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Corporate Prayer Catches On

Christians across Canada are participating in record numbers in corporate prayer.

Participation in corporate prayer initiatives in Canada has increased dramatically in the last two years, within individual congregations and beyond.

One Canadian who monitors prayer networks and initiatives is T.V. Thomas, prayer track coordinator for Vision Canada, a task force of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.

… Windsor Christian Fellowship … has drawn almost 400 members to participate in a program of regular corporate prayer.

"Canadian Christians are responding in untold numbers to various calls for prayer," says Thomas. "What is happening in prayer is unprecedented in recent Canadian history."

At the congregational level, one example is the 1,500-member Windsor Christian Fellowship (WCF) in Windsor, Ontario, that has drawn almost 400 members to participate in a program of regular corporate prayer.

Previously, there were only a handful of dedicated people interceding on behalf of the church. Now specialized teams intercede for specific departments, pastoral staff or scheduled events. Each of the 400 has committed to pray for 10 minutes per day.

"The prayer groups have brought people together who wouldn't normally meet," says Chris Standeven, a lead intercessor at WCF. "We've also had testimonies of family members becoming Christians, greater opportunities to witness for Christ, and an ability to overcome personal struggles."

Cathy Ciaramitaro is overseer of the prayer ministry. "Prayer is the backbone of all we do. It breathes life into the church and enables us to do God's work," she says.

The pastoral leaders at WCF laid the foundation for the prayer ministry during a series of internal meetings. They established a prayer structure that included organizing a leadership system, setting up intercessory teams and holding bimonthly information sessions. Senior pastor Rick Ciaramitaro (Cathy's husband) then introduced the benefits of corporate prayer to the congregation through a series of messages.

Although this coordinated intercession had been in effect only a short time, tangible benefits could attest to its effectiveness.

"Our original intent was to join with other churches and establish intercessory prayer throughout our city," states Rick Ciaramitaro. "But we first needed to undergird our own church in prayer. As a result, we're seeing a number of people come to the Lord and, as of [the launch] we've had water baptism services every Sunday night."

WCF's prayer ministry is part of a growing movement that is sweeping across Canada, says Thomas, who has been tracking more than 25 city-wide, regional and national prayer initiatives in Canada for five years. Many focus on repentance by Christians, renewal and reconciliation within the church, and transformation of society. Electronic mail has made it easier for interdenominational prayer groups to coordinate their efforts.

"Corporate prayer undeniably has become a powerful uniting force in the Body of Christ," says Thomas.

This article was originally published by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada




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