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Praying Up the Sunday School – Preparation Manual

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Praying Up the Sunday School Promotion Statement

Is it possible to get every member of every Sunday School class praying every week? Absolutely, it happened after the 9/11 crisis! Now we are in a greater crisis for our churches, our communities, and our nation. We have an eternal crisis; millions without Jesus. AND, we have the people power in our churches to handle the crisis when we get in tune with our Father in prayer.

We have a goal. We are asking every Baptist in Mississippi to join in 6 weeks of prayer prior to the beginning of our new Sunday School year in 2011. We are asking you to pray for church leaders, Sunday School leaders, Sunday School members, friends we know who are not in Sunday School, AND friends who are not yet believers in Jesus Church. We are asking God to touch every person with a powerful awareness of His presence and their need of spiritual renewal, repentance, and eternal life.

As we join together, we can see a true spiritual awakening sweep across Mississippi as together we “Cover Mississippi in Prayer.”

You can contact your MBCB Sunday School Department for details and information. We will be more than happy to send the information to your church.

Kiely Young

Director, Sunday School Department

Praying up the Sunday School

We have a great responsibility and a wonderful opportunity!

We can touch every member of our Sunday School and every friend in the community who needs Christ with the wonderful love of Christ. AND…we can do so with the most powerful and effective tool in the Kingdom of our Lord…PRAYER!!!

God wants us to seek Him individually and corporately to impact our world for Christ. He told His disciples in Acts 1:8 “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

In John 15:5 Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”

What if…

  • Every member of every Sunday School class had a daily time of prayer and devotion seeking a renewed walk with Christ?

    And…

  • every Sunday School class in your church prayed for every member every week?

    And…

  • every member of every Sunday School class prayed for a friend that is not a Christian every week?

    And…

  • every member of every Sunday School class prayerfully sought to enroll that friend in Sunday School?

    And…

  • every member of every Sunday School class kept praying for that friend until they came to know Christ as Savior?

Could these “what ifs” become reality?

If we get serious about “Praying Up the Sunday School,” we could see every Sunday School class experience spiritual renewal and community impact like never before.

My friend Bob Mayfield, Director of Sunday School for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, recently shared a testimony of a small church in his state that had a 6 weeks prayer emphasis like described above. As a part of this strategy a class of senior adult ladies posted a list of friends and family who did not yet know Christ as Savior. In just a few weeks that list grew to 88 individuals. By the end their 6 weeks of prayer, 22 of the 88 had become Christians! They had never seen anything like that before. They vowed to continue praying for each other and their friends who did not yet know Christ. And they continued praying for new Christians that they might grow into strong mature disciples.

This is not a difficult strategy; nor is it complicated. But, it does take organization, determination, and perseverance. And we must remember the enemy will not like what you are doing. We just have to convince him he has been defeated and has no power over us, because our Lord has already won the victory.

Preparation

Now just how do we begin “Praying Up the Sunday School”?

There are just a few things we have to do in preparation.

  1. We must prepare our hearts in prayer.
  2. We must be sure our hearts are clean before the Lord. Read Psalm 6:18, 1 John 1:9
  3. We must remember God wants us to seek Him. Jeremiah 29:11-14a
  4. We must remember God really wants to bless us. John 10:10
  5. We must realize God calls us to show our love for Him in obedience. John 14:15
  6. We will realize just what God can do through us as we follow in obedience. John 14:11-13

Planning

Now let’s look a just a bit of organization to help us.

  1. Prayerfully enlist a Prayer Leader for your Sunday School.
  2. The Prayer Leader will keep the church informed and challenged during “Praying Up the Sunday School.” (See job descriptions)
  3. Each Sunday School class will prayerfully enlist a Prayer Leader. (see job descriptions)
  4. Each Sunday School class will commit just 10 minutes of each Sunday’s class time to reporting and prayer.
  5. Each class will prepare a list of members for each class member.
  6. Each class member will submit names of friends who are not yet Christians.
  7. Each class will seek to get every member involved in personal and corporate prayer

Purpose

Why this emphasis on “Praying Up the Sunday School”? Have we not already been praying through the Sunday School? Do not most adult Sunday School classes have prayer every week?

Well, yes, and sort of. It is true that most of our Sunday School classes do pray every week for folks in their classes who are sick or have special needs. But, do they pray for every member every week? Do they pray for church leaders every week? Do we pray for unchurched friends and neighbors every week? If the answer is NO, then we are attempting to change our “prayer practices”. We are attempting to intensify the prayer practices AND make them much more intentional. We even want to see measurable results that will excite our churches and bring greater glory to our Lord.

Participation

Can we really get every member of every class involved in intentional prayer? Only God has the answer. But, we will never know if we do not present a strategy that has the potential of seeing this come to pass. We need a simple plan which any class in any church in any location can follow. The following is such a simple plan.

This is a 6 Week strategy designed to get every adult and youth Sunday School class involved in intentional prayer every week.

  • Week 1 – Every SS class member will pray daily for your pastor, staff, and SS leadership.
  • Week 2 – Every SS class member will pray daily for every SS teacher and SS leader of the church.
  • Week 3 – Every SS class member will pray for every member of the class of which they are a member.
  • Week 4 – Every SS class member will pray specifically for inactive member and seek to make a contact with a specific inactive member to encourage them.
  • Week 5 – Every SS class member will pray daily for at least one friend not enrolled in Sunday School.
  • Week 6 – Every SS class member will continue to pray daily for their friends not enrolled in Sunday School and make contact with them to ask them to attend. Pray for an opportunity to share Christ with those who are not yet Christians.
  • After Week 6 – Continue to pray for every member of your class.

    Continue to pray for church leaders.

    Continue to pray for friends not enrolled in Sunday School and those who do not know Christ as Savior.

You can use the attached devotional guide as a guideline for your daily devotions each week as you pray individually and as a class.

We encourage pastors to preach on prayer preparation to get the church ready and committed to this prayer strategy. Dr. Jim Futral, our MBCB Executive Director-Treasurer, has prepared a sermon to give direction and encouragement for that sermon.

Praise Reporting

Number of people praying when you begin._______

Number of people prayed for

Week 1______ Week 2 _____

Week 3______ Week 4_____

Week 5______ Week 6 _____

Number of personal contacts made Week 4______ Week 6_______

Number of people praying after Week 6_______

Number of people enrolled in Sunday School________

Number of people who prayed to receive Christ as Savior ________

Job Descriptions for Leaders of “Praying Up the Sunday School”

Pastor

  1. Set the example through personal devotions in preparation.
  2. Champion the strategy through pulpit promotion.
  3. Preach on the priority of prayer to raise the commitment level.
  4. Visit each Sunday School class at least once during the 6 week period to pray with them.
  5. Work with Sunday School Director and Nominating Chairperson to enlist a Church Prayer Leader for Sunday School.
  6. Recognize the Church Prayer Leader each Sunday for results of prayer each week.

Sunday School Director

  1. Follow the example of the pastor in personal devotions in preparation.
  2. Assist the pastor in selection of a Church Prayer Leader for Sunday School.
  3. Visit each Sunday School Class at least once during the 6 week period to pray with them.
  4. Celebrate with each class the results of their prayer efforts.

Church Prayer Leader for Sunday School

  1. Follow the leadership of the pastor in personal devotions in preparation.
  2. Assist each class in the selection of a Class Prayer Leader.
  3. Make certain each class has a list of members and prospects.
  4. Make certain each class has a posted list to pray for friends not enrolled in Sunday School and those not yet believers.
  5. Make certain each class turns in reports of their prayer efforts each week.
  6. Report to the church the results of prayer each week in celebration.
  7. Make certain every class has adequate copies of the daily devotion guides.

Class Prayer Leader

  1. Follow the example of the pastor in personal devotions in preparation.
  2. Lead the class in prayer participation each week. Limit the prayer and reporting time to ten minutes to give adequate time for Bible study and discussion.
  3. Post a prayer list large enough for everyone to see and add to each week.
  4. Share the results each week with the Church Prayer Leader for Sunday School.
  5. Ask member for names of friends and family not enrolled in Sunday School and/or not yet believers in Christ.