A young mom in Boston had a heart to share the goodness of God with the people around her, but nothing she tried seemed to work. She prayed that God would show her how to be a fisher of men, and then got a call “out of the blue” from one of our staff with Advance (which equips disciple-makers). The simple steps for blessing prayer and inviting people to read the Bible that he taught her changed everything. She’s convinced that anyone can pull this off, because it’s all about what God is doing.
Listen as Laura tells her story (or read it below instead).
5 Minutes of Prayer to Change a Life
Dan Lee, who equipped Laura, has seen this movemental prayer model open huge doors for the disciple-makers he’s training in New England. Often people in the church have no idea how to connect with people far from God, much less find the people God has prepared to hear the good news. This simple five-minutes-a-day prayer practice has changed that for many of the believers Dan works with, and a gospel movement is growing as a result.
If you have a heart to share the goodness of God with people around you, consider adding this simple way of praying and blessing others to your life. You may see the Holy Spirit begin to open doors you never imagined, just like Laura did.
If blessing prayer is new to you, you can learn more about the biblical basis of blessing and how to pray in this way through our free Blessing Guide.
As you pray, you may suddenly find people are curious to know more about God. What do you do next? You can learn the steps of facilitating a simple Discovery Bible Study, like Laura did, from our DBS Toolbox.
When I first started meeting with Dan he told me that I should pick five non-believers to pray for regularly (Movemental Prayer: Praying for 5 people/5 minutes/5 days/5 weeks) and that I should invite them to study scripture with me. When he told me that I was so skeptical. I was like, Well ok, I can pray for people, that’s fine; I love praying and it can’t do any harm. But there’s no way the five people I’m friends with would ever agree to study scripture with me. So I started praying.
Dan asked me to specifically ask the Holy Spirit if there was a name of one of the five that I should ask to study scripture. A name came to mind immediately. I’ll call her Katie. I couldn’t even imagine how I could invite Katie to study scripture because she was totally not interested. We’d never even had a spiritual conversation. But I started praying.
Soon after that I met another mom on the playground at my kids’ school—I’ll call her Ann. I had a conversation with her in which she was really anti-Christian. I felt really intimidated even talking to her. What am I even doing being missional at this school? This is not working. But I felt like God said, “Add Ann to the list of people you’re praying for!” Really? That’s really unlikely, but OK. So I started praying for her every day too.
Within a matter of two weeks I had become friends with Ann and gained her trust, which was amazing! We started having spiritual conversations, even though she was initially really hostile. She came over to my house one day for a play date, and I had this verse written on a chalkboard in my living room that I was teaching my kids (a memory verse). She looked at it and said, “Oh, I really like that. I wish I could do something like that for my kids.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’ve never read the Bible before but I’d really like to read it.”
“Are you serious? Well… we should study scripture together. Would you like to?”
Before I even finished the sentence she said, “Definitely.”
So we set up a time and she came over to my house.
I have a newborn baby; I’m super tired and brain-dead. I felt like I couldn’t have been in a weaker spot emotionally, physically, or mentally. So I just said, OK God, this is all you. You set this up. I’ll just give you my “widow’s mite” and see what you do with it.
So we opened our Bibles and we picked the first passage on the list of scriptures that Dan had given me. I didn’t pre-prepare anything, other than pray for the meeting. She got tears in her eyes when we read the scripture, just from reading the passage. And she said, “I want to do this again.”
“Would you be open to me adding other moms to it?” I asked.
So I decided to set up a group where we would study scripture and then pray for each other.
We tried praying in this first meeting with Ann and within three days she had texted me saying God had answered our prayer. I thought it was so neat that she was connecting the answered prayer to our prayers and to God!
I was able to ask the other woman, Katie, if she wanted to join us, since we now had an official “group.” Katie said that she would rearrange her work schedule to come to it!
So there are two miracles that have happened! Not only is this really hostile woman super interested in coming to my house to read the Bible with me, but this other woman, Katie, is rearranging her work schedule to come and join us, just like God had shown me she would be open to doing. So praise God! It’s amazing!
If someone as brain-dead and physically weak as myself can do this... it’s all the Lord’s strength and anyone can pull this off!
Some Q&A With Laura
How important was the movemental prayer?
Unbelievably important. Every time I would pray, that day or the next one I would see almost all five of the people I was praying for. And before, when I wasn’t praying for them, I wouldn’t see them for weeks at a time. It was like God moved them into my path. And not only that but they were drawn to me. I’m not kidding. Almost every time, within 24 hours of praying for the person, I will see them and they will have a positive interaction with me—as if they knew I was blessing them by praying for them. It’s amazing to me.
For example, Ann told me at our first meeting, “You know, you’re not the first person to talk about spiritual things with me. Somebody used to tell me that she was praying for me.”
And I said, “You’re kidding me, because God told me to pray for you.”
“Oh, I’m not at all surprised.”
“Well I am!” This is the woman who was hostile to me when we first started talking—so pretty incredible stuff.
How did you get involved in discipling others?
I had a real desperation to share the goodness of God that I’d experienced in my life with other people, but I just didn’t know how—I didn’t have a tool for it. I tried to conjure up situations on my own that just didn’t work. I looked for a new method and prayed that God would show me how to be a fisher of men. And one day Dan called me out of the blue. So it was really the Holy Spirit that put us together.
I just begged God, “Show me how to do this—I’m terrible at it!” So I had the desire to share my faith with people—to just share out of the overflow of goodness in my life—but I didn’t know how. And God answered my prayer—really, really well!
What is the discovery process?
It’s so simple. It’s just preparing with prayer, opening the Bible, reading the passage, letting the word sink in, and then asking, “What does this teach us about God? What does this teach us about humanity or ourselves? How can we apply it to our lives?” It’s two or three questions that you answer. It’s so short and simple, but helps you remember what you learned because it’s so simple. You’re not getting cluttered with all these details or historical knowledge. It’s just straight up, “What is this telling me from God?”
Can anyone do this?
I love that question because I feel so incredibly inadequate. Even though I know a lot about scripture and have studied it my whole life, I am a terrible teacher—the kind that makes people more confused when I try to teach them something! And the first woman who studied scripture with me, Ann, is a teacher! So I felt so intimidated. But really, you don’t have to teach anything. You just read the Bible. It’s really just having faith like a mustard seed that God is going to speak through his word—which he does!
Not only did he speak to Ann, but he spoke to me. Both of us got something out of it. It says in the Bible that his word will not return void. If you read it, you will get a blessing from reading it. Something will speak to you.
You’ve got to keep it so simple. Just let the Holy Spirit work. Don’t get in his way.
What’s your final word of encouragement?
Your prayers don’t have to be magical. They can be really simple, like Help me God, or Teach me how to be a fisher of men, or Show me who I’m supposed to talk to, or Put the right person in my path. Just a one sentence prayer; it doesn’t have to be fancy. Don’t feel like you’re doing it wrong because you’re not praying the right way. This is what God wants to do already, so all we have to do is barely align ourselves with him, and he says, “Yes! Let’s do it!”
It’s super exciting. This is the most adventurous thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. I’m a person who likes a lot of excitement and adventure; I don’t like boring things. If you want to have an exciting spiritual life, this is the way to do it!
Dan Lee joined Novo in 2016 to equip disciple-makers with the Advance Team. Dan had 15 years of church-planting experience and his MDiv prior to joining Novo. He and his wife Diana live in Boston with their four-year-old daughter.
Dan started coaching Laura in disciple-making in 2017. Laura is now coaching others.