|Speaking at Green Lake Conference Center, Wisconsin|
My estimate is that 80-90% of North American pastors do not have a significant prayer life.
I get this statistic from teaching 2000+ pastors and Christian leaders in seminary classes and conferences/seminars over the past 36 years.
By "significant prayer life" I mean something approaching the prayer life of Jesus who, early in the morning as was his custom, went to a lonely place where he prayed.
By "prayer" I mean: talking with God, in conversation, about what you and God are doing together.
Do these statistics get any better if, say, a pastor takes a class like my week-long spiritual formation course? Yes. I estimate that, after a week of praying, sharing with colleagues in ministry, and biblical and theological reflection on prayer and spiritual formation, 30-40% now have a significant prayer life. (Again, this relates to North American pastors and, I think, European pastors as well. For Third World pastors the statistics invert.)
This is why I have been offering Prayer Summer. My prayer is that, out of the 400+ who have been engaging in 30-60 minutes of praying, 5 days a week, many will have a significant prayer life. My prayer is that a significant prayer life will stick, for the rest of a person's life.
I believe that not having a significant prayer life is a main reason for the North American Church's relative inauthenticity and irrelevance.
This Prayer Summer experiment is nearly over. But hopefully for many who began with me in June, a new, vibrant PrayerLife has taken root.