Lesson 12 Action and Attributes of a Praying Church

Praying Together

Action and Attributes of a Praying Church

Lesson 12

Action and Attributes of a Praying Church 

Recommended Reading Chapter 5 of ‘the Power of Praying Together’, by Stormie O’Martian/Jack Hayford

Highly Recommended Reading: 




When a church or an organization Prays-Together, we will find much encouragement.  That encouragement helps builds relationships with others, enabling us to draw closer to Christ in our daily walk with the Lord and our personal prayer time with Him. (Heb 10:25, Heb 3:13)  In Acts 1:4, 12-14 and Acts 6:4-7, the First Church at Jerusalem was an example of a Praying-Church.  The Church at Antioch also exhibited characteristics of a Praying-Church.  (Acts 11:19-23, Acts 14:19-23, and Acts 15:30-35)


These churches were doing what Christ wanted—that God’s House should be a House of Prayer.  Unfortunately, some of us have never seen that happen and do not know what to expect when we commit to ‘Praying-Together’. 



Now, let’s look closer some actions of a Praying-Church, which also can apply to personal prayer.

1.  The action of Praise

  • Gives opportunity to praise God, and through that praise, know that God is present.  Ps 22:3 (God inhabits the praises of Israel)
  •  The action of Praise also helps us perform our commitment to serve the Lord. Ps 61:8.

2.  Another action is Thankfulness, (see Acts 2:45-47)--A Praying-Church helps us to be thankful, not only in good times, but in everything, which is what God wants us to do.  I Thes 5:18 says: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God, in Christ Jesus.”  See also Phil 4:4,6—“Rejoice in the Lord always…(and) be careful for nothing…but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.”

3.  The action of Caring and Encouraging in a Praying-Church will motivate us to bear one another’s burdens, demonstrating Godly Love in action, as well as “fulfilling the law of Christ,”  (Gal 6:2).  This involves both prayer and action.


Let’s look at encouragement, which is a part of caring.  When encouragement is done through thanksgiving and praise, (Ps 138:1,2)  it will help us to be able to pray. (Ps 138:3-7).

A.  Praying-together can encourage us and allow God’s love to move among us and through us.  As we watch God work, we will want to be thankful, knowing that His answer will come in His timing; we can learn to trust Him better, and to be thankful that He hears us when we pray.  (Ps 138:3)

B.  Encouragement also includes taking time to ask the Lord help us to come into agreement as one, (Matt 18:19), and that action can bring be much encouragement and thanksgiving. (John 17:11, 21-23).  An example of praying in agreement is prayer for “Wisdom and Knowledge”, (Eph 1:17). His Wisdom and Knowledge will help us grow to know God better and to pray.

C.  Praying together gives opportunity to bless others.  How do we bless others?  Here are some ways: 

  • Lend help and goods (Acts 4:32-34), sharing and caring for others, especially the poor and weak;
  • Learn to bless others in prayer, and not criticize. Blessing a person, encourages an attitude of thankfulness and possibly praise. (Ps 103:1)   According to Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”—why not give praise? 
  • Learn to bless those who aren’t kind to you, and mistreat you.   The Lord says in Matt 5:44 to “Bless them that curse you.”  David often prayed for his enemies. (Ps 109:2-4) 

            Blessing Brings Encouragement!

D.  Praying-Together because the love of Christ constrains us, (II Cor 5:14), to live for Him—and to love other people as He has loved us (John 13:34-35).  When we love people and learn about their situations, we can pray for them (and with them) and help them.  The Bible tells us in Gal 6:2, to “Bear ye one another’s burdens”.   This is especially true when we fellowship with others and take the step to get to know them personally; we can discover their needs or find out what God is doing in their lives.  With that discovery, the door “is open”, to minister to those needs.  That ministering is a blessing and it comes from a Praying-Church—which bears one another’s burdens, encouraging them, others, and ourselves too.  When we see what God is doing in the lives of others, we, ourselves will be encouraged and thankful to God. (Ps 100:4 and Phil 4:6).  

4.  Finally, the action of unified prayer and orderliness in a Praying-Church invites God’s Holy Spirit to fill and guide them.  Those praying together  may experience the Power of God’s Holy Spirit in their midst.  God has given us the Holy Spirit a comforter and helper, Who will help us pray, and Who will guide us into unity.  (Note:  When the Bible speaks of praying in the Holy Spirit, in Jude verse 20, the act of praise in prayer may be a deep meaning of what that verse 20 may be implying. )

  • When we learn to pray in unity (John 17:11, 21, 23) and in the power of the Holy Spirit, we will find our refuge in the Lord PS 46:1.  See also Matthew 18:19-20, John 14:26 and John 16:13-15.  We can be thankful for the security of God’s Love.
  • When we learn to pray in unity, aligning ourselves with God’s word through learning the word, obeying the word, and submission to the word of God, the Holy Spirit can help us to seek God’s will.   The Lord prayed, not my will, but thine be done. (Luke 22:42); It takes humility to pray that way. Jesus had the Love and willingness to go to the cross and die for us. (see Phil 2:5-8).
  • When we learn to pray in unity, as a Praying-Church, we will have “all things in common”; experience “gladness”; have “favor”; be blessed by the Lord, as He “adds to the Church…such as should be saved”; and “praising God” for all He is doing. (Acts 2:42-47).  Not only will these traits be seen, but action of service to one another will be a reality.


When the actions that we have discussed are applied in a body of believers, who pray from the heart, we should see a number of characteristics resulting from those actions.  Let’s look at these characteristics seen in the Jerusalem church and the Church at Antioch.  Both churches (see Acts2:1, 41-47; and Acts 4) were praying churches.


Let’s look at the passages in Acts 4:23-27.  Here we find references to Godly attributes that are seen in a Praying Church.  We find they lifted their voices unto God, praised God, reminded themselves that the Lord is sovereign, and made their requests to God.


Consider and examine the following scriptures:  I Thes 5:11-24—especially verses 11 & 16-23; Gal 5:22 & 23 (fruits of the Spirit); and Gal 6:2, 8 & 9.  Worship and praise are also attributes of a praying church—see Ps 5:1-3; Ps 22:3; Ps 29:2; Ps 61:8; Ps 65:2; and Ps 95:6.  There are other references such as Eph 6:18 “Praying always with all prayer and supplication, supplication in the Spirit and watching thereunto in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”  –For those who may not understand the word supplication, it refers to the attitude or spirit of prayer when we come to God in reverence and cry out to Him for an answer, submitting to His will and to His authority.”   Continuing on with the scripture references—Romans 12:9-21 is another passage of characteristics—especially note vs 12: “rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing steadfastly in prayer..”;  Continuing in prayer is further mentioned in Col 4:2-3, which says: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, watching therein with thanksgiving; withal praying for us also, that God would open unto us a door in the same utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ.”   These characteristics, lifting up voices, praise, reminding ourselves that the Lord is Sovereign, worship, supplication (making requests) and remaining steadfast in prayer, should be seen in our churches when we spend time in prayer-together. 



The enemy’s goal is to create division—when he can keep us from coming together in agreement in prayer, then he can defeat us.  Praying-together can unite us, but if we do not pray together, we may find ourselves further divided.  Additionally if we do not pray together, we will not have the encouragement that we need to follow our Lord Jesus Christ.  God wants to bless a church where the testimony of Jesus is lifted at the altar of worship.  To carry the thought of not Praying Together further, when we do that, because of lack of prayer, there is a real danger that we can end up throwing negative arrows.  What then are we doing when that happens?  We are dividing—hurting others, hindering the work of the Holy Spirit, binding, and definitely not lifting Christ up.  This type of action will hinder our relationship with Christ, hinder our worship, and ultimately affect our relationship with others in a negative manner. Christ came to set us free so we “could have abundant life”. Out of that abundant life,  Love flows to others.  When we pray together in unity and in accordance with God’s Word, through the Love of Christ, a Praying-church will experience God’s blessings and growth.   Remember, a church that actively Prays-Together, worships God in unity, with thanksgiving, and giving praise to God  (Acts 2:46-47), stays together and encourages others, cares for others, and forgives each other. (Eph 4:32)  That church is demonstrating God’s love in action. (Gal 5:22 and Gal 6:2).  When we as a church, pray-together in obedience to God, the Lord will bless and add to the Church as He did in Acts 2:47.



When encountering a Praying-Church, you should find actions of praise, thankfulness and encouragement, supportive prayer groups, and unity in the church—where the fruits of the Spirit of God are operating in the church—love, joy, peace,-etc.  You should also sense that the Holy Spirit is enabling you, and others in the church, to have a vital relationship with Christ; and you should see people being encouraged in the Word of God, and the Love of Christ.

Please consider these Reflection Questions and share your response to one of them with us: 

A. Consider this statement:  People look to their leaders to do church and they go to church so church can happen to them.--when people come to church with this approach, they often don't think of themselves as instruments for penetrating the world with the Love of Jesus.  Could earnest group-prayer that is guided by the Holy Spirit and in accordance with His Word, change this -- and encourage us, as believers and followers of Christ, to build a relationship with the Lord and others?


B.  What would happen if we would learn to seek how we could bless rather than criticize?  Would this loving action encourage people to join together for prayer and uplifting fellowship?


C.  What does it take ‘to have God’s presence’ when we come together for prayer and worship? 


D.  What do you think the Psalmist means when he says “So will I sing praise to thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.”? (Ps 61:8) 

E.  I Thes 5:18 says: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God, in Christ Jesus.”  Is thanksgiving related to praise?  What about worship?   Is worship a form of praise, thanksgiving and prayer?


F.  What helps others serve the Lord?  How does our prayer for them help them?

    In answering this reflection question, consider the following:

  • Building up
  • Encouragement
  • Support
  • Praise
  • Prayer


G.  Proverbs 29:18 (KJV):  “Where there is no vision, the people perish:”

When we do not have the characteristics of a Praying-Church,- could that possibly affect the vision of what our Church-life in Christ should be like?  How can experiencing the characteristics of a praying church bring about  God’s vision to us.  There is a link to an article, at the beginning of this lesson which appeared in a past issue of Pray Magazine.  It is titled:  “Invasion of the Sunday Prayer Warriors”.  Take time to read this article and share what your heart would like to see concerning Prayer in the Church and Praying-Together.

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  • Lewis this warmed my heart so much as they all do as I read last night...especially because it is so rich in God's Word...praying scripture....I wondered it it is okay if I post this one from your blogspot to our church and to facebook?

    • You are free to do so--and I appreciate your letting me know.

      May the Lord use it to bless others.

      Lewis Turner


  • Susan and Ann,

    Thank you for your replies concerning if you have received notification from Pray!Network about posting of lessons on the 'Praying Together Class..  They are helpful,  I am looking forward to others to also speaking up.


    This is an example of helping each other.


    Again thanks.

  • I have had no problems receiving notice of the lessons.
  • Two verses above mean a lot to me.  One is Ps 22:3  God inhabits our praises--When we praise God, it does help our fellowship with God, to know that He is present.  That has been a significant thought in my life. 


    The second is Ps 61:8  --singing praise to thy name-----that praise somehow makes it possible to perform our vows--or do what God wants us to do.


    I came out of a back ground of criticism and did not see a lot of praise--but God--is showing me the value of praise in relationship and to be able to obey what He wants of me.


    Still learning.

  • This has nothing to do with this lesson but regarding having a conference call.  I believe I mentioned that I am involved with a conference prayer call M-F at 7 am central time.  This conference call is open to anyone who would like to join in.  It usually last about 30 min and there is time for discussion on the devotion presented and there is prayer at the end.  The phone # to this free conference call is 218-844-3377.  The code is 2122#.  You can come on as a silent caller by muting your phone or can participate in the discussion.  If you have never been on a conference call like this, I hope you will join us and maybe this will help others decide if we want to pursue a conference call for this study group.
    • Susan--Perhaps some will consider joining you.  I have been on conference calls and they have been very encouraging. 


      Just to let you and others know, we are considering a conference call at the end of the 'Praying Together' Module.  It will be excellent time to share and pray together.  Hearing a voice makes things more personal, even though I have gotten to know many of you through the course.  It will be open even to the newer class members. 


      Keep up encouraging people to pray.



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