Please, I am wondering if anyone knows of a less militarized way of labeling a group of people who commit to praying for an event or process. I am gathering a group of people to give SERIOUS prayer support to the process of pastoral transition at church. Traditionally, the term “prayer warrior” has been used. I like the sense of commitment, power, authority, determination, and passion that this label carries, but it is just too violent. Warriors kill and train to dominate and decimate their enemies. We are pacifists and so need a better term…one that connotes all these qualities above but isn’t war-like.
We have all the plans in place for a professional transition team and search committee. We act like calling a pastor is OUR doing and by OUR power. While we are certainly involved, if God does not act and help us to discern well, and bring the person to us…it doesn’t matter how professional we are. A designated prayer group will be formed to “hold the congregation in the light” (as the Quakers would say) and repeatedly turn the process over to God and to spiritually nurture the search committee through prayer.
One thing I have learned from my experience with the church in Ghana is that even the best-laid plans by humans can be thwarted…and that everything we do as a church must be bathed in prayer. In Ghana, people are not afraid to use the term “prayer warrior” because they see these people (often the older folks in the church…but can be an intergenerational group that meets as well) as fighting back the evil spirits and the devil.
Prayer Support Group (PSG)- sounds dry, or maybe like a pharmaceutical solution
Prayer Pacifists-doesn’t communicate.
Prayer Team- dunno.
OR perhaps it’s okay to call it prayer warriors…since our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the powers and principalities… (as our radical-eschatological Anabaptist ancestors would cite)