Three Reasons You Need a 2am Prayer Team
Prayer, a most valuable availability that we hold as followers of Christ and also the most under utilized.
If God has called you to plant a church, I would argue that the first step you need to take is to gather a prayer team around you. This team shouldn’t be broad or made up of just anyone. These should be people that you know will earnestly pray when you ask (and when you don’t) and that you can be completely honest with about personal struggles, your spiritual journey, and the hard parts of church planting. You can’t do this journey alone! God never intended for you to do so. There are probably a dozen reasons why you need a prayer team, but I’m going to just mention three.
#1: Spiritual Attack
Spiritual attack will be in full force from the enemy. I have yet to talk to a church planter that has not experienced spiritual attack like never before- on them, their children, their family, people on their team, etc. It’s not that the enemy is not at war in other areas, but it is that, in my experience, church planting brings out a deeper warfare. The enemy knows that people come to follow Christ through new churches, and he will do everything possible to stop that from happening. You will need people to “stand in the gap” for you when you, your family, and community are under heavy attack. You will need others interceding through prayer and fasting so that you can lean on the Holy Spirit to be able to fight the fight.
#2: Church Planting is Hard
Church planting is HARD, rewarding, but hard. It’s a pressure cooker of sorts. Nothing is off limits. Things will surface-things you thought you dealt with long ago. You will be walking alongside people in their journey towards Christ. Newsflash: People are messy. Insecurities, yours and others, will make themselves known. Every emotion is heightened in marriage, family life, and team. You’ll be juggling lots of things-helping find a job for someone, helping people move, volunteering in your community, meeting with community leaders, helping someone with a dispute, trying to help a single mom fighting with a teenager, and so many other things all while getting the day-to-day things done. There’ll be times you can’t sleep because you can’t stop your mind, or you are so burdened for someone within your community and there’s nothing else physically you can do. You’ll need a group of people that will pray for relief mentally, for stamina, for strength and endurance, for the ability to be grace filled, etc. You will need people to pray for those you are walking alongside. You will not be able to do this alone! You need to know that others are interceding on your behalf to an all-powerful God and speaking words with strength and authority when you don’t have the ability to do so for yourself.
You will need to hear clearly from God. You’ll be “swimming in muddy waters” at times. There will be lots of people with lots of opinions. There will be times that you’ll just need to be intentional about setting aside time to get alone with God and have others join you. You’ll need to know that a decision came straight from God so that you can continue to be faithful to His calling. You will need to be reminded by Him that this is His work and that He is the only one that can change hearts. We just get to be on this journey with Him. You will need others asking for clarity for you.
Gather Your People
So, lean in and gather your people that will pray for you and with you. Gather a few people that will enter the trenches of prayer with you during this spiritual endeavor of planting a church so that His Kingdom come, and His will be done!
Father, please cover us against the dark forces in this place. We put on the full armor of God, so we may stand our ground against the schemes of the enemy. We stand firm and cloth ourselves with the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the gospel shoes, and the shield of faith to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
We repent of any sin that we intentionally or unintentionally committed and take our stand in the authority and power of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
We know that the Battle is the Lord’s and will humbly submit to His strategies to take this space.
We take up the sword of the Spirit and invite Your Kingdom to come and will to be done in us today!
This is a covering prayer I ran across several months ago and don’t remember the source from which it came, but it has been a prayer I’ve used over and over again.
Dawn and her husband Matt planted Journey Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky in the fall of 2017. She enjoys working behind the scenes and in the details. In her role with Stadia, she provides support to the team leading projects in our U.S. church planting. Dawn and Matt have been married since 2002 and have 4 beautiful girls.