PWI started with a vision given to Pastor Bjørn Pedersen on April 27, 1986, in Alexandria, Minnesota, USA. The
ministry was formally organized in the fall of 1995 in Glendale/Phoenix, Arizona.
It has grown into a dynamic and unique ministry with a variety of prayer activities, events and strategies, such as
prayer explosions, prayer vigils and watches, prayer requests processed through the Internet, many different prayer
teaching seminars such as prayer schools and leadership training seminars with an emphasis on prayer, prayer
outreaches like prayer journeys, expeditions, missions, prayer cruises, prayer conferences, prayer resources (some
of them have been translated into several other languages), and more.
PWI emphasizes praying for others, encouraging Christians to pray intentionally, and teaching prayer, especially
through the Prayer Schools. At the present time, PWI is offering five different Prayer Schools varying in length from
five to fifteen days. Two additional Prayer Schools are under construction. PWI Prayer Schools have already been
offered in Africa, Asia, America, and Europe. The Regular Prayer School Program is primarily training leaders. The
Weekly Prayer School Program is targeting the “grass-roots” with the message of prayer, usually taught by local
instructors after receiving training through PWI.
The materials are powerful, the methods effective, and communication with the groups inspirational, resulting in
phenomenal responses. One of the most frequent comments to participation in a PWI Prayer School is it was a life-
With God’s guidance, PWI has created excellent prayer resources to encourage growth in intimacy with Jesus,
assist churches, districts, and synods worldwide to organize effective prayer programs, and to train and support
church leaders such as Pastors, Evangelists, Elders, Prayer Coordinators, Prayer Missionaries, Intercessors, and
others who have an interest in prayer.
Assisting PWI in its worldwide mission is twenty-seven national and international PWI Teams, Chapters, and
Branches in Africa , America , Asia , and Europe . Five PWI offices are coordinating the worldwide mission of PWI.
The Prayer Vision
The Prayer Vision given to PWI uses a well-known Biblical metaphor, the Bride and the Groom, in calling God’s
people back to God’s original plan. A new dimension has been added in the vision: Jesus is coming back again!
The “sitz im Leben” (the setting of the vision) is a congregation and a wedding celebration in a congregation. Upon a
closer examination, it became clear that the Bride is not well. In fact, she was very sick and had to be brought into
the church on a stretcher! Something was obviously wrong. Everybody knew something must be done and fast. But
what should be done? After some painful moments of silence and in-action, something unexpectedly happened! A
single person from the congregation got up from the pews, walked over to the stretcher, knelt by the Bride, touched
one of her arms, and started to pray for her quick healing and restoration. Others now join the first person kneeling
by the Bride. Soon the entire stretcher is surrounded by people who are praying for the Bride. Suddenly, a
metamorphosis or transformation takes place.
With more prayer, she soon recovers, stands up, and walks around the sanctuary. Then see takes her appointed
place at the side of the Groom. The two of them walk together up to the altar and the wedding celebration
What does it mean? God’s Vision of Prayer focuses on getting the church ready for the return of Jesus through…
CALL TO PRAYER – Deeper intimacy (relationship, two-way communication, and partnership) with Jesus, maturity,
unity and empowerment by the Spirit resulting in faithfulness, obedience, perseverance, and great fruitfulness to
God’s glory, honor, and praise.
CALL TO WHOLENESS – Deliverance, healing, and restoration (with reconciliation and resuscitation) of the Church
to live in wholeness and holiness to fulfill its destiny in Christ
CALL TO PREPARATION – Preparing the Bride/Church for the return of the Groom/Jesus; development, nurture
and release of great faith to complete all of God’s Redemptive Plans and Purposes for the Church, world, universe,
and age. Praise the Lord!
MARANATHA – COME, LORD JESUS!
Rev. Bjorn Pedersen
Pastor Bjørn Pedersen was born in London, England during World War II and raised in Norway where he received most of his early education. He came to the United States in 1963 on a scholarship under the International Christian Youth Exchange Program. After graduation from high school in Minnesota, he returned to Norway and graduated from Oslo Sprogskole (Norwegian high school).
In 1965, Bjørn returned to the USA to attend and graduate from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. He graduated from Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree in 1971 and then attended the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. He later attended the University of Minnesota’s MBA program in preparation for a business career.
In September 1971, Bjørn entered into a sixteen year banking career in Alexandria, Minnesota. In 1975, he became the President of United Federal Savings & Loan Association which grew to six offices during Bjørn’s leadership.
Community Church of Joy
While working in the bank, Bjørn served several churches in the area as interim pastor. Sensing God’s call to full-time Christian church ministry, he accepted the position of Administrative Pastor at Community Church of Joy, Glendale, Arizona, in 1987. Two years later, in November of 1989, God called Bjørn to full-time prayer ministry at Joy. At that time, he was the only ordained Lutheran Pastor of Prayer.
The Prayer Ministry at Community Church of Joy grew significantly from humble beginnings in the fall of 1989 to a worldwide prayer ministry. It included such prayer opportunities as prayer chains, prayer small groups, corporate prayer meetings, intercessory ministries, prayer teams, a prayer care ministry, prayer vigils, prayer retreats, prayer seminars, and conferences. Perhaps Joy’s Prayer Ministry was best known for the College of Prayer offering Bachelor, Master, and Doctorate Certificates of Prayer to hundreds of prayer students from many churches, domestically and internationally.
Augsburg-Fortress Publishers released Bjørn’s first book in March 1995. It is entitled Face To Face With God In Your Church – Establishing A Prayer Ministry. It describes how to develop a powerful prayer ministry in the church. The book has been translated into Chinese, Vietnamese, German, Russian, Swahili and Norwegian. Bjørn has composed numerous CD and DVD series and workbooks on various prayer topics.
Prayer Watch International
On August 15, 1997, Bjørn resigned his position as Pastor of Prayer at Community Church of Joy, sensing God’s call to full-time involvement with Prayer Watch International (PWI). He had been developing Prayer Watch for nearly two years before making the change from Joy. PWI was founded by Bjørn and he is the daily leader of this inter-denominational and international mission organization, taking ten years of Prayer Ministry experiences from Joy to the body of Christ worldwide.
The mission of PWI is to pray, share God’s plan and vision of prayer, encourage Christians to pray intentionally, develop and distribute prayer resources, and to provide prayer growth and restoration opportunities, inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Prayer Missions and Journeys
Bjørn has shared God’s plan and vision of Prayer in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, Central America, Canada, Israel, and throughout the United States. In the Fall 1993, and during 1995, 1997, 1999, and 2001 Bjørn took teams of intercessors on prayer journeys into several Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Singapore, and especially Vietnam as part of the AD-2000 Prayer Track Program.
Three times, 1995, 1998 and 2001, he traveled to India and led prayer conferences for pastors, elders, church leaders, and intercessors. He also traveled to Australia for additional prayer events.
He has conducted seven prayer missions to Africa from 2001 to 2007 (with over 8,000 in attendance during 2002 alone) traveling to Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa. In March 2006, Pastor Bjørn led a PWI Team on a prayer mission to Honduras, Costa Rica & Nicaragua in Central America with Pastor Steve Brown.
He has conducted six prayer cruises to the Caribbean, Alaska, and Europe.
In addition to the above, Pastor Bjørn has also led dozens of prayer engagements throughout Europe including Norway, Germany, France, Iceland, Bulgaria, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus as well as Russia. PWI has developed a global ministryand prayer network of thirty Teams, Chapters and Branches around the world and Mighty Men of Prayer teams in the USA and Europe.
Bjørn is married to Phyllis, and they have three adult, married children. They also enjoy the company of seven grandchildren.
The Prayer Schools
PWI is developing strategies to fulfill its God-given prayer vision. One of these strategies is a powerful training program – geared for pastors, elders, prayer leaders, intercessors, and anyone wanting to deepen their prayer life – entitled the Prayer Watch International Prayer Schools.
The first PWI Prayer School waslaunched in October 1996. It is a two-week intensive prayer training experience in which a prayer mobilization plan is researched, drafted, and presented to the Prayer School. The written plan becomes a blueprint for personal growth in prayer and the development of a prayer ministry in the local church. Prayer School Type I is entitled Face To Face With God – Developing A Strong Prayer Life For You, and A Powerful Prayer Ministry In Your Church.
During February 1999, Prayer School Type II was started. It is entitled The Burning Bush Encounter – Personal, Family, Church and Community Renewal and Revival Through Prayer. The primary focus of this Prayer School is renewal and revival to individual believers, families, congregations, and the global community through prayer.
In February of 2001, Prayer School Type III was launched. The new Prayer School was entitled Heart To Heart With God – Waiting on the Lord, Recognizing His Voice and Obediently Doing What He Says. Both Prayer Schools II and III are eight days.
On July 7, 2003, Prayer School Type IV, Families in Prayer: Praying Together ~ Staying Together, was launched at Grace Lutheran Church in Huntington Beach, California. This Prayer School is five days in length.
Prayer School Type V, Wholeness in Christ, was offered the first time at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Sandy, Utah during the week of October 18, 2004. This important PWI Prayer School is six days long. It provides Biblical teaching on healing and deliverance ministry.
On March 19, 2007 the World Premier of Prayer School Type VI, Strategic Level Intercession and Warfare Prayer, was launched at the Rittergut Schloss near Schilbach, Germany to an international audience. As the title indicates, this Prayer School is targeting persons of significant experience in intercession and warfare prayer.
Like Prayer School Type VII, the World Premier of Prayer School Type VII, Jesus Is Coming Back, took place at the Rittergut Schloss near Schilbach in Southern Germany starting on October 27, 2008. Both Prayer Schools Type VI and VII are five days in length.
On September 26, 2006, PWI launched the Weekly Prayer School Program (WPS) at Community Church of Joy, Glendale, Arizona. Instead of offering the Standard Prayer School (SPS) Program, which was offered in a continuous setting over 5 to 15 days depending on the Prayer School, it was now offered over a longer period of time such as 3 to 4 months (Fall, Winter or Spring Seminars), but taught only once a week for three hours.
Thus far, through the year 2012, PWI has conducted 46 domestic Standard Prayer Schools, 33 international Standard Prayer Schools, 22 domestic Weekly Prayer Schools and one international Weekly Prayer School for a grand total of 102 Prayer Schools in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.