“Everyone, from the lowliest to the most influential, holds power when they pray,” said Major James Mungai, Kansas City Northland, Mo., corps officer who also serves as Kansas and Western Missouri Division’s ambassador for prayer.
Prayer is a central focus of the Northland Corps, where a prayer room has been established to encourage ongoing, focused and consistent prayer. The atmosphere of the large space is carefully designed to be conducive to an attitude of prayer. Elements of the room engage each of the five senses, and pamphlets are available to help guide prayer for specific topics, from the personal (how to pray for your child) to the global (how to pray for victims of human trafficking).
The prayer room is open to the public and is used by community members, corps soldiers and volunteers. It also has been used by the Pathway of Hope case manager and a food pantry volunteer as a quiet place to pray with clients.
Prayer isn’t confined within the walls of the prayer room, however. Newly enrolled junior and senior soldiers are paired up with a prayer partner to mentor them in their faith and prayer life. During the week social media, texts and phone calls create a chain of prayer requests and praise reports, and Sunday morning worship includes a dedicated season of prayer during which the corps family prays over one another. Prayer request cards with the message, “It’s an honor to pray for you,” are visible in several locations, and have been used by visitors and members alike to share their needs for prayer. Completed cards are collected and requests lifted up by the corps prayer warriors.
“If the Word of God is like manna for our souls, then prayer is like oxygen,” Major James said. “It’s our breath.” The major likens prayer to being plugged into a power source—an “energizing center”—which keeps vision and mission alive. It’s no surprise, then, that not only does he pray with and for his congregation and encourage them to pray for one another, but he asks them to lift him up in prayer as well.
“Leaders need the power of prayer behind them,” he said. “In prayer we find power, guidance, protection, refreshment. If I’m not praying, I’m on dangerous ground. My defenses are down.” Major James says it’s not necessary to know details in order to lift up leaders in prayer—it’s enough to know they are under tremendous pressure on a consistent basis.
“Prayer can support them the way Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ arms until the battle was won. It can mean the difference between victory and defeat in battles we know nothing about,” he explained (see Exodus 17:8-16).
The practice of praying for leaders is a natural outflow of commitment to prayer both personally and corporately. “We need to turn our corps into houses of prayer,” concluded the major. “It’s an honor and a privilege to pray.”