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Prayer

Stanley Hauerwas is professor of theological ethics at Duke University’s Divinity School. He has authored, among other books, A Community of Character and In Good Company: The Church as Polis. With Charles Pinches, he has written Christians Among the Virtues: Theological Conversations with Ancient and Modern Ethics. With Will Willimon, he has authored Resident Aliens and Lord Teach Us. Interviewed by Rodney Clapp in an article, “What Would Pope Stanley Say?,” (Books and Culture, vol 4, no 6, p. 16-18), Hauerwas says, with Paul, “first of all, prayers....” In his own words, “We have to start giving examples of the kinds of ways we have to learn to pray as Christians today, where it doesn’t appear that our praying is something we stop life to do, and then we go ahead and do what we were going to do anyway. How our lives become prayer is absolutely crucial for instutionalizing this kind of Christianity.” This is much the same thing that Jesus said in objection to the Pharisees prayers. Lord, teach us to live our prayer.
 

The World Network of Prayer

Thetus Tenney says that WNOP (World Network Of Prayer) exists "to more fully employ the power potential of agreeing, focused [emphasis hers] prayer for world revival and other needs within the body of Christ." Setting up groundwork for this takes time involves intricacy. The WNOP secretary has prayer guides written and printed to help people wanting to pray more who don't know what to pray about or how to develop a prayer life. For more information, contact your national WNOP coordinator.

Each district, section and local church--even each department within each local church--should appoint a WNOP coordinator and include people in assigned prayers. WNOP coordinators should share praise reports (telling about answered prayer) with other coordinators. You can give these prayer requests to your local WNOP coordinator, who can then decide which ones to send to the section. The section leader then decides which ones to send to the district WNOP leader, the district leader to the national, and the national to the international. Or, if you want a more rapid response system than that to deal with emergencies, you can authorize all local pastors or local elders (whatever in each place the local church leader is called) to authorize the district WNOP leader directly, or perhaps even the national. The point is to get bona fide requests into the hands of the people ASAP.

The WNOP recommends that each country organize a network of prayer beginning with the leaders, who then motivate the rest of the church in that country by exemplifying consistent prayer in the offices and churches where they work. They set aside special days of fasting and prayer just for the leadership. This same thing the Cachar district secretary suggested to me. I am glad that these great minds flow in the same channels.

Also, each country would logically use prayer warriors to minister to churches in different meetings on national, district, section and local levels. These prayer warriors need not be men. In the USA, some of our greatest prayer warriors and speakers in encouraging people to pray are women--Vesta Mangun, for example. In Great Britain, the ladies' ministries group in Falkirk is led by Sylvana Collumbine, who was also greatly used in the U.K. general conference such that the conference speaker, Brian Kinsey, USA general home missions secretary, said that he had rarely, if ever, seen a woman used so greatly by God to lead worship as she was. In India and Nepal, the Holy Spirit has used Mala Baral in this ministry. These current examples encourage other people to similarly surrender to God.
Each conference and convention should emphasize prayer. Special sessions or seminars should teach intercessory prayer, also using prayer guides and tapes to inform and inspire the national constituency to intercessory prayer, binding us together in prayer and love, even though we be far apart physically, geographically and culturally.

Through the North American base, WNOP secretaries will communicate prayer requests of international concern to and from various nations. Within FMD (Foreign Missions Division), at WEC (World Evangelism Center), the Director of AIM/Training will coordinate the prayer network. A prayer letter with answered prayers and miracles, as well as articles about prayer and lists of prayer needs, will be sent to each region. The regional directors will coordinate the prayer network within their regions, making sure the needs and letters reach the WNOP coordinator in each country, and seeing that needs and testimonies from each region are sent to FMD.

Each national board should choose someone carrying a burden of prayer as national prayer coordinator.

Each convention, conference and mass meetings should present to the members an enrollment form so they can join the network. Each nation should select a way of communicating between churches so as to communicate prayer requests and praise reports through the system. The national prayer coordinator will send needs and testimonies of international significance to the regional director, who will then communicate these to the director of AIM/Training at FMD.

Don't make this just another program. Passionately pursue it, seeking God for your involvement. Share with WNOP leaders your plans, prayer activities and requests. Tell them about prayer groups to receive requests. If you have fax or e-mail, tell them that, too.

Setting this up takes time, effort and expense. The British church has a subscription system--each church subscribing pays twenty pounds annually to pay for their subscription to Britain's weekly prayer magazine containing requests, praise reports, and so on.
Remember: the Day of Pentecost began with people praying together "in one accord." As Thetus Tenney said, again, "In Acts 4, desperate prayer by desperate people released supernatural faith" resulting in supernatural shaking, fullness, boldness, unity, submission, fruitfulness, and generosity. "We need all of this." Let Pentecost happen again in our hearts, and in people's lives through international revival we all want, God has promised, and we are already having more and more. <br><br>Here are sample prayer request and praise report forms you might want to adopt or adapt in your various places:
Prayer Request Form

Name of Person Needing Prayer:

Illness/Request/Update (circle one):

Contact Telephone Number to Find Out Progress of Need For Which Request Was Given:

Name of Person Supplying This Information:

People Who Have Been Contacted:


World Network of Prayer:

  • Regional Director:            Date:            Method:  (e-mail, fax, phone, letter)

  • National WNOP Leader:            Date:            Method:

  • Name:               Date:            Method:

  • Name:               Date:            Method:

  • Name:               Date:            Method:


Praise Report

Name of Person Raise Reports Is About:

Answered Prayer:

Then you would put the contact telephone number, name of person supplying the information, and same list of people contacted as in the first example. So enjoy, and may God bless your prayer life and answer your prayer.)
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Sermons

About Sermons: In parts of India and Nepal where the gospel has recently reached, some new believers become elders of new congregations and do not yet know how to baptize, preach funerals, find messages in God’s Word, or where the texts are in certain subjects. While I cannot meet every need in every language, I can provide some sermon outlines in English. People in various language area, but also knowing English, can translate these sermon outlines and pass them on to ministers in these new areas to help until such time as they’re able to get new sermons for themselves and for their congregations from God’s Word. We get constant requests to keep providing these.
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©2001 Stanley Scism