Project Documents

Date of Award

1987

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Garth Thompson

Second Advisor

C. Raymond Holmes

Third Advisor

Reuben A. Hubbard

Abstract

Problem

While prayer is vital to every aspect of the Christian life, both laity and clergy fail in its practice. This may be due, in part, to a lack of understanding its importance, potential, and meaning. A study of the nature of prayer reveals that its primary intent is communion with God, not merely the means of registering requests. The task of this project was to lead the members of the Piedmont Park Church into developing stronger habits of personal prayer. To achieve this objective, a curriculum was designed and implemented to communicate four aspects of prayer: importance, meaning, potential, and practice. An attempt was made to measure change resulting from the study.

Method

A seven-part prayer curriculum, comprised of the following, was applied during a six—month period: Proclamation of the Word, Meditation on Prayer, Prayer Partners, Mid-Week Service, Parish Week of Prayer, the ABC School of Prayer Video Presentation, and Systematic Prayer for the Membership. Both the Piedmont congregation and a comparison group (who did not receive the curriculum) were surveyed before and after the application of the curriculum. The purpose of this was to ascertain change, if any, within each group.

Results

The response to the surveys revealed an ironic twist. While the Piedmont congregation indicated an increase in understanding the importance, potential, and meaning of prayer, it indicated decline in actual practice. Conversely, the comparison group who did not receive the curriculum indicated a decline in understanding prayer but an increase in practice.

Conclusions

Weaknesses of the project were the length of the prayer curriculum and lack of "hands-on" involvement by the majority of the members. A maximum of ten or twelve weeks is recommended for a future prayer curriculum, along with definite steps to involving a majority of the congregation in prayer experiences.

Subject Area

Prayer; Piedmont Park Seventh-day Adventist Church (Lincoln, Neb.)

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