Ministerial Spouses Association
Ministerial Spouse Leaders Toolkit
Ruthie Jacobsen, RN, BS, MA, has served as the NAD Prayer Ministries Coordinator since 1995. She has conducted prayer conferences all across North America and a score of other countries and hosted a TV program for 10 year. Ruthie is a member of the U.S. National Prayer Committee and the Denominational Prayer Leaders’ Network. She has contributed to scientific and other journals and has authored 17 books. Ruthie is a wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, nurse and educator. She and her husband, Don, a retired pastor and administrator, live in Georgia where they are active in their community with innovative ministry.
Four Transforming NAD Prayer Initiatives (pdf)
1. Every Church A House of Prayer
Is your church know in its community as a house of prayer?
Recently I was on a prayer call with several of the prayer leaders in one of our conferences, and as is often the case, the president was on the call with us. It was an intense time of intercession, but when the president began to pray it caused an ever heard from him, he cried out, “Oh, God, please show us how to make every church in our field a house of prayer!”
That’s an inspired idea, you know. According to Jesus’ words (Matthew 21:12) it is His will that this should be our name, our identity. As important as preaching is, He never called His church a house of preaching. As essential as music is, He never called His church a house of music. But Jesus Himself said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer.”
The president’s words hung in the air as we prayed. We could sense a rise in the intensity of our prayer time. We perceived that God wanted to say something of importance, that a dream was birthing, a vision was coming to light… Every Church a House of Prayer. What if…
What if our friends would begin to say, “Well, I don’t know much about your doctrines – yet – but I know you folks are people who really pray.”
What if, as people drove by our church building on a Wednesday evening, they had the distinct sense that something of eternal significance was happening inside?
What if, when a neighbor was facing a crisis, one of us knocked on their door and asked if we could come in and pray?
What if, when a new school term was beginning, we invited parents from our community – and their teachers – to a special Sabbath (or Sunday?) morning time of prayer for our public schools?
What if, when the church board met they decided they would spend as much time praying as they did in discussion of the business agenda?
What if the mid-week service became prayer meeting again and there was such a strong awareness of God’s presence you had trouble finding a place to sit?
Let me ask it this way: Don and I were speaking at a prayer conference recently in the Carolinas and at the rear of the little chapel we found a simple plaque that said, “If you came here today for something you haven’t found yet, please ask someone to pray with you.” What if that simple idea was expressed in the church bulletin of every Seventh-day Adventist church every Sabbath?
What if, each week, in teams of two or three, our members consistently prayer walked the streets of our towns, around government buildings, past adult book stores, in our neighborhoods, asking God to take back our cities?
What if there were victories and healings and marriages repaired and kids reclaimed and sinners turned heavenward…
We believe God would be honored. That’s why in 2016 and beyond you will hear a lot about HOPE heals. HOPE is an acronym for Houses Of Prayer Everywhere.
We urge you to begin to ask God to show you what that would look like where you live.
Late one night while flying from Indianapolis to Chicago the weather was overcast. As we climbed out over the darkened countryside, I was surprised to see a glow of light in the distance northwest of us. It was Chicago - 180 miles away. From where I sat, neither an individual porch light or a car light were discernable. But the collective energy from of a group of people who had come together cast a light for many miles.
www.Hope-heals.org - a brand new, high energy website that is filled with helpful resources, both personal and corporate will be soon launched! As you sense God leading you in transforming your church into a House of Prayer tell us your story – or send us a video - and we’ll include it so it can bless others.
2. Pray One Million
What would happen if every Seventh-day Adventist in the North America Division would spend just a few minutes each day – or maybe just one minute each day – praying for one specific person…a neighbor, a colleague, someone special that God lays on your heart? What if even half of our members would catch that vision?
Well, if just half of us made that commitment, in three or four months, if we spent only a minute each a day – one minute each day – over the next ten weeks or so we would storm the gates of heaven with more than a million hours of focused intercession!
The purpose of the initiative is not the one million hours, it’s rather to remind us that we are part of a Movement-wide commitment to pray specifically and consistently and passionately for the person or persons God lays on our hearts.
Most of us pray regularly with a prayer list. That’s good. But it’s easy for that list to become simply a mention of those who are important to us: Bless my children. Bless our pastor. Bless my uncle in the hospital. But what if we ask God to lay on our hearts the name of a certain individual for whom we will pray a more focused prayer – for a minimum of a minute daily? We will claim a promise on their behalf. We will ask God to use us to reach them, whatever their current spiritual journey.
According to Romans 8:34, Jesus stands at the right hand of God and is interceding for him or her, so we are joining hands with the great Intercessor on behalf of the one whom He has laid on our hearts.
We are part of a praying Movement, a prayer Movement. The whole family across North America, pleading with God to do what only He can do to reach the hearts of those He loves. Many of our people are observing that we need to write URGENT over everything we do.
Is that a doable? Half of us…one minute each day, pleading with God to show us someone He wants us to bless, to encourage, to put our arms around… Is that a doable? It is.
To download resources for this initiative and watch more videos go to: www.prayonemillion.org
3. North American Prayer Calender
Join members across the NAD in praying for a different conference and its union each week.
Download and print the current NAD prayer calendar by going to www.nadprayerministries.org
4. Winning Prayer Activities in the Community
A question we are often asked goes like this, "What can I do to meet people in my community? How can I get acquainted, how can I make a difference?"
Truth is, that desire is God-given because we are hard-wired to serve and to reach out to others with the hope and encouragement we have found in Christ.
A doable way my husband and I have discovered to accomplish Kingdom business and raise the visibility of our church in the community is to organize a community Prayer Breakfast or luncheon tied to the National Day of Prayer which, in the United States, is the first Thursday in May each year.
When we first decided to move ahead with the idea a couple of years ago we learned something: people in our communities are eager to come together to pray for the glaring needs all around us…for our communities, our nation, and our world. We also discovered they're ready to volunteer to serve as you plan a community event.
We formed an interdenominational committee and found instant support - from the mayor, the county commissioner, and many others. The Chamber of Commerce volunteered to do the registration for the Prayer Breakfast…the Fire Department did the parking, a local supermarket donated much of the food, volunteers surged in to prepare and serve the food, and to be greeters. One of our volunteers sewed aprons and ties for servers. With north Georgia good humor they called them their “uniforms.”
We used only local speakers; the sheriff was first. We also heard from the president of our local college, the chief of police, head of our hospital, our county educational superintendent. We gave them each two minutes – which they more or less adhered to – to tell us how
they would like the group to pray for them. After each one finished, at each of the 50 tables we paused and lifted them to the Lord in prayer – for wisdom, for protection, for integrity. It was a precious time for everyone in the room.
The first year we were told that if a hundred people showed up we would be very fortunate. But there was much prayer as we worked and planned together, and God sent 300! This year – the second year – we had 700. Our committee tells us that next year we should plan for a thousand. PTL. Oh, and I should mention that Don and I are the only Seventh-day Adventists in our town.
At the conclusion of the prayer breakfast the entire group moved outside for the raising of the flag by the veterans from our county. The last event was the releasing of red, white, and blue helium balloons - by some of the hundreds of children and youth from middle school, high school, and college who had joined us.
We encourage you to pray and ask God to show you ways to get acquainted with people in your community - people you can later invite to visit your church - people you can pray for and pray with. All around us are lonely people looking for hope. God will lead when we ask, because it is all about Him and His people.
Donna Jackson has promised to send a free copy of the book, Breakfast with the Mayor to any conference or union ministerial spouse leader who is interested in promoting this kind of ministry in her/his field. This little book, written by my husband, Don, and me, leads you through the steps of how to plan a special day of prayer that will bring the community together.
If you and your team are planning a ministerial spouse retreat, why not include a prayer focus?
For ideas, contact Ruthie Jacobsen at:
- Building a Team
- Director's Introduction Letter
- Forsaken by Parents but Taken in By God
- Ministerial Spouses Keep it Real Responses
- NAD Mission, Vision, Values and Objectives
- Questions for a pastor’s spouse …
- Only by Love
- Delighting in God
- Enjoying the Closeness of God
- God, Show Me How to Love You
- Resources for Parents re Education
- When Loss is Gain
- On the Ministerial Spouse Journey
- Identifying Your Place as a Minister's Spouse
- Married to a Minister
- Coaches Training for Pastors' Spouses - Florida Conference
- Public Speaking Tips
- Understanding Your Brothers and Sisters-First Nations People
- Domestic Violence: What Church Leaders Should Know
- Reasons For Domestic Violence & Why it Continues
- How to Resolve Marital Conflict
- When Should You Refer?
- Ministering to Male Ministerial Spouses
- Congregational Expectations of a Male Ministerial Spouse
- On the Move for Jesus!
- Holiday Outreach Ideas
- Planning a Mission Trip
- Southern Union MS Advisory Ministers in Guam
- Spiritual Gifts & Evangelism preparation
- Transformational Evangelism handouts
- The Time is Now!
- Mentoring for PKs
- Impacting Your Community with a Prayer Breakfast
- Like Little Children: Assisting Children to Pray
- Pray One Million
- Planning a Retreat for Pastors' Spouses
- Report of Asian Ministries
- Spouses' Meeting Ideas
- My Life in Savoonga
- The Benefits of Team Ministry
- Together for a Purpose - Finding a Shared Ministry
- Introduction Letter
- Re-Organizing Your Priorities
- Ways to Include the Family in Ministry
- 10 Commandments of Christian Finance
- Impact of Adventist Education on Ministerial Families
- Connecting through Social Media
- Hospitality: what I didn't learn from Martha
- Financial Infidelity
- Financial Makeover
- A Sermon in Shoes
- Divinely Favored
- Forsaken by Parents but Taken in By God
- Grace in Living Color
- Hello, My Name Is…"Oh, You're Dave's Wife"
- I Simply Remember My Favorite Things ….
- My Faithful God
- Stumbling Through Life
- The Other Side of Stewardship - Delayed Blessings
- First Things First
- Complain and Blame or Pray and Praise?
- Four Quaker Questions
- Receiving with Grace
- The Unique You
- The Joy of Waiting
- The Secret to Satisfaction
- When God Becomes Vulnerable
- Balancing Church and Family
- The Attitude of Gratitude
- In Times of Loss: Surviving Spousal Benefits
- Boost Your Body, Brain, and Mood
- Embracing Courage
- Emotional Intelligence A Biblical Understanding
- Lessons from Peanut
- The Power You Have
- Pastoral Burnout
- 7 Steps for Maintaining an Exercise Routine
- Asian/Pacific Ministry Reports
- Facilitating Small Group Discussion
- A Safe Church for our Children
- Helping Troubled Members
- Every Church A House of Prayer!
- Getting Started
- Befriending Clergy Spouses of Other Faith Communities
- NAD Ministerial Spouses Association Overview
- Building Your Team