Prayer For Ministries That Support Orphans

Prayer (Deliverance) Ministry Ideas And Guidelines

Prayer For Ministries That Support Orphans

I would not be where I am today in my life, relationships and ministry without the help and freedom I have received through Prayer Ministry.

Occasionally, I recommend Prayer Ministry to readers who are struggling. Today I share some thoughts that may assist if you are considering receiving prayer, or setting up Prayer Ministry in your church.

What is Prayer Ministry and when is it Beneficial?

Ministering to someone through prayer can take place in any arena of church life—including evangelism.

However, ‘Prayer Ministry’ is where a deeper level of prayer for individuals is provided in a safe, supervised setting.

This may be helpful:

  • When a person’s need requires a longer time to pray than is possible in a church service
  • As a supplement to counselling or pastoral care, especially for those who are ‘stuck’ in an area of their life
  • If there is an addictive or demonic issue at work
  • If the issue requiring prayer is confidential

4 Criteria for Safe and Effective Prayer Ministry

Over the years, I have had positive experiences of Prayer Ministry that resulted in help and breakthrough.
However, I also had some negative—even harmful, experiences whilst receiving prayer for deliverance. I now realise these could have been avoided if some simple guidelines had been in place.

Recently, as a prayer department leader, I was involved in establishing Prayer Ministry in our church. Following are some criteria that team members and I decided were important as we launched our own Prayer Ministry department [1]:

1. Accountability

Accountability may include:

  • Prayer Ministry team members are appointed and under oversight. If the Prayer Ministry is not local church-based, the team members are there with the knowledge and recommendation of leadership in their own church.
  • The Prayer Ministry itself has oversight in the form of church leadership or a God-honouring Board.

Why this is important:
It provides a safe environment for the prayer team as well as those being prayed for. Accountability and leadership is a Biblical concept—and spiritual authority is released through being under authority (Matt 8:5-13)

2. Application Process

An application process provides a means in which the person receiving prayer must disclose any:

  • Relevant medical history
  • Medications being taken
  • Counselling or ministry currently being undertaken, and
  • The name of the faith community (church) he or she is attending.

Why this is important:
This is necessary when the Prayer Ministry is caring for new people whose background is unknown. It highlights any potential difficulties or reasons why prayer ministry should not be undertaken. It helps provide the best level of care for both givers and receivers of prayer.

3. A Referral System

This referral may be incoming or outgoing, and can also be formal or informal.

Referral can take place to or from:

  • Pastoral care in the church
  • Christian counselling
  • Medical assistance.

Why this is important:
Prayer ministry is effective, but it is important to remember that it is just one tool to help bring us freedom in Christ.

Two dangers that a healthy referral process helps avoid are:

  • The Prayer Ministry becoming an isolated ministry
  • An unhealthy dependence on prayer ministry by individuals

4. Prayer Team Members are Appointed and Trained

Prayer ministers are screened, trained and appointed, ensuring that they have not only the appropriate spiritual gifts, but also the knowledge, experience and Biblical tools to minister freedom to people.

Why this is important:
Prayer Ministry can be open-heart surgery—someone comes in with a need, makes confession and opens their heart to receive ministry from the Holy Spirit. That is a very vulnerable position—and it is vital that prayer team members have the gifts, skills and character to minister well. This may include specialist training.

Remember, Jesus selected His disciples; He then mentored them and showed them how He ministered before sending them out. They then reported back to Him.

Ideas for the Process of Prayer Ministry

Following are some things that can take place in a Prayer Ministry session:

  • The prayer team (consisting of two trained prayer ministers) listens to the client express the need, and prays for him or her.
  • The prayer team may operate in gifts of the Holy Spirit such as discernment, or word of knowledge as they listen to what God is saying about the person’s need.
  • They may lead the person through a Biblical response to God such as forgiveness, repentance or a prayer of commitment.
  • On occasion, freedom prayer (such as deliverance ministry) may be used.
  • The prayer team always checks that the person is agreeable—i.e. obtain the consent of the person who is receiving ministry—before proceeding with any of the above.
  • Optional: some Prayer Ministry includes the ministry of intercessors praying in a separate room or location (with the client remaining anonymous). They may provide feedback on what God has spoken to them.


Never assume that because a ministry is called ‘Prayer Ministry’ or ‘Deliverance Ministry’ that it operates in the exact way that I have outlined above.

  • What takes place in an individual Prayer Ministry session will vary according to the need expressed.
  • Also, every Prayer Ministry team will also have its own particular style, methods and values.

Whether you are seeking prayer yourself, or referring another person, you have a right to ask about the philosophy, style and methods of the Prayer Ministry.


[1] Following are some other safety guidelines we incorporated into our own Prayer Ministry process:

  • Confidentiality:For our own ministry, we decided not to retain notes, apart from the signed intake form.
  • Pastoral Care:Being a church-based ministry, we advised people to notify their Pastoral Care leaders of their participation in Prayer Ministry.
  • Safety for All PartiesWe communicated that those ministering or those receiving prayer could stop the session at any time if they felt uncomfortable.
  • Supervision We also provided clients with the name of a Prayer Ministry supervisor or [in the case of our church] the Pastoral Care Pastor for people who had questions or concerns.

Other Posts on Prayer:

Prophetic Intercession, Its Power And Pitfalls

3 Simple Ways To Pray For Healing

6 Tips For Exercising The Gift Of Discernment In Church Life

Do you have any ideas or insights to share about Prayer Ministry, its process or guidelines? Leave a comment in the comments box. If it is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.

© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

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10 things that will kill your orphan care ministry: Part 4

Prayer For Ministries That Support Orphans

This is last part of a series (read parts 1, 2, and 3) born several years of consulting with and observing many churches across America develop orphan care ministries.

Over time, I have noticed some common mistakes that cause these ministries to struggle and even fail. I want to share those observations with you in an effort to help and to stir a discussion about the good things being done to minister well in orphan care.

8. Lack of pastoral support

One sure thing that will kill your church’s orphan care ministry is a lack of pastoral support.

I have repeatedly heard this as a chief frustration of orphan ministry leaders who are struggling to keep going or by those struggling to begin a ministry in their church.

Many times, it’s not that pastors outright oppose it as much they marginalize it by their lack of enthusiasm or weak support. The question is why?

I have found three reasons that many pastors fail to give their enthusiastic support for orphan ministry:

One sure thing that will kill your church’s orphan care ministry is a lack of pastoral support.

  • They think it will take away from the “more important” ministries of the church. Examples of these ministries include evangelism and discipleship. Recent research from the Barna Research Group indicates that just the opposite is true, at least for young adult Christians, when it comes to evangelism. They found that engaging in justice ministry tends to increase evangelism in born-again young adults.
  • They don’t understand the gospel significance of caring for orphans. Too often, pastors see orphan care as a little something extra.They fail to see orphan care and other mercy ministries as natural good work that should flow a person who has been changed by the gospel (Matt. 25:31-46).
  • They fear distraction from the church’s mission and dwindling of critical resources. Just the opposite is often the case, especially among younger Christians. Younger believers see giving and connection to mission differently than previous generations. They are less ly to give blindly to general church funds and pooled mission funds. They want to be part of the mission. They give to and work toward what they have a connection with. Orphans are people that the church can reach with purpose. It can give younger believers a way to be involved in the church’s mission financially and in presence. This involvement can translate to connection to the rest of the work of the church. The result is more connection and more passion for the gospel and the church’s work, not less.

I would caution you about two things at this point. Don’t expect your pastor to have the same passion for orphan ministry that you do. Secondly, don’t become a clanging symbol. You won’t nag your pastor into a greater vision for orphan care. Give him good facts and resources that will help inform about orphans, but most of all, pray for him. Trust God to give him a vision.

9. Poor connection to the church’s mission

For orphan ministry to be effective, it has to be connected to the overall mission and vision of the church. There are two important reasons why:

  • The mission of the church isn’t alterable or debatable. Ultimately, the church’s mission is defined by Jesus, the head of the church. What we do in and through the church, we do under the rule and authority of Jesus because the church is his. The church’s mission is to make disciples, and orphan care is part of that mission. We can’t lose sight of either priority.
  • Each church is set into a specific context. The time and place of its existence is part of what God uses to shape its unique vision. No two local churches will work to accomplish the mission of the universal church the same way. That means that no two churches can accomplish orphan ministry the same way. Not being sensitive to the culture inside and outside your church and accounting for the uniqueness will kill your church’s orphan ministry.

10. Prayerlessness

One final thing that will kill your orphan ministry is prayerlessness. The world’s orphan crisis is epic. According to UNICEF’s estimates, there are approximately 153 million orphans around the globe, but the number really fails to represent the crisis accurately.

This number represents children who have lost one parent to death, but it does not account for the scores of children abandoned by living parents, those living on the streets, those enslaved and trafficked, and those in countries (particularly Islamic) who fail to report orphan statistics.

In truth, the UNICEF number is a statistic that is meant to underscore the vulnerability of children to the worldwide HIV/AIDS epidemic, not to account for what we would consider orphaned children.

God has given the responsibility of orphan care to his people in order to display his character and salvation to the nations, but we have to acknowledge that the task is beyond us. We need something more than the resources at our disposal to address the problem.

Unfortunately, many churches make the mistake of focusing too intently on the tangible over the intangible. Instead of taking sufficient time to pray, they are drawn into the easy trap of working hard at solving problems for orphans without seeking God’s power, direction, and provision.

We can’t afford not to take time to pray.

Being prayerless in orphan care is “taking a knife to a gunfight.” It is a powerless, losing proposition. It aims too low. We will find ourselves meeting mere temporal needs with no lasting significance and no gospel impact if we fail to pray for God’s direction and provision constantly.

Prioritizing prayer seems oxymoronic to many, but it makes perfect sense. In elevating prayer, we acknowledge our helplessness and utter dependence upon God. Prayer is something tangible. It is communion with the Most High God. It is the most important work.

This Lifeline originally appeared here.

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