Summary: How to Pray More Strategically - Matt. 21:21,22
How to Pray More Strategically - Matt. 21:21,22
Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not ony can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ’Go throw yourself into the sea, and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matt. 21:21,22)
Stategic - Serving the ends of strategy (the planning for war)to reach the enemy’s home territory.
Illustration: Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision prayed, "Lord, let my heart be broken with the things that break your heart." Transformational prayer starts with God’s agenda for the word (such as the Great commission) and takes its cues from the burdens of the Spirit.
Story:John Robb of World Vision’s Mission Advanced Research Center writes, "The adults of Ethiopia’s Awash River area, two hours north of Addis Ababa were suffering through famines. In their suffering the people looked to a giant tree for help. They worshiped the towering giant tree, believing a spirit had given it divine powers. Adults would kiss its great trunk as they passed by. They spoke of the tree in hushed, reverential tones and the children said, "This tree saved us... One morning as the World Vision staff prayed together, one of Jesus’ promises struck them from Matthew 21:21,22. "If you have faith, you can say to this tree, Be taken up and removed and it will obey you." Soon the whole community knew that the Christians were praying about the tree. Six months later, the tree began to dry up. Its leafy foliage disappeared, and finally it collasped like a striken giant into the river. The people were astonished, "Your God has done this!" they said. Within a few weeks, about a hundred villagers received Jesus Christ because they had seen His power displayed in the spectacular answer to Christians’ prayer." (Perspectives, p. 145, John D. Robb)
Here are a few guidelines to help us pray more strategically for the completion of Christ’s great commission and the expansion of His kingdom and righteousness throughout all people groups of the world.
ACTS - Follow the pattern given in Phil. 4:6-9 (Adoration of God for His attributes; Confession of all sins of commission and omission; thanksgiving for what God has already done for you and for those you are interceding for; supplication for the felt, perceived, real and spiritual needs of people.
1. PRAISE GOD FOR HIS POWER OVER ALL. Praise assures us that God’s purposes will be accomplished. Worship affirms our hearts that God’s plans will supersede all other human or demonic endeavors. Praising people are infused with a continual sense of God’s courage, confidence and hope. People who are on intimate terms with the Lrod always expect God to work all things together for good. (Rom. 8:28-38)Praise assures us that any human, demonic or organizational plot against God’s plans will fail. Praise helps us submit to God’s power, planning and processes. James wrote, "Submit yourself to God. Resist the devil (stand firm against him) and he will flee from you. Come close to God and He will come close to you." (James 4:7,8) Praise helps you find out what is on God’s heart so you can pray more toward the accomplishment of His agenda for you, relationships and the world.
2. PRAY FOR GOD TO REMOVE ALL OBSTACLES FOR CHRIST’S KINGDOM EXPANSION. Pray that the Lord will remove all obstacles (political, social, moral, emotional, personal, family, economic, spiritual, or people) that stand in the way of the Christ’s kingdom and righteousness. God delights to remove mountains to prove His mighty power to people who only believe what they can see. Both the secular materialist and the animist are deeply touched by a demonstration of God’s mighty power over the material world. God told Zerubbabel, "Not by might or by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty. What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ’God bless it!" God bless it." (Zech. 4:6,7)
3. CONFESS, RENOUNCE AND SEEK GOD’S FORGIVENESS. James wrote, "Recognize that you are sinners, get your soiled hands clean; realize that you have been disloyal wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts (of your spiritual adultery). As you draw near to God be deeply penitent and grieve, even weep over your disloyalty...Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord and He will exalt you (He will lift you up and make your lives significant). (Jaems 4:8,9) The most effective praying happens when we approach the Lord with brokenness and complete yieldness. Christ triumphed over all the forces of evil when He humbly went to the cross out of submission to the Father’s will. We are most powerful when we come against evil through confessing and renouncing all of our sins of commission, omission, negative attitudes and faulty assumptions about our responsibilities before God. Perhaps there are areas where we are still in bondage to the ease, fears or selfish desires of our flesh.