We have a vision at Ridge Church to shift from being a church that prays to become a praying church.
At first glance, this may sound like wordplay, but when you stop and really think about it, it’s a big vision that will take time to see come to pass. You see, there are a lot of churches that pray. After all, it’s sort of important to do in church, right? The pastors and leaders of the church always lead us in prayer a few times during the church gathering. It’s what we do. But just because a church prays doesn’t mean they have cultivated a culture of prayer. This topic has been at the forefront of every prayer team meeting we have had this year. (Hey Ridge Church—did you know that we have a prayer team???)
We have been able to make some strides this year that have helped foster a prayer culture at Ridge Church. We started a prayer team and began having team members serve as prayer partners at the end of our services. We have had specific times of focused prayer, either through our 21 days of prayer leading up to Easter, blog posts about prayer, a Ridge U class, or inclusion of corporate prayer times at the quarterly Nights of Worship we have done. Our goal has been to raise the awareness of prayer in our church body, which in turn elevates the importance we place upon it. And these efforts are starting to produce fruit.
One of the biggest developments has been the occurrence of spontaneous prayer on Sunday mornings. I have seen groups gather on the patio outside of church and lay hands on an individual who is going through a tough time. We have held corporate prayer times in our services where we are sending off a church planter or starting a new ministry and many from the church body surround and lay hands upon these individuals. And more and more people are coming down front to pray at the altar because of how God is moving within them during the services. These are the early signs that something is shifting in us. But there’s a need for more!
Jim Cymbala, author and pastor, says this about prayer…..
“Prayer cannot truly be taught by principles and seminars and symposium. It has to be born out of a whole environment of felt need. If I say, “I ought to pray,” I will soon run out of motivation and quit; the flesh is too strong. I have to be driven to pray.”
A desire to pray and a lifestyle of prayer is more caught than taught. It’s infectious, actually, and a breakout of a prayer culture leads to a breakout of revival. And that’s why we desire to become a praying church!
There’s a shift underway at Ridge Church. Have you noticed? More people are showing up each week, hearing and responding to the gospel, and surrendering control of their lives to Jesus. That’s evident in the number of baptisms we’ve celebrated recently. I sincerely believe it is all directly related to an increase in prayer because amazing things happen when God’s people seek him first and trust him with everything.
If you have a prayer request you would like submitted to the prayer team, or if you are interested in joining it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.