Mike Hickerson & David Hibiske

5 Bold Convictions on Prayer for Every Church Planter

About The Episode

Prayer—it’s not just some spiritual tool you whip out when you need it. Today, Mike Hickerson and David Hibiske talk about how skipping prayer might actually be holding you back more than you think. Starting with pastors’ own private prayer time, Mike and David break down how investing your time and even some cash into prayer can transform the heart of your church. Listen in for practical tips on bringing prayer into your community, making it accessible and meaningful for everyone.

Welcome to Episode 023 of The Unfair Advantage Podcast with Mike Hickerson and David Hibiske.

Insights From Mike & David

5 Bold Convictions on Prayer for Every Church Planter

  1. Prayer is essential, not simply a tool
    1. Depending on your background…sometimes prayer can be seen or acted on as a tool in the tool belt… pull it out when you need a service transition, seems like the right thing to do…
    2. The error is that prayer often is pushed out when we “feel too busy”
    3. What that communicates is… I’m sure I actually believe it makes a difference… 
      1. Truth is… You don’t have time NOT to pray
    4. The very reason you feel stressed, lack of peace, and didn’t get the result you wanted could be tied to a lack of prayer
    5. “To develop a conviction of prayer I must see prayerlessness as a sin.” – Jon Tyson (Awaken Network Podcast)

  2. A prayer culture starts in your secret place
    1. Scriptures – what happens in private is rewarded and comes out in public…
      1. 3x in Matthew 6 – Jesus says “Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Giving, Praying, Fasting)
      2. “In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever.” – 1 Timothy 5:25
    2. Can’t lead or establish a praying church if you’re not praying
    3. Staff and leaders must lead the way
    4. Vision for your church starts in your personal life!

  3. Building a prayer culture requires intentionality and investment
    1. Where your time and money go – you see your priorities:
      1. Requires time investment
      2. Requires financial investment
    2. Time
      1. Personal time to pray
      2. Staff / Volunteers / Leaders time
      3. Teaching time
    3. Financial
      1. Hosting a time weekly (at your apartment/home, office, building)
      2. Paying staff to pray – you’ll get more out of them
      3. Resources that help (token, etc.)
    4. We give up things we love for things we love even more… willing to sacrifice and pay the price for the greater things of God…

  4. Establish prayer on scripture
    1. “Our hearts are oftentimes unhelpful prayer guides.” – Church of the City
    2. Sometimes we go into prayer spaces or as you start…
      1. The temptation to perform… who am I supposed to be in this room? How do I get verbal affirmation? Did I fire up the room?
      2. Leads to our emotions or performance driving the prayer…
    3. We want Scripture to guide our prayers…
      1. Take a passage or promises of God and let prayers come from those…
      2. Teach your people to pray God’s promises and use “the sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17)
    4. Personally, praying in this way… when I feel the peace of God (Philippians 4:6-7)… we want our people to experience praying in this way.

  5. Prayer shouldn’t be weird
    1. A lot of time we have resistance to prayer because…
      1. We haven’t experienced power and movement…
      2. Not sure if helps…
      3. We’ve been in boring or weird environments…
    2. Establishing a healthy prayer culture means you will have to “coach the weird out”
    3. There will be a lot of opinions about how the culture should be established but you must lead people upfront and through…
    4. God is a God of order and wants environments where he is accessible to all… 1 Corinthians 14 – Paul writes giving guidance on a worship service – applies to prayer space
    5. So coach the weird out… coach out the distractions… the attention to oneself…

Practical Ideas for Corporate Prayer

  • 24-hour prayer leading into a big day or event – can use a Google sheet to organize (in-person or at home)
  • Weekly corporate prayer time (Staff and/or an open prayer set to the church)
  • All volunteer rally with vision and prayer before volunteer team huddles on weekends
  • Worship and Prayer Nights – 2-4x a year
  • Annual Volunteer Rally – make prayer a part of the night
  • Monthly Leaders Advance / Gathering – make prayer a part of the day
  • 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting

Simple format for Corporate Prayer (Learned from Church of the City in NYC)

  1. Welcome and opening prayer
  2. Worship to focus our eyes on Jesus
  3. Read a focal passage of scripture and give a few minutes for individual reflection
  4. Use the passage to guide a corporate prayer time
    1. Individuals pray out loud one at a time
    2. 3 Things:
      1. Keep our prayers grounded in Scripture
      2. Pray loud for all to hear
      3. Keep it short 30-60 seconds
  5. Optional: Small Groups (3 people)
  6. Closing Worship (2-4 minutes)
  7. Dismiss with a prayer quote

Episode Links

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Who Are Mike Hickerson & David Hibiske?

Mike Hickerson is the Lead Pastor of Mission Church in Ventura, CA. Mike describes himself as a church planter, lucky husband, outnumbered dad of three daughters, Oklahoma Sooner fan, coffee addict, and a struggling surfer.

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David Hibiske is the Pastor of Strategic Ministry Initiatives at Saddleback Church. He grew up in Wilmington, NC before moving to Fort Worth, TX to attend Southwestern Seminary. David met his wife, Kendall, while in Seminary and they have two daughters, Ella and Avery, and one son, Andrew. After completing his Master of Divinity, David and Kendall moved to San Jose, CA to join the staff team at South Bay Church (now Echo Church). In 2022, God called them to head to Southern California and join the team at Saddleback Church where David now serves as Pastor of Strategic Ministry Initiatives.


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