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Why is prayer so essential to Alpha?
For someone who has never experienced the love of Jesus, prayer can change everything.
God so loved the world that he gave his only son—this is good news for everyone. And when we pray and invite the Holy Spirit, the love of God is poured into our hearts. Suddenly, the message of God’s love is not just for the whole world but now is uniquely for you. By the Holy Spirit, we encounter the living Jesus and his love becomes real in our lives.
Alpha is dependent on the presence of God because only God can open people’s hearts. And when we pray, we have the promise of God’s presence.
“We put a lot of effort into running Alpha really well but saw very few people from outside the church. Nine months ago, we began meeting regularly to pray at our church, and this provided an opportunity for united, consistent prayer for Alpha. We are now seeing significant change. Nearly every one of the 24 people on our Alpha is not a Christian, and there is a genuine openness to the Gospel. We are aware of God being present in a way that he has not been before. Very importantly, he seems to be peeling off some of the things in our own lives that have hindered us from being effective communicators of the Gospel.”
How do we pray for Alpha?
Alpha is not just evangelism—it is Holy Spirit fueled evangelism—and prayer is the engine. Here are five different ways you can catalyze Christ-centered, mission-minded prayer for your Alpha:
Even though not everyone at your church will volunteer on Alpha, everyone can pray for Alpha. Whether during Sunday services or a weekly prayer gathering, the church body can be mobilized to intercede and root your Alpha in prayer.
Before we invite guests to explore faith on Alpha, we pray about who we will invite—prayer precedes the invitation. Luke 11:02 teaches us to pray ‘Your Kingdom come.’ At 11:02 a.m., each day for 21 days, we invite the entire church to pray for their city and for three people they want to know Jesus.
STEP 1: Invite the congregation to write down the names of three people they would like to invite to explore faith.
STEP 2: Have those participating set a daily alarm for 11:02 a.m. as a reminder to pray for their three people. [Luke 11:02]
STEP 3: Encourage everyone to be open and expectant to see how God might use them to invite their people to Alpha.
Hosts, helpers, and volunteers meet together before each Alpha to pray. Hosts and helpers are best positioned to pray for the guests because they will come to know the names and needs of each individual in a way that no one else can. It is essential for hosts and helpers to pray regularly for the guests in their group.
Alpha Team Huddle Notes are designed to help you confidently lead your team before each session of Alpha—whether in person or online. The notes include prayer prompts, admin for that week, and small group coaching.
While the hosts and helpers must take primary responsibility for praying for their guests, others in the church may also be willing to pray for Alpha. You can empower a prayer team by communicating regularly about specific needs and sharing what God is doing in each session. In return, ask the prayer team to share how they hear God speaking. The Alpha and prayer teams can often develop a truly wonderful ministry partnership.
Do you have a heart for prayer and Alpha? We invite you to be a part of a unique, behind-the-scenes intercessory prayer team for Alpha. Each month you receive an email with specific ways you can pray for Alpha in the United States and globally. Sign up today.
The work of the Holy Spirit and giving the guests an opportunity to receive prayer is crucial to Alpha. During the Alpha weekend, we talk about the person and work of the Holy Spirit in a relaxed setting. We then pray and ask God to send his Spirit—often seeing profound changes occurring in people’s lives as a result. It is only through the work of the Spirit that we see people give their lives to Christ, get excited about Jesus, and bring their friends to the next Alpha.
Prayer Changes Everything
Created by the team at 24-7 Prayer, the Prayer Course is an eight-week journey that will help you and your community to grow and deepen your prayer life.
Following the success of the first Prayer Course, these five sessions go deeper, provoking honest conversation around the hardest and most personal questions we all ask about prayer.
TryPraying is a seven-day guide for those who are not religious and don’t go to church. It helps people get started on a journey of faith with stories of answered prayer, ways to connect with God, and a guide to honest prayers.