Prayer and Church Growth

by Mario Vega

Due to the fact that Elim learned about cell church from Pastor Cho’s church in Korea, we knew from the start that prayer played an important role in church growth.

The practice of prayer, besides being promoted on a personal level, must also be promoted on a corporate level. As a church, we have undertaken a number of systematic prayer campaigns.

Four years ago, we started a new effort of fasting and prayer. Everyday, an average of 60 to 100 people pray for five specific requests. Within these five requests, the five-year church growth goals are mentioned.

At other times, we have made more intensive prayer efforts, like when we made continuous prayer chains for 24 hours during 30 day periods. These more intense prayer efforts have been made for more specific needs, as when preparing for a big rally.

At this present time, we are making another extra effort to mobilize the whole church to fast and pray one day each month for the problem of violence in the country. El Salvador has one of the highest homicide rates in Latin America, and we believe this must change. In this particular day of fasting, which is one Saturday each month, not only the mega church gathers to pray in the capital city, but also the other branch churches that are located throughout the country pray and fast. We are grateful that churches from other denominations are also doing the same thing.

We pray for six specific requests, and it is conducted in a synchronized way since the prayer is aired on the church’s television channel and on its six radio stations. The branch churches project the television channel’s image in their localities and/or connect via the radio in their particular local. In this way, the entire country is praying for the same requests at the same time.

Prayer is seen as a normal thing by the church, and the people are willing to be part of these efforts. For them this is not a burden but a practice they enjoy.



Translation in Spanishg

La oración y el crecimiento de la iglesia.

Dado que Elim aprendió el trabajo celular de la iglesia del Pastor Cho, en Corea, desde un principio supimos que la oración juega un papel fundamental en el crecimiento de la iglesia.

La práctica de la oración, además de fomentarse a ttulo personal, también se fomenta en el ámbito corporativo. Como iglesia, hemos emprendido diversas campañas sistemáticas de oración.

En el presente, llevamos cuatro años de haber iniciado un nuevo esfuerzo de ayuno y oración. Diariamente, un promedio de entre 60 a 100 personas, oran por cinco peticiones especficas. Dentro de esas cinco peticiones se mencionan las metas quinquenales de crecimiento de la iglesia.

En otras ocasiones, hemos realizado esfuerzos más intensos de oración. Como cuando realizamos cadenas continuas de oración por 24 horas durante perodos de 30 das. Estos esfuerzos de oración más intensos se han hecho por necesidades más especficas. Como cuando se realizan los grandes eventos de la iglesia.

Por otra parte, en la actualidad, estamos realizando otro esfuerzo adicional orando y ayunando toda la iglesia un da cada mes para orar especficamente por el problema de la violencia en el pas. El Salvador es, probablemente, el pas con más alta tasa de homicidios en Latinoamérica. En ese da de ayuno, que es un sábado al mes, no solamente se reúne la mega iglesia de la ciudad capital a orar sino que también se suman las demás filiales de Elim dentro del pas e incluso iglesias de otras denominaciones.

La oración se realiza por seis peticiones especficas y se hace de manera sincronizada ya que la oración es transmitida por el canal de televisión de la iglesia y sus seis emisoras de radio. Las iglesias filiales proyectan la imagen del canal de televisión en sus localidades o conectan a su sonido local el audio de la radio. De esa manera, en todo el pas, se está orando por las mismas peticiones al mismo tiempo.

La oración es vista con toda normalidad por la iglesia y las personas se prestan muy animadas a participar de estos esfuerzos. Para ellos no es una carga sino que una práctica que disfrutan.

4 thoughts on “Prayer and Church Growth

  • Mario, I sure wish your church could **mentor** US churches to do this. I think most understand the importance of prayer, but they simply do not value it enough to do it to see the fruit from it.

    Knowing the right thing to do and actually doing the right thing are very different, although some are deceived into thinking they’re doing enough praying when in fact they are hardly praying at all.

  • Pastor Mario,
    Thank you for this insight and instructional example. We are currently looking for the best way to implement the prayer for five things as you have. We meet each First Friday of the month for corporate prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to lead us to the FIVE areas of prayer for the following month.

    These will be reproduced in ELIM fashion, on book markers, for each person in the church body!

  • I remember hearing about this at the Day with Joel and Mario last year. I’m going to revisit the idea of book markers for each member of the church. I love it! Purposeful prayer will help us to focus and see great results.

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