Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category


Jesus rebukes His disciples for their unbelief

Mark 16:14-18 Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

The disciples were reclining. They were at ease in their unbelief. They were more concerned about their bellies than they were their hard hearts. Jesus rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart. They had refused to believe the report that Jesus was risen and alive!

The disciples were allowing a fleshly thing to cloud a spiritual reality. Their focus on what was in the past hardened their heart to what was true in the now! This is true of Christians today. We feed our hearts on what God has not done or failed to do. Whenever we dwell on what has not happened, we foster the atmosphere for the spirit of offense and bitterness to arise and then thrive. When we dwell on what has not happened, we legitimize unbelief. We even excuse unbelief as normal. So we promote a sense of justification for not believing God.

Jesus rebuked that attitude in His disciples. He rebukes that attitude now! That attitude and thinking has to die! Christians are at ease in their unbelief. They are reclining at the table of fleshly attitudes and thinking. While we feed our bellies, the world is crying out for spiritual truth that will change their lives. While we are content in our unbelief our neighbors are crying out for something worth believing in.

Too often the Church focuses on keeping people from “sin” instead of taking people into their destiny with the power of the risen Christ. Churches that provide excuses for falling short of and not believing the power of Christ are merely promoters of “religion,” for God’s Word says religion is “form without power!” (2 Tim 3:5)

The area of our greatest unbelief is in our prayers. So much of the content of our praying is for things we already possess in Christ, but fail to believe. So we labor to ask God for things we already have. We expose our unbelief through our boring prayers. We fail to ask God for things we do not possess because we fail to believe what God has given us. No wonder prayer is laborious and cursory to most Christians. No wonder there is a prevailing attitude that their prayers never reach the ceiling! Our prayers are often exercises in unbelief!

Churches are to be houses of prayer. The God purpose of prayer is to produce JOY in the experience of the believer.

John 16:24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Prayer is not to twist God’s arm, or to make us seem more spiritual. Prayer is to encourage our belief in the reality of Jesus. Jesus wants prayer to take us into fullness of JOY! JOY is the currency of Heaven! God reserves JOY as the reward for the suffering. Christ endured the cross for the JOY that was set before Him. The reality of Christ will deposit the currency of heaven in our lives. JOY is the currency of Heaven! JOY is the result of prayer! Jesus says to all faithful servants who live with His power in their lives, “Well done…enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:23)

God wants us to feast on belief in the power of the Name of Jesus. Prayer is designed to be a breakthrough into His heavenly JOY! Prayer is the expenditure of belief in return for the heavenly currency. If we pray only for that which we already possess, we will never experience the breakthrough of JOY. We will never discover the riches of God’s heavenly currency!

Never allow our prayers to contradict what God has already promised. Our unbelief closes heaven’s resources to us. Closed heavens are between our ears. Failure to know JOY is between our ears! We limit our God because our unbelief does not want to take hold of His power and JOY, even when He is standing in front of us with outstretched arms!

This is why Paul prayed so fervently for us:

Ephesians 1:18-19 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might…

Paul saw Jesus, saw His power, and saw that power in His life. Paul experienced JOY even in prison, even in the stockades, even holding flotsam in the middle of the ocean. Paul’s eyes were opened and his heart was on fire for the realities of Jesus Christ! He could see the greatness of the power within Him, the same power that raised Jesus from the grave.  Paul never reclined in unbelief after that vision.

Our Vision should FIRE our Heart!

Christians have no excuse for not seeing the same vision. The vision is there for all to see. If we fail to believe, the hardness of our heart is exposed.

When Jesus was baptized, Matthew writes, “immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him” (Matthew 3:16). The picture is of the heavens being divided, rolled back, suddenly exposing the power of the heavenlies, and allowing the Holy Spirit to descend upon Jesus. Stephen saw the heavens rolled back and gazed upon the Glory of God and His Son. The truth is that the heavens have been opened to all Christians! The Holy Spirit has been given to all Christians. The Glory of God is for all Christians. We have the Holy Spirit living within us, a gift from our Savior!

Our Father is jealous for us to know the power of the Holy Spirit within us. He earnestly desires us to belief and experience His JOY!

James 4:5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?

We live under an open heaven. The heavens are rolled back revealing the Power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit lives in every believer, but his POWER is not upon every believer. Luke 4:1 says that Jesus left the Jordan River full of the Holy Spirit. But he did not have the POWER of the Holy Spirit until He believed the Word of God in His confrontation with Satan in the wilderness.

Are You Aware of the Power within You?

The Holy Spirit is in us eternally, but His POWER is not opened to us unless we believe. When we allow the wilderness of this world to influence our believing, we fail to see the power of the Spirit. We fail to influence the wilderness around us. We fail to alter the environment around us. Men who believed in the POWER of Christ influenced the environment into which they were placed. Stephen had a profound effect upon those angry men. Paul had an astounding effect upon prisoners, towns people, and even hardened Roman Soldiers.

Christians must learn how to “host” the presence of God such that He is always before us, influencing the environment of every place we step into. What we are conscious of, we are positioned to manifest. What we are aware of, we are able to release. If we are not conscious and aware of the POWER of God within us, we will never be able to influence those around us. The Gospel is not a ministry of words. The Gospel is the ministry of Power because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  The Gospel is the ministry of releasing the presence of the Holy Spirit in the whole earth. We will never release that which we are unaware of.

A woman who had struggled for years with an issue of blood made a “demand” upon Christ. In desperation she reached out among the throng to touch the “hem of His garment.” She made a demand for her life. In spite of all the people pressing around Him, Christ was so aware of the Spirit’s presence that He instantly knew when a demand was made to which the Spirit responded. If we are not intensely aware of the Holy Spirit within our lives, we will have nothing to offer those around us who are desperately seeking power for their lives. They are overwhelmed, they are needy, and we have no life-giving power to offer them.

A demand was made upon Peter. Peter confessed he had no silver or gold, but Peter was intensely aware of what he did possess. Peter had life in Christ, and He was willing to share that POWER with the beggar at the gate. Peter said “what I do have I will give you.”

Write a HUGE Check with Heavenly Currency!

Peter knew a heavenly currency that the world knows nothing about. Peter wrote a HUGE check because he knew what he possessed (Acts 3:6). Most Christians can only write tiny checks because our unbelief has obscured what we possess.

We live with such ignorance of what we possess. We possess the very “Kingdom of God.” The one who freed us from our sins, at the same time made us a Kingdom, Priests to His God and Father (Rev 1:6). Jesus said “the words that I speak to you are spirit and life.” (John 6:63)

John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

Jesus, being the very logos (word), spoke the Spirit and Life where ever He journeyed. When Christ spoke, His words became the Spirit and brought LIFE to those who believed. When we believe in the Words of Christ, and speak them into the world, we impart the Spirit to our environment, and we impart LIFE to those who believe.

We are Kingdom builders through the POWER that is in us. This Kingdom is not in food or drink, but is righteousness, peace and JOY in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

When we are aware of the power that lies within us, and we exercise that power in faith, we are building the Kingdom by bringing people to the LIFE in Christ. We are dispensing the heavenly currency of JOY to those around us.

When you are handing out money, people stop and demand some. When you are handing out JOY, joy that this world is so hungry for, people will stop and demand it. The communities around the disciples took note of what they were handing out. They took note of where they went. They even brought the sick and lame into the streets to catch the shadow of Peter and be healed (Acts 5:15). Note: Your Shadow will always release what overshadows you! Peter was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit!

An unbelieving, defeated group of Christians will never see life brought to the dead in sin. They will never see miracles of God. Unbelief and defeat produces inward focused Christians, prone to depression and discouragement. When we turn inward we become a dead sea. An inward focused Christian is a dead Christian. An inward Christian is self-absorbed and self-centered. We need to be pre-occupied with who Christ is! With what Christ can do! We need to constantly release Him into every circumstance we encounter. We release His POWER by faith!

Don’t allow disappointments to obscure Revelation

So much of “Christianity” is based upon disappointment rather than revelation. We fail to see the Glory of God or the Power of His Son. Stephen saw the revelation in the midst of a downpour of stones. Paul saw the revelation in the midst of a hateful heart. John saw the revelation in the midst of loneliness and exile. The Revelation of Christ changes our environment. It changes our heart! Rather than being disappointed in what God fails to do for us, we need to focus on all that God has done for us!

Jesus said that if you see Him, you have seen the Father. So Jesus is the revelation of the nature and power of God. Jesus said that “all power” had been given to him in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). His power is the basis of us going into the world. If we do not know His power by revelation, then we will be powerless if we go into the world. We will be overcome by the world!

Christ is in us as a River
Let Him Flow!

Powerlessness is inexcusable and unacceptable. The Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is in you and he wants out. He is not in us as a lake, or a ‘dead sea’, but rather as a river. Rivers flow from. The nature and power of God becomes ours as a believer. We have to believe in our own conversion! We have to believe in the POWER that was given to Jesus and was given to us!

As Paul prayed, the Lord is releasing a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that we can actually rise to who He says we are! We cannot afford to rest in unbelief, nor can we afford to think thought that God never thinks about us. We must learn to meditate on the things the Holy Spirit can say “AMEN!” to.

Paul wrote that in order to serve God acceptably, our minds (that thing between our ears) must be renewed so that our lives are transformed. Our minds must come under the influence of the Holy Spirit. We must learn divine perspective in order to live the divine life.

This renewing of our mind can only come from a divine encounter with the POWER of God. We must see the revelation of Christ as the POWER in our life. Any creed or teaching that does not take us to the person of Jesus in a divine encounter will only make us more “religious.” It will only equip us to argue, not bring life into our environment.

When our beliefs line up with the POWER of Christ in us, we can take the Gospel into our communities without limits, without baggage that weighs it down and renders it powerless. We must have the experience of the Gospel that changes our lives, changes our thinking and makes us intensely aware of the divine POWER within us. Only then can we dispense the currency of heaven to those joyless souls around us.

(Inspired by Bill Johnson of Bethel Church)

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Sure is hot and dry in the Midwest. When we take prayer requests, I hear “Pray for rain!” I know people who are selling their cows because the grass is gone and they can’t afford to start feeding them hay already. We are hearing about spikes in food prices, and a banker friend told me some farmers are close to losing their farms. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear more calls to “Pray for Rain” even from government officials.

Is God only in the Rain Making Business?

Why is it that when folks are spared from a tornado they always say how lucky they were? Or when they escape serious harm through a minor miracle they ‘bless their lucky stars?’ But whenever drought happens and people start to suffer financially we get serious and Pray to God for rain. Why? Is God only in the rain making business?

When the economy turns sour, and markets reel, we look to the Government. When we lose our job or become disabled we look to the Government. When drought comes and there is nothing to be done, we realize Government does not control the rain, so we go to the one who does God.

Seems the only time we come to God is when we really need something that only He controls. Do you think He appreciates this? NO! God does not! In fact He warns of the idiocy of this attitude in Proverbs.

Proverbs 1:24-31 Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you, when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices.

God is No Errand Boy!

God isn’t our errand boy. He doesn’t sit around waiting for us to call when we are in trouble. He is the Creator of this Universe, the Creator of all mankind. He is constantly calling out to us through His Word and the testimony of His Son. God is worthy of our reverence and devotion, yet we ignore His counsel, and laugh at His reproof. We refuse to reverence Him as God.

God warns that sometimes, no matter how much we cry out, no matter how severe the calamity, no matter how hard we seek, He will not answer. Sometimes we will simply have to eat the fruit of our way. We may have to endure the fill of our own idiocy.

Instead of praying for rain, perhaps we should humble ourselves before God and admit we have ignored Him, we have ignored His Word. We have taken His Son for granted. What America needs is to confess our pride and self-reliance, and return to “in God We Trust.” Not just for rain, but for everything-our life, our government, our education and our finances. We need to be a Nation UNDER God once again.

If we fail to return to our need for God in every aspect of our lives, we may see more and more ‘calamities’ upon our land.

He did it to His own people when they failed to obey Him.

Amos 4:6-7 “I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and lack of bread in all your places, yet you did not return to me,” declares the LORD. “I also withheld the rain from you when there were yet three months to the harvest; I would send rain on one city, and send no rain on another city; one field would have rain, and the field on which it did not rain would wither;

God does use drought to express His indignation at our behavior.

Ezekiel 22:24 “Son of man, say to her, You are a land that is not cleansed or rained upon in the day of indignation.

The mercies of our Lord are ever-present, but we must desire a proper relationship with Him. That relationship is through His Son, Jesus Christ. Pray for Jesus Christ to be in your life and Lord of your life. In Jesus Christ there is always showers of Blessing! (regardless of circumstances)

Ezekiel 34:26 And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing.

We need to see this drought as a reminder from God that we need to seek Him for our lives, and not just for the relief of rainfall.


I had a long conversation with one of my dearest Pastor friends today. He told me he was praying for my church, praying that we would see revival, and experience the power of God in our midst. I said thanks, and made a feeble attempt of explaining that God’s power was already there, we just needed to open our eyes of faith and see it. However, I could not stop thinking about what my friend said. Revival in my church. Why did my spirit react to that when he said it? Then, while cycling 13 miles in 102-degree heat, it hit me. (No, I was not hallucinating). Revive means to come to life again. Did we die? More importantly, does Jesus Christ ever die? No, He does not. He reigns even now. He will reign forever. Jesus in me never died! Revive also means to “regain strength.” Has Christ ever lost strength? No, for He is the same yesterday, today and forever! So why are my folks struggling with experiencing the power of God? Why isn’t ‘revival’ the answer?

If Christ is in us and has never died, never lost strength, why do we pray for revival? Why should I pray for fleshly Christians to come alive again? Why should I pray for fleshly apathetic Christians to come back to life? For weak fleshly Christians to grow strong? If I pray that, the flesh will continue to exalt itself. I cannot pray for that type of revival. The reason they are apathetic and weak is not because Christ within died or is weak, but because they are ignoring Jesus Christ within. They are allowing things of this world – cares, riches, sorrows, trials, pleasures, habits, whatever…to crowd out Jesus Christ from having any power and presence in their lives. Why should I pray for apathetic and weak Christians to come to life again? They are already alive, already busy, and already self-centered. What I need to pray is for Christians to die! Die to selfish pursuits, die to fleshly pleasures, die to self-reliance and allow Jesus Christ to live! to be Lord! We need to allow Him to live within us, to reign within us! He has not changed, but we have. We have allowed our lives to crowd Him out, to obscure Him from our vision. I want my people to see Him anew!

We do not need a revival. We need a burial! Jesus is alive! He is Lord! We are not allowing Him to reign in our lives! We throw Him a bone now and then (at church), but live our lives apart from His Lordship. We live our lives apart from His LIFE! His Life is peace; our lives are chaos and worry. His Life is strength; our lives are overwhelmed by circumstances. Why? Because we do not see Him!


I stopped praying for revival in my church. I started praying for death in my church, for my people need to die to themselves. They need to see the LIFE that Christ has for them! They need to let Him live by faith!

We need to Re-Die,
not Re-Vive.


How can I be effective in my prayer life?

  • The desire to pray reveals God’s presence in our lives. Our concern for our prayer lives is evidence that God is at work in our lives and that we are (to some extent at least) responsive to him. How many of us were concerned about our prayer lives before we came to Christ? Thank God for this evidence of our regeneration.
  • Expect aversion to prayer due to our sin nature. We should not be surprised or fall under accusation when we feel extreme aversion to prayer. This shows us that our sinful nature is still operative, and is not a reliable indicator of our spiritual health. We should disregard such feelings and choose to communicate with God (Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would).
  • God accepts us fully in spite of our poor prayer lives, and he is committed to patiently teach us how to pray (Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God).
  • In EVERYTHING give thanks. Phil. 4:6,7 connects the peace of God with thanksgiving. As we present our requests to God we must also thank him for his loving sovereignty and faithfulness. Prayer with thanksgiving for God’s loving sovereignty will allow our hearts to rest in Him. Unless we temper our petitions with this, we tend to become self-focused, worried and anxious. Doubts and bitterness can come crawling into our lives.

Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Understand Why We Should Pray

We pray because we realize we can not live this life on our own. We must see our needs. We must see the needs of our family and friends. We must see the needs of our country, our schools, our government. If we have no needs, we will have no prayer life. If we know we have needs, then we need to know how to pray for those needs. We must see ourselves before the throne of God! Grace should be our daily meal, grace that can only be obtained at the Throne of God!

Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Understand What We Should Pray

Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

  • Pray for those who have hurt us, or have caused us grief, or have abandoned us, that we will continue to love them and desire God’s grace for their lives.

Matthew 6:9-13 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

  • Pray for the Name of God to be upon our life, our family, our church
  • Pray that God will use us to accomplish His will in our church and our community.
  • Pray that we will forgive all those who have hurt us or have hurt ones we love.
  • Pray that God will deliver us from evil and the evil one.

Matthew 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

  • Pray to the Lord of the Harvest, that He will send fellow laborers

Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

  • Place our desires at the Cross and trust and believe we will have them!

Mark 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

  • Forgive any and every offence or anyone who has caused your grief.

Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

  • Pray that we do not faint or become discouraged and weak.

Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

  • Pray always, and watch, and desire to always stand before the Lord

Romans 8:26  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

  • Pray with the Holy Spirit as your guide and even your voice.

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

  • Pray for others, that they would be reconciled to God. We all know unsaved and Christians alike who need to be reconciled.

2 Corinthians 8:4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

  • Pray that we would receive the gift that empowers us to fellowship with Christ as He ministers to the saints, and that we would undertake that ministry with Him. I believe the greatest need of our jaded USA is reaching the saints that no longer walk in the Grace of God because of the failure of fleshly churches and believers.

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

  • Pray with all prayer and pleadings as the Holy Spirit prompts us. Pray for the saints.

Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

  • Pray that our love will abound more and more

Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

  • Pray that we will be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, that our spiritual understanding will be opened to see our circumstances from God’s point of view.

Colossians 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

  • Pray that God would open doors for us to bring witness of Jesus Christ to our lost friends and neighbors.

2 Thessalonians 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:

  • Pray that we will be faithful to God’s calling, and that He would use us to fulfill the good pleasure of the good He wants to accomplish, and that our efforts will be clothed in faith and His power!

2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:

  • Pray that the Word of God would have a smooth highway in our lives (no potholes or roadblocks), and would be glorified through our lives.

1 Timothy 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

  • Pray that our prayers are without any doubts or fleshly desires, but that they are based on the Holiness of God.

Hebrews 13:18 Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.

  • Pray that we will live and speak with honesty

Jude 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,

  • Pray in the Holy Spirit, that we will be built upon our most holy faith.

Understand Effective Praying:

“Prayer is not a convenient device for imposing our will on God, or for bending his will to ours, but the prescribed way of subordinating our will to his. It is by prayer that we seek God’s will, embrace it, and align ourselves with it. Every true prayer is a variation on the theme `your will be done.’” (John R. W. Stott, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries: The Epistles of John (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1983), p. 185.)

We can be confident that God will grant our requests only when our requests are according to his will (see 1 Jn. 5:14,15). We are free to ask for whatever we wish, but unless scripture explicitly states that our request is God’s will, we cannot be confident that God will answer in the affirmative.

1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Don’t get bogged down in trivia

“Most of us . . . get bogged with down with trivia: Jane’s sinus trouble, Ben’s discouragement, Mary’s problem with her mother-in-law . . .  All of these may be important, but prayer, like warfare, calls for strategy. It is said of Napoleon that he would watch the development of his battles from a vantage, quietly analyzing the situation while he watched. His key general would watch with him. ‘That farm,’ he once said to Marshall Ney, ‘that farm that you can see on the ridge there. Take it. Seize. Hold it. For if you can, the battle is won.’

In praying for the Ephesians, Paul was aware that if the key to the whole battle was won, lesser skirmishes would sort themselves out rather easily. Smaller problems are so often symptomatic of larger issues . . . Prayer must be directed to that which is the key. It concerns itself with strategy, not with tactics . . . If therefore one thinks that Paul’s prayer is spiritual and not practical, it is a sign of how blind he is to what life is all about . . . “  (John White, Daring To Draw Near (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1977), p. 137.)

Strategic Prayer Requests:

  • More practical insight into scripture so that you can apply it to your life (Col. 1:9,10).
  • Better understanding of what God has given you in Christ (Eph. 1:16-19) and how much God loves you (Eph. 3:18,19).
  • Greater love for other people (1 Thes. 3:12) and better discernment on how to love them effectively (Phil. 1:9).
  • Opportunities for witness and the courage and wisdom to make the most of those opportunities (Col. 4:2-4*; Eph. 6:19,20).
  • Spiritual empowering and protection for ministry (2 Thes. 2:16-3:3).
  • Exposure of attitudes that are counterproductive to your spiritual growth (Phil. 3:15; Ps. 139:23,24).
  • Wisdom to understand what God wants to teach you through adverse circumstances that are in your life (Jas. 1:5).
  • That God may raise up more workers (Matt. 9:36-38).

You never see Jesus wasting time with anthills. Jesus focused on mountains. Our prayers should focus on great obstacles being cast into the sea, so that the Will of God can be accomplished on earth as it is in heaven!


If you hear a tinkling cymbal when your pastor preaches, you can bet God has not heard struggle in prayer.

Pastors are much more than their sermons or programs. Sermons are the outflow of your life, just as God’s Word is the outflow of His being. Programs are the outflow of your heart, just as the practices of God are the outflow of His heart. Prayer connects the Heart of a pastor with the heart of God.

Long after the words of the sermon have been forgotten, the touch from the heart of the pastor lives on.

Fleshly pastors produce fleshly people, and the flesh is death to God (Rom 8:13)

God does not come into the pastor’s work simply because he is a pastor. God comes by prayer and an expression of need.

That God is found of us in the day we seek Him with our whole heart is as true of the pastor as of the repentant.

A prayerful ministry is the only ministry that brings the pastor into communion with both God and the needs of his people.

Prayer unites the pastor’s heart as much with his people as it does with His Abba, Father.

Timid, men-pleasing pastors are transformed into fearless prophets through prayer. Pastors of Prayer are met with fear by fleshly people. (1 Sam 16:4)

Pastors are not made in the seminary. Pastors are made in the prayer closet.

Great learning makes a proud pastor. Great praying makes a pastor a man of God.

The sweetest spirit by the slightest perversion may bear the bitterest fruit. So the sweetest pastor by lack of prayer may bear the most shallow ministry.

The pastor must be God-touched, God-enabled and God-made. (2 Cor 3:5-6)

Prayer gives the preaching of the pastor life, life as the springs give life. Prayer is the conduit for the spring of living water.

Prayer keeps the pastor thirsting for the life-giving power of God.

Without prayer, the life-giving spring of a pastor’s life becomes a trickle of apathy and insignificance.

Tears produced by Spiritless preaching are but summer’s breath on a snow man, nothing but surface slush.

A pastor’s sermon may appear to be heart-felt and earnest, but without the power of prayer, it is the emotion of an actor and the earnestness of an attorney.

The sermon may glow with the intelligence and verbal skill of a well-trained pastor, but without the Holy Spirit, the glow and glitter will be as barren as a field sown with thistles.

A Prayerless pastor exalts self in the Holy of Holies.

A Prayerless pastor has been disconnected from the divine current.

Prayerlessness violates and defames the power of the Holy of Holies in the church of God.

A life-giving pastor costs much – death to self, crucifixion to the world and travail of soul in prayer.

Without the life of the Spirit, beautiful words of a sermon are but the beautiful flowers surrounding the coffin.

Prayer transforms the pastor into the pastor God needs him to be.

Prayerless pastors are death to a Spirit-filled church.

The pastor feeble in prayer is feeble in the Life-giving Spirit!

Fleshly pastors can draw people to themselves and to his church, but the church will be a graveyard, not an embattled army.

Fleshly pastors advance sin, not holiness, and populate hell, not heaven.

Prayerless preaching is life-sucking.

Apart from prayer, pastors tend to a dead flock.

Feeble sheep follow prayerless pastors.

Unless the pastor is the greatest of prayers, he will become the greatest of backsliders.

It is impossible for a pastor to keep his spirit in harmony with the heart of God without much prayer.

The work of the ministry will harden the pastor’s heart if devoid of prayer.

Pastors weak in prayer are to be pitied by their people.

Prayerless pastors build prayerless churches.

Powerful ministry is not flavored by prayer, but embodied by prayer.

Effectual prayer builds an effectual ministry.

Prayer that is made much of produces sermons that are made much of.

Minor prayers make minor pastors.

Life-giving pastors are graduates of the school of prayer.

Talking to men for God can be done by anyone. Talking to God for men is done by few.

Pastors coat their sermons with prayer, but God wants us to bathe them in prayer.

Powerful sermons flow from prayer; dead sermons are bookended by it.

The pastor’s study must become a closet, and altar, a ladder, that every thought ascend God-ward before it goes man-ward.

Sermons are scented by God through prayer.

Sermons are lifeless and still until prayer provides the energy of life

A Pastor must move God toward his people before he can move his people to God.

Access to God through prayer gives a pastor access to the hearts of his people

True praying is born of oneness with Christ and fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Pastors empowered by true praying carry the true seeds of eternal life to their people.

Popular pastors are often prayerless pastors.

Prayerless pastors see no urgent need for the power of the Holy Spirit.

Pastors who are mightiest in their closets with God are the mightiest in their pulpits with men.

Pastors weak in prayer preach as tinkling cymbals

Today’s pastor feels pressured to focus on man’s methods and plans for advancing his church. Instead, he should feel pressure to seek the heart of God through prayer. It is God who gives the increase.

God gives His increase not through methods and machines, but through men whose hearts are fully committed to Him.

Advancing the church is not a matter of methods, but a matter of the hearts of your people. Prayer changes the hearts of men.

With inspiration from E.M. Bounds and his book “The Preacher and Prayer” http://temcat.com/08A-Prayer-Prom/Preach-Prayer.PDF