The Bible teaches and models strategic prayer practices. Old Testament characters prayed strategic prayers. Moses prayed (with Aaron and Hur’s assistance) strategically for Joshua’s defeat of Amelek in Rephidim (Ex.17:8-13). Ezra (Ezra 9), David (Psalms 40, 51) and Isaiah (Isa. 6:1-11) also prayed strategic prayers at pivotal moments when God’s mission through their lives was being hindered, halted or slowed. These prayers were therefore very specific and focused on current situations or scenarios and were need-based toward the fulfillment of Divine purposes and plans.
The New Testament is also replete with examples of strategic prayer patterns. Jesus prayed strategically outside the tomb of Lazarus and while on the cross (see Jn. 11:41-42; Lk. 23:34).12 Jesus also prayed for the completion of His mission in John 17. This prayer serves as a model for strategic prayer toward the mission of the Church as He prayed for His followers to be kept in His name, from the evil one, sanctified in the truth, unified in mission and present with Him in His mission and future glory (see Jn. 17:11-24).
Paul prays strategic prayers for the rapid advance of the gospel and for open doors and protection to share effectively with the lost (see Col. 4:2-6; 2 Thess. 3:2). The early church models strategic prayer for the advancement of the mission through persecution and in missionary endeavors (Acts 4:23-33).
These examples demonstrate the need for churches to practice strategic prayer patterns where specific need-based prayers are prayed as they relate to the fulfillment of God’s purposes in and through the church.
Father, You are a God of order and of purpose. You desire Your people to seek after Your mission and the fulfillment of Your kingdom plans and yet we are focused upon our own needs and concerns. Keep us from the evil one by the power of Your Name. Sanctify Your Body in the truth. May we be united together with one mind and heart so that You alone receive glory!
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 41, The Bible and Church Prayer by J. Chris Schofield). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God as the one who makes it possible for you to bear much fruit (Jn. 15:5). Thank him for the promise of a great spiritual harvest in your life. Confess sins which stunt the development of spiritual fruit in your life. Commit yourself to daily devotional habits which will stimulate the growth of such fruit. Ask God to help you produce the kind of harvest which will give him the glory and praise.
Ask God to pour out his blessing on his church throughout the world. Pray for fruitfulness among those who remain faithful to God and are firmly united to Jesus, the true vine.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.