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My Journey with Worship-Based Prayer

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by Lyn Byler

We are pleased to have Lyn Byler, pastor of Maranatha Fellowship in Dover, Delaware and owner of Byler’s Store leading our time of corporate prayer at the 2014 CMC Prayer Gathering, October 31-November 1. Lyn is an avid student of worship-based prayer and has a vision for seeing the church grow in prayer.

In the early years of my leadership at Maranatha Fellowship we had explored various models of church life learning many good ideas and principles for church health and growth. At some point I was handed the book Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala which opened my eyes to the critical need for prayer in the life of the church in a whole new way. We embraced the call to prayer and spent several years exploring many avenues of bringing prayer to the core of our church life.

When RMM hosted the Prayer Conference at RBC with Daniel Henderson as the leader (April, 2008), Daniel’s introduction to corporate worship based prayer became the “rubber meets the road” of developing a prayer culture in our church. I’ve witnessed this in action through several visits to the Brooklyn Tabernacle for teaching sessions and by experiencing their Tuesday night prayer meeting with up to 4,000 people. My love for corporate prayer has increased by attending and leading various prayer gatherings. It never ceases to amaze me what God does during these times.

"It’s much more than a
list of requests to God...
If prayer is first about worship, our focus shifts from “what can God do
for me” to simply
knowing God."

My personal prayer journey has led me to a deeper understanding that God created us to be dependent people. Prayer is the expression of that dependence. It’s much more than a list of requests to God, but a desire to rely on him for life in general. If prayer is first about worship, our focus shifts from “what can God do for me” to simply knowing God. The much used quote “seeking God’s face versus his hands,” sums it up well.

My dream for our church to have a vibrant worship based prayer service has been replaced with the goal of having a church with a strong prayer culture reflecting a heart of dependency on God. We have seen increasing evidence of this transformation as we continually teach and strive to model the foundational truth of a God who wants us to depend on him.

It has been a rewarding experience to introduce people to a prayer method that involves the participation of many. I’ve heard many statements like, “I’d never pray out loud, but I do in these sessions” and “It is so encouraging to hear the church pray together.”

If you have a desire to foster new dependency on God in your own life and also to create a culture of prayer within your church, please attend the prayer gathering and let’s seek God’s face together. I look forward to the opportunity to walk with others who are on this journey.