‘Why Pray?’ is the first of the three parts (Pray, Engage, Gather) of the entire initiative.
Because Prayer moves the Hand that moves the world. Because Prayer is the track that the Grace of God runs on.
There are many good reasons to remind us of the importance of prayer in the Kingdom of God. Indeed, it is a kingdom lifestyle.
Specifically, in the whole Celebration of Hope, prayer is our first recourse with God. We recognise the importance of relying on God to see His kingdom come and His will be done. Salvation only comes with the convicting work of God through the Holy Spirit (John 16:8).
As such, we seek to impart to all the participants the skills and knowledge needed to effectively engage God in prayer. In this regard, it is the need to pray with scripture concerning our pre-believing friends. This is claiming God’s promises over their lives.
Many of us have loved ones, relatives or friends who are not ready to come to faith because they hold on to certain beliefs or misconceptions of the faith. Some might have negative experiences with Christians and these offences have stood as barriers to faith. Others might have promised to observe rituals for their departed loved ones, so they do not see how they could receive Jesus as their Saviour.
This segment contains sample prayers regarding the barriers to faith. They are by no means comprehensive. You may vary the prayers to suit the situation as it relates to the persons you are praying for.
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. – James 4:7
We look forward to the day when our loved ones will cross over the barriers to profess faith in Christ. Until then, let’s press on with praying and sowing till breakthroughs happen – for His glory!
Prayer must start with us.
And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest. -Luke 10:2
The first call from Jesus, concerning the harvest field, is to pray. And to pray specifically for the harvest force.
In other words, we need to start to pray for ourselves before we pray for the harvest field.
One way to effectively pray for ourselves is to set up Prayer Altars.
In the Old Testament, altars are a place of making sacrifices and intercession. It is the same with prayer altars today where we come before Him with sacrifices of praise and worship.
The main difference between a prayer altar and a prayer meeting is the focus and the agenda. In the same way that Jesus taught the disciples how to pray by hallowing His Father’s name and desiring for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, this is what directs a prayer altar.
While prayer meetings are usually focused on our needs and problems, the focus of the prayer altar is to encounter God, to understand Him and to draw in His Presence. The agenda is set by God. We ask Him what His will is rather than asserting our plans and needs.
Ultimately as we align ourselves to His person, will and ways, He will change the spiritual atmosphere that can then bring about restoration and redemption over our lives, homes, workplaces and land.
“It’s not a place – it’s where you commune with God. Whatever form it takes – it’s between you and God…….The personal altar for me is the place where I must touch God before I can touch the people. Jesus gave us the pattern. He fellowshipped with the Father – loved the Father – then He loved those around Him….” – Suzette Hattingh
Humility (Psalm 34:18, 2 Chronicles 7:1)
The Word of God (John 1:14)
Praise and worship (Psalm 22:3)
Repentance and holiness (James 4:8; Hebrews 12:14)
Hungry, seeking prayer (Jeremiah 29:13)
Perseverance (Psalm 105:4, 1 Chron 16:11)
Unity (Acts 2:1)
1. Set aside a time and place
2. Read the Word; let the Word dwell in you to transform your heart and renew your mind. Ask “what did I learn about God’s character that I can praise and worship Him more?”
3. Worship and extol the attributes of God based on what He has laid upon
4. Personal repentance and consecration. Repent of whatever that the Lord has revealed to you through the reading of His Word, and surrender yourself. Ask “what did I learn about myself that I need to repent of?”
5. Pray in the Spirit and let Him direct you as to how to pray, who to intercede for, what to ask and what His will is.
6. Declare God’s promises over those whom you are interceding for.
From praying for ourselves, the harvest force, to praying for the harvest field. Specifically, we need to pray against the deceptions that are operative in the lives of our oikos.
1. Know and understand their barriers-objections in coming to the Lord. These are ungodly beliefs (UGBs).
2. Know the truth in the Word of God so as to claim the promises of God. We need to go back to Scripture to counter the claims of these barriers- objections.
3. Pray as a Priest
Role of a Priest = bringing the Needs of man to God
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbe- lieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. -2 Corinthians 4:3-4
The necessity to bring their needs to God on their behalf.
4. As a King, rebuke the specific lies & the deceiving demonic spirits.
Role of a King = exercising the Faith and Authority in the Word
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. -Ephesians 6:12
The necessity to come against power & principalities, etc, on their behalf.
Lord, we pray for ________ that the light of Your truth will shine into his heart. We ask of You to dismantle the lies that (state the UGBs).
Lord, will You open the eyes of ________ to see and know the (the Truths countering the UGBs).
We ask of You Holy Spirit to lead ________ to know the Truth and be set free from these lies and to come to the saving grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Jesus’ name, we demolish the argument lodged in ________ life, that (state the UGBs).
In Jesus’ name, we come against the lying and deceptive spirits operating in _________’s life.
In Jesus’ name, we tear down these demonic strongholds in _______ life and speak the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to shine in ______’s heart and mind to come to the saving grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!
We pray this in Jesus’ mighty Name, Amen.
More Strategic Prayers can be found in the Andrew Initiative Book.