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The Imperative of Prayer

A Message from the Global Methodist Church Prayer Steering Committee

John Wesley’s prayer kneeler. Photo by Terry Teykl.

Recently Rev. Dr. Terry Teykl challenged and inspired some Global Methodist Church (GM Church) leaders by the prayerful example of our Methodist founding father, John Wesley. He pointed out that the birthplace of early Methodism was at Wesley’s prayer kneeler. He told the leaders:

“While in London I visited Wesley’s home. Off from his bedroom was his prayer room with table and Bible and a kneeler. Every morning he knelt there at 4 am. Instantly I knew I was looking at the birthplace of Methodism. I asked the guide if I could kneel there. As I knelt, I asked God to let his mantle of prayer to fall on me. I believe something happened and I was overwhelmed. My passion for prayer was ignited.

“There was a small fireplace next to the kneeler where he built a fire to stay warm for the hours of prayer. I can only imagine that the fires of Methodism spread from that room of prayer.

“If that is where it started, may we pray for his mantle of prayer to fall on the Global Methodist Church!

Indeed, if we are to follow in the footsteps of John Wesley, then prayer needs to be foundational.

The following three focal points of prayer will help pave the way as we establish a foundation of prayer:

  1. Leaders need to be people of prayer.

God invites leaders to be mighty in prayer. In Jeremiah 33:3 God says, ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know’ (NKJV).  I believe the Lord is inviting us to call to Him in prayer so that He can answer our prayers when they are in step with His great purposes for us. And as leaders pioneering new pathways, we have access through prayer to the Lord who graciously imparts needed guidance and wisdom as we navigate uncharted territory.

  1. Churches need to be houses of prayer.

In the New Testament Jesus quoted the phrase “house of prayer” from Isaiah 56:7: “For My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations” (NIV). Churches in the GM Church need to be thoroughly saturated in prayer.

  1. Intercessory Prayer Teams bridge the gap between God and people.

The Prayer Steering Committee is currently building a network of intercessory prayer teams from among emerging provisional annual conferences.

Interceding for others is a high and holy calling that is near and dear to the heart of our missional God, who calls us to love himself and our neighbor as ourselves. The Bible says in Romans 15:30: “Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit” (NLT).

Intercession connects us to the heart of God and His people. Also serving on the Prayer Steering Committee, Dr. Stephen Seamands, professor emeritus of Asbury Theological Seminary, explains intercession in this way:

“It means that ultimately the burden of intercession is not ours, but his. We are therefore never called to bear the burden of intercession alone, but to “piggyback” on Christ’s intercession, to be co-laborers with him, through the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:26-27) in his on-going intercession in heaven.

“Realizing that my intercession is a participation in Christ’s intercession, I find myself simply inviting Jesus to pray in and through me for that particular person or situation. I also invite the Holy Spirit to join me to Christ and to come as the spirit of intercession to show me how to pray for others and to pray in me on their behalf (Rom 8:26-27). And he does! As Paul reminds us, “the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words” (Romans 8:26).

Dr. Seamands reminds us that as Christ followers we are privileged to join Christ in His ministry of intercession and pray the prayers that Christ Himself is praying.

To help us intercede on behalf of the GM Church, we invite you to subscribe to our monthly prayer guides beginning this January written from a distinctly Methodist/Wesleyan perspective and distributed through email. These guides feature teachings from a variety of inspiring authors including Rev. Dr. Terry Teykl, Rev. Dr. Stephen Seamands, Rev. Dr. Carolyn Moore, and others.

Inspired by John Wesley’s original standard sermons, Rev. Moore envisioned the overarching theme of these guides: The Way to the Kingdom. This prayer guide series offers daily prayer prompts to intercede for kingdom purposes and for the GM Church. These guides can equip and empower us to join Jesus as He intercedes for his church. In order to receive these prayer guides, you must specifically sign up for the Prayer Guide email here.

Will we follow in the footsteps of John Wesley regarding prayer as crucial to this modern-day movement? Then let us kneel together at the throne of grace and call to him so that he will show us great and mighty things in our day. Then we can expectantly hope to see a powerful movement of God for His glory. Will you join us in prayer?

The GM Church Prayer Steering Committee can be reached for prayer resources or questions at [email protected].

The GM Church’s Prayer Steering Committee Members

Pastor Laura Ballinger, chairwoman

Pastor Susan Innes

Rev. Leo Park

Rev. Dr. Steve Seamands

Rev. Dr. Terry Teykl

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