A Diagnostic Tool To Assess The Prayer Life Of Our Congregation

Diagnostic Tool - Print Version 

  • Phil Miglioratti
  • The #ReimagineDFORUM @Pray.Network
  • The #ReimagineFORUM @ Discipleship.Network
  • National Pastors’ Prayer Network
  • Connect for Free @ http://Reimagine.Network
  • Our Purpose


It is our goal, that by properly utilizing this tool, the Holy Spirit will give you a clear sense of how successful you are in the quest to become a biblical House of Prayer.


The interactive process brings leadership and membership together in a vertical (prayer) and horizontal (prayer birthed discussions) conversation.  This conversation is in itself a forward step in the prayer life of the congregation.


This is not a “scientific” survey capable of producing a computerized analysis nor is it like a contest in which the average rating of the judges determines the outcome. Each category and question is designed to expose the heart of the congregation for prayer and produce an accurate picture of how faithfully, practically and pervasively that desire is being expressed.


No congregation using this tool is in competition with any other. It is hoped that this tool will serve to increase the congregation’s appetite for prayer while causing leadership to reevaluate programs and seek the Lord of the Church for His changes toward a reformation in the congregation producing a transformation in the community.


Just like prayer, you can utilize as much or as little as you want from this tool. Simply by reading through it you will allow the Holy Spirit to sensitize you to new thoughts and ideas. By inviting others to read it will do the same for them. However, to receive full value, you are encouraged to include and involve the entire congregation over an extended period of time.


Our Process


  • Begin in prayer, asking the Lord to prepare the hearts and minds of those who make the decision of how to implement this tool amongst your people.


  • Make an appointment with the key leader(s) in your context, usually the Pastor. Make sure the Pastor is in public agreement as this is presented to any other board or committee or team that must decide on its use or steps of implementation.


  • Employ a long-term strategy

            .The leadership team prays together and commits to use the tool as a means of receiving wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit.

            .The full leadership of the congregation hears first about the plan to asses the congregation’s prayer life, are expected to personally support the plan, and to proactively encourage participation from those in their area of ministry.

            .The diagnostic tool will be one ingredient in an overall assessment.

            .Introduce the diagnostic tool to the congregation only after the appropriate leadership (team,  council, board) has met to pray through their commitment to both the process and the action steps that result.

            .Introduce the diagnostic tool only after the congregation has heard a biblical call to become refreshed, renewed, revived as a House of Prayer for all people. This may be accomplished through any or several of these means:

                        -a series of messages/sermons on personal and corporate prayer

                        -a Prayer Conference (all-church) with a guest speaker

                        -a Workshop (all-ministry leaders) with someone to teach on prayer

                        -a Retreat with a guest to facilitate prayer and coach discussion

The guide, Come to the Lord’s Table by Claude King is an excellent resources for any of these activities. (Visit www.finalcommnad.org for details and ordering information)

            .Set a start-date and a return-date to distribute and collect the completed worksheets If you mail the worksheets to the members at their home, please include one per adult and young person. Include a children’s worksheet if appropriate.

            .Or, set aside a month when the worksheets are the focus of every church ministry and activity. Ever class & committee; council & choir; group & gathering.

            Before initiating the assessment process, set a date for the leaders to meet to discuss and discern what the Spirit is saying through the feedback as well as a date when the leaders will meet with the members to present their findings, seek further response, and set action steps. This is most beneficial if experienced in an interactive format (roundtable discussion led by a facilitator from outside the congregation)

            .At the report session, announce the date of a “Follow-Through” meeting to assess how well the congregation has implemented the ideas and inspirations of the diagnostic assessment (6 - 12 months).

            .Several types of questions are employed in an effort to assist you to think honestly from different perspectives. Avoid answers that “make us look good” and simply give a descriptive response.

            .The answers/responses are just the beginning. After completing a review of responses in a category, use the questions below to assist you in discerning what the Spirit is saying...

                        *”What?” - are our responses to the questions?


                        *”So What?” - are the implications of what we have said?


                        *”Now What?” - are we led to do again? Better? Differently?


Diagnosing The Prayer Life of Our Congregation




Our History


         What role did prayer play in the birthing / founding of your congregation?


         At what point in your history has prayer been most visible? Powerful?


         What was the context (circumstances, situations)?


         Which persons have been champions for prayer?


         How have we utilized prayer champions in the past?


         When it comes to corporate prayer, have we been:

                  Fearful?        Neutral?       Supportive?            Proactive?


         Has the congregation been called to fasting and prayer (answer yes or no):

                  ___Yes         ___No


         If so, what prompted the call to fast and pray?


         We have seen a correlation between prayer and spiritual milestones

                  (check all that apply):

                  __ People responding to the Gospel

                  __ Increase in baptisms

                  __ Adults surrendering to ministry

                  __ Young people surrendering to ministry

                  __ Sending missionaries to other cities or nations

                  __ New congregations planted

                  __ Breakthroughs in healing (physical and/or emotional)

                  __ (other) ____________


Our reputation for prayer is (chose one):

                  __ We do not know how others view our prayer life

                  __ We are probably consider average; no special reputation for prayer

                  __ We are probably known as a church devoted to prayer

                  __ We are the church in our area someone would call to ask for prayer







Diagnosing The Prayer Life of Our Congregation



Our Theology


         Agree or Disagree:

                  “The prayer life of our congregation and our members is more a

                   religious habit than an act of obedience.’


         Agree or Disagree:

                  “Our practice of prayer is based more on the biblical

                   revelation of God’s character than daily trials and troubles.”


         Agree or Disagree:

                  “The methods and styles of prayer we employ are informed more

                   by our culture and popular teaching than the scriptures.”



Our Vision


         To what extent was our congregation’s Vision Statement birthed in prayer?


         How is prayer present (or could be) in our Vision statement?


         What evidence can you cite to prove this statement:

                  “We are dependent upon God for the success of our vision.”



Our Pastor


         In the past twelve months, our Pastor (check all that apply)

                  __  Preached a sermon on prayer

                  __  Indicated a desire to increase and/or improve his prayer life

                  __  Called the congregation to fervent prayer

                  __  Taught a class or small group on prayer

                  __  Empowered others to lead or facilitate prayer

                  __  Participated or led an ongoing church prayer group

                  __  Promoted a prayer training experience

                  __  Distributed prayer resources for leaders and/or members

                  __  Read a new book on the subject of prayer

                  __  Has benefited from a Pastor’s Prayer Support Team

                  __  Identified and worked closely with intercessors

                  __  Participated in a Pastors’ Prayer Group

                  __  Attended a Prayer Retreat

                  __  Was involved in a community or city wide prayer initiative

                  __  Involved our church in National day of Prayer (or other events)


Diagnosing The Prayer Life of Our Congregation



Our Leaders


         Do your leaders (staff, deacons/elders, council/board members):

                  (check all that apply)

                  __  Attend the congregational prayer meetings?

__  Express personal dependency upon prayer?

                  __  Limit prayer in their meetings to a brief “opening” & closing” prayer?

                  __  Provide financial support for prayer initiatives

                  __  Understand the relationship between prayer and evangelism

                  __  Participate in prayer training

                  __  Consider prayer to be the job of the Prayer Team or intercessors

                  __  Call the congregation to Solemn Assemblies

                  __  Rarely pray in public



Our Members


         As to the prayer life of our church, our members are:

                  __ satisfied,  __ curious,  __ eager to learn,  __ hungry for God


         When it comes to changing the prayer patterns in our church,  our members:

                  __ initiate new ideas, __ welcome change,  __ tolerate,  __ resist


         What percentage of your church members do you estimate:

                  __  Participate in a prayer group or meeting?   ____

                  __  Pray at home with their family on a regular basis? ____

                  __  Participate in some kind of prayer training? ____

                  __  Request prayer (written or verbally)  ____

                  __  Pray for others who do not yet know Christ?        ____

                  __  Pray for (immediately) others who express a joy or a need?      ____

                  __  Have a prayer burden for another nation?   ____


         Our members experience prayer (list in order; most to least):

                  __  Privately at a specific time and place

                  __  Throughout their daily activities

                  __  When they face a trial or trouble

                  __  When someone else prays in a meeting or worship service

                  __  In a small group

                  __  (other)  _________


         Agree or Disagree:

                  “When we gather for corporate prayer, everyone participates verbally.”



Diagnosing The Prayer Life of Our Congregation




Our Worship Service(s)



         When the congregation gathers for worship, our prayers are:

          (check all that apply)

                  __  At a preset time in the service

                  __  Spontaneous

                  __  Conversational

                  __  Formal

                  __  Informal

                  __  An expression of ritual

                  __  ”Preachy”

                  __  List (needs) focused

                  __  Prewritten



         When the congregation gathers for worship, our prayers are:

          (check all that apply)

                  __  Prayed by “clergy” (ordained, staff)

                  __  Prayed by selected members (a few who rotate)

                  __  Prayed by selected members (many are considered)

                  __  Prayed by any member (anyone may volunteer)

                  __  Prayed by all members (pairs or small groupings; pray in unison)

                  __  Prayed by all members (prayer recited in unison)



         When our congregation gathers for worship (check all that apply):

                  __  We sing songs that encourage prayer

                  __  We have banners reminding us of the power of prayer

                  __ We sing songs that address God; we sing our prayers

                  __ We weave praise and prayer together as we worship




Diagnosing The Prayer Life of Our Congregation



Our Prayer Meetings


         (Any gathering devoted to prayer)


         We meet for prayer __weekly,  __monthly, __quarterly, __annually


         Percent of our congregation who attend:

                  __ weekly

                  __ monthly

                  __ quarterly

                  __ annually


         What special need or circumstance prompts an unscheduled gathering?


         When we gather for prayer (check all that apply):

                  __ We are faith-filled                          __ We follow a routine

                  __ A few pray                                    __ Everyone contributes

                  __ We span the globe                         __ We follow typical lists

                  __ Most prayers are need-based           __ Many pray from scripture

                  __ We sense God’s presence                __ We see prayers answered


         The purpose of a prayer meeting (according to our reality):

                  __ To tell God what we need

                  __ To praise God and honor Christ first

                  __ To remind God of all who are sick or grieving

                  __ To listen for discernment and wisdom

                  __ To pray for our leaders; congregation and nation


         Respond to this statement:

                  “Frankly, our prayer meetings are more boring than blessing...”


         When we gather (check any that apply):

                  __ We invite the Holy Spirit to facilitate and guide our prayers

                  __ We ask for the mind of Christ so that our prayers echo Jesus’

                  __ We desire most to serve God by praising and blessing Him


         Our pray focus (list in order; most to least):

                  __ Upward - Praise

                  __ Downward - Confession

                  __ Inward - Seeking God’s will (personal)

                  __ Outward - Neighbors & Nations

                  __ Backward - Thanking God for past blessings

                  __ Forward - Seeking God’s will (corporate)


Diagnosing The Prayer Life of Our Congregation



Our Small Groups


         Prayer is a core value (list in order; most to least):

                  __  Sunday School Classes

                  __  Choir Rehearsal

                  __  Fellowship Groups

                  __  Study Groups

                  __  Committees


         Small Group prayer (list in order; most to least):       

                  __  The leader (chairperson, director, moderator, president) prays

                  __  The leader asks someone to pray

                  __  Everyone prays around the circle or table

                  __  Prayer is conversational; people pray as prompted

                  __  The leader prescribes a format or style


         Small Group prayer (list in order; most to least):

                  __  The group has a protected time for prayer

                  __  -Prayers tend to be general

                  __  Prayers are based on stated requests of the members

                  __  Prayers are based on the group’s agenda



Our Age-Focus Ministries


         Our ministries demonstrate a high value for prayer (list in order; most to least):

                  __ Children’s Ministry

                  __ Youth Ministry

                  __ Collegiate

                  __ Singles

                  __ Married Couples

                  __ Families

                  __ Seniors

                  __ Other  _ _ _


         Our ministries provide prayer training (list in order; most to least):

                  __ Children’s Ministry

                  __ Youth Ministry

                  __ Collegiate

                  __ Singles

                  __ Married Couples

                  __ Families

                  __ Seniors

                  __ Other  _ _ _

Diagnosing The Prayer Life of Our Congregation




Our Evangelism Ministries, Special Events & Holidays


         We organize prayer preceding evangelistic activities:

                  __ Always,    __Sometimes,         __Never


         We schedule prayer during evangelistic activities:

                  __ Always,    __Sometimes,         __Never


         We assign names of new contacts for prayer after evangelistic activities:

                  __ Always,    __Sometimes,         __Never


         We ask for the opportunity to pray for people (check all that apply):

                  __ On our church website

                  __ In each Sunday’s bulletin

                  __ In the Church Newsletter

                  __ Through a “pew card”

                  __ A weekly verbal invitation

                  __ At a Prayer Table

                  __ In the Prayer Room


         We challenge our members to pray for their neighbors & coworkers

                  (check all that apply):

                  __  In small groups (often called Lighthouses of Prayer)

                  __  In Sunday bulletins

                  __  In Sermons

                  __  With inserts and information (bulletin; newsletter)




Our Missions


         In what ways are missionaries and missions supported by prayer?

                  __ Prayer partners as assigned from the congregation

                  __ Various classes and groups adopt a missionary

                  __ Our Missions Committee pray faithfully for our missionaries

                  __ Mission Conferences include focused prayer for global evangelism

                  __ We pray for missions and missionaries in Sunday services

                  __ Prayer requests from missionaries are posted or published

                  __ We offer Prayer Journeys to mission activity locations

                  __ Teaching mission support prayer is part of our discipleship training



Diagnosing The Prayer Life of Our Congregation



Our Equipping for Prayer


         Throughout the year we offer (check all that apply):

                  __ Workshops on various prayer topics

                  __ Classes on the theology of prayer

                  __ Studies on biblical praying and pray-ers

                  __ Sunday sermon series on prayer               

                  __ Prayer retreats

                  __ Financial assistance for leaders to attend prayer conferences


         Training Resources (check all that apply):

                  __ Prayer resources are purchased and made available

                  __ Information on resources is posted in newsletters

                           (Pray! magazine, new book releases, websites, videos...)

                  __ Free resources for Prayer Ministry Leadership

                  __ Prayer materials are available in our library/resource center

                  __ Our congregation provides budget to purchase resources


Our Prayer Ministry Team


         Our Prayer Ministry Team (check all that apply):

                  __ Requires completed training to participate

                  __ Has a designated leader or coordinator

                  __ Has two-way communication with the Pastor

                  __ Is diverse (male/female; young/old)

                  __ Promotes training to the members of the congregation

                  __ Utilizes insights from spiritual mapping


         Our Prayer Ministry Team includes (check all that apply):

                  __ PrayerWallking

                  __ Prayer Room

                  __ Prayer Chain (phone)

                  __ Prayer Network (e-mail)

                  __ Prayer Shield (prayer for the Pastor)

                  __ Prayer Journeys

                  __ Prayer Drives

                  __ Prayer Display Table or Resource Center

                  __ Prayer Articles in Newsletters

                  __ Altar Prayer (ministry to those responding after the sermon)

                  __ Prayer Circle (prayer before the Worship service)

                  __ Prayer during the Worship service

                  __ Onsite prayer during outreach events

                  __ Healing Prayer (by appointment or after the service)

                  __ Prayer Vigils (hour-by-hour prayer; sign-up)

                  __ Day of Prayer (everyone praying at home/work with same focus)

Diagnosing The Prayer Life of Our Congregation



Our Prayer Partnerships


         Our congregation (check all that apply)

                  __ Prays for other congregations by name

                  __ Participates in denominational prayer initiatives

                  __ Participates in community/regional prayer events


         Using Acts 1:8, what per cent are your prayers focused upon:

                  __ Jerusalem (community; city)

                  __ Judea (region; nation)

                  __ Samaria (enemies; local issues of injustice)

                  __ Ends of the Earth (international; unreached people; 10/40 Window)


         We participate in (check all that apply)

                  __ National Day of Prayer

                  __ See You At The Pole

                  __ Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

                  __ Seek God for the City (spring/Lenten prayer initiative)


         Our congregation (or a class or a small group) have adopted in prayer:

                  (check all that apply)

                  __ School

                  __ Park (gang activity; children & families)

                  __ Multi-Housing / Subdivision

                  __ Local Business (office building; strip mall)

                  __ Senior Center

                  __  (other) ____________


Our Congregation

Every congregation, large or small; independent or denominational; evangelical, charismatic, or liturgical, is unique. What areas of your congregation’s life have not been covered? How would you rate the place and prominence of prayer in those areas?


Our Conclusions


         Based upon our responses and the witness of the Holy Spirit in this process:

                  __ We are best considered a Prayer Activity Church

                           (prayer is limited to traditional routines or rituals and events)

                  __ We are a Prayer Ministry Church

                           (several or many prayer teams, opportunities, services offered)

                  __ We are becoming a Prayer Strategy Church

                           Strategies are prayer-birthed, leading to...

                           Ministries that are prayer-based, resulting in...

                           Activities are all prayer-bathed

Diagnosing The Prayer Life of Our Congregation



Our Plans


         List Action Plans (goals with deadlines and assignments) for:


                  The Pastor






                  Worship Services



                  Small Groups (classes, groups, teams)



                  Age-Level & Need-Focused Ministries



                  Prayer Ministry






                  Prayer Meeting(s)



                  Equipping / Resourcing / Communicating



                  Acts 1:8 Praying



                  Other areas...



© Permission granted to copy and use with a congregation or ministry on the stipulation this statement is printed or included when copied or used:


This form and process was originally designed by Phil Miglioratti (Pray.Network) for

New Hope New York (www.newhopenewyork.com). Permission to copy and use with

members of a congregation or ministry is granted, providing this material is not revised,

charged for or sold to participants.





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