In the past I have encouraged readers of this blog to subscribe (free) to the “Pray! Network” because of all the great resources and discussions going on there.
Here’s an excerpt from an article on that website which was also in the Jan/Feb 09 edition of “Pray!” magazine.
Appoint A New Prayer Leader
By Phil Miglioratti
Whenever I teach or consult with church leaders who want to reinvigorate their corporate prayer life, I expect to be met with puzzled looks. That’s because I immediately suggest that they appoint a new prayer leader.
Am I proposing wholesale change in every prayer ministry? Do I expect even small congregations to find a more highly skilled leader? Do I dare make such a suggestion when I haven’t even met the current prayer leader?
Yes, yes, and yes. And I even know the name of the perfect person for the job: the Holy Spirit!
Most believers agree to the need for Spirit-led prayer. We believe the “Spirit himself intercedes for us” (Ro. 8:26) and desire to build ourselves up in our most holy faith as we pray in the Holy Spirit (Jude 20). The reason our corporate praying isn’t what it could be isn’t doctrinal but psychological and sociological.
It is psychological because our culture values assertive leaders. We eagerly follow people who take charge in the decision-making process because dependency and humble uncertainty are not viewed as positive leadership traits.
We also have a sociological blind spot because our culture readily delegates authority to people who give the impression that they know exactly what to do and precisely when to do it. Generally, if someone can make a group feel confident, that person becomes its leader.
Based on these mindsets, many churches typically select leaders for prayer ministries based on a person’s popularity, faithfulness, recognized ability to pray, and spiritual maturity. While these qualities may be good to have, they don’t necessarily indicate a person has the ability to hear the Holy Spirit, which is the main requirement to shepherd, facilitate, and lead a group in prayer.