Connecting, encouraging, and resourcing: Building a network of prayer

Sandy Landes

What does the ministry of prayer have to do with Franconia Conference? In November of 2006 I began seeking the answer to that question as the newly appointed Prayer Ministry Coordinator. My overall goal is to see the church grow in unity as stated in Ephesians 4 so that we as a body of believers will grow in maturity and make known the mysteries of the gospel to this community, region, and the world.

God is already at work building houses of prayer around Franconia Conference as congregations are developing active prayer ministries. While Noel Santiago and Jeannette Phillips have worked at encouraging the intercessors, Noel felt the need to have someone on staff to encourage and connect the prayer ministries of the different congregations.

I hope to connect with what God is already doing in congregations through prayer, to provide an environment of encouragement and resourcing for those in prayer ministry, and to provide a network of prayer support for conference related needs. I also hope to reinforce a clear message to our members of the value and importance of prayer in the local church.

We are hoping to have regular times of gathering for those involved in prayer ministry to resource and encourage them. We held our first meeting at the end of January with representatives from 17 congregations. It was a time of connecting with others and hearing their stories of answered prayer, struggles in growing the prayer ministry and the excitement of where God is leading the body of Christ as we walk in obedience.

I hope to see the church grow in its understanding of prayer as a gift of intimacy. I want to see prayer become entral to everything we do, not an add-on at the beginning or end of a meeting. Without acknowledging the power of the Spirit we fall into the trap of doing things by our own strength. God wants our churches to be “houses of prayer” for all who come and for us to take that ministry of prayer into our communities. My hope and prayer is that we will grow in prayer
and understanding God’s heart for us as a body.