Why I Don’t Do Ministry Without Prayer


We published this post on our blog earlier this year and found it to be both so practical and inspiring that we wanted to repost it for those who are jumping into another school year of ministry and busy schedules. It’s a fresh reminder that none of our work will be fruitful apart from God’s blessing.

As the sun began to peer through the early morning mist, the servant hurried down the narrow, winding streets of the city, making his way toward the outer wall. His heart was heavy, for his people had long been troubled by the great king of Syria, and war must be imminent. Already his master had twice warned the king of Israel of Syria’s plans, and they had been saved… but what was this he saw as he approached the wall?

Masses upon masses of men, a veritable host of men with horses and chariots had come upon them by night and surrounded the city. They were trapped – surely there could be no hope of escape. In despair, the servant turned to his master who had followed behind. “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” he cried. “Do not be afraid,” returned the gentle voice of Elisha, “for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

And suddenly, the mist cleared, the eyes of the servant were opened, and he beheld an innumerable company of horses and chariots of fire surrounding the mountain upon which his master stood.

Fellow soldier, if you are seeking to win souls, you are engaged in a battle which is far more real than any battle that has ever been fought in this world’s history, the outcome of which is far more crucial than any other. “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Let’s face it – we’re in a time of war, and we’re weak. Satan has souls in his grasp, and he does not relinquish them willingly. Our own strength, resources, and common sense are not enough to win this fight. Do you merely muster up a feeble prayer for the lost now and then, hoping that you’ll actually see some results?

Do you avoid verses such as “the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” simply because you’ve never experienced them and are afraid to try and fail?

Are you willing, with Elisha’s servant, to have your eyes opened to see the invisible and behold your God?

The task that we have been given to go into all the world and preach the gospel is by no means impossible – with God. But the battle must first be won on our knees. When our focus is on the size of our faith, we just can’t seem to muster up enough for the task at hand. “Me, fill that ministry position?” “Reach that person for Christ?” “Impossible,” we say. But oh, when our focus turns to the object of our faith – Jesus Himself – and we recognize His life in us as the power that transforms, anything is possible.

Here are a few things to keep in mind.

1.Christian, behold your God. Take time to quiet your heart before Him in prayer and just behold Him for who He is. Get to know Him through His Word until the truth of Scripture can pour out of your lips in prayer.

Until you know Jesus, you cannot pray effectively… but once you have beheld Him, all the hosts of hell cannot stop you from coming boldly before Him in faith and asking Him to do the impossible.

Consider Jesus, and in that great name, pray with confident expectation that He is who He claims to be, His promises are sure and steadfast, and He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we could ask or think.

For those who are involved in ministry, it is easy to invest so much time in people that prayer gets pushed to the sidelines. Spontaneous prayer is great, but it doesn’t always happen. We may not always feel like taking the time and effort.

2. Prayer is work, and the enemy will always conveniently remind us of some other duty that must first be done… and then another… and suddenly, we find the day has gone by without a focused, quiet time spent alone with Jesus. Cultivate this time with Him, whether or not you feel like it.

3. I have found that creating a list of specific prayer requests to focus on each day of the week helps me to make prayer a consistent priority. I thought, at first, that it might feel like my daily shopping list, but it has rather been a wonderful tool to guide me and keep me focused.

When needs arise in your ministry life, consider adding them to your prayer list and praying about them, consistently, in specific ways. Pray until you see the answer, and expect God to answer. It’s beautiful and exciting to see the fruit of private prayer in your public ministry.

4. Although private prayer must be the core of your prayer life, there is a unique strength found in the unity of “two or three gathered in His name.”

In praying together, we can enable each other to actually see God through each other. I have often come to a prayer meeting, tired and discouraged, only to leave encouraged and renewed, simply by hearing others verbalize the truth of who God is.

There is power in a group of people joining forces in agreeing together in prayer. Conflicts and relationship tension can arise when people equipped with different gifts, personalities, and backgrounds attempt to work together with a single purpose.

Nothing resolves differences and restores unity more effectively than humbly coming together in prayer, in one Spirit, for one cause.

The battle is real… Our God is able!

For more resources on how to make a greater impact on your ministry, utilize our Online Leader Training Course HERE and learn how prayer and the Word of God can transform your life and ministry.

Megan Smith is involved in a children’s ministry in the city of Binghamton, NY. She works specifically with pre-teen and teenage girls, focusing on teaching Bible stories in an interactive setting that encourages questions and discussion about real life issues. Megan’s desire is that Jesus would be personally made known to every girl for who He really is.

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