School of prayer graduates first class.

By August 19, 2013

USA. (IMB/MNN) – In January, Mission Network News first broke the story of a unique concept in schools: a school of prayer.

(Photo courtesy IMB)

(Photo courtesy IMB)

The school of prayer was the brainchild of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board. In January’s interview, President of International Mission Board, Tom Elliff, says although the IMB has a general emphasis on prayer, this initiative went a step further. “We are establishing here, at our training center, a school of prayer for all nations, for anybody. Any church can come or send representatives.”

Today, that school already has a graduating class. 15 students just graduated from the inaugural class of the School of Prayer for All Nations (SPAN), July 29-Aug. 2, at the International Mission Board’s missionary training facility near Richmond, Va. The class represented a wide cross-section of Southern Baptist life, drawing laypeople, pastors and even former missionaries from states as far as Indiana and Texas.

The school is led by Gordon Fort, IMB senior vice president of prayer mobilization and training, who said its purpose is to teach students to walk closer with God, pray more fervently for spiritual awakening, intercede for missionaries and the nations and mobilize others to join in prayer.

The disciples didn’t ask the Lord to teach them how to heal people, cast out demons or feed 5,000, Fort said. “The only thing they asked Him was to teach them how to pray. In this spiritual discipline of prayer, I believe there are things that can be taught.”

Things like spiritual warfare, how to listen to God while praying, the role of fasting in prayer, how to pray Scripture and how to pray for the nations are just some of the subjects SPAN students cover.

SPAN classes are designed to be intimate, no larger than 21 students. Sessions run monthly; registration for the five-day experience is $250 per person or $450 per couple, which covers lodging, meals and conference materials. Students must complete homework before attending, including enlisting at least five prayer intercessors who will commit to pray for them before, during and after their time at the school.

There are lectures and notes, but the focus is interactive. Large blocks of time are carved out of each day’s schedule for prayer. Classes are ongoing. Want to know more? Click here.

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