Altar Worker’s Guide: Part 6 – Types of Prayer at the Altar
In this lesson, we will talk about the different types of prayer at the altar. We all come to the altar for different reasons, but there are some types of prayer that are more common than others.
First, let’s talk about praying through to the Holy Ghost. The process of receiving the Holy Ghost is a personal one, and it involves yielding. It’s not about trying to force the Holy Ghost upon them but a process of surrendering themselves to God. As an altar worker, your role is to help guide the person to yield themselves to God.
We should expect to be used in the gifts of the spirit we come to the altar. It’s an opportunity for God to move and work through us in a powerful way. When we come to the altar, we should come with an expectation to receive from God as well as guide others.
Now, let’s talk about praying with a backslider. Most people who have backslidden are dealing with heavy condemnation. They have realized that they have left their first love and may have be oppressed with a feeling of unworthiness. As altar workers, we should approach them with love and compassion. We should welcome them back with open arms. In Luke 15:17-22, the father welcomed back his prodigal son with open arms. He didn’t condemn him for his mistakes but instead celebrated his return.
When we pray for a backslider, we should speak life into them. We should remind them of God’s love for them and that they are still valuable in His eyes. We should show them that God hasn’t given up on them and that they are still a part of His family.
Another type of prayer at the altar is praying for needs. When we come to the altar, we can bring our needs to God. We can ask Him to meet our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. When we pray for someone’s needs, we are asking God to intervene in their situation. We can ask God to provide healing, financial provision, or any other need that they may have.
Sometimes someone may need breakthrough and dominion prayer. When they feel spiritually depressed, they may be demonically oppressed. It’s important to discern whether a person is experiencing demonic oppression or spiritual depression. If it’s demonic oppression, then we should pray for them at a distance.
Creating a distraction is something that Hell loves to do. This is often seen in revivals when a person who may be possessed comes in and causes a disturbance. In such situations, it is advisable to avoid laying hands on them. Instead, we can use praise and worship as a way to break the distraction and release that person from the clutches of Hell.
When someone needs a breakthrough, sometimes we may need a second person to help us out of a rut if they’re not yielding. We can ask someone to pray with us, and together we can ask God for a breakthrough. Sometimes God will give us words of wisdom or knowledge to say to that person. We shouldn’t think about what we are going to say, but let God speak through us. We can encourage them to keep pressing into God and remind them of His faithfulness.
As it says in James 5:16, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” When we come to the altar, we can come with confidence, knowing that our prayers will be heard and answered by a loving and powerful God. We can yield ourselves to His will and receive from Him. We can pray for ourselves and others, and God will hear our prayers. We must be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Ghost and try the spirits to see if they are of God. Let’s remember to approach each person with love and compassion, just as God does with us. And let’s continue to trust in His faithfulness and His ability to meet our needs.
Footnotes: A lot of this is from notes taken in Altar Worker class at Pine Grove Pentecostal Church on Wednesday, March 15th, 2023, led by Bro Heith Ellingburg and Bro Chris McGrone.