My local church in Lewes, Delaware, has found a way to both develop pray-ers and effectively undergird the ministries and concerns of the church through monthly prayer vigils.
Each month, a theme is selected to be the focus of 24 hours of prayer. Some of the more recent themes have been evangelism prayer (before Easter), vacation Bible school, healing for the ill within the congregation, and violence in schools. We put together a prayer guide for each theme, which offers specific things to pray, appropriate scriptures, songs for meditation, and space so that pray-ers can write down what God might be saying to them or burdening them with on the subject. The guide is also made available on the churchs website.
Each prayer vigil is divided into 30-minute increments. Individuals can sign up for one or more slots. The goal is to pray around the clock during the vigil. Pray-ers are encouraged to pray with a prayer partner or spouse. Others are encouraged to pray even if they have not signed up for a slot (we have to print about 20 percent more guides than it has slots for pray-ers!).
Pray! Magazine Issue 12 May/June 1999