Encouraging the Church to Pray

As we look at prayer throughout the scriptures, we see many patterns. From calls for help to the Lord of the angel armies to requests for blessing and prosperity, we see God’s people encouraged to come to Him at all times and in all circumstances. One of the most important commands issued by Jesus is His call to pray “the Lord of the Harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Lk. 10:2). This command by Jesus both reveals God’s heart for those who are lost but also the important role of prayer in the mission to seek and save them. If this is of such great importance to Jesus, how can it be of any lesser importance to the local church? In other words, passionate, prayer for the lost, whether across the street or around the world, is not an option for the church. It is God’s revealed will.

 One way to encourage the church to pray is to communicate how our prayers are making a difference when we ask the Lord of the Harvest. Of course, we cannot always see the direct impact of our prayers. But we must be faithful to communicate concrete answers when they come. We also need to seek feedback from those we are praying for when that is appropriate. Did the new church get started, did the sick person get well, did the neighbor family come to Christ? We may have to do some research to see if the unreached people group we are praying for has had initial contacts for the gospel. What have been the results? Churches should also chronicle the results of their prayers for missions over a longer period of time. This provides continuity and tells our people both that we prayed and that God answered.

Lord of the Harvest, today I ask You to use me and my church in whatever way You wish in the process of sending workers into the harvest field! Help me/us to encourage others through the testimonies of answered prayers as You move in response to my/our alignment with Your will! If you want me/us to be the answer to this prayer in some additional way, allow me/us to hear Your voice clearly…and then empower and equip me/us to respond in obedience!

–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer (An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry) edited by Dan Crawford; (Chapter 72: Equipping the Church for Global Praying by John Quam). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points

Praise the Rock—the one whose works are perfect and whose ways are just (Deut. 32:4). Thank him for being the God of truth. Confess any times that you have believed the lies of Satan and acted accordingly. Commit yourself to speaking only the truth in every situation (Eph. 4:25). Ask God to help you be a truthful person in whom he would delight (Ps. 12:2).

Ask that your loved ones will discover the preciousness of God’s truth (Prov. 23:23).

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

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