How to Have a Prayer Vigil

Practical ways to make a prayer vigil a success.

To electrify your prayer time, schedule a prayer vigil for your small group, mission team, or entire church. A prayer vigil is a watchful, awake time set apart for the purpose of prayer. Over the years, I have organized a two-hour vigil for our small group, a 12-hour prayer vigil for my short-term mission team, and a weekly (for eight weeks) four-hour prayer vigil for our church. Here are some ideas that worked for our 12-hour vigil. They will help you organize and make your next vigil a success.

First—Pray.Seek the Lord's guidance on how, when, and why you want to do the prayer vigil. I plan my own personal vigil, praying and fasting and seeking the Lord's will in any group vigil that I plan.

Second—the logistics. Select a length of time and location for your vigil. You can make it one hour or as long as your group can go with the Lord's leading. We scheduled ours on a Friday night from 7 PM—7 AM. We picked this time so most people could attend the vigil and sleep when the vigil was over without interfering with work or church schedules. We did not make it mandatory for anyone to attend. In fact, we suggested people come when they could. About five of our group of 14 stayed the entire 12 hours. All but two of the 14 made it to the vigil.

One team member volunteered his house for the vigil. Since he had a large property, we were at liberty to do some things we could not have done at a smaller or inside-only location.

Third—collect requests. Since our vigil was specifically for the mission team, I asked everyone on the team to write their personnel prayer requests on index cards and turn them in to me before the vigil. We did not limit how many index cards anyone could turn in, but we did only ...

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