I have read a lot on prayer. I am interested for a number of reasons but most of them come back to my participation in Pastor’s Prayer Summits. These 3 or 4 day gatherings, usually with a facilitator from International Renewal Ministries, work to try to not only gather pastors and para-church leaders together from a particular geography. But help them listen for and participate with the Holy Spirit in a renewal of the Church (universal) in their community.
These gatherings are fundamentally different from any other prayer gathering that I have ever participated in. I frankly, have been spoiled and have found all other prayer gatherings less than.
Daniel Henderson was not initially a part of the Pastor’s Prayer Summit but seems to have found a very similar type of prayer that he encouraged within his church. I have met him and gone to a training that he lead in partnership with Phil Miglioratti (National Pastors’ Prayer Network) and Jody Meyhew and Dennis Fuqua from IRM.
Fresh Encounters was a great book about how to change prayer in your church from what is usually is (small attendance and prayer request based) to what it can be (worship based, focused on the Lord and hearing from him). After going to a four day training I think that this book does a better job presenting the basic concepts. However, I don’t know if you can really grasp the “differentness” of this style of listening/worship prayer without participating in it. Have participated in a number of summits I think that Jody Meyhew and her husband Dan are some of the best facilitators out there.
I really think that the church needs to take prayer and the role of prayer seriously. The main issue is that the US church often acts as if they don’t need God. The focus on prayer really submits the church to the Lord’s will.
The Church that Prayers Together is another quick read. Just over 100 pages. This book has a chapter for 9 churches and then a summary of a number of other church prayer programs. These churches are from a number of sizes and regions of the country. There isn’t anything revolutionary about any of these churches except that the have intentionally put prayer as the primary focus of their church. These churches have been changed by their focus. It is good to remember that prayer should be a primary focus. For people that are interested in making prayer larger focus of their church it is a good book for ideas. The only place that I saw “The Church that Prays Together” is at the PrayerShop, an online book store focusing on prayer topics.
I will send the first person to request these books my copies.