Last e-newsletter began a new series on discipleship. Over the next several e-newsletters we will review specific elements of the TC program and how each element relates to discipleship.
So how do you begin a real discussion about the components of TC discipleship? Discipleship is a God thing. We rely on his presence and power to bring about true life change. Since it is a God thing and not a man thing then it requires at its foundation- prayer. Everyone knows we’re supposed to pray, but does it really take the priority that it should? We can all use a little reminder and fresh inspiration. So every discussion on TC disipleship should include and even start with the place that prayer belongs.
Prayer is the foundation to an effective discipleship ministry. If we really believe that is true, we as TC staff should be intentional and strategic in our prayer for the students and for the ministry. If we attempt this ministry without God, we are no different than a secular drug rehab.
Intercession is defined as “a prayer to God on behalf of another person.” We are to intercede on behalf of the students.1 Thessalonians 5:17 admonishes us to “Pray without ceasing.” Pray for the students when they first arrive. Pray with them during their prayer time. The PSNC classroom provides a great opportunity to pray for the students as you walk around the classroom. Work supervisors and other staff also carry the responsibility of prayer. Set aside private and staff time to cry out to God on their behalf. Even if you have prayer partners that pray for the ministry and students on an going basis, that does not negate your responsibility to pray for your students. You know them better. You can pray specifically.
- Reminds us that this is a spiritual battle and not a battle between us and the students (even though that is the way it often seems). Ephesians 6:10-17 says to put on the whole armor of God. Often we stop there in our reading. But the very next verse (18) says “pray…”! Put on the whole armor of God and pray. The battle is won in prayer!
- Prayer for the students increases our compassion capacity.
- Intercession on their behalf keeps our hearts attuned and sensitive to the students needs and victories, preventing skepticism and apathy from taking over.
- Without prayer, I rely on my human wisdom and strength and on the “program” and my efforts truly become futile.
- Prayer creates an environment where the Gift’s of the Spirit operate. To paraphrase something I once heard Greg Hammond of Florida/Georgia say: “The Holy Spirit can do more in a student’s life in a few minutes than we can do in 6 months.”
Think about it –
“When we rely upon organization, we get what organization can do; when we rely upon education, we get what education can do; when we rely upon eloquence, we get what eloquence can do. And so on. But when we rely upon prayer, we get what God can do.” Dr. A. C. Dixon
Does your center have a strategic plan for ensuring students are prayed for on a regular basis or is it just assumed?
Does your ministry allow time in the staff schedule for staff to pray for the ministry and students?
What are one or two steps you or your TC ministry can do to develop consistent prayer for the students?