What God Did in the Prayer Ministers
By Kimberly Reiter
This is Part 2 of a 3-part series of testimonials from prayer ministry time at October’s Missional Leaders Meeting. You can find Part 1 here.
God is never doing one thing at a time
Year after year at the MLM, God is at work in people, including those serving as prayer ministers. Prayer ministry is done by leaders who are hidden. This hiddenness often causes them to believe they are not leaders because it is such a quiet act of service.
By the end of the week I sensed I should ask the prayer team some questions to see what God might be up to. These stories were just as exciting and profound, in my opinion, as those we heard from people who received prayer. God confirmed to me that He is never doing one thing at a time. I was not surprised to hear how each team member was prompted by God to reflect on the truth of their own experiences as leaders.
I asked them 3 things.
What, if anything, did God do in you as you prayed for others?
How, if at all, did God speak to you about these things?
What, if anything, do you believe God is calling you to next?
The team shared their stories and we prayed. Here’s what happened.
Recovering from wounding. Two of them had been injured by leadership in the Vineyard in the early 2000's. Praying for people made them realize that the Vineyard has come a long way. These two had their hope restored for the future of the Vineyard. One of the very cool things they said was that it seems like the Vineyard is "no longer making princes." Listening to the talks and reviewing the care that this particular meeting (MLM) offered to leaders, helped both of these prayer ministers see that senior pastors are less focused on their own success and more focused on advancing the Kingdom. God really healed their hearts. They felt they needed, and were now free to step in to their calling with greater intention and passion.
Getting off the bench. God told one of the prayer team members, "You've been silent and focusing on helping others, which is a good thing, but it is time for you to step out into the mission field in a big way." She had a great meeting with one partnership leader who led her to another missions leader to talk to. God spoke to her and she realized she is not only called, she is ready. She has a plan and is taking her first step by attending a Vineyard conference in Kansas City this fall.
Confirmation of new ministry leadership calling. During Jared Boyd's talk, one of the prayer team members realized that she has naturally practiced the disciplines her whole life. It was an affirmation that gave her a sense of “doing something right.” This message helped her to see that she is addressing her inner life. She and a friend back home are about to launch a new ministry. God spoke to her through some prophetic words from leaders who were participating in the conference. He confirmed that the new ministry development was on point. She no longer thinks it might just be her idea, but a true calling, and she is ready to get to work. She learned about coaching and is going to look for one when she gets home.
Overcoming fear; reengaging as a leader. One of the prayer ministers realized that God is taking her to a place of greater healing of fear. Before we prayed for her, she couldn't sleep here at Glen Eyrie because anxiety was causing her head to just spin. God said to her, "I trust you. Will you trust me?" She is also joining a new Vineyard ministry in the developmental stages and feels like God is prompting her to lead in new ways. And, she's slept like a baby ever since.
Recovering the true story. In response to Donnell Wyche’s talk one of the prayer ministers was convicted by God about the words she speaks about herself. She heard the Lord say, "Pay attention to the story you have accepted about yourself and the one you are telling others about yourself. Make sure it is the story that God is telling you about you." She spent the rest of the conference very aware of and restraining herself from making self-deprecating comments. She began to stop herself when she started speaking lies. This ended up being a great prayer topic for others who came to her and others for prayer.
Healing resentment. As a team we joined in prayer for a long time for one team member whom God wanted to heal of father issues, rejection by male leaders, and men in general. God showed her that she has projected her issues on her husband and it has taken a toll on her marriage. As we prayed for her, she repented and asked God to forgive her for holding on to resentment and the damage it was causing to her marriage. Compassion began to invade that resentment and the walls started to come down.
A call to humility. As we prayed for another prayer team member, he heard a word that, “He has been serving with a posture of ‘I've got this down.’ And that he had stopped learning. He was losing the joy that comes from humility and expectation that God is doing a new thing.” But he really heard Mark Field's word about having a teacher and remaining a learner. God revealed to him that he has spent so much time in the last few years ministering to others that he forgot to put himself under the leadership of someone else to be discipled. He responded by repenting and asking God to help him press the reset button.
Prayer ministry at the MLM is not an easy task. Praying for many people over three days leaves team members often feeling overwhelmed and quite fatigued. But, as each team member shared these stories, awe and wonder developed among us at what God was doing in us, and each could see the fruit of their sacrifice.
In the final installment of this story series, l share a bit of my own story and what God has been doing in me in hopes that it is a blessing to others. Click here for Part 3.