Altar Work – Part 1 and 2
As taught on 10/28 and 11/5/07 – Sunday AM Adult Bible Class
“How lovely is your dwelling place o Lord almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young a place near your altar.” (Psalms 84:1-3)
DEFINITION: Alter work is instructing, assisting and/or leading people to an ongoing experience, and lifetime experience with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
OBJECTIVE: To pray with, to comfort, to assess the need to help meet the need, to pray them through, to pray through ourselves. This lesson is not exhaustive but is intended to provide you with a preliminary overview of some of the guidelines adhered to by the Pastoral and Ministerial Staff at Grace Apostolic Church of Clawson.
WHO SHOULD “HELP PRAY AT THE ALTAR?
Every born again believer – We are ALL ministers at the altar
WHY IS THE ALTAR IMPORTANT?
It is a place of: Contact point between God and His creation, Building, construction, re-building, re-construction, sacrifice, commitment, dedication, marriage, buried.
WHY PEOPLE ‘DO NOT’ PRAY WITH OTHER AT THE ALTAR:
- Lack of Confidence
- Not sure what to SAY and DO
- Guess what, most people feel that way, especially if they have never prayed at an altar before, or if it’s been a long time.
That’s what this lesson is for!
- NEVER SHOUT IN SOMEONE’S EAR
- NEVER PUT YOUR HAND ON THEIR MOUTH
- NEVER SLAP THEM ON THE BACK
- MEN ARE TO ONLY TOUCH THE FOREHEAD, HANDS THAT ARE RAISED (for all to see) OR UPPER SHOULDER OF A LADY – NO BACK RUBS, NO CHEST POUNDING, NO HAIR SMASHING
- Lay hands on someone for extended period of time unless it’s holding up their hands with them.
- Allow Pastoral preference when praying with people. Your pastor should have the immediate liberty to begin to instruct the person in prayer. Utilize this time pick up on the techniques and methods he employs to engage the seeker and lead him/her in through their experience at the altar.
- Ensure you are prayed up and not battling with something that may interfere with someone getting through to God.
- Take a breath mint
- Approach the altar
- Men pray with Men – Women with Women!
- Allow the seekers to begin to acclimate themselves to the altar environment – (DON’T POUNCE)
- Assess the Environment – Who looks like they’re in need
- Prioritize – Seekers come first (laying hands on a someone you know is dong OK is not acceptable – launch out!)
- Watch Body Language
- Intensity – If they are kneeling, crying, quiet, excited, shaking, smiling, calm, tight, scared, etc.
WHERE ARE THEY?
- Ask questions
- What are you praying for?
- Are you praying for the Holy Ghost?
- Is this the first time at the altar?
- What is your name?
- Have you been filled with the Holy Ghost? OR are you looking for renewal?
WHAT TO SAY?
- One Spokesperson: As you talk to them use their name – One spokesperson at a time. Be sensitive. If Pastor is present defer the primary speaking role to him unless directed otherwise.
- Teamwork: (unified effort) Maintain a continual flow. Don’t let one person do all the work.
- Start in English: Start by praying in English.
- Working with Backsliders: Working with backsliders, since they have spoken in tongues before, remind them that God has never left. Tell them that after they have repented, to then believe they are forgiven. Now by faith stir up the gift that is in them.
- What are they feeling? If necessary, ask them if they feel that God has forgiven them. Some people get stuck here. Emphasize to them the promises that God forgives them.
Instructions to give the seeker:
- Speak out.
- Say it louder.
- I praise you lord.
- I love you Jesus.
- You’re such a great God, A mighty God, and An Awesome God.
- Thank you Jesus, Thank you for the Holy Ghost.
- Don’t speak in English, Speak what you feel.
- Your not suppose to know what your saying.
- That’s it. Keep believing, it’s happening.
- Receive it by faith, by faith, speak what you’re feeling.
Tell them about:
- Necessity of water baptism in Jesus name.
- Being careful with family and friends. Use wisdom in their approach.
- Our three enemies:
1. The Devil. He will try to discourage you in unbelief.
2. The world. Stay away from temptations.
3. Our own flesh. We must keep ourselves under subjection to God.
- The power of prayer and daily renewal, including…
- Repentance and speaking in tongues every day.
- Bible reading.
- Relating their experience to others if asked.
- The importance of fasting.
- Once the person has finished praying utilize that time to review the experience and to provide them with an opportunity to receive a Bible Study and to ultimately be baptized.