Pray For A Thousand People, Then We’ll Talk

John Wimber’s healing conferences and teaching impacted thousands of Christians around the world in the 20th century. He noted once that he would receive cards or letters after someone had heard him teach that would say something to the effect of, “I went home and prayed for somebody and it didn’t work.” John would laugh and reply, “Why don’t you pray for a thousand somebodies, and then let’s talk.”

The 5 Step Prayer Model is not a scientific formula, fool-proof methodology, or magical incantation. Rather, it is an intentional way of praying for others, from a posture of listening to the Holy Spirit, that provides a track to run on for those desiring to see God move in power as they pray.

While physical healing is often the focus of prayer ministry, in its essence the 5 Step Prayer Model is a relational, interactive way of praying for others as we listen to the Holy Spirit – a process that begins and ends with mercy toward the person requesting prayer, and that seeks both God’s will and God’s best for the person being prayed for. It is also relational in the sense that we are leaning heavily on our intimate relationship with God as we pray for someone, welcoming Him to speak insights into our hearts or minds that would directly impact the person being prayed for. Vineyard churches around the world have a reputation for being places where compassionate, Spirit-guided prayer ministry can be received. For us, prayer ministry can happen in a church service, in a mechanic’s garage, in a hospital room, or over a backyard fence.

The five-step procedure may be used any time and in any place: in hotels, at neighbors’ homes, on airplanes, at the office, and, of course, in church gatherings. I have been in casual conversation with people, even with complete strangers, who mention some physical condition, and I ask, ‘May I pray for you?’ Rarely do they decline healing prayer, even if they are not Christians. I then confidently pray for them by following the five-step method” (Wimber, Power Healing).

Over time, and with practice, this way of praying for people is meant to become internalized. As we begin to see patterns when we pray for certain types of people or issues, we grow in our ability to hear God’s voice as we are praying. We may begin to experience the Holy Spirit giving us spiritual gifts as we pray. What we thought in the past were random impressions, we actually learn are gifts of revelation from God! We may begin to see people physically or emotionally healed, or at the very least leaving a time of prayer with a deposit of God’s love in their heart.

Wimber once said that the worst thing we can do is rely on our past experience when praying for another. Each individual has a unique story, and God has something creative He wants to do. This keeps us humble, attentive, and ready to obey God as He leads us in praying for others.