Can DMM Exist Without Prayer?
“I’ve been doing the stuff you said in your training, and nothing is happening. DMM stuff just doesn’t work here.”
Can DMM Exist Without Prayer?
(adapted from Contagious Disciple Making by David & Paul Watson)
Since I wrote the book “Contagious Disciple Making”, one of the most often asked questions I receive in my DMM trainings revolves around the high commitment of prayer. Here is a brief synopsis of Chapter 12 on Prayer, addressing its importance to DMM.
During the past 20 years, I have been traveling the globe teaching DMM principles and mentoring to the most unreached people groups. I learned early on that some of the top performers, planting several churches of new believers, dedicate several hours to prayer. For them that meant one day a week fasting and praying. As we started looking at Movements worldwide, we made a critical observation: a prayer movement precedes every Disciple Making Movement.
There are two sides to catalyzing a prayer movement. First, we must become people of prayer. Second, we need to mobilize people of prayer. So not only are people personally committed to prayer and fasting, they also have large groups of people committed to prayer for an hour a week – approximately ten minutes a day, specifically praying for Disciple Making Movements in the community.
I often hear that people doubt the DMM process. When I dig a little deeper, I find their prayer network is pretty small. I also discover their communication with their network consists of a monthly newsletter and the occasional emergency prayer request e-mail. While this may sound good, this level of communication with a small prayer network will frustrate, disappoint, and is unlikely to support Disciple Making Movements. If you are a disciple-maker, you need to recruit, train, and mobilize an extensive prayer network.
Many people don’t know how to pray for you or a movement. So like Jesus, you’ll have to teach them. I cover this topic deeply in Chapter 12, but if you haven’t read it, I encourage you to study Luke 11:1-12 and Luke 15:11-45 on your own and discover how Jesus prayed and how He taught the disciples. I also discuss the importance of “prayer gatherings” and “prayer walks”.
As I regularly walk through a neighborhood God calls my attention to subtle changes in the community, opportunities for engagement, and potential partners. God wants the people in the community to know Him. As I walk and pray, He brings my thoughts and ideas in alignment with His will. I recommend you take a personal prayer walk every other week. Take some friends along with you at least once a month to cover the community that you are called to. Make sure to call, text, e-mail, Skype, or Facebook them and let them know how God answered their prayers.
Remember: Prayer is critical, and I cannot emphasize enough – you cannot have a Disciple Making Movement without a prayer movement.