Have you led or participated in a large-group, Board or committee meeting and thought
“I hope somebody is covering us in prayer?”
As prayer prioritizers at PRMI, we have learned to not just “hope” someone is praying, but we recruit and train teams who pray before, during and after each of our events.
What is Event Intercession?
Event intercession is organized prayer surrounding a specific ministry activity.
The event for which we are praying could be:
- a small group Bible study
- a major conference
- a church service,
- a committee meeting, or
- an evangelistic outreach.
How is Event Intercession different?
What is different about “event intercession” than any other kind of intercession?
Well, it not only involves intercessory prayer, but includes interfacing with the leaders and organizers of the activity, perhaps members of a designated prayer team, and the people attending the event.
This makes the topic much more multifaceted than simply leading a prayer meeting.
Prepare for Event Intercession
If you have an event coming up, what steps can you take to prepare and provide intercession for it?
First, determine the purpose and focus of the event
- What are the stated purposes and goals of the activity for which you will be praying?
- Are you simply praying for lots of neighbors to show up for an outreach picnic or praying for wisdom as your elders meet each month?
What responsibilities and authority do you have as a prayer leader? Or as a prayer team?
- Have you been asked to intercede by the event leaders or only by a friend who will be attending?
- Will you be praying for the whole event or just a particular part of it? (E.g., attendance, teaching, the worship team, etc.)
- Under whose authority will you be praying?
The answer to these questions will affect the scope and content of your prayers and with whom you may share any discernment you might receive in prayer.
What are some different models we could use?
- Off-site intercession
- Before and during and even after an event, people can pray for the event “off-site” in their own homes or churches. Requests, scriptures, and answers to prayer can be emailed or texted to them, even during the event.
- Others may be gathered in a prayer room, in or near where the event is happening.
- Some advantages of praying off-site:
- Those praying are less likely to be distracted by the program itself or be a distraction to the attendees as they pray.
- Intercessors can freely and privately agree with each other in prayer, share discernment and use creative prayer methods.
- On-site Intercession
- Another option is to be present in a session and interceding as the meeting proceeds.
- Some advantages of interceding on-site:
- You can react in prayer to what you observe and hear happening in the moment.
- Some people receive clearer discernment about what to pray for when they are actually in the room experiencing the event.
- A combined strategy
Some prayer teams assign a few people to do on-site prayer walking and intercession while the majority of the team intercedes in an off-site prayer room. Discernment gained by both groups is shared and helps direct the intercession that will follow in both arenas.
Invite people to be part of the prayer team. Then prepare individually and as a team.
Do some personal spiritual preparation. Spend time alone with God and seek His face. Ask for His confirmation about being on the prayer team, or being its leader, as the case may be.
Listen to God: ask him to give you his vision for the event, the scriptures that he may want you to pray, and his guidance as to how you should be praying.
Interfacing with leadership
Event leaders are usually the ones requesting the presence of a prayer team.
They place its members under their spiritual authority.
In the case of a major conference, they often provide full or partial funding for travel, hospitality and the on-site prayer room(s).
Before, during and after an event it is important for the prayer leader to keep in touch with event leaders to receive their vision for the conference and to ask for their prayer requests (both requests related to the event and for them personally.)
Discuss the logistics of just how you will communicate with the event leaders before, during and after the event:
- Face-to-face meetings at a particular time of day?
Sharing discernment or impressions gained in the prayer room with event leaders is a delicate matter.
The prayer team leader has the final say in what is shared with the event leadership and offers the discernment with a humble and submissive spirit. It is the role of leadership to decide what they will do (or not do) with the counsel or “words” that have been given to them.
For example: In a regional conference, a prayer team member felt strongly that the team should pray for the children of all of the participants by name.
The designated prayer leader did not sense the same strong leading, but felt that the discernment should be shared with the two event leaders in the morning meeting.
The event leaders cautiously asked the participants how they would feel about having their families prayed for by name, by the prayer team. The response was immediate, enthusiastic, and whole-hearted and confirmed the discernment.
On other occasions, the “word” or discernment shared with leaders, has been received graciously, “weighed” but in the end, not acted upon. It is the privilege and responsibility of leadership to make the final decision about discernment.
Pray ahead for the event, the participants and for your team. Ask God to give you his vision as to how you should be praying, what scripture you might use, and report these to your team members and encourage them to prepare their own hearts and to be praying ahead as well.
What should we pray about during the event?
Each event, of course, is unique. However the two main things I encourage event intercessors to focus on are
- “Pray in” what is God doing or wanting to do. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Is there an insight or area of discussion that needs attention? Is there a Bible passage that needs to be prayed? Is God calling the group to a time of repentance? Prayer in cooperation with His will. Pray in his cleansing, light and blessing.
- “Pray out” anything that would hinder or interfere. This could be as mundane as the group being sleepy in the afternoon or something more disruptive such as a potential demonic attack.
Once the event is done…
Pray for cleansing and restoration of the prayer team.
Prayer team and event leaders should do a final check-in: Did we work well together? Are there issues that need continued prayer?
Celebrate answered prayer!