Free Prayer: Go and Give It

We know that prayer should be the backbone of every undertaking of the believer and the church. But can prayer also be an outreach ministry?

Absolutely! In fact, it might create an opportunity for telling people about the love, forgiveness, and salvation that Christ Jesus gives.

Generally nonbelievers welcome prayer for themselves and others within their circle of concern.

“Prayer is the key to making spiritual inroads,” said Mark Wakefield, chaplaincy strategist with the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM).

For a prayer outreach ministry to be effective, it should be done in places where people gather, such as NASCAR races at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Wakefield said volunteers with Alabama Raceway Ministries (ARM)—an outreach of the SBOM—assist race fans and others at the speedway, engage them in conversation, pray with them, and, when the opportunity arises, tell them about Jesus.

Though ARM is geared for a raceway environment, its concept is adaptable to other situations: arts and crafts fairs, bridal shows, festivals, car shows, motorcycle rallies—the possibilities abound!

To establish and conduct your own prayer outreach ministry, follow these recommendations from Wakefield and ARM:

  • Train volunteers in evangelism techniques and etiquette of appropriate conversation and topics.
  • Instruct them also in the expectations and rules of the event host. Be an asset to the event host.
  • Emphasize that volunteers must have the ability to listen to people with different life experiences. “The primary instruction is to listen as much as possible without being judgmental,” Wakefield said. The role of volunteers is to “meet and engage people where they are without being pushy, provide ministry to whatever needs can be met, and share the gospel where there is an unforced opening.”
  • Make certain volunteers are easily identifiable by hats, armbands, or shirt color.
  • Decorate the ministry table or booth attractively. Display a “free prayer” sign or a “prayer requests” box to draw passersby and spark conversations.
  • Give away free items: individually wrapped snacks, bottled water, and Bibles and gospel tracts to those expressing interest.
  • Collect contact information (name, address, etc.) from people willing to provide it. Afterward forward this information to churches close to where individuals live, Wakefield said.

Of course, a prayer outreach ministry needs prayer throughout the process. Prayer should precede the ministry’s formation, as well as recruitment and instruction of volunteers. Prayer is needed in the weeks leading up to each outreach event. During an event, off-site volunteers could pray during designated time slots. After an event comes more prayer—for the people assisted and the prayer requests from the box—as well as thanksgiving for what the Holy Spirit did and will continue to do in the lives of individuals.

Leigh Pritchett lives in the southeastern United States, a vast missions field.

Back to Top