These ministries are very important. The goal for each of them is to get Christian people praying together for their city or community, so that, according to 1Timothy 2:2, they may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. Here are a few ideas of what I think this ministry should look like:
1. There should be a clear focus of ministry. That focus must be on interceding for the needs of the city or community. Those needs will be at least three-fold:
(1) For its leaders. Prayer must be made for all the city or community leaders, that they be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth; but also, that God would work through them, so that whether they are believers or not, they would rule and make decisions with God’s wisdom.
(2) For churches. Prayer should be made for all Christian churches, that they would seek to honor God in their services and ministries. Requests should be made for their pastors, church workers, and for the entire congregation.
There are many things that we can pray for a church. If you read Paul’s letters to the different churches he wrote to, you would find several great things he prayed for them. For example, to the Colossian church, he prayed that they would be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding (Col. 1:9).
Paul’s prayers I think were written down in the scriptures for us to use. No, I don’t think it is wrong to use other people’s prayers, especially Paul’s. If you want, you can change the wording so it fits your language. But feel free to use his prayers. That’s what they are there for!
(3) For all Christian ministries and para-church groups. Pray that they would continue in God’s good work and not be discouraged (1 Cor. 15:58).
2. There should be prayer groups scattered throughout the community or city to intercede for all the various needs. I envision this ministry having one central group to provide leadership and stability for the ministry, and three or four other groups located in different areas whose sole focus would be to pray for the needs of the community or city. I also think there could be many other prayer groups scattered all over the city or community that are not really a part of the ministry but have promised to pray for needs as prayer requests are given to them.
3. There should be a leadership team to make plans, direct events and to gather and distribute prayer requests. This team would come out of the central group I just talked about. They are the hard workers of the ministry. They not only show up for leadership meetings and plan events, but they are the ones who are willing to travel around, meet people, see what the various needs are, and then to see that those needs are recorded and distributed out to all the intercessors.
I think it is especially important that key people are contacted: the governor or mayor, the police chief, and all the city leaders as well as all the church leaders. They know more that anyone what the real needs are. But I think it is also important to contact others who are not in leadership to find out their needs as well. Thus all levels of society should be contacted so that all the various needs are prayed for.
4. There should be events to promote unity and fellowship. I think it would be good to have social events for all ministry workers and prayer intercessors so that people get to know each other. Conferences will also serve that purpose.
5. There should be events and materials to promote prayer learning. The more anyone studies prayer the more they will be motivated to pray, and to pray as God would want them to. For this purpose prayer conferences are ideal. There should also be an effort to distribute books and materials to those who request them.
6. There should be good communication. The ministry should work hard to inform all the intercessors of events and prayer requests. It should also serve to encourage each other. Therefore, prayer letters, phone calls and e-mails are a must.