Promise Keepers and the Power of Prayer
“The fervent, effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” — James 5:16
“And he was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart.” — Luke 18:1
“Pray without ceasing.” — I Thess. 5:17
Prayer played a huge role in the Promise Keepers ministry. This was for several reasons.
- First, we knew that we needed to commit this new ministry to the Lord and His divine will. What was happening was so far beyond what could be accomplished in the flesh.
- Second, we knew that men were a significant target for the evil one, who was focusing on their spiritual lives, their marriages, their children, and their work. We interceded for them daily.
- Thirdly, we knew that we were not responsible for the impacting ministry results we were seeing. We knew this truly was a dramatic movement of the Holy Spirit in our midst. We were simply trying not to mess it up.
Prayer was our fountain of wisdom as we moved forward with each step. Prayer was our life-line and connection to the power source for P.K. Prayer was foundational to us as leaders.
This is how we turned to prayer and sought our Heavenly Father’s guidance, direction and help:
First, we prayed personally as individuals.
To a man, our team sought the Lord daily for this new ministry. We asked for His guidance, His quickening and His wisdom. We asked for His help with planning and His power to draw and impact the men who would be attending the large gatherings. We placed this ministry in our Father’s hands, to do as He desired.
We prayed for His will at every turn and at every step. We had to.
After our first meeting at the Events Center at C.U., we understood that what was before us could not be accomplished with careful strategy and effective planning, as important as both of those things were. We understood that our power was coming from the Presence of our Father and under His anointing.
Each of our Board members, paid staff and volunteers prayed intensely and in a focused way for God to move and lead us.
Secondly, we prayed corporately as a team.
By this, I mean there were groups of people who were praying. Men’s groups, women’s groups and volunteer groups who were working with us at several different levels of involvement were all joining us in prayer.
Business is important and reports are important, but prayer on the part of the shepherds of a church is the most important.
One of my greatest memories concerning prayer was our Board of Director’s meetings. We met three times a year in Denver. At the beginning of our meetings, we connected and briefly socialized over refreshments. We would then have an hour to an hour and a half of singing, sharing Scripture with each other, short exhortations and deep, abiding prayer.
I truly remember many of these times as some of the richest times of devotion I have ever experienced.
As this devotional time continued, men would take various physical positions. I remember looking up from having my eyes closed to see one brother standing, looking up with his arms outstretched. I remember another brother prostrating himself under the board room table with just his legs extending out, humbling himself before the Lord as we begged God for men.
During this time, men would ask for personal prayer, prayer for their families, ministries or businesses. These experiences were powerful, impactful times of being in the Lord’s Presence in a dramatic way. I believe as the leadership team of P.K., the Lord was honoring our passionate requests for guidance, blessing and His anointing Presence.
Thirdly, we organized times of intercessory prayer, centering on each major event.
Promise Keepers could not have existed without an army of wonderful volunteers. These were men and women who joined our ranks to help with multitudes of tasks. At each event, we had volunteers for ushering, airport runs, security, hospitality, and various other needs. They were wonderful people of God, so unselfish and giving as servants of Jesus.
One of these teams was a group of people we simply called our “Prayer Team.”
These were men and women who would organize prayer groups in each city where P.K. would host an event. They would intercede in prayer all during the Friday evening program and return for all day Saturday to continue their intercession. I would take time and go to the locker room or storage room or wherever they were meeting and join in with their impacting intercessory prayer.
It was intense, powerful and very meaningful.
They sang, shared and sought the Lord, coming before Him to pray for the speakers, worship leaders, our staff, volunteers, and the men in the stadium seats who were seeking Jesus. They asked the Lord repeatedly for His powerful anointing to come upon the crowd, for the Lord to do great transforming works in the lives of those attending. They would pray for their wives and children.
Seeing them labor and rejoice in prayer for hours was a huge inspiration to me. Their work told me a great deal about their love for the Lord, the importance of fervent, focused prayer and God’s amazing response to our prayer requests.
Without question, one of the keys to the overwhelming success of Promise Keepers was the powerful prayers of many saints who wanted to see Jesus impact men’s lives.
Let me apply this truth.
We need to remind each other frequently of the need for and the power of prayer. Almost everyone reading this blog knows the importance of prayer. I don’t think most of us need more information about prayer.
But we do need motivation! We need to be desperately reminded of the great spiritual truth that prayer brings us into the throne room of our Father. We need inspiration to focus on one of the most necessary but sometimes ignored disciplines of the Spirit. That of soaking, fervent, intense and passionate prayer where we weep before the Lord as we beseech Him for the souls of men and women!
We must be sure that in our ministries and kingdom work, prayer is at the forefront.
A few observations:
- There is great power in prayer.
- Sometimes we don’t have what we need because we have not asked.
- We must consider that prayer is work. Prayer requires a great deal of focus, attention, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy.
- We must remember that prayer is not part of our work as followers of Christ; prayer is our work as followers of Christ.
- We must remember that all sincere prayer is surrounded by spiritual warfare. One early church father wrote, “I never enter the room of serious prayer without having to do hand-to-hand combat with Satan at the door.”
- When church staffs or elder or deacon teams meet, instead of a “brief word of prayer” to open our meetings, possibly the main part of our meetings should be spent in heartfelt, sincere prayer to our Father. Business is important and reports are important, but prayer on the part of the shepherds of a church is the most important.
- We must remember the adage, “When I work, I work. When I pray, God works!”
- We must pray passionately and intensely. The Greek words used by James in his fifth chapter indicate that when holy and obedient men pray fervently, God moves. Prayer always makes a difference.
The largest jet engine on American planes today is the General Electric GE90 series found on the Boeing 777-300 model aircraft. At 115,000 pounds of thrust and fan diameter close to 11 feet, these giants power large aircraft to fulfill their mission. They have the power to generate lift to enable the plane, its crew, cargo, up to 396 passengers and all their baggage to travel thousands of miles, successfully arriving at its destination. This is extreme power!
But a million times plus more powerful is the moving of our Father when He decides to move.
We must ask Him to move for our marriages, our children, our churches, our ministries/vocations and our nation.
My time with Promise Keepers taught me many things. One of the most important was the power and importance of prayer. Seek the Lord, my friends. Experience His power!
Prayer was our fountain of wisdom as we moved forward with each step.