Seven Points of Prayer: How We Revitalized Our Staff Meetings
Our staff meetings lacked something, but we couldn’t put our finger on it. The time together was not a disaster. There were ups and downs, good days and tense days. Things got done. But spiritually, something was missing.
That’s when our new senior adult minister, Jim, pointed to our problem—prayer. We were praying in every meeting, but we weren’t praying for specifics in each other’s lives. He came up with a plan. His plan revitalized our staff meetings.
The plan was simple. Every week one staff person would submit seven specific prayer requests. Here is the catch: These requests had to be personal. When you’re sharing seven personal items, several things happen.
You get to know the person more intimately.
You get a window into their world.
You begin to understand the tensions in their lives.
You have a better perspective of their current experiences.
You are less inclined to default to anger or some other negative emotion when they don’t meet your expectations.
The person sharing is also shaped positively. They can’t share seven items without getting personal. It’s tough to be vague with seven different personal prayer requests, so it requires even the most stubborn of people to be vulnerable. When you’re open and vulnerable, you take a risk to trust others on the team. This risk to trust builds bridges between staff.
Here is how we do the seven points of prayer.
- One staff person is assigned to each weekly meeting. We rotate names each week.
- Every staff meeting begins with seven points of prayer. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
- The staff person submits the seven points of prayer before the meeting. This step requires thoughtfulness and deliberateness on the part of the one submitting the requests.
- The seven prayer requests all have to be personal. You can’t submit a request on behalf of another person.
- At the meeting, the person submitting the seven points of prayer takes the time to explain in depth each point.
- At the meeting, each staff person is assigned one point of the seven. During the prayer time, those who pray focus solely on the point assigned to them.
- Every prayer point is covered. We circle the table with each person praying for one point. If less than seven staff are there to pray, then some will double up. If more than seven staff are there to pray, then some points will be prayed for more than once. Everyone prays for the person submitting the seven points of prayer.
Our staff meetings were routine—good but lacking spiritual vitality. We have a great team, but our meetings needed new life. Then we started praying the seven points. After just a few weeks, this time of prayer revitalized our meetings.