“The Book of Acts is filled with prayer meetings; every forward thrust the first church made was immersed in prayer. Take another look at the church at Pentecost. They prayed ten days and preached ten minutes and three thousand people were saved.”
Where do we start – let’s see if we can avoid looking at what we see – the threats from the enemy – and if possible, let’s focus on what we cannot see – the absolute sovereignty of our God. If there is victory of any kind that comes from prayer – this is where it will begin – with the recognition that God is God, Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, Sovereign Lord and yes, in some incredible miracle of relationships, our Heavenly Father.
It would seem that this is where we find the rhythm to the life of Jesus. We find Him withdrawn and alone, meditating, and then we see Him engaged with people, ministering to them. This common pattern in His life may be what we are looking for today – our public life supported by our private life that we spend with our Father.
When I think of all the prayer meetings that were called in my time – most were not successful – a few were. Most of them did not work because we seemed to always find a way to stop praying – moved to praise and worship and then someone had to share the Word (preach). We are tempted so many times to quit on prayer, especially when it comes to equipping us for the task God has called us towards.
If prayer was such a conspicuous part of Jesus’ life and if He found Himself in a position where He could only say and do what He heard and saw the Father saying and doing – then prayer for Jesus must have been a lot of time listening, watching and waiting. Most amazing thing is that He did. Imagine 40 days and nights in the desert preparing for ministry, preparing for the task God had prepared for Him. Prayer is the one secret Jesus passed on to us all.
What can be said about discovering the incredible power of intercessory prayer? More importantly, what can be said when we hear that anyone can pray with purpose and power? Can we pray more effectively? Are we saying that we do not need to be incredible mature followers of Christ in order to pray and get answers from God? Is our position in prayer more important than our petition? We may not be so strong a Christian that we think we should be, so is there a secret weapon that God gives us for those who want to start praying? Why would we want to start praying, why are all these questions leading to one simple statement that we already know but are fighting from saying it and hearing it? Prayer does change things and believe it or not – it changes us! Will we be prepared for the radical difference and the incredible adventure that prayer will have in our lives. How God answers these prayers will be one of the most exciting things to experience and hopefully to share.
What went through your mind as you finished the last paragraph above? Have you been praying for a long time and things have not been getting better. Worse – have you been praying and things are not even moving 2 steps back and 1 step forward – all 3 steps are moving backward? If prayer is the one secret the Jesus passed on to us all – then waiting is the one secret the Father has shared with us. God always answers prayer – His way and His time – both done perfectly end up giving Him optimal glory. Never stop praying, no matter what your eyes are telling you.
Many will want to label this kind of prayer as intercession – that’s okay – as long as someone does not shout out that God did not call them to pray as a result. Most Christians know that prayer is a priority but do not want to give the gift of time to it. So why is that? Busy lives, distractions, lost our focus, lack discipline and vision could all be part of that – we have heard of many more reasons. Have you ever heard a child pray from a persecuted people group? Trust me, an 8-year-old can put all us adults to shame as to the principles of prayer. Can we as leaders set the pace in leading our new believers and even our children to a place of praying?
Yes, expect revival. There is a bit of emotionalism in revival but where it all matters at the end is the depth of that revival. Ronald Dunn said,
“God never does His deepest work in the shallowest part of our being.”
The outcome of revival from prayer is deep work – mostly because it has to do with a change in our will. Our will gets bent – one reason not mentioned above as to why people do not engage in prayer. Would you want your will not bent, but broken, to have such a relationship with God? You would if you were desperate for Him. Does the idea of revival scare you? With so many counterfeit revivals in our day, are you afraid that you may not be able to discern between the two? Let’s not make that another reason not to pray.
P.U.S.H. – Pray Until Something Happens – remember this call to prayer? Some of us used the bracelets to help us remember to pray. We wore the bracelets because we believed that as followers of Christ, we exemplified His power in our lives by releasing it through our personal, persistent practice of prayer.
Erwin van Laar – Director of Donor Advancement