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Mobilizing prayer for your college ministry

Mobilizing prayer for your ministry is one of the most important things you can do.

I would suggest that you mobilize yourself first to be a person of prayer! If you are not passionate about praying it will be very difficult for you to mobilize others to pray.

This is hard for me. Being “faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12) takes discipline. I frequently need to make new prayer goals to stretch myself.

There are seasons that I have attempted to pray for an hour a day, pray over a specific prayer list, go prayer walking or discipline myself in the area of fasting.

I am haunted by a statement found in James 4:2b “You do not have because you do not ask God.”

I am not sure how that works but I don’t want this verse to be true of my life. I do know that God does stuff when we ask him!

If you are planting a new ministry you need God to build it. “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.” Psalm 127:1

A section from the classic book The Kneeling Christian rocked my world the first time I read it. Read it thoughtfully as you consider your own prayer life.

“Has it ever occurred to you that our Lord never gave an unnecessary or an optional command? Do we really believe that our Lord never made a promise which He could not, or would not, fulfill? In fact, it can easily be shown that all want of success, and all failure in the spiritual life and in Christian work, is due to defective or insufficient prayer. Unless we pray aright we cannot live aright or serve aright. This may appear, at first sight, to be gross exaggeration, but the more we think it over in the light Scripture throws upon it, the more convinced shall we be of the truth of this statement. Fellow-Christians, let us awake! The devil is blinding our eyes. He is endeavoring to prevent us from facing this question of prayer….Do we realize that there is nothing the devil dreads so much as prayer? …He loves to see us “up to our eyes” in work — provided we do not pray. He does not fear because we are eager and earnest Bible students — provided we are little in prayer. Someone has wisely said, “Satan laughs at our toiling, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.” All this is so familiar to us — but do we really pray?…Let us never forget that the greatest thing we can do for God or for man is to pray. For we can accomplish far more by our prayers than by our work. Prayer is omnipotent; it can do anything that God can do! When we pray God works.”

We are in a cosmic battle for the souls of students on campus and we must use the weapons God has given us!

If you want to make an eternal difference in students lives the battle must first be won in prayer.

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

I don’t need to fight alone. I may not be the greatest prayer warrior but I can get others praying for our ministry!

In his letters the apostle Paul repeatedly modeled seeking out the prayers of others for his ministry.

I am convinced that many of the great things God has done through our ministry are a direct result of the prayers of our ministry partners.

Here are some practical things Christian Challenge does to mobilize prayer:

Email Prayer Letters

One practical way we have mobilized prayer is through email prayer letters. We have over 400 people that we send our prayer letter with our current updates, stories and prayer requests.

This is a great way to share what God is doing and get people praying on a consistent basis.

Text Message Prayer team

The best tool we discovered for mobilizing prayer is our “text message prayer team.” It’s more personal and similar to live streaming than our emails, which is more of an overview.

I have 70 plus people I send requests to 3-4 times a week. If I have a gospel appointment on campus I just shoot out a text using my group text app and they are able to pray on the spot.

It is such a joy to send out another text after the appointment and celebrate when the student decides to become a follower of Jesus!

This prayer team has served as a great encouragement during seasons of discouragement and spiritual warfare in our ministry. It is faith building to know we have a group of prayer warriors ready to “do work” on a moment’s notice.

I would definitely recommend that you start your own text message prayer team.

Pray-a-thons

We simply ask our students and supporters to sign up for a 30 minutes time slot to pray for the campus.

We make it a habit to do 24hr Pray-a-thons regularly. They serve as a great way to build momentum and prepare for other important events.

There are all kinds of creative ways you can pull them off however we have kept it simple and just put our prayer requests on a Google spreadsheet. We then ask people to sign up for a 30min time slot.

People can sign up online, print off the requests and then pray for our ministry no matter where they are in the world.

Another recent version of a Pray-a-thon we are trying is a “21 Days of Prayer” emphasis where we are asking our ministry partners to pray over a PDF we send them with 21 days of prayer requests leading up to our Fall Semester.

This generation of students is passionate about prayer. It is essential that we mobilize them to become prayer warriors as well.

God on Campus by Trent Sheppard is an excellent book that describes the modern prayer movement on college campuses and connects them to the history of revivals.

As college ministry leaders let’s join what God is doing and mobilize daily prayer for our campuses and nations.

Reflection Questions

What would it look like for you to be “faithful in prayer” personally as you launch your ministry?

How will you mobilize prayer for your ministry?

This post was adapted from Paul’s free ebook “Tips for Starting A College Ministry”