God Sets a New Direction
The Australian Prayer Network (APN) has moved into a new gear, conducting Watchmen Schools of Intercession (WSOI) across the Nation. The concept was given by the Lord in 2012 at an APN National Leaders Retreat and has quickly developed into one of its major ministry activities. Schools of Intercession have been developed for the purpose of training Christians in how to pray for our Nation and the Nations of the world, as well as for the Church in Australia and beyond.
We Were Totally Unprepared
National Coordinator Brian Pickering said, “We were totally unprepared for the response we have seen to these Schools. The depth of interest shown by Christians across the nation, in some cases bordering on desperation, has revealed to us the deep hunger people have to understand, not only how to pray, but how prayer can be used to turn our nation back to God.”
With nothing but word of mouth publicity, more than 15,000 people have attended 572 Foundation Level face-to-face and DVD Schools with more than 3,200 people going on to the Intermediate Level School and 1,665 having completed the Advanced Level. Registrations for upcoming Schools remain strong around the nation, as people move through the different levels of the School.
It’s About Real Life
All levels of the School will continue to be rolled out annually while there is a demand for them. A team of National Prayer leaders within the Australian Prayer Network who have wide national and international experience, have been drawn together to assist in meeting current and anticipated future demand for the School. Pastors and pray-ers alike have attended, with stories emerging at almost every school, of people travelling hundreds of kilometres to attend. Responses to the teaching and impartation at the Schools have been as revealing as they have been exciting. A number of Pastors have asked the question, “Where has this teaching been for the past 20 years” and “I want to ensure that every person in my congregation gets to hear this teaching.” Another stated, “This is not just about prayer, it is about real life.” Experienced Intercessors have also been exuberant in their comments with some coming back a second and third time to more fully absorb all the teaching being offered. One man who had struggled with prayer all his life said to his wife upon returning home, “I get it, I get it, I now understand what prayer is and how it works.”
The School consists of 3 levels – Foundation, Intermediate, Advanced. Each Level is self-contained and builds on the previous Level. Participants in the School must attend all sessions of each level in order to progress through the School to completion.
- Foundation Level schools are hosted and run locally.
- Intermediate and Advanced Level schools are held on a live-out basis in regional areas, usually where well attended Foundation Level schools have already been held.
- There is no registration fee to participate in a Watchmen School of Intercession, although a faith offering is taken at each School to assist in covering costs.
The Watchmen Schools are being made available to Churches, Christian ministries and established prayer groups and networks across Australia. Although there are three levels to the School, there is no obligation for anyone attending the initial Foundation Level to proceed to Intermediate and Advanced Levels unless they desire to do so. People may also pull out after completing the Intermediate Level if they do not wish to go on to the Advanced Level. People attending the Foundation level course have stated they consider it a paradigm changer in its own right.
The Foundation Level is held in local communities and is spread over 6 sessions. It is usually held as a two-day intensive or two sessions per day over 3 days. This course is suitable for both experienced prayers, as well as those wanting to know more about the disciplines of prayer, how prayer relates beyond our personal relationship with God, and how it is a spiritual weapon that God uses to change the world around us.
Hosts of the Foundation Level school bear no financial responsibility other than to provide a venue and promote it locally. All other costs including travel and accommodation for the speakers are the responsibility of the Australian Prayer Network. APN is willing to undertake a Foundation Level school anywhere in Australia on the basis of 40 or more people in attendance. In order to ensure that smaller Communities and individual Churches who cannot combine with others, and isolated Prayer groups do not miss out, there is an option for an APN run DVD School. Special conditions apply to DVD Schools which can be explained and discussed with anyone wanting to have a DVD School run in their area.
All levels of the School have been crafted so as to cover a wide variety of teaching relative to prayer, intercession, and the principles of city and national transformation. MP3 audio disks of the School can be sold to only those who attend and complete the relevant School Level and are for personal review purposes only. After completion of the Foundation Level DVD school, attendees are qualified to move on to Intermediate and Advanced Levels.
Intermediate and Advanced Levels are centralised to State and National gatherings. This enables attendees to learn in a community environment interacting with other praying people from across their State and the Nation. Like the Foundation Level, there is no charge for the Intermediate or Advanced schools. APN covers meal expenses for School attendees, and all costs associated with Speakers’ expenses. We ask only that School attendees contribute a faith offering toward the costs of the school. Attendees who are not able to live at home while attending a School are responsible for finding and paying for their own accommodation. At the end of the Advanced Level school attendees will be invited to participate in a 40 Hour Strategic Prayer Weekend in Australia and/or an International Prayer Journey to another nation to complete the School program.
How to Organise a School
Pastors, prayer groups, and/or other leaders who would like to host a Foundation Level school or a DVD School in their locality, can contact Brian Pickering, National Coordinator of Australian Prayer Network, at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how this can be achieved.