Lesson 12 - The Prayer Minister or Counsellor
This final lesson reminds us of those things that are vital for the prayer minister.
Without the calling and gifting of the Lord nobody should aspire to be a prayer minister.
Ministering in the name of the Lord it is essential that love be the overwhelming motive, because God is Love. At all times the aim in prayer ministry is to provide an opportunity for the person receiving prayer to be ministered to by the Holy Spirit, that they might experience the healing love of God. The Biblical Basis of Counselling section of the Elijah House Australia Manual of Training for Prayer Ministry says, "The best counsellors are those who can love others to life."
Personal integrity protects us and those for whom we pray from inappropriate behaviour. We keep confidences, guarding the privacy of those who come for prayer. We do only those things the Holy Spirit says to do.
Dealing with sin in our lives protects us from being vulnerable to enemy attack. Pure thoughts and a clean heart are the best safeguards against temptation.
Knowing we are totally dependent on the Lord helps us avoid pride and the presumption that we know what to do. The Lord alone knows what will bring healing, freedom and deliverance, and he alone will accomplish it. It is our privilege to watch him do it, assisting as he directs. Humble dependence on the Holy Spirit every time, for every aspect of ministry is vital. It will keep us prayerful. No matter how long we have been a prayer minister we will never know what is the right way to minister to a person because each one is unique and their needs, sins, wounds, responses, personality and family is individual.
Genuine love and integrity coupled with honesty builds a safe place for people to begin to trust and enables them to share needs for prayer.
Being part of a team, working together with others, taking time to debrief and deal with issues provides security for prayer ministers and confidence for those seeking prayer. Working alone is not recommended except in an emergency.
Knowing God has called you to this ministry is essential. Having the approval of the pastoral leadership of the church, and if married, the blessing of your spouse is particularly important. Satan always seeks to undermine our authority in ministry. Being able to secure the prayer of trusted friends is a special blessing for prayer ministers.
Working with people from different denominations, exercising different gifts and displaying different personalities can open up disagreement and the possibility of disunity. Issues need to be faced with the Lord and grace, forgiveness and reconciliation extended quickly.
But, working with others also brings a particular blessing, as an earthly expression of the oneness of those who live already in the Kingdom of God, and are cooperating with Jesus in the preparation of His Bride.
Knowing the Father
Growing intimacy with the Father will increase the giftedness of the prayer minister. As we spend time in his presence we will reflect his character, know his heart, experience his love and thus be able to minister more effectively, with compassion and gentleness.