Last week we looked at what happens when the church prays together. This week, we continue with the question “Why do we pray together?”
There are many reasons why we pray together, as there are many types of prayer (confession, praise etc.). But let’s look specifically at why does the church unite in strategic, petitionary prayer on behalf of those who do not know Him?
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
We are not waging war according to the flesh. We can talk about the unreached and unengaged, we can learn about the unreached and the unengaged, we can even go to the unreached and the unengaged, but what we must do first and what we must do most often is pray for the unreached and unengaged.
Prayer Focus #1: Prayer is Rebelling Against the Status Quo
- David Wells says it this way; “What, then, is the nature of petitionary prayer? In essence, it is rebellion – rebellion against the status quo, the state of the world in its sin and fallenness.”
- Pray that God would well up in us an absolute refusal to accept the status quo. Pray that His Spirit would set us afire with an increased sense of urgency to cry out on behalf of those who do not yet have access to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Pray that we would not resign to the idea that “life is simply as it is.” Pray that His followers would reject the notion (subconscious as it may be) that God is powerless against the evil we see in this world. Pray that God would expose His power to us through His Scriptures and that we would believe that He is who He says He is.
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Prayer Focus #2: Prayer is a Significant Part of Putting on God’s Armor
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:12
- Pray that God opens our eyes to the truth that we are, indeed, in a spiritual battle and that He would reassure us that He has given us everything we need to enter into that battle with Him (Ephesians 6:10-20).
Prayer Focus #3: Prayer Acknowledges Our Dependence on Him
- God’s power in our ministries (whether personal ministry to a friend at work or leading a ministry across the globe) is released through prayer. He does not need us, but He allows us to be a part of what He is doing. Prayer keeps us mindful that we have no power of our own. Pray that we fully comprehend this truth and realize that we must remain connected to the Lord through prayer.
5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. – John 15:5
- Prayer opens doors to God’s strategies. We desperately need His wisdom, discernment and direction.
For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. – 2 Chronicles 20:12b
Pray Focus # 4: Prayer Joins the Body of Christ Together in the Task
30 I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, – Romans 15:30
- Pray that God would join us together, as a church body, to those on the front lines.
- Ask God to stir in us a compelling desire to faithfully pray for those that He has sent and for those that He is preparing to send into the nations for the sake of His glory.
- Pray that God would begin a sending movement from Lifepoint.