DISCIPLE: Ministry Through Prayer
DISCIPLE: Ministry Through Prayer
By: Kristin Mudge
In the February episode of the LOVE – SERVE – DISCIPLE Podcast, Majors Matt and Jamie Satterlee had the opportunity to sit down with Monica Arroqui, a soldier at the Atlanta Temple Corps whose innovative daily prayer group has already shown incredible Kingdom results, along with Mercy Cosme, program assistant for Soundcast in the Territorial Communications Department, providing translation.
Monica came from Uruguay with her husband and two children 22 years ago. Both of her sons are now married and serving in Christian ministry, living out her family's legacy of faith.
"I think that when our lives are difficult, we understand the importance of praying, of being connected to the Father," Monica explains. "I used to say that I was a Christian, but I didn't really know what a relationship with the Father was. In my personal life, I knew the importance of prayer in my difficult times. When I had those moments of darkness, that's when I understood that the relationship of God and me had to be through prayer. That is when my relationship with God got stronger."
Over the past several years, Monica has been hosting virtual prayer meetings every morning with women from the Atlanta Temple Corps and beyond, praying with them and investing in those relationships in the presence of God.
Monica was often in the habit of praying every morning, spending personal time with her Father, but now she spends that time every morning in relationship not just with God, but also with many ladies from the Atlanta Temple Home League. "Now we are a group of warriors praying every day, and that is powerful for my life."
"I started these Zoom calls because during the (Covid-19) pandemic, everything closed down," Monica explains. "The churches closed their doors. But in Temple Corps, they opened Zoom for Bible studies or Home League."
Monica says that in those virtual meetings she recognized a deep need in people to be prayed over and a desire to pray for their families. So great was the need that she felt a separate meeting should be created for the sole purpose of prayer. She also felt that it was very important to pray with the person rather than just praying for the person. "A lot of ladies didn't know how to pray, and that's so important. The personal communication with the Father is so important. I wanted to teach how important it is to pray to the Lord and be connected to the Father in every minute of your life."
When the group started, it was just three or four friends joining Monica for prayer, but now the meetings see 22-25 phones connected every morning, and there are always additional family members or co-workers in the background of the calls.
"I think in a way it's not just discipleship, it's a form of evangelism because the co-workers are now joining in," Major Jamie Satterlee comments. "And there's a little bit of vulnerability when we share what our deepest concerns are and allow someone to come into our lives and share with us. I think it's a beautiful thing."
When Major Matt Satterlee asked if any testimonies or success stories have come out of this prayer group, Monica replied, "We have seen so many prophesied prayers that, without exaggerating, I would dare to say that we could write a book."
One corps member's mother was in the hospital, scheduled to have her leg amputated because of a terrible infection. The group interceded in prayer, and at her pre-op appointment the day before the surgery, the doctor was surprised to find that the surgery was no longer necessary. Two days later she went in to have the wound cleaned, and the doctor said, "We don't have to do anything. The leg is totally healed."
Another woman wanted to pray for her 40-year-old cousin who was hospitalized and on life support after having a stroke. The doctors said there was nothing to do for her; just wait for a miracle. The group prayed for three days. On the third day, the woman went home from the hospital. "She was healed completely, and she went home to tell the good news to everybody," Monica recounts. "She came to become a member of our group as well because she was healed through prayer. She told us that God is good, God is well, and that is the God that we deserve."
For people looking at starting a similar kind of prayer group in their corps, Monica advises, "When you are a disciple of God, you love God and you serve God; you always have a heart to serve, to help. Prayer is one of the best tools we can teach in the congregation. One of the main keys is to look for the need. When you look around you and see a need, fulfill it."
"You don't have to wait for somebody else to start a group," Monica adds, "you can do it. Ask guidance through prayer… You can start with one person. There is always one person. That one person that needs help… That is the one that God puts in your heart to help. And that's how you grow."
Monica says it's important for soldiers to get involved in ministry at their corps, because officers change, but soldiers stay. If soldiers are involved, you have a solid base. A good group of soldiers makes the church foundation stronger, which in turn makes leadership stronger. "That's what the Body of Christ is," Major Jamie agrees. "We all have a part to play, a role to play."
If you are interested in starting discipleship through prayer in your corps, you don't need to wait. Pray for guidance, find the need, and fill that need with God's direction. Find the one person who needs help and come alongside them in prayer. That is how we disciple.