Prayer Matters

Submitted by Evermore on Mon, 04/01/2019 - 9:00am
Prayer Matters

I recently was listening to a podcast as I was putting in time on the treadmill. They brought up the topic of church planting. The top church planter in this church planting movement planted 500 churches in a year compared to 50 at the low end.  They brought in an outside consultant to interview the top 100 church planters to see what they had in common. The planters were from different countries, with different personalities. They found only one thing in common. On average, the top planters prayed an average of 2-3 hours per day. They fasted one day a week and they fasted 1 weekend per month. That was the only thing they had in common.[1]

Why don’t I pray like that and what would happen if I did? What would happen if we at Evermore devoted ourselves to dynamic corporate prayer? We should not confuse routine prayer for the prayer described in the story above. So, why don’t we pray?

Many of us are fixers by nature so we don’t always immediately go to prayer. We do our best and then go to God when we run out of resources. As weird as it sounds, maybe we don’t know how to pray or we have been satisfied with the ritual of prayer and not focused on our relationship with the living God. Could it be that we don’t really believe in the power of prayer? Are you surprised when you get an answer to prayer? It’s often in times of brokenness and desperation that we devote ourselves to prayer and then we see the strength of God in our lives. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says my power is made perfect in weakness.

Luke 5:16 says Jesus would withdraw to desolate places and pray. If Jesus thought it was important to pray, it’s probably good for us as well. How do we develop a meaningful prayer life with God? A great place to begin is writing down your prayers each day for a month. Use the acronym ACTS to get started. In your prayer time, spend time Adoring God for who He is, then Confessing and repenting from sin that may be hindering your walk with God. Next move to a time of Thanksgiving, thanking God for all you see Him doing, and finally, Supplication, letting God know what burdens your heart – asking for His will to be done in the situation.

We as a church, depend on your dynamic, fervent prayers. Those prayers have great effect on God’s kingdom in this community and throughout. As leaders, when we accomplish things, it’s not by our power, but by God’s. Sermon prep and services must be bathed in prayer to accomplish anything for God’s kingdom.

Below are 10 Days of Simple and Strategic Prayer for Your Church by Chuck Lawless. During this season of lent, I encourage you to consider taking some time and praying for these needs.

Day 1 – Pray for your church staff and leaders. Pray that all will be holy, passionate, and evangelistic. Pray for their families.

Day 2 – Pray for your church’s small group leaders & Sunday School teachers Ask God to give them a caring heart, a teaching ability, and a prayerful spirit.

Day 3 – Pray for the children in your church. Pray your church will give them such grounding in the gospel they will always think about Christian faithfulness when confronted with the world’s options. Ask God to raise up a next generation of missionaries from your children.

Day 4 – Pray for the students in your church. Including for those whose parents do not attend. Then, pray the students will be vibrant witnesses in their schools. Ask the Lord to give them strength in temptation.

Day 5 – Pray for the couples in your church. Lift them up by name, and pray for their marriages. Pray that each husband will love his wife as Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:25). Intercede especially for those couples you know are struggling.

Day 6 – Pray Ephesians 6:18-20 and Colossians 4:2-4 for ten leaders in your church. Ask God to give them boldness in sharing, clarity in message, and others ready to hear.

Day 7 – Pray for new believers in your church. Ask the Lord to raise up disciples for them.

Day 8 – Pray for your church to be a Great Commission-minded church. Prayerfully consider committing to pray for an unreached people group around the world. If your congregation is already going to the nations, pray for more members to go.

Day 9 – Pray for more laborers in your church (Matt. 9:35-38). Jesus told us to pray that way, so be obedient to His command.

Day 10 – Pray for your church’s next Sunday service. Ask God to make Himself known in such a powerful way in response to your prayers that your members recognize a difference.[2]

Prayer matters, and God’s people must be a praying people.

-Butch Nisly

[1] Living on the Edge, Chip Ingram
[2] Thom Rainer