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 two years ago at the APN National Leaders Summit 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.
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 1600 people have to-date attended the 25 Foundation Level courses held around the nation. Already more than 300 people have progressed to the second Intermediate Level with a third Advanced Level being rolled out in 2015.
All levels of the School will continue to be rolled out annually while there is continuing 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 prayers alike have attended, with stories emerging at almost every Course of people travelling hundreds of kilometres to attend. Responses to the teaching and impartation at the School 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” to “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 and Advanced. Each is a self-contained module, with each module building on the other and participants in the School must attend all sessions of each level in order to progress through the School to completion. The APN has stated, there is “no skipping of levels allowed, irrespective of previous experience”. The Foundation Level is hosted and run locally. The Intermediate and Advanced Levels, are however ‘live-in’ (no exceptions), and held at State and National level respectively. There is no registration fee to participate in the WSOI although faith offerings are taken at each to assist with costs.
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.
The WSOI is 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 on anyone attending the initial Foundation Level, to have to proceed any further in the School, should they not desire to. Those attending the Foundation level course have stated they consider it a paradigm changer in its own right. People may also pull out after the Intermediate Level if they do not wish to go on to the Advanced Level
Hosts of the Foundational Level Course 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 APN. The APN is willing to undertake a Foundation Level Course anywhere in Australia on the basis of an attendance of 30 or more people. In order to ensure that smaller communities, individual Churches who cannot combine with others, or isolated prayer groups not miss out, there is an option of an APN run DVD School. Special conditions apply to DVD School’s that can be explained and discussed when application for such a School is made.
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. DVD’s and CD’s of the School will not be sold or distributed to other than School participants (for personal review purposes), and only as they complete each level. After completion of the Foundational Level DVD school, participants, should they so choose, are qualified to move on to Intermediate and Advanced Levels.
Intermediate and Advance Levels are centralised to State and National gatherings to enable participants 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 Levels. The APN covers all accommodation and meal costs of attendees and asks only that those attending contribute to a faith offering towards the Schools costs. This way no one is excluded on the basis of cost. At the end of the Advanced Level participants 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.
Pastors, prayer groups and/or other leaders who would like to host a Foundation Level Course or a DVD School in their locality should contact the National Coordinator of the Australian Prayer Network, Mr. Brian Pickering