Newsjournal of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan | March 2023 | Volume 67, Number 3
BOOT CAMP: LEARNING TO PRAY
by Nancy Spears – Baptist State Convention of Michigan
FENTON, MI – From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible talks about God’s people praying. In the New Testament, it is very clear that believers are commanded to pray: to pray without ceasing, pray and not faint, watch and pray. And yet, it is strangely difficult for most Christians to develop their prayer life, that consistent, ongoing conversation with God. Of all the things that Jesus did, the one thing the disciples requested that He teach them to pray. (Luke11:1)
With a desire to improve in this area of discipleship and to develop a deeper relationship with God, more than fifty participants gathered at Harmony Baptist Church in Jackson on April 26th. Twenty churches, eight associations, and more than 40 households were represented at the first Prayer Boot Camp for Michigan Southern Baptists.
Claude King, LifeWay Discipleship & Church Health Specialist led the groups using The Battle Plan for Prayer, From Basic Training to
Participants express “locks” released during prayer boot camp. (Photo by BSCM)
Targeted Strategies, by Stephen and Alex Kendrick. The book was inspired by the recent film, War Room.
Claude King leads the BSCM Prayer Boot Camp. (Photo by BSCM)
Using the acronym A C T S, for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication, attendees walked through the prayer experiences. Scriptures were shared that tell of “Locks” on prayer that keep prayers from being heard and “Keys and Promises” that should launch us into effective praying.
The group was taught that each person can find their own best time, place and posture to pray. As a frame of reference the group learned that the tradition of kneeling and pressing our palms together as a posture for praying originated as a medieval homage ceremony for kings. This posture was not given by God nor was designed to keep children still or adults from being distracted as people commonly think, but it was the posture of homage given to a king.
Prayer targets were offered as a strategy for prayer. Prayer targets are a simple tool to help organize and plan for a battle attack or defense against Satan and His influence, and/or to seek God’s guidance and influence in the lives of believers. The book includes lists of Prayer Strategy Verses to include in a prayer target for a husband or wife, children, the lost, your pastor, a local city and more. A Tecumseh Missionary Church’s RA Leader, who attended this Boot Camp, was excited about using this approach to help young boys learn how to pray.
Most of all, the people prayed. Claude King interrupted the group a lot to show another area of intimate prayer. Time limits were a must for the training. Attendees said that there was so much to learn, and so many things to practice. They felt It was like on-the-job prayer training. Learn it, do it, and learn some more.
King shared a multitude of resources with the participants so that those who were interested and willing to share what they had learned could lead a Prayer Boot Camp. Anyone interested in hosting a Prayer Boot Camp can contact Mike Durbin, email@example.com to enlist a facilitator.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nancy Spears is a ministry assistant for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan and serves on the council for Michigan’s Women’s Missionary Union (WMU). She is member of Anchor Community Church in Grand Rapids where she has served as event coordinator for ten years. God has blessed her with an understanding and supportive husband of 42 years, children and grandchildren.