Why does a Christian author need a prayer team? I’m going to talk about this in today’s episode. If you’re a Christian author, speaker, entrepreneur or in ministry, I encourage you to get a small private prayer team started today! If you do, let me know in the comments below.
Get the PDF transcript here:
In This Episode, You’ll Learn:
- 3 reasons Christian authors need a prayer team
- How to easily set up your prayer team
- And more!
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Today’s scripture: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10-13 (NIV)
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Can’t listen right now? Read the transcript below:
My name is Shelley Hitz. I’m an author, coach, business strategist, and Christian entrepreneur on a mission to help you reach more people with your message. Today is a pretty deep topic. It’s three reasons Christian authors need a prayer team, and how to set it up. Not everyone is going to be interested in this topic, I get that, I understand that. But, the reason that I’m talking about this today is that I’ve had two of my authors in Author Audience Academy this week have major, major issues with technology and different things. Both times I said, “do you have a prayer team set up? If you don’t, set one up ASAP!”
Three reasons every Christian author, I believe, needs a prayer team.
1) There is a very real spiritual battle
There is a very real spiritual battle. The Bible talks about it in Ephesians 6, that we’re to put on our armor and that we are to stand for this spiritual battle. It’s not just against flesh and blood, it’s not just against what we can see, but there are spirits waging war, there’s good and evil, and there’s a very real spiritual battle.
My husband and I have been professional speakers for years. My husband has been doing it pretty much our whole marriage, we’ve been married 17 years. I started speaking professionally in 2007. We would go specifically and speak to teens. I would speak to teen girls on the topics of body image, fashion, modesty, boys, and sexuality; all of those types of topics. But, it was a Christian based, faith based, message. We would see it over and over again as Christian speakers, that spiritual battle.
We would call them tech demons. Everything would be working perfectly, and then the minute you get up to speak, boom, some technology thing happens out of the blue, out of the middle of nowhere. It’s like, where did this come from? For years we’ve talked about these tech demons. Sometimes it’s just life; I’m not going to blame everything on it. You don’t want to give Satan too much power, but definitely there is a real spiritual battle.
We have a lady in our church, Ruth Mott, she’s traveled all over the world telling people in ministries. Whether you’re a speaker, an author, whether you’re a ministry, whatever you’re in, that you need to have a prayer team. She does this internationally. She’s retired now, so she doesn’t travel any more, but she’s told us and talked to us about it. I was on the Women’s Prayer Team with her for a while and just saw her heart, and I know that it’s true. So after talking with her I set up a prayer team, and I’m going to talk to you about the specifics of how I set that up, and how easy it can be; you can literally get it set up today.
The first reason is because there is a very real spiritual battle. Sometimes those technology issues that you have, yes it may be life, yes it may just be things happening, but it also may be a spiritual battle. If you have a message, if your book, your talk, your ministry in some way—on social media—if you have a message that has an eternal impact that means that you’re on the front line spiritually. That means that you’re out there doing things that the enemy would want to resist and oppose. If you’re out there doing those sorts of things, if you’re sharing the gospel in your books, if you’re sharing a Christian message, guess what? The enemy will want to stop you. Sometimes he will use the craziest things, technology is one of them, discouragement is definitely another one, a huge one.
When you have people praying for you it’s almost like having that extra shield of protection around you. Many times what I find is that Christian authors don’t think they are in ministry like a pastor, or something like that, or a missionary. “Oh yea, we need to pray for our missionaries.” and we do, my husband and I were missionaries for two years, and we really, really appreciated the prayers. But, you are a missionary, you are on the front lines. If you’re a Christian author, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, or whatever you have in your book, if it has an eternal message that is ministry, and that is important.
2) Your Message Has an Eternal Impact
The first reason is there is a spiritual battle. The second reason is what I just said, your message has an eternal impact. Because of that, I want your message to reach as many people as it can and the enemy wants to stop that. One of the ways that we overcome the enemy is through prayer, because we are tapping in to God’s power.
3) God Has Provided the Body of Christ in the Church
The third reason that you should have a prayer team is that God has provided the body of Christ in the church, whether you’re in a formal church setting or not. God has given us the body of Christ, talks about it in the Bible several times. We all have different gifts, but we’re to work together. There are people that are called to pray, there are people that prayer is their ministry. We need to be willing to work together as a team and not be so isolated. Have you seen that?
It just seems like more, and more, and more, we’re just getting isolated and we think we can do it on our own. We have the body of Christ for a reason! It’s for that support, it’s to be able to work together in many different ways. One of the ways, I believe, that we’re to work together is to support one another in prayer. That’s one of the reasons that I started the Godly Gain group on Facebook. It’s a group for Christian authors, speakers, entrepreneurs where you can get encouragement and support. You can join by going to GodlyGain.com.
There have been several times that I’ve posted prayer requests in there and I’ve seen an answer almost immediately, within an hour or two. It’s been just incredible seeing that power of community and of the body of Christ coming together.
Those are the three reasons that I believe you should have a prayer team as a Christian author. But, how do you do it? I was talking to one of my colleagues this morning, and she does VIP coaching with her authors. She was saying one of her authors was really struggling and having some technical issues and having some major problems. She was like, “you need to ask for prayer.” She was like, “I’m supposed to be the one that’s encouraging people. I’m the one that’s supposed to be helping and giving this positive message and ministering people through my book about hope. Isn’t it going to be opposite of my message if I’m saying I’m having problems and I need prayer?” No!
Actually, it’s going to allow people to see that you’re real, you’re human, that there is a very real spiritual battle, that you need that support. It doesn’t have to be just all about us, sometimes it does take us to just be able to humble ourselves and realize we all need help. Can you understand that mindset of how sometimes we get in that mindset of, “what will they think of me if I ask for prayer? Will they think that I’m less of a person, or that I’m not really strong in my ministry, or the message of my book?” Sometimes that can happen to. That, a lot of times, is the lies of the enemy too.
Practical steps. The first thing that I did to form my prayer team was I put a call out on Facebook. I said, “if there is any of you that really believe in what I do, believe in my ministry, believe in the types of books that I write.” Because I do write a lot of Christian living books with a Christian message. “If you believe in the type of ministry that I have and are willing to pray for me on a regular basis would you please just comment or private message me and let me know?” It wasn’t a huge number of people, like five people responded. Btu you don’t need very many, you don’t need a thousand people, you just need a few really committed people.
What I did was I took those names and I asked them to sign up to a subscriber email list. I use it for marketing, my subscriber email lists. Right now I have Get Response. There’s Mail Chimp, Aweber, Traffic Wave, there’s so many different types of things. The reason I did this was that way everyone was in one list, I could send out one email. If they ever wanted to unsubscribe from my prayer team, they can. It gives them that freedom, they’re not locked into my prayer team forever and ever and ever, they can opt out at any time.
Then, I have that small group, most of them are women. Then I can just send out one email and just say, “OK, I really would appreciate prayers on this.” And I can send out the specific topics or the specific things. “I have a speaking engagement,” or “I have this book coming up,” or “I have this thing going on, could you please be praying for me.” I’m not saying you’re going to be posting this on social media all the time.
That was the other thing, someone said, “I’m going to look needy, or like I’m always needing help.” There are times when you should be willing to put something out publicly, but I’m talking about having a private, small group that’s a prayer team and prayer support. People who are committed and willing to help pray for you, pray for your writing, pray for your ministry, pray for those who will read your books, pray for those that will accept the Gospel, that will accept Christ through your books, pray for those who will be at your speaking engagements. Those are the types of things that people can be praying for if we have a prayer team in place.
So, all you have to do, if you don’t have an email subscriber list you can get started for free on Mail Chimp, set up a list, and then ask. Ask a few people, or maybe you know that you have a few friends and say, “hey, I’m in the midst of a battle right now. I’m writing this book, these are the themes, these are the things, this is how it will reach people, and I know I need more prayer support. Would you be willing to pray for me and support me in this way?” You can also reach out to people one-on-one.
You don’t have to set up an email list, that’s the way I did it. I think it just makes the most sense, it’s the easiest to manage, and then people don’t feel locked in. You could also do a group text. Personally I’m not a fan of group texts, I don’t like being on the receiving end of group texts, and then it’s just bombarding. That’s another thing that you could do in a split second. If you’re just in the midst of a moment and you know, “these are the five people that have signed up to be on my prayer team.” You could just text them real quick and say, “guys, I need prayer right now!” I prefer email because it allows people to get the message, they’ll get the prayer request, it’s on their terms, but you’re able to have a private, small group praying for you.
You know how powerful this is? This is huge. For those that do not have this, and even if you just have two people on your list, that’s all you need. The Bible says, “where two or three are gathered, I am there.” We can be praying wherever we are, we’re not limited by numbers, we’re not limited by anything, and yet so many times we think, “oh, but who am I to even ask people to be praying for me?” Do it!
I had two of my members this week have major, major technical issues. One was on formatting a book, because I teach self-publishing, and one was on website stuff because I teach platform building and all of that. They were having major technical issues, they’re both in ministry, they both write Christian books that have a Christian message, a gospel message. I told both of them, “go set up this prayer team now!” I knew I wanted to do this because I wanted to give others the idea, and to really encourage you to set this up and to not wait.
If you’re in the middle of writing a book, do it! You don’t have to have a book published yet. Whatever stage you’re at right now, believe me, you need this! You need that extra support, we need each other, we need the body of Christ! That’s one thing we do within AuthorAudienceAcademy.com. Every week we have a prayer thread where we pray specifically for you and in ways that whatever you’re dealing with, your books and your marketing, and things like that, we pray for you.
I still recommend that you have your own, private, small prayer group. Tiffany says, “I’ve lost a book before when my computer crashed. I stopped writing for a long time, I was so upset.” Yes, that is a classic reason that you need to have people praying for you, you need to have that extra layer of support and protection against the enemy. The enemy comes to what? Steal, kill, and destroy. He stole your manuscript, he destroyed it somehow. She said, “I email it to myself every night now.” Yes, have a backup, I teach that all the time. Have a backup, use Drop Box, use Back Blaze, whatever you need to do, have backups because you never know what’s going to happen.
My encouragement to you is, If you’re doing anything related to your faith, and Christianity, if you’re an author, speaker, if you’re in ministry in anyway, take action and form this small prayer team. I don’t think there is any reason not to do it, we all need prayer, we all need support, and then commit to praying for others too. Don’t just be on the receiving end. Also, as the body of Christ, be committed to praying for others as well, because we need each other. If you would be interested I would love for you to join our community at GodlyGain.com, it’s for Christian entrepreneurs. If you would actually want some coaching for writing your book and setting up your platform and marketing, and all of that, you can join us at AuthorAudienceAcademy.com.
We have a great community, very active in Facebook, and we are there as well to pray for you and to support you. I hope that you guys have a great rest of your day and that you go and take action, form a small prayer team, and then start sending them regular updates. When you’re getting ready to write, or you know you’re going to have a writing date, a time where you’re going to write, let them know and ask them to be praying. Praying against writers block, praying against technical problems, praying against things that come up and end up taking over that time. Ask them to pray if you know you’re going to be speaking. Ask them to pray if you’re going to have a book launch.
It may just be something like you’re feeling discouraged and you don’t feel like continuing on, ask them to pray. Have people on your prayer team that you can confide in, you can talk to, that you can trust, because that’s so important. We are in this together, there is a very real battle, and the enemy wants to stop you, he wants to steal, kill, and destroy, he wants to keep you from sharing the message that you have to share with the world.
I’m getting a little teary eyed, and I’m getting chills because I know. I’ve seen it in my coaching group this week, I hear it from authors all the time, there is a very real battle. I had one of my clients in Author Audience Academy just recently lost everything on her computer. She thought everything was backed up on an external drive and it wasn’t. There is stuff like that happening all the time. Sometimes it’s life, sometimes it’s not. Let’s be prepared, let’s not go into battle without the armor of God, without that prayer support, without that extra encouragement, and without each other. Let’s link arms together, we are stronger together than we are on our own.
Have you ever heard the illustration of the sheep, when they’re off and when they’re on their own they are easier prey for the wolf. When we isolating ourselves and we’re not in community we are in a more susceptible position for the enemy. Those thoughts of discouragement and doubt and fear start creeping in. We need each other, that’s my message for today. Reach out, don’t delay, reach out and ask for those people to join your prayer team, because we need each other.
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