Upper Room Prayer Ministry
by Carey Bryant
“And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying…All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer.” Acts 1:13-14 NASB
What is the Upper Room Prayer Ministry?
After Jesus ascended into heaven, His followers devoted themselves to prayer (Acts 1:14; 2:42). The Gathering desires to be a praying church, where members become more engaged in the spiritual discipline of prayer. The purpose of Upper Room Prayer Ministry is to provide opportunities where members of the Gathering can pray individually and corporately for the needs of the church.
When Does This Place on Sunday Morning?
There are two shifts where members can pray in the prayer room during the Sunday morning service. The first shift is during corporate worship and includes praying for the pastor and worship leader before the service while the second shift occurs during the sermon.
Shift 1: 10:30 – 11:25 (or end of corporate worship)
-For the first shift, the person praying goes to the prayer room at 10:30 to prepare spiritually. Around 10:35 the pastor and worship leader will join to be prayed over before the service.
-Then the person will pray during the corporate worship which will end approximately around 11:25.
Shift 2: 11:25 – 12 (or end of sermon)
-While the church is praying before the sermon, the second person will transition to the prayer room and allow the first person to return for the sermon.
What are the Guidelines for Praying on Sunday?
There are only two guidelines for the prayer room:
1. Be in the prayer room on time for your shift.
2. Pray for the Gathering and the church service as the Spirit leads.
Why Should You Get Involved?
Getting involved with this ministry can not only grow your personal prayer life and relationship with the Lord, but it can also greatly impact the Gathering as a church. As members of the Body of Christ, we have individual and corporate needs that we should lay before God. We need each other to lean on and the prayer ministry provides opportunities to intercede for one another in prayer. As our church focuses on prayer, we can expect God to move in mighty ways like He did in the early church (Acts 4:31).
What is the Future of the Prayer Ministry?
Praying during the Sunday service is a vital part of the Upper Room Prayer Ministry, but it’s not the only part! We desire that the ministry would expand into every area of the Gathering. Possible ideas include corporate prayer meetings, assigning people to pray during events like surgeries, pairing up members to pray for one another, and opening up the prayer room during the week to allow members to come and pray. Please pray for the ministry as we seek the Lord’s will!
Reservations about Getting Involved:
“Forty minutes seems like a long time to pray!”
Martin Luther once said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” But not all of us are like Luther, are we? For many including myself, praying for an extended period of time can be an intimidating endeavor. However, praying for any amount of time is obviously beneficial for us. Hopefully serving in this ministry will help you see that spending a longer time in prayer is not as scary as you might think. Also know that you are not required to have your eyes closed and head bowed for prayer the entire time. You are free to play worship music, listen to the sermon stream, read Scripture, journal, use the resources provided and so on while in the prayer room.
“I don’t know what to pray for.”
Before your time to pray, you will be made aware of the specific prayer requests from the church body. Also, there are resources in the prayer room to help you pray specifically such as:
-Submitted requests from the prayer box in the auditorium.
-The Facebook prayer group with recent prayer requests.
-A list of ministries at the Gathering.
-The names of church members listed in Breeze.
-The events in the church calendar listed in Breeze.
-Themed prayer guides with selected Scriptures.
-The sermon stream.
“I cannot commit to the ministry for long-term.”
When you sign up to serve in the prayer ministry, you are not obligated to serve forever. It’s totally understandable if you are not able to continue either for a season or for good. This is God’s ministry and His work, and I believe that He will provide the right people at the right time.
“I don’t feel qualified to pray for the church.”
Not everyone can sing in front of the church, but anyone can pray! As the Gathering emphasizes, God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called. If God is calling you to the prayer ministry, I encourage you to step out in faith and follow God’s leading!
If you are interested in learning more or getting involved, email me at email@example.com. Finally, please pray for the Upper Room Prayer Ministry in the following areas:
-Pray that God would raise up people to get involved in the ministry.
-Pray that we would improve the prayer room and get it fully furnished and maximized for prayer.
-Pray for wisdom in leading the ministry and following God’s direction.
-Pray for the future of the ministry as the Gathering seeks to become a “house of prayer.”