Kingdom Prayer - Rebelling Against the Status Quo
Practical Considerations for Redeemer Community Groups
What shall we specifically be praying for?
"We are to pray for the glory of God to be seen. This is a major theme of the Psalms. God's glory is his weight, his importance, his reality. Many people in our cities believe in a God but not in a God of glory. One of the best ways to do this is to walk through and pray for a neighborhood. But it can also mean praying for a people group." (Tim Keller, c 2005, November 2005 MCM talk)
Who should we specifically be praying for?
Your community is not a random group of believers. You have been placed together by the Spirit to minister to one another as well as others who God wants to touch. Ask the Lord to alert you to a focus for your Kingdom praying which each of you can relate to. What common threads are there in your group? Listen to one another. Listen to the Spirit as you pray together. Something will become clear!
Examples: Is it your neighborhood or another area of the city? Is it a particular ministry at Redeemer, eg, church planting in the boroughs or a particular church plant, Hope For NY or one of the ministries they support, the diaconate, work & faith, the under or unemployed believers throughout the city, Redeemers church staff and pastors, our children? Those who attend Redeemer but have not yet come to faith in Christ yet?
Examples of people groups: the homeless; single parent families; prisoners and the crime community (organized and otherwise); the illegal drug industry of NYC; people with AIDS; the pornography/prostitution/sex industry of NYC (esp. runaways in prostitution, sexual slavery); colleges and university communities; business/financial community; the news media; theater/entertainment community; the artist/music community; the Dominican neighborhoods of upper Manhattan; the growing Chinese and Korean communities in Queens.
How can we help our commitment to stick?
Decide on a time frame, and when & where you pray. Prayer commitments need to have a beginning and an end date. It can be too daunting to have an open ended time frame. You can recommit should you continue to sense the call to keep the focus going. Set realistic goals which still stretch you. Initially, bake corporate prayer into your normal patterns of gathering, and from that base, stretch into supplementary times of prayer. Share where you see God at work. Let someone in the group keep a group journal of prayer requests and answers.
Examples: a) 90 day commitment focused on a Redeemer ministry. Individuals pray daily and as a group weekly. Partner with someone from the ministry to learn of prayer requests and answers to prayer.
b) School year commitment praying for your neighborhood and the salvation of neighbors. Individuals pray several times a week for neighbors on their hallway, maybe do an all night of prayer together, take a monthly prayer walk around the neighborhood. Each person is on alert for where God is working in your neighbors, how you might be a part of His wooing.