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Sample excerpts taken from

By John Maxwell

[The following is a nice sample of a superb book about effective prayer and prayer-partnering written by John C. Maxwell. There is so much more vital information included in this book than I have given you here. Consider this as just an appetizer. So be sure to order "Partners in Prayer" online at: You may also want to check out EQUIP'S site where pastors and their families are linked with prayer partners and caregivers. Applying the principles found in the complete book will enliven and bring growth to your congregation spiritually, which will then lead to numeric growth as well.]


By Max Lucado

Some months ago I enjoyed a four-week summer sabbatical. I set three goals during the month. First, I wanted to plan an autumn series of lessons on grace (which I did). Second, I aspired to break ninety on the golf course (I did that too--once). And third, I wanted to learn more about leadership skills. It was through this third goal that I came to know John Maxwell.

A coworker recommended I seek his advice, so I gave him a call. He invited me to come and speak to the Skyline congregation in San Diego. I did. I gathered some ideas on leadership, but much more, I gained a passion for Prayer Partners.

My Sunday at Skyline was bathed in prayer. The Prayer Partners met me as I walked in the door and met me as I walked off the platform. They were praying for me as I flew, as I spoke, even as I rested. I was so convicted about the importance of Prayer Partners that I asked God to grant me 120 members who would covenant to pray for me daily and pray with me fervently.

Upon returning to the pulpit I announced my dream to the congregation. Within a month exactly 120 people had volunteered to form the team. We divided the volunteers into four groups and assigned each group one Sunday per month on which they would arrive early and pray for the congregation.

That was six months ago. Has God honored the prayers of his people? Here is a sample of what God has done since we organized Prayer Partners:

  • We have broken our Sunday attendance record twice.
  • We finished the year with our highest ever average Sunday attendance.
  • We finished the year--hang on to your hat--over budget.
  • We added three new staff members and six new elders.
  • We witnessed several significant healings.
  • I completed a challenging book on grace.
  • Our entire staff attended a part of the inaugural Promise Keepers Pastors Conference
  • Our church antagonism is down, and church unity is high.

And most significantly, we called the church to forty days of prayer and fasting, inviting God to shine his face upon us. God has honored the prayers of his people. More than ever I'm convinced: When we work, we work; but when we pray, God works. (emphasis mine throughout)

Thank you, John Maxwell, for your example. Thank you for going to the effort of putting into print what you have put into practice. I speak for thousands who will benefit from this book when I say: You're a friend to all who dream of a growing kingdom.


Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 25:4-5

I grew up in a Christian household where prayer was important. And as a pastor, I spent time in prayer every day. But it wasn't until God brought me a prayer partner that my life and ministry exploded with power, and the results began to multiply in an incredible way.

It all started in 1981 when I became the senior pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, California. My wife, Margaret, and I moved to San Diego with our children, Elizabeth and Joel Porter, after I spent two years as the executive director of evangelism at Wesleyan World Headquarters in Indiana. Before that I spent eleven years as the pastor to two churches in Indiana and Ohio.

I was excited about being a pastor again, and especially about coming to Skyline. I was eager to get to know the staff, evaluate the church's ministries, assess the leadership, and identify the key leaders who were going to help me accomplish the church's mission. I was trying to accomplish as much as I could as quickly as I could, which was making me maintain a very heavy schedule.

On a Tuesday morning after I'd been at Skyline for about six weeks, I was reviewing the day's schedule when I saw an appointment scheduled for a person whose name I didn't recognize.

"Who's Bill Klassen?" I asked.

"He's your ten o'clock appointment," replied Barbara, my assistant.

"I see that, but who is he? Is he in leadership?" I asked. I had spent the last few weeks focusing much of my attention on getting to know the leaders in the congregation.

"No, he's not in leadership," said Barbara. "As a matter of fact, he doesn't even go to church at Skyline." Barbara could see that I wasn't happy. "He said he had to see you. He was very persistent," she added emphatically.

"Well," I said, "give me about fifteen minutes with him, and if we're not done, interrupt us." My plan was to figure out what his agenda was, fix whatever problem he had, kindly but quickly, and get on with the work I had to get done that day.


Bill turned out to be a gentleman of about sixty with hair white as snow. His face was gentle, almost radiant...He began telling me about himself, how he had worked in construction in Canada and sold sailboats in Washington and southern California, and how he had worked for the Navigators ministry as a discipler.

"John," Bill said. "I believe God has called me--a layman--to disciple, encourage, and pray for pastors. And the reason I came here today was so that I could pray for you."

He wanted to pray for me? I thought. In all my years as a pastor, I've never had a layman pray for me. My own agenda began to melt away. I felt the spirit of God crushing me, saying, "John, My agenda is more important than yours. Your life is not like a one-way street where you just minister to other people. There are people who want to minister to you. I am sending this layman to pray for you."...



content Editor Peter Benson -- no copyright, except where noted.  Please feel free to use this material for instruction and edification
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