I pastor a church that has as its primary purpose the praxis of prayer. We are led by the Holy Spirit to give ourselves continually to prayer. We are a part of the end-time fulfillment of Isaiah 56:7. It is our core vision. This is the Scripture Jesus will cite and quote when he enters the temple in Jerusalem and cleanses it. Jesus says, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer…” (Matthew 21:13). The primacy of prayer in every church is established in Scriptures and expected by Jesus Christ, The Head of The Church. Any pastor or church that seeks to be branded or marketed by any other ministry or spiritual gift is outside of and in opposition to the prophetic purpose of the church.
Here are seven signs of a praying church:
- Praying – a praying church is not just encouraging prayer, studying prayer and teaching prayer. A praying church prays. Corporate gatherings and daily disciplines of prayer are normative in a praying church. We say, “Every leader, an intercessor and every member, a prayer partner”.
- Reading – a praying church is always reading The Word. The power of prayer is rooted in The Word of God. The more we read The Word the more promises we discover. The more we read The Word the more we can memorize, decree and declare what God has given us.
- Anticipating – a praying church is a forward looking and future thinking church. There is always a joyfulness in the people of prayer. What does God want to do now? Where does God want to take us next? Hope is always alive and well in the midst of praying people.
- Yielding – a praying church is surrendered and submitted to Christ and His kingdom agenda. Worship is prostrating and bowing. The worship of a church is a good indicator of its heart for The Father. Praying people want to be to led by the Spirit and fed by The Word. Rebellion to leadership and resistance to change does not fit nor flow in the culture of a praying church.
- Investing – a praying church is tithing, giving, underwriting and supporting missions and the expansion of world-wide prayer. We say, “Prayer is our passion and Everywhere is our mission.” Any church that commits to prayer and missions is investing in souls, eternity and the glory of God.
- Networking – a praying church is building relationships with other pastors, churches and movements that are committed to the praxis of prayer. There is a “remnant consciousness” in a praying church. There is a knowing that there are others around the world who are being assigned and anointed to lead The Body of Christ in prayer and intercession.
- Going – a praying church is a sending church. “The house of prayer” is without walls. Every member is a “living, breathing, walking, house of prayer.” “Go” is the great commission of intercession. Praying churches don’t “lose” members; they send members. “Bring them in, grow them up and send them out!” That is the apostolic process.