How to Host a Day of Prayer

In early September we were asked by our deputy general director to host our organization’s day of prayer for our office. Hmmm…that sounds like a big responsibility! And yet, it is reasonable for us to take our turn. We know that our organization is well-known for looking for skillful AND willing workers and having a solid dependence on prayer.

How could we say no?

So we then began praying. How would we lead such an important endeavor? How could it be truly God-honoring and meaningful to our colleagues?

But what do we DO first? Actually, we didn’t do anything measurable at first. We did pray repeatedly while we continued with our life – traveling to the Philippines, speaking at conferences, hosting trainings, and archiving records.  Eventually, our time of waiting in prayer was over.

It was time to begin planning in earnest.

We considered our purpose for the day of prayer and considered our audience. What was our vision for what a successful day would look like? Eunice had two images that kept coming to mind:

  • a program that welcomed the children in our midst (many of us serve as families, with children of varying ages at our office and in our most recent orientation course)
  • a day that would be received by our Lord as a fragrant offering to Him

We next focused on building a team. Who could help us carry out this vision? Are there preferred ways of building a team? What are they? What spaces will we use? Will we need supplies? To whom do we ask our questions? What are the expectations, not yet stated, that we should discover?

We then started to practice. What are the actual lyrics of those worship songs? Will we repeat the chorus twice or three times?

Let’s go through those slides again. Which slides are you leading, dear? Which ones do you want me to lead?

We may not have actually practiced 25 times but we did practice a lot. We even walked through each room making sure the set-up was just as we wanted it. Some room set-up could not be done ahead of time and could only be done on the actual day of prayer.

This past Monday, we were able to present. Our team hosted a day of prayer from 9 am – 5 pm, including:

  • worship
  • crafts that helped us anticipate a strong finish to end our day
  • a snack time where we could practice generosity in action
  • individual, small group, and corporate prayer sessions
  • two times of devotions

All glory to our heavenly Father and much appreciation to our teammates!

As we reflected on our day and considered what we learned along the way, we discovered that we were using the Six Steps to Transformation that the Institute for Cultural Communicators models in all their training (read a student tell about her journey using these same steps). Our colleagues informally rated us (so what exactly does it mean that we are already invited to host next year’s day of prayer???) and I’m working on writing my own self-reflection to document what I learned. We’ve begun to respond to those who gave us the privilege of leading prayers for the day by creating a special thank-you slide. I’m wondering if some home-baked cookies might make the thank you more meaningful to them?

This blogpost is our effort to record what we learned along the way and to help us celebrate together some of the transformations we’ve experienced.

What’s a recent transformation in your life? We’d love to hear!

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