MARK S MIRZA is someone with a passion for prayer. And yet, he remembers exactly where he and his wife were sitting in 2004 when Dr. Stanley, his pastor at the time, introduced a pastor on stage as “The New Prayer Pastor.” Mark says, “Unfortunately I also remember EXACTLY what I was thinking. I thought, ‘what a BORING job that must be.’ But prayer has now become my passion.”
He led the men’s prayer ministry for Dr. Charles Stanley at First Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA. From March 2006 until September 2010 when Common Thread Ministries started to pick up steam. Since November 2010 he has been helping churches and individuals with prayer on a full time basis.
As part of the ministry, he coaches men and women, churches and organizations in how to start up and improve existing prayer groups. But not just in the United States. He also goes back to Kenya teaching there where he has a small team of indigenous teachers who are engaging a larger and larger group of would be prayer warriors. In both countries he also does Pastor’s and Lay Leader’s Prayer Conferences as well as Prayer Boot Camps based on the movie War Room.
Mark often says that, “Prayer is more caught than taught,” meaning that if you want to learn to pray, get around people that pray. To that end, he and his prayer partner do about 30 Prayer Conference Calls every week in the USA and he also has Prayer Conference Calls happening every week in Kenya.
For additional information on the ministry go to our Ministry SWAYS page.
Mark has found a great deal of “fun” in teaching prayer through writing. But not just theologically based encouraging books and booklets, he is enjoying writing historical Christian fiction. His first novel, “The Pray-ers, Book 1, Troubles” is currently being added to with two children’s books as well as accompanying short stories.
Mark loves to read Christian novels, “the only problem,” he says, “is when I get done, I want to be able to say that I’ve learned something.” And that is the basis behind why he wrote this novel. “I don’t want to compete with the great novelists out there. But, if I can teach prayer through the fun of a novel, then THAT’S what I want to do.”
In his novels, the men and women model prayer for us. By us “experiencing” their life with them, we see prayer modeled and learn by being around pray-ers.
He is quick to admit that prayer does not come easily to him. He has to work at it. You will find him a refreshing speaker with a bigger than life personality.
Mark was in the corporate world until July 2008 and worked at First Baptist Atlanta from September 2008 until November of 2010.
He is married and he and his wife Naida live in downtown Atlanta and attend 1027 Church, where he was ordained. He collects old Christian books (mainly on prayer, of course). And he and his wife have a horse, Coraçáo, boarded in North GA where they spend much of their spare time.
Find him and Common Thread Ministries (and Coraçáo) on a number of Facebook pages. Now also on Twitter @CTMPrayer and @ThePray_ers.
In case you are wondering what it would take to bring Mark to your church or organization. Hear it straight from him:
“My remuneration policy is real simple. In December 2010 the Lord and I had a very short conversation about money. He said, ‘Mark, you’re in the prayer business, if you can’t trust Me, you can’t encourage others to trust Me.’
So my remuneration policy is this: ‘Whatever your church or organization is comfortable with, I will be content with . . . whatever you can afford will be fine. That way money is NEVER an issue.”
Mark won’t even look at the check he receives, “Until the next day, because I want to set up a barrier to make sure that money is never why I do what I do.”
WHAT WE DO
This link will take you to a .PDF that you can print onto an 8 1/2 x 14 to give to your pastor. If there are any questions, please feel free to call on me at (404) 606-2322 or email me at Mark@CTMPrayer.org and please, if you are not getting them yet, please sign up here for our E-Letters. We only send them out about every 10 days or so.