The Personal Prayer Supporters Of The Preacher

The Personal Prayer Supporters Of The Preacher

We’ve been looking at the importance of having people pray for you, the preacher.  We’ve considered Paul’s requests for prayer support, as well as looking at the various levels of prayer supporters you can recruit.  In this post we’re going to consider the personal supporters of the preacher and the dangers that exist with this most intimate, level 1 prayer support.

The General Danger of Prayer Supporters

In the last post, I discussed the third and second levels of prayer support for the preacher.  I didn’t mention any dangers involved while discussing it there.  Here is the danger: spiritual warfare.

When I served CrossPoint Church in Chino, California, we developed a program of prayer. We needed powerful prayer at that time, because were going through a powerful growth season.  Three times a year we would welcome new members, sometimes 50+ people in each session.  We were baptizing adults in local swimming pools.  It was a time of growth in numbers, but also spiritually.  The enemy apparently took notice, because we experienced what I interpret to be attacks by the enemy.

Prayer Coordinator Challenges

The prayer program in the church was run by a volunteer Prayer Coordinator.  Her job (only women served in that position for no particular reason).  I recruited people who were engaged in our prayer ministry and who had gifts as good organizers.  Each of the people serving resigned the position after a time of serving, and the major reason was what appeared to be spiritual warfare.  The Prayer Coordinator developed strange illnesses.  Family members, especially children, struggled with emotional or physical problems.  One woman even had a stroke during a prayer meeting.

An Appropriate Warning

It is appropriate, then, that you give a warning to people who are going to be supporting you and the church’s ministry in prayer.  Let them know the importance of praying for each other.  Gather the group occasionally to ask what is happening in their lives.  Check in with each other regularly.  Assure them that you are praying for them as they pray for you

The Personal Prayer Supporters

We still need to talk about the level 1 intercessors.  I’ve always had only 1 or 2.  The reason?  This is intended to be a very intimate relationship.

Where Do You Find Them?

Where do you get these prayer supporters?  The personal prayer supporters of the preacher are usually called by God to this position.  I only recruited one person.  So, how did I get these primary prayer supporters?  The one supporter that I’ve had for over 20 years now recruited me.  He was someone that I knew well and trusted.  He was also in ministry, and so, we had that in common.  And I trusted him.  As our relationship deepened, we decided to regularly pray for each other.  For the past 22 years we have lived in different states, and yet we have a telephone call once per month in which we share our challenges, our hopes, our fears, and our temptations.

As you can see, this is a powerfully intimate relationship.  I once quipped to my friend that he knew enough to get me fired.  For that reason, many of you may ask your spouse to be your level 1 prayer supporter.  That’s great!  But I do encourage you to have at least one other.

The Danger

Because of the intimacy of the relationship required for the personal prayer supporters on the preacher I limit my level 1 supporters to people with whom the intimacy won’t become a problem.  I once had a woman who felt  that God had called her to be my close prayer supporter, and it seemed that He had.  A couple of times she came to me on Sunday and said, “I know you’ve had a rough week, because I was awake a lot praying for you.”  She was accurate in that assessment.

The problem?  She was about my age, and she was someone that I might be attracted to in ways other than prayer.  Therefore, we put some parameters on the relationship.  We would not meet for prayer together.  I would not communicate to her beyond the level 2 prayer letter that I sent out each week.  And I would not communicate the personal stuff of my life to her.  However, I did encourage her to pray for me as God revealed the challenges I faced.


We’re in a battle.  You are a leader if you are a preacher.  In that battle the personal prayer supporters of the preacher can play a vital role.  Find them.  Train them.  Encourage them.  Your ministry will flourish as a result.

Here is a good start  for telling people why it is important that you are covered with the prayers of God’s people.