Discover your community needs by setting up a prayer station at your outreach events.
Making a prayer station service available allows people who want prayer to sit and visit with your volunteers.
Many churches do this practice. Others want to try it.
You can develop your prayer station through this simple step-by-step layout of how to setup a prayer station.
Praying with a person at your prayer station gives God an open door to touch a person’s life. The prayer booth is an expression of your church’s love for the community.
As people visit the station, they will often share some kind of spiritual need.
They will stay as long as they want or feel comfortable doing. You might be able to hear their spiritual thirst. (What is Spiritual Thirst?)
Prayer booths like this are an opportunity for evangelism that is not aggressive. Your guests expect to talk a little about their spiritual needs while visiting your prayer station.
What is a prayer station or prayer booth?
A prayer station is a simple place designated for free prayer to those who want it.
It is an area clearly designated and staffed with trained volunteers from your church.
It could be a table with a sign. Sometimes it is under a tent if it’s outdoors. Or maybe just a collection of chairs.
Many churches and mission teams have found a table helpful, as they can have a place for writing notes or displaying literature.
Nothing elaborate, just a designated place in the same area where your outreach is occurring.
For example, if you are doing your outreach on the lawn of your church, the prayer station should be outside in the same area.
I don’t recommend setting up inside the church for an outdoor event, as that is out of the traffic pattern of the people who attend your outreach.
This type of prayer station or prayer booth is very different than a meditative “stations of the cross” path of prayer.
The type of prayer station I describe is a form of community outreach and evangelism, rather than a introspective silent prayer pattern.
Where can you use a prayer booth or prayer station?
- Prayer Station on the church grounds.
The amazing versatility of this prayer station is that it can be used wherever you are doing outreach on your church property.
- Church block parties
- Church yard sales / rummage sales
- Any kind of festival or outreach that you have on your property.
We did a dental fair as an outreach and setup a prayer station in the same area where the free dental cleanings were happening.
For example, our church did community outreach where we partnered with the local dental school to give free cleanings to kids from the neighborhood we served.
2. Prayer Station in the community.
Some other churches may choose to setup a prayer station at a more public setting, such as renting a tent at a public food festival, or just out on the street in an area of high foot traffic.
As people pass by, some will stop in to pray, others will be curious, and some will likely wish you weren’t there.
In one town where I lived, they had an annual tomato festival that was very similar to a county fair.
Vendors would rent tents to see their arts and crafts, food items, and advertise their services. Some churches would rent a tent and simply staff it as a prayer station.
Not all churches would be comfortable doing something like this at a location that is not their property.
Some will do this on a regular basis, like the 1st Saturday of the month at a park or with a business.
Read More: Prayer Station at Faith in Action Sunday
How do we staff the prayer station or booth?
Recruit volunteers who are skilled at praying with other people.
In our prayer stations, we use people are filled with the Holy Spirit and able to cooperate with the Holy Spirit through spiritual gifts.
They also have the gentleness to know how to express those gifts without being perceived as weird, combative, or loony. That’s part of my ministry ethos.
You’ll want volunteers who are comfortable listening to the stories of other people and who have gifts of compassion and mercy.
The prayer booth is not the place for the overly aggressive evangelist or the constant talker who doesn’t listen.
What do we do at the prayer station?
When a visitor comes to your prayer station, a simple welcome greeting is appropriate.
Then, a question like, “How can we pray for you?” will often be sufficient to get the conversation going.
You might want to confirm that prayer is not “Rub the lamp and find the genie” or any kind of magic.
Listen for the need and then take the time to pray with the person right there at that prayer station.
You can expect that God will open up your heart as well as theirs and that the Holy Spirit would touch their lives.
After praying, there are a variety of other things you might want to do:
- Give literature about other community services that might help like food banks, shelters, medical clinics, etc.
- Talk more about the person’s spiritual journey and what they might want to do to grow.
- Give some literature about your church and your worship services.
- Gather contact information for follow up, if appropriate.
- Give out tracts, bibles, etc.
I recommend that your team keep a notebook where they can put topics for prayer.
After a while, you might see some themes that God might be calling your church to meet.
Let me ask you this?
How would you use this in your context? What kind of prayer station ideas can you share?
If you like this prayer station idea, put it on your calendar, do it, and let me know how it goes.
What public places would be an acceptable place to put a prayer tent? Are the city streets fair game? Or what about recreational park? If you live in the suburbs what would you suggest as a way to reach the community?
You ask a great question.
You’d have to check with your local officials about using the public right of way for things like that. I’ve seen churches use their property, use a stall rented at the flea market, use a tent at a public fair, etc for places like this.
Outside of the US, I’ve seen them set up wherever, but I would still check with local laws about doing so.
In my own experience, we secured permission from the authorities who oversaw the park where we did ours in public, and the other ones were done inside our building in the main space where the event was held.