“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should” (Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:18–20).
At the heart of my ministry is a daily time of prayer. This is prayer on offense, not just defense. It is focused on “seeking first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33) and what is of lasting, not temporary, significance.
To remain fully engaged, my posture in prayer is vertical and visual. In other words, I pray standing (rather than staying seated or kneeling) because this keeps me most alert. I also make use of visual prompts to focus my prayer, which I keep in my less-than-glamorous prayer journal. These prompts include:
- Emails I have received especially from people who need courage because of risks they are taking that involve furthering God’s kingdom.
- I “pray pictures” of my family — my wife, my children, my grandchildren.
- I collect or create “ministry vision summaries” I have received from pastors and district superintendents. I partner in prayer by focusing on a specific dimension of their vision each day.
- I pray through iMAPs people have entrusted to me. This is an intercession MAP, which includes one or two areas they believe are essential to momentum (M) in their ministries, activities (A) in which diligence and faithfulness are particularly important and people (P) who are current or potential key catalysts to their vision becoming reality.
To be sure my prayer remains focused on God’s priorities, I read through the Bible every year (highlighting what speaks most to me), the cumulative effect of which embeds God’s redemptive plan deep within my spirit. I choose an annual verse that particularly shapes my prayer each year. So Scripture informs and infuses prayer as the living and active word of God combined with the voice of God’s Spirit that empowers intercession.
One of our district superintendents paid me what I considered to be among the most encouraging affirmations I’ve ever received: “Wayne, you lead through prayer.” I am grateful that the Holy Spirit has placed in me that desire to intercede as He directs. May He continue to receive the glory as I pray how He leads.