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Posts Tagged ‘Prayer’

Practical Strategies for Praying for Evangelism

 

Before each activity, meeting, or event at your church or potential church, pray! Prayer is the platform that plans begin on, end on, and rest on. There should never be anything that goes on at a church that does not have prayer at its central core! Remember confidentiality! Prayer requests are not ammunition for gossip! If your church is not a church of prayer, your church is not in God’s will, nor is it focused on Christ! Your church is a mere club for the prideful (Habakkuk. 2:5, 9; Romans 16:17; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:1-4).

 

1. Begin each meeting in prayer, and spend at least four-fifths to one-third or more of that meeting in prayer! You say you do not have the time? Well, most meetings are taken up by poor preparation, not following the agenda, and trivial discussions that go in circles. Have the agenda given out a day before and require all to read it before the meeting. Then, by putting the focus on prayer, meetings actually go faster because people are in one mind and direction! (Well, mostly.)

2. Spend significant time in prayer between meeting sessions about the decisions that need to be made. Do not just fret over them. This will move the focus away from our perceived agenda and into His agenda. We then can surrender selfish ambitions to what is best for His church.

 

3. Have a specific core of people pray before each worship service and event at the church. So, if the Junior High group is having a “lock in,” have a small group come before it starts and just pray. Before the event, for safety, get specific requests from the leaders of the event. Have teams pray before and during ministry programs, such as ones for children and youth. While the youth meeting is going on, have a prayer team in another room praying. Do this for all ministries and activities of the church. ….

 

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Praying for Evangelism

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir

 

Understand the Importance of Prayer for Evangelism!

Matthew 9:35-38; John 14:12-14; Colossians 4:2-6;

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: `Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation (Luke 11:1-4, NIV).

 

Real Prayer is Saturation Prayer

This passage is not a prayer, but rather a model for us to follow of how to pray. The closer we follow this passage, the closer we come to our Lord. The closer we come to attaining the fullness of our spiritual potential, the better we pray. As members of the body of Christ, it is our responsibility to be always teaching one another how to pray; the best teacher is the one who models it in his or her life. We are to model this in all of our activities and pursuits in the church! We are to be specific, simple, and follow the above aspects, so that our prayers are relevant and not too general or crude. We must be honest and open with our Lord and our will is opened because of what He has done for us, who He is, what we wish to do, and who we are to Him; then, we can share our burdens and intimacy.

 

Prayer is pivotal and essential. Nothing of value can accrue in you or though you without prayer! The above Scriptures testify to us that we need to be praying for workers, for ourselves, for opportunities, and for those who do not know Him!

Prayer is our key to Gods door. It is our foundation to the exercising of and growth in the faith, and essential in our witnessing. It is the work of Christ through the work of the Spirit that saves. Prayer lines us up to His will and grows us in maturity and understanding. It is the power behind, in the mist of, and in front of the faith (Ezek. 36:24-32; John 3:5; 30; 20:21-23). To be effective in your growth in Christ, you have to be a person who prays—and prays regularly. To witness, you must be praying for that person’s soul and conversion. Pray as specifically as you can, and as often as you can. It may take a few minutes; it may take many years. Whatever the cost and time, prayer is the foundation to any work of evangelism. Without effective prayer, you cannot be effective in your evangelism—period! Do not even try it without prayer! Sharing your faith without praying for the person is like training a pig to fly; all you will do is waste your time and annoy the pig! All you will accomplish in trying to do evangelism without prayer is stay away from God, waste your time, and annoy the person!

 

· Know this important point: No amount of corporate prayer will make up for a lack of personal prayer! That is, you can and should pray as a group, but because you pray as a group does not mean you can cut back on your personal prayer time! Your personal prayer time is the key to your growth in Christ.

 

· There is no better use of your personal and ministry time than prayer!

· There is a phrase that says, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” Sometimes, the people we are close to have hurt us; perhaps we just do not trust them, perhaps we fear their response, or perhaps we just do not care. We have to have a heart for someone before we can be an effective witness. Continue in your character development and spiritual growth, be consistent, and allow your changed life to show without words—even when others do not respond well to you! Start to pray for them! Then, when you have a heart for them, start to be in prayer; pray more, and then use your words to witness. Do not witness to people you have contempt for, as your attitude will show; all you will do is give the Lord a bad reputation and make it harder for the next person.

 

· It is essential that all those on staff and leadership of your church be people of continual prayer! If they are not persons of prayer, then they should not be in leadership (Col. 4:2-6; 1 Tim. 2:8)!

 

· When I went though the training at the Billy Graham School of Evangelism and “Crusade Training,” the point was made that over 90% of the people who come to a Crusade, and 95+% of those who go onto the field and pray to accept Jesus, have been regularly prayed for by others—for a significant period of time!

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GOD REVEALS HIMSELF TO THOSE WHO SEEK
Another motivation, Brooks writes, is that “you are the only persons in all the world that God has made choice of to reveal his secrets to.” Disciples of Christ are those to whom, in John 15:15, Christ promises to reveal the things of the Father.


He continues,

[Christ] cannot but open and unburden his heart to all his dearest friends. To be reserved and close is against the very law of friendship. Faithful friends are free in imparting their thoughts, their minds, their secrets, one to another.

… Though the devil be the greatest scholar in the world, and though he has more learning than all the men in the world have, yet there are many thousands of secrets and mysteries in the gospel of grace, that he doesn’t know…

Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23)

So we come to this– we have an offer from the Almighty to come and abide with us, to hear our cries and our longings, and to not only show compassion but also to act… it is then up to us to respond to that, not as a rebellious son who runs from His Father’s offer of abundance and relationship… but as loving children who run into the arms of the Father and abide *with* Him.

Private prayer offers us the opportunity to do that very thing… and I’m sharing here that I want this, but I am not a a faithful practictioner of it. I long to be, and yet I fall short. And I don’t really know what else to write except that I am pressing on, striving, and trust that He will continue drawing me to Himself and teaching me more in this area. And I hope that this somehow encourages you to draw near to the Father as well. View article…

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Why Pray for Others?

Abraham in Genesis pleaded with God for his nephew Lot who was living in the sinful city of Sodom (Ge 18:16-33). David said in Psalm 122:6-9: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.’ For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’ For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your prosperity.”

St. Paul’s intercessary prayer is recorded in Colossians 1:9-14: “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

From University Bible Fellowship of Shippensburg

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The Prayer Meeting

 

“I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” 1Tim. 2:8 “So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary… where many were gathered together praying.” Acts 12:12

 

Prayer has been on the increase in many parts of the world… and that is a very good sign. Prayer meetings are springing up everywhere. The saints, including many leaders are crossing denominational boundaries to meet together for intercession and worship! As you know, throughout Church history, God has stirred extraordinary prayer before He did something of significance. Be attentive, God is about to do something.

 

Because we want to flow with God’s Spirit as He leads us into prayer, it would seem wise to maximize the effectiveness of our corporate efforts (Prayer leader please take note). Whenever possible intermingle worship with prayer. This will most definitely enhance your prayer time. Also consider singing some of the prayers. You will be surprised how this adds life to the meeting.

 

For the sake of improvement it may be helpful to mention some common practices that occur during a prayer gathering:

  • The one who is praying dominates the time with longwinded prayers. Prayers must be Spirit-led; and of course, you are to flow with the Spirit for as long (or as short) as He gives utterance. But do not drone on in the power of the flesh.
  • Announcements are made within the prayer. Let’s say that Joe broke his arm. The prayer will usually go something like this: “Dear Lord, you know that Brother Joe broke his arm this past Tuesday and was taken to Mercy Hospital – Room 511…etc.” Wouldn’t it be better to stop the prayer and explain the situation and then pray for Joe’s healing? Surely God knows all of the details; you do not need to remind Him. Also, be sure that your prayer is not gossip!
  • Horizontal, instead of vertical “prayers How many times have you heard a short sermon included in the prayer? In fact, it is seldom directed toward the throne of grace, but rather to the attendees, to teach or exhort. Don’t fool yourself, beloved; this is not prayer.
  • There is a lack of focus upon the One who hears our prayers. When you pray aloud are you wondering how others perceive your petition? (Is it doctrinally correct; does it sound spiritual enough?) Or, are you fixed upon the Lord… thinking of Him and speaking directly to Him?
  • The flow of the Spirit is cut short by a well-meaning pray-er who changes the subject of prayer before the entire objective has been met. For instance: the current topic is spiritual revival in your city. A few people have already prayed for certain aspects of this multifaceted issue and the Holy Spirit intends for there to be several more prayers offered regarding this subject… but then someone begins to pray for those suffering with AIDS. Surely this is a noble prayer, but the timing is off. Allow there to be a “dead spot” before changing topics, so the fullness of God’s purposes can be accomplished.
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Ride the wave of the Holy Spirit for as long as He leads. You may enjoy intense prayer for a half-hour, sometimes for several hours. You will know when the session is over – the steady stream of intercession simply dries up. Here is a rule of thumb: If you have to think about what to pray next, it is usually time to take a break or to end the meeting. Dear disciple, don’t become legalistic about these things, but let’s ask God to help us pray most effectively.

Peter Whitehouse

 

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Why Should We Pay in Groups?

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (Mt 18:19-20)

From University Bible Fellowship of Shippensburg

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Q. Why Pray “in Jesus’ Name”?

A. I pray that way because that’s how Jesus commands me to pray. Listen to His words in the Gospel of John. “And I will do whatever you ask for in my name.” (14:13) “If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it.” (14:14) “The Father will give you whatever you ask of Him in my name.” (15:16) And that exact same promise is repeated in 16:23. And finally, “until now you have not asked for anything in my name; ask and you will receive.” (16:24) Please understand, the name of Jesus is not a secret code that works some kind of magical spell when it is invoked like “abracadabra”. It isn’t a tool with which to manipulate God. To pray in the name of Jesus means to pray “by the authority of,” “in harmony with,” or “sanctioned by,” Jesus Christ. He has given us the right to pray in His name because we are His representatives, and we ask as His representatives because we are about His business. But, it’s not just praying in His name, it’s also living in His name. Paul instructs us, “Everything you do or say, then, should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Colossians 3:17) Yes, the name of Jesus is special. “God raised Him to the highest place above and gave Him the name that is greater than any other name. And so, in honor of the name of Jesus all beings in heaven, on earth, and in the world below will fall on their knees, and all will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord.” (Philippians 2:9-11)

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Question Answered by Pastor Brande at Prayer Leader Network Blog

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