Kingdom praying is the most crucial work we can do. Kingdom praying is work! It demands our time, our energy, our intentional attention, our focus, our self-discipline. We must recommit ourselves to it every day. Prayer is work, but prayer works. More accurately, God works in response to the work of prayer, in response to the prayers of His people. God’s Word, as well as history and our own experiences, teach us that the most powerful work we can do is to be obedient and faithful in the work of prayer. Employing kingdom prayer as strategy involves all that concerns the heart of our Lord. We can be sure these include:
The lost. Beginning with lost family members in our own homes, moving to those in our neighborhood, and reaching out in concentric circles around the world. Every day we encounter personally those who do not know and love our Lord. Does it enter your mind and heart to pray for them to come to Him?
Missionaries. Those serving in our own country and those assigned around the world. The main purpose of kingdom praying for missionaries is to release God’s power and divine energy in their lives, families, and ministries as they seek to bring others into the kingdom. Missionaries desperately need and desire our united, specific praying.
Believers around the world. While we have traditionally emphasized prayer for missionaries, we have more recently emphasized our responsibility to pray for the growth, development, courage, and boldness of fellow believers in other nations. World evangelization will not take place unless and until local Christ followers take responsibility for evangelizing their own people group and/or nation and discover their role in sharing the gospel even beyond their own borders.
Leaders of our nation and officials around the world. The Scriptures clearly mandate intercession for our own leaders and for government officials in other lands, for officials’ decisions can either impede or enhance the spread of the gospel. We must pray increasingly for the leaders of the world, asking God to use for good even those influences that are intended for evil. We can pray strategically when we pray for leaders to do that which will enhance the gospel, knowingly or unknowingly.
More laborers, here and around the world. Jesus specifically directed prayer for laborers as part of a disciple’s responsibility. Pray that those whom God is calling will not only hear but also respond.
Mission strategists. Missions leaders request prayer for God to give them vision and wisdom as they make crucial decisions impacting many lives and lands. Pray they will discern and know God’s heart and plans for reaching the lost. Intercede for leaders of all missions agencies and prayer movements.
Worldwide revival and spiritual awakening. A sweeping, incredible movement of prayer has preceded every spiritual awakening throughout history. One of our greatest prayer burdens is to pray that people will pray.
Bible translators. Another key strategy in fulfilling God’s heart’s desire is producing the Scriptures in the heart language of the people. Bible translation agencies are working together with a goal of publishing portions of the Bible in every language spoken by more than 250,000 people. With Scriptures another essential strategy in discipling believers and planting churches, pray earnestly for this essential missions ministry.
Christian radio and television broadcasts. The goal of Christian broadcast agencies is to give opportunity to every person on earth to hear the gospel in a language they can understand. Pray for the agencies pursuing this goal, and ask God to supply the translators they need. Pray for those who even now are hearing the gospel by radio and television.
Persecuted Christ followers. Believers living in various parts of the world today suffer persecution, even to the power of death, because of their faith. Family and former friends often ostracize them. Pray for Christian sisters and brothers around the world who daily face not just the threat but the reality of persecution.
When we pray, we link hands with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, a powerful threefold linkage. The role of the Holy Spirit is well known: “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us” (Rom. 8:26, NIV). We are to pray and have confidence that the Holy Spirit will interpret our heart’s cry. “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Eph. 6:18, NIV)—meaning pray in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
Missionary Ed Pinkston, representing a lifetime of missionary work in West Africa wrote: “When we get to heaven and are able to read God’s history book, I believe we will see that the people really responsible for many of the miracles are the unseen, unsung believers who lift to the Father their intercessions on behalf of His people and His work.”
Prayer is the ultimate strategy for releasing God’s power into our lives, our families, our churches, our world. Prayer is God’s strategy for the kingdom.
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer (An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry) edited by Dan Crawford; (Chapter 73: Kingdom Praying by Minette Drumwright Pratt. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Express your praise to God as the compassionate Father (Ps. 103:13). Thank him for desiring only good things for his children, including you (Lk. 11:11-13). Confess those times when you have not wanted what God wanted for you or others. Commit yourself to seeking first God’s desire—his kingdom and his righteousness (Mt. 6:33). Ask God to “fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col. 1:9).
Pray that your own heart may be set on fire with God’s passion to bring all people into his family.