What’s the main ingredient for successful ministry?

PRAYER.

I could stop right there and that’s really all that needs to be said. No scheme, no advertising gimmick, no team strategy will ever have the same effect as prayer does. It’s simple communication with the only One who can truly make ministry effective in the first place, Jesus. Unfortunately, the other stuff comes much easier – they’re more hands-on. They feel like we’re actually doing something, making things happen.

I was reminded this week of just how great it is to have people praying for the ministry. My mom emailed me from back home and asked how her prayer group could be praying for us this week. They get together once a month to pray for ministries and missions going on around the world. They’ve been meeting for 1 year now and Awaken Church has been a subject of their prayers for quite a while now. I gave them some specifics to keep in their prayers and was refreshed to know they’d be talking to God about those things. Later that day, I got a call from my overseeing Pastor back in Albuquerque, Dave. It was a simple phone call that lasted only a couple minutes, but it was so refreshing. He simply reminded me that he prays for me every day, then closed the conversation with a quick prayer. My good buddy, AJ, who took my position when I left Albuquerque also prays for me daily at 9:31am (since that’s Clarksville’s area code)!

Speaking of prayer and its power, I was reminded of something I read about Charles Spurgeon…

…he was asked a similar question on one occasion: what is the secret to the success of his ministry in this church? After the meeting he took that inquirer down under the main body of the church to a hall underneath, and there were hundreds of people praying while Spurgeon was preaching the Gospel! Is there any wonder that people were being converted!? While he was in the act of throwing the gospel net forth, there were people weeping and crying and travailing before God.

THAT is powerful. The ministry of Charles Spurgeon is unparalleled in its greatness and effectiveness, but we know it’s not because of the preacher, it’s because of the prayers. God moves through prayer.

Who are you praying for? What ministries are you talking to God about? Have you told those people that you’re praying for them? There are not many better words for someone bent over under the weight of ministry to hear than, “I’m praying for you.”

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