prayer Changes Things” is a great way to generate interest from on-lookers, and it gives those who are praying a greater sense of unity and strength.
Family Prayer Times
Challenge the families of your congregation to designate 5 minutes a day in prayer. Whether it’s in the morning or evening, via phone, or Facetime when family members are on travel, it will be amazing to see how the power of God is made manifest when people come together to pray. In fact, family prayer time need not be limited to one’s immediate family. We have received testimonies of families who have used Ignite to pray together from all across the country.
The joy of Ignite is that it is a ready-made small group curriculum without the additional expense of having to purchase a separate guide. Each week is organized by weekly themes, with supporting scriptures, and reflection questions. A lesson plan can be easily developed from each week, and during this time the regular format of the small group may be amended to allow additional time for prayer as this movement is not simply about learning, but it’s about actually praying.
As requests come in through sheets placed in designated prayer boxes or the offering baskets, through email, social media, or text, the Prayer Ministry of the church should collect these requests and place them in a receptacle near the designated Prayer Wall so that members of the congregation can stop by and pray for those needs. Generally, these requests are anonymous. When a prayer requested has been lifted before God, that request is then attached to the wall. Persons should be designated to regularly refresh the new prayer requests and clear the wall. The Pastor or ministerial staff may choose to consider the issues that are commonly expressed and tailor their ministry plans accordingly.
This is always a powerful weapon in the hands of the believer. There are all kinds of dietary fasts that can be practiced with a physician’s approval. There are other kinds of fasts like refraining from negative talk, fasting from television, or fasting from social media.
Journaling is a great way to express what you hear God saying, and documenting your own thoughts, struggles and aspirations. The phrase, “I don’t know what I think until I see what I write,” speaks volumes of how the actual process of writing sharpens and crystalizes our thinking, and often advances ideas well beyond their previous state.
Gather together to spend focused time in prayer. Physical activities like walking and running allow us the opportunity to be freed from the normal distractions that keep our minds busy and that keep us distracted from hearing the voice of God. Rather than thinking about grocery lists or a project for our jobs, we can take time to pray on the scriptures and theme for the day.
The power of our testimony literally has the power to give us victory over the devil. Testimonies can come in written form or cell phone video and can be shared through social media, or they can be more professionally captured and crafted to share during worship experiences.
Ask the handy people of your congregation to go to the home improvement store and purchase wood that can be used to build crosses. Nothing too fancy or ornate is needed – just crosses made out of two-by-fours that can stand without being easily tipped over. Share with the congregation the opportunity to take sticky notes and post their prayer needs and goals to the cross.
Designate a Bible study or a Sunday morning just for prayer. Most persons have never experienced a full prayer service where worshipful music and designated ministers and lay leaders are given the opportunity to pray for the congregation. Persons may be invited to stand, kneel at the altar or at their seats, to lift their hands, and assume other prayer postures. Those leading the congregational prayers should be given guidance as to what particular needs should be addressed in their prayers. Short video clips may also be used to establish these different themes. Specific altar calls may also be made for couples, children, those in need of healing etc.
Covenant is an express commitment between God and God’s people. Individuals should be encouraged to covenant around their devotion to God during the 50-day journey. Of course the covenant should at least include a commitment to daily prayer, but may also include things like practicing forgiveness, serving others, or reconciling with friends or family members.