Prayer Is The First Step In Revitalization

Prayer Is The First Step In Revitalization

Prayer Is The First Step In Revitalization

One thing on which almost everyone agrees is that prayer is the starting point for renewal or revitalization.  That should not come as a surprise to us because prayer is foundational to all things. We believe that our God is able to do more than we ask or think as Paul says in Ephesians 3:20. However, we generally fail to read or quote the last phrase, “according to the power that is at work in us.” It is not our minds, our abilities, our education, or our knowledge that will revitalize the church.  It is God who leads us through His process and the power of God at work in us that gets the work done.  This requires prayer.

Why do we not begin with strategy?  Good question. People often want to begin with a strategy by rationalizing: “If you will just show me what to do, I will do it. Tell me what has worked in other places.  Give me the strategy that churches our size have used.  What resources are available for us? Can you give us a step-by-step process to go by?”

Yes, yes, and yes; however, there is a problem with this approach.  There are many great strategies that have worked in other places; there are great tools available; and there are many people with experience, but what works in one place most likely not work in another because God created us uniquely.  There are too many variables from one church to another that will keep the process from working.

Before you try to develop strategies and processes, focus on the connection with God through His Holy Spirit. Nehemiah, for example, did not use anyone else’s process. He followed the guidance of God who impressed on his heart what was needed to rebuild the wall. If you focus on strategy first or a process that you read about, you may miss specific details of what your church needs to be revitalized. You can have a consultant walk with you through the process and we certainly recommend that as long as he and your church are listening to God and following His strategy for the unique work He wants to do for your church.

Prayer and connection with the heart of God is the first thing we must do.

Most everyone agrees that prayer is essential. Ask yourself a few questions about your prayer life. When you pray, does your prayer give you the connection you need with the heart of God? Think about your prayer and simply ask: “Am I really praying or just saying words? Does God answer my prayers? What was the last thing God said to me that I clearly understood what He said to me?”

Prayer is two-way communication. We pray, and we pray, and we pray, but we often fail to spend time listening to what God says to us. I do not know a lot or claim to be an expert, but I can be certain of one thing: There will be no successful revitalization without prayer—true conversation with God.

The first step in a prayer strategy is to select a few prayer warriors (those who practice and live prayer) and commission them to serve as the Prayer Team for the church. Selecting who should serve on this team is not difficult.  If you were told today that you have a terminal illness, who would you call to pray for you?  These are the ones you want on the prayer team because you know they are “in touch” with God. When they pray, God hears and answers. When they pray, they hear God speak.

The purpose of the Prayer Team is to pray, pray, pray, and pray. The responsibilities of the Prayer team are as follows:

  • As they hear from God, the team will present prayer needs to the congreg
  • Make weekly announcements to the church about how God is moving in the process
  • Tweet, blog, or post prayer nuggets throughout the week to update the church
  • Create ways to keep the congregation engaged in prayer for the revitalization effort
  • Challenge the congregation with a great question or two each week about their prayer lives and what God is saying to them
  • Share stories from within the church so all can experience the movement of God

Revitalization efforts work best when every member is praying and hearing God’s instructions for their lives privately and corporately. As you read this, you realize that the Prayer Team is a team that should function at all levels of health in the church. The church is God’s and He gives continual instructions and directions that are essential to the health of the church. Every church should have a Prayer Team and every church should spend more time in prayer.

First Steps Toward Renewal and Revitalization

The Church Strategies Team has developed a helpful resource for churches to use as it seeks renewal or revitalization, Morning Sacrifice: A Devotional Guide to Revitalization. Utilizing seven weeks of devotions for the church, we hope this tool can assist every member of a church as they read the same devotions each day. Hearing from God about the specific needs for the church and divine guidance will assist any church through a revitalization process. This powerful resource can be read and downloaded as an e-book at  Printed copies of the prayer guide can also be ordered by emailing

  1. So, the first step is prayer.
  2. Second, ask for help. Contact our team to begin a conversation about a hopeful future for your church.  We’ve created a simple online survey to help our team understand your need and begin a conversation. Take the survey
  3. Third step is to read articles concerning Revitalization, ReStart, and ReInvest at You will find many articles and tools that will help you seek God’s guidance for your church.

This article is created by the Church Strategies Group of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. For more information or to contact a team member, call (803)227-6068. 

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