Why Pray?

Why should we pray?  Does God need help?  Is He not able to do anything He desires?  Is He not self-sufficient?

Careful reading of Ezekiel 22:30-31 can help answer these questions.

“And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 22:30-31

It is very apparent from this reading that God desired to avoid exercising just and deserved judgment. He actually sought for someone to ask, to intercede, that judgment be diverted.  Finding no one, God, bound by His own justice, meted out deserved judgment.  If no one intercedes, God must exercise judgment when He does not want to.  Why is this?  His justice demands judgment.  His love seeks an intercessor to intervene.

God does nothing in the realm of human redemption outside of the plan of prayer and intercession. This is underscored by many Biblical references to prayer and multiple entreaties, urgings and invitations for us to pray.  A translation of Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask, I ask you to ask—seek, I entreat you to seek, knock, I urge you to knock.”  The importance of prayer is made evident as there are 667 references to prayer found in the Bible. God invites us, urges us, and commands us to pray.

Furthermore, the importance of prayer is underscored by God’s binding Himself to unequivocally answer.  “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14).  “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7).  “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.  Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:23-24).  “…ye have not, because ye ask not” (James 4:2b).

In light of this, the entire responsibility for prayerlessness or ineffective prayer must rest on us.  His promises to answer are always circumscribed by His will, but any truly yielded child of God would never will anything outside of God’s will.  So, there is no “small print” on God’s part in the plan of prayer.

The plan of prayer is God inviting man into partnership with Him to implement His word and will in the affairs of men.  Man does have a will.  God tells us that whatever we bind or loose on earth, the same will be done in heaven (see Matthew 16:19).  In Luke 10:19, we are told that He has given us power (authority) over things on earth.  We are the “deputies” with full authority.

The scheme of prayer also encompasses God’s plan to fulfill His purpose for a bride that will rule and reign with Him.  Prayer becomes the training arena.  It is the apprenticeship for the eternal position of ruling and reigning.  We practice enforcing the will of God on earth as it is in heaven.  We bind, loose, agree on earth and reign in life!  God will not act without our exercising our will in prayer to intercede for His will to be done.  He will not sabotage His training program to bring us into full stature, into our inheritance of the ruling, eternal partnership with Him.  His part is complete and He gives us the opportunity, through prayer, to enter into this partnership as joint heirs with God.

John Wesley said, “God will do nothing but in answer to prayer.”  S. D. Gordon said, “The greatest thing anyone can do for God and for man is to pray” and “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.

Prayer is—should be—the main business of the church.

Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance; it is entering into partnership, “joint heirs,” with God.  What He has willed in the heavens can be done on the earth.  His word that is settled in heaven completes its circuit on earth as we declare in prayer, with faith believing, that His word is true.

God had declared His intentions, His will in Jeremiah 25, “…Because ye have not heard my words…land shall be a desolation…shall serve the King of Babylon seventy years.  I will recompense them according to their deeds….” Years later, Daniel reads the prophecy of Jeremiah and realizes the time for deliverance from Babylon is near and sets himself to seek the Lord by prayer and fasting for the fulfillment of the prophecy.  The prophetic promise had to be prayed into fulfillment.  God declared His will from His eternal perspective.  Man prayed it into earthly reality!

In Exodus 25, after the incident of the children of Israel worshiping the golden calf, God’s intentions were to consume them in the fury of His anger.  Moses interceded on the basis of the covenant promise made to Abraham and God spared the people.

God’s law and justice dictate judgment and consequences.  God’s love and mercy wait patiently for an intercessor to plead the case.  God’s word is settled in heaven.  Our prayers bring them to reality in the earth.  As we pray, “Thy Kingdom come,” our prayers become the discipline training of our future ruling and reigning with Him.

Why pray?  God waits for our will to bring His will to earth.

What If She Had Not Been Faithful

My salvation, my whole life as I have known it, probably depended on a simple saint who was faithfully committed to prayer meeting.

It was in the early ’30’s when walking was more common than driving.  Port Arthur, Texas was the place. A young couple from central Texas had moved there to work in the oil refinery. They called a small apartment home for themselves and their three young children.

Church attendance was not on their weekly agenda.  In fact, it was not on their agenda at all. But a faithful prayer warrior changed that.

Every morning a little before nine o’clock, a little lady passed in front of their little apartment with her Bible under her arm.  To the young mother inside the little apartment it soon became a part of her morning routine to watch for the little lady who always passed her door a little before nine o’clock.

Where is she going every day?  Why does she always have a Bible under her arm?  Who is she? What is this about?

Then one morning, some would say as fate would have it, she stopped and knocked on the door.  (From my vantage point, I know it wasn’t fate, but unspoken faith from a fertile heart.)  When the young mother stood face to face with the lady from the sidewalk, she received an invitation to an old-fashioned tent revival.  Few words were spoken, but the simple invitation seemed to speak to the young mother all day from its resting place on the dresser. By five-thirty in the evening the children were bathed and dressed for going out and supper was on the table.  A little bewildered, the hardworking young man looked at his lovely dressed-up wife, wondering.

“We are going to church tonight,” she explained.

Willingly, he agreed.

It was a strange experience–the tent, the people, the praying, the preaching.  But at the close of the service the young father said to his wife, “You go and pray.  I’ll stay with the children.”

Kneeling at an altar, she was totally transformed by the baptism of the Holy Ghost!

Among those gathering around was the little lady from the sidewalk with the Bible under her arm.

“Where do you go every morning?”

“We have nine o’clock prayer meeting every day.”

“Could we come?” asked the young couple.

“Well, we normally don’t have prayer meeting on Saturday morning,” the Pastor interjected, “but we will if you want to come.”

Saturday morning, nine o’clock prayer meeting found the young couple joining the faithful saints.  Prayer was made.  Baptism was explained.  Both agreed to baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.  Now, it was the young man’s turn for transformation as he broke the waters of baptism, speaking in tongues, filled with the Holy Ghost.

The young couple were my mother and father, E. W. and Johnnie Ruth Caughron.  These events transpired before my birth.  Consequently, I was born into a Sprit-filled home. My parents’ dedicated ministry carried them in soul-winning revivals and building of churches from Texas to Alaska.  Dozens and dozens of preachers were called and hundreds and hundreds of saints were impacted by their ministry.

What if the little lady on the sidewalk with the Bible under her arm had not been faithful to prayer meeting? I shudder at the thought–I probably wouldn’t be writing this now.


As Nation rises against nation, kingdom against kingdom, and the ultimate battle between good and evil intensifies, there is an urgency to put on the whole armor of God and joint the battle action of “…praying always…” (Ephesians 6:11-18).

Attacks of the enemy may be fierce with fiery darts and the warriors may grow weary in the good fight of faith, but great victories are coming for those who follow Him who wears the Victor’s Crown!  The King of Kings and Lord of Lords leads a victorious army (Revelation 19:11-16)!

God’s parade of heroes did not stop with the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. Abraham, Sara, Rahab, and Gideon will be joined by some of us who will, through faith, subdue kingdoms, work righteousness, obtain promises, quench violence, escape destruction, become strong, fight valiantly, and turn to fight the armies of the enemy (Hebrews 11).

One of the great heroes of biblical battles was General Gideon (Judges 6 and 7).  The victory God gave to him is one of the most astounding feats of war ever recorded.  He came from hiding, full of fear and questions, but he because a warrior full of faith with authority.  Read his story in Judges 6 and believe the following:

  1. There is power in one person committed to God’s cause.  “Go…thou shalt save Israel…have not I sent thee…thou shalt smite as one man…”
  2. Angels become in involved in human lives.  “the angel of the Lord appeared to him…”
  3. God has confidence in us in spite of our lack of confidence.  “I am the least in my Father’s house…The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valor…”
  4. God is patient in our preparation and mobilization.  “…shew me a sign…that thou talkest with me…(and the angel said) I will tarry until thou come again…”
  5. Miraculous confirmation can follow commitment.  “…there arose up fire out of the rock and consumed the flesh…”
  6. Commitment is expressed in action.  “…Gideon built an altar…”

The Lord instructed Gideon to throw down the altar of Baal in his family and to build an altar to the Lord where it stood.  It is interesting to observe that Gideon built the altar where he pulled down the stronghold.

Gideon enlisted corporate effort.  In fear, but by faith he took ten others with him.  If two of you agree…one shall chase a thousand; two shall chase ten thousand.  Small prayer groups agreeing together are a mighty force for personal victories that are multiplied into spreading, far-reaching effect.

And remember – God is faithful! The Lord had said Gideon would smite as one man and verse 31 confirms that “…one hath cast down his (Baal’s) altar.”

Remember when Gideon’s army, though separated into smaller groups, surrounded their common enemy and acted with the force of unity, a great victory occurred all around the enemy’s camp.

“And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran…(Judges 7:21)…”for the battle is not yours, but God’s”  (II Chronicles 20:15).

Humble Desperation

Do the words contradict each other?  Maybe not.  When we have done everything we know to do and yet have not achieved desired results, we are humbled.  But if what we desired is very important to us we will become desperate.

Jacob was not an humble man.  He was ingenious, self-reliant, and manipulative.  He had a knack for handling things himself.  He had learned to make things happen.  He knew God, received the promises of inheritance from God, but may have been “too smart for his own good.”

His “roots” were right.  His attitude was wrong.  His desire was for the right thing.  He wanted the blessing and received it, but receiving the blessing did not bring the ultimate fulfillment.  He continued in his self-reliant, manipulative, ingenious ways until, in desperation, he had to recognize he was not in control.  Humble, but persevering, he prevailed when he had failed. It seems a bit strange to me that there is no record of Jacob communicating with God between his first encounter at Bethel until he is commanded to return to his homeland (Genesis 28, 31).  Perhaps he did, but it appears praying, talking to God, was not his strong point.  His only reference to God is when he became angry at Rachel’s despair because of her barrenness.  “Am I in the place of God…,” he snapped, side-stepping the issue because he couldn’t control it (Genesis 30:2).

God will suffer long to bring an heir of promise into divine destiny. He even allowed Jacob to use the riches of his blessings to try to manipulate receiving the fulfillment of his promise.  He was on his way to the land God promised him.  Esau was an obstacle.  So in order to find favor, Jacob recounts to Esau all of the blessings God has given to him (Genesis 32:5).  He then reorganizes to be more effective and impressive (Genesis 32:7-8).  In a last attempt at controlling the situation he gives abundant gifts from what God had given him (Genesis 32:13-20).  But none of this worked to bring the desired results.

In spite of his character flaws and his self-sufficient ways, God was committed to fulfill his promises of great blessing and continual presence to him. However, this could only happen after he faced God alone, separated from all God had given him and done for him in circumstances he could not manipulate or control (Genesis 28:10-15).  In desperation, he wrestled until God touched him and changed him.  Only then could he move into the inheritance the Lord had promised.

Humble desperation comes when we quit talking about who we are and what God has given us, and are willing to admit that we are not smart enough, spiritual enough, or rich enough to receive the fullness of the promise of the great and massive last day outpouring.  We cannot manipulate revival.  We may mask what we know God wants to do by exploiting what God is doing.  Could our busyness in counting and our impressive talk of organizing and planning only postpone an encounter with God that could bring the ultimate fulfillment of the promise of the fresh outpouring we dream of?  Jacob tried this.  He was an heir to the promise but he had to reach a point of humble desperation to fully receive what had been promised.

We are heirs of the promise.  We have been blessed abundantly.  Our leadership has formulated plans and programs that have increased our effectiveness.  The blessings of God upon our fellowship are often discussed and for these things we are thankful.  Our giving, out of what God has given us, has escalated.  All of this is good but the deep desire of our hearts will only be fulfilled when we separate ourselves alone with God and in humble desperation prevail with Him until he touches us in a way that will change us.

No amount of growth, giving, talk or trying will take the place of a spirit of humble desperation.  We must forget our self-sufficiency in our spiritual work, our ability to make things happen, our effectiveness in impressing people and focus on seeking God in humble desperation.

Yes, the promises are true.  Yes, they are ours for the believing.  Yes, we are a people peculiar to Him, called by His name.  But God is always drawn to the humble, and the desperate, not those who proclaim His blessings for the sake of impression or attempted manipulation.

Desperation is a result of facing a need beyond our ability and control.  Humility is an acquired attitude.  Scriptures are replete with admonitions for us to humble ourselves (Matthew 18:4, Luke 18:14, James 5:6, Psalms 35:13).  Humility is an honest appraisal of ourselves, recognizing what God has done for us and who we are in Him, but knowing we haven’t received all or become all He wants.  Humility brings honesty concerning our need.  In view of the need for a massive harvest of souls in this world we must guard against our thanksgiving becoming braggadocios and numbing our sense of need for God.  The Psalmist reminds us “…he forgetteth not the cry of the humble” (Psalms 9:12).

In the much claimed promise of II Chronicles 7:14, we should note that “humble” precedes “pray.” Prayer is the basic and essential ingredient for revival, but it must flow from a humble heart, desperate for God to touch us and change us.

All that we are is not sufficient.  All that we have is not enough.  All that we can do will never suffice.  Our only hope is to wrestle in prayer with humble desperation. The world waits for the church to pray the promise into fulfillment.

The Lord of Hosts is With Us

The many descriptive names of God were given by revelation in time of need.  Jehovah Saboath – the Lord of hosts—is one of the compound names of Jehovah Lord).  No less than 260 times this powerful descriptive name of God appears in the scriptures.

“The Lord of hosts is with us…”—when nations rage (Psalm 46:6, 7).

“The Lord of hosts is with us…”—when there is war in the earth (Psalm 46:9,11).

“The Lord of hosts, he is the King of Glory”—and mighty in battle (Psalm 24:8, 10).

“The Lord of hosts…”—will fight and defend (Isaiah 31:4, 5).

Abraham gave us Jehovah Jireh, “the Lord will provide” (Genesis 22:13, 14).  Moses gave us Jehovah Rapha, “the Lord that healeth” (Exodus 15:26).  But, amazingly, Jehovah Saboath, “the Lord of hosts” (a revelation not of provision, but of extreme power) is introduced to us for the first time by a woman—a praying woman named Hannah.

Hannah, a desperate, praying, weeping, worshipping woman of faith and praise was pressured by the pain of personal problems which she could not control; but Hannah prayed.  She turned her trouble, grief and torment into intercession.  Her continued intercession was beyond the ordinary because Eli did not recognize it.  Her desperate intercession led to revelation of all the divine and heavenly power available for her need when she called on…the Lord of hosts.  Her weeping intercession was miraculously answered and she altered history with her prayer.  What a testimony to the power of a woman’s prayers!  What a testimony of the power of the Lord of hosts.

What prompted her to such heights of appeal as…the Lord of hosts?  No one had ever used this title before in prayer.  Saboath is derived from root words which mean army or the verb which means “wage war.”

Perhaps she had been influenced by another woman, Deborah, who had lived in the same mount Ephraim and had initiated great faith.  In her song of victory over the seemingly impossible odds of the enemy, Deborah sang, “…I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel…They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera…So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might” (Judges 5:3, 20, 31).

Do you need the Son of Righteousness to arise?  Have you, as Hannah, struggled on for too long with sad countenance, painful problems, and taunted by your enemy?  You may fell helpless, but there is a God, the Lord of hosts, whose throne is established in the heavens, who rules over all and whose heavenly host excels in strength to do his commands (see Psalm 103:19, 20).

Regardless of the circumstances, the Lord is high and lifted up as Isaiah saw him in his day of grief and confusion.  Isaiah used the powerful, descriptive name, Jehovah Saboath, 62 times.

The Lord of hosts is a predominant and powerful description of God which we can focus on in these days of spiritual attack and desperate need.  The distressful times in which Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi lived caused these great prophets to use this name over 85 times in 20 short chapters.

What could a shepherd boy with a slingshot and stones do up against an armed giant?  When David faced Goliath, there was more involved than a rock and a sling.  “I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts” was David’s strategy and power (I Samuel 17:45).  All David had was a need, an appeal, faith, and the Lord of hosts.  It was enough.  When David took the strong hold of Zion it was because “…the Lord God of hosts was with him…” (II Samuel 5:6, 10).

Paul assures us that spiritual war and attack will come, but we have a parallel force of power through God to pull down strongholds we can handle with earthly weapons (II Corinthians 10:4).

“Resist the devil, and he will flee…” (James 4:7).  “Resist” in word study can be defined as “the armies are arrayed against.”  We do not have to cower in depressed weakness and fear.  In prayer, through faith, we can call on the Lord of hosts—Jehovah Saboath—the revealed name of power for help in time of need.

Why did Hannah call on the Lord of hosts?  Faith’s initiative enabled her to reach beyond the restrictions of present circumstances.  No one had ever prayed like she prayed, but her need and her desire enabled her to reach beyond the ordinary.  She boldly reached for the power of God in prayer.  That power is still available.

Abraham asked, “…is anything too hard for the Lord” (Genesis 18:14).

Jeremiah answered, “…there is nothing too hard for thee” (Jeremiah 32:17).

The possibility of the impossible has been proven over and over again by people like us who were most often provoked by desperate needs to appeal through prayer and initiate faith in the power of God, who is able to do more than we can think or ask.

So, look up, there is more available than what you can see!  “…be strong…saith the Lord…for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:4).

And if God, the Lord of hosts, is for us, nothing else counts!

The Fire That Makes the Difference

“He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” (Matt. 3:11)

As Pentecostals we understand the part—“ with the Holy Ghost”—but what about the fire?

More than 300 times fire is mentioned in the bible.  It is often a symbol of God, His judgment or His acceptance.  The angels, as ministers of God, are compared to fire.  At His second coming, Jesus will appear in fire.  The Holy Ghost is compared to fire.  Fire and sacrifices are often linked together.

Abraham took fire with him to Moriah (Gen. 22:6).  Peter warmed by a fire in the temple courtyard (Matt. 14:54).  Paul helped build a fire on the island of Melita (Acts 28:2-3).  Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire in the tabernacle (Lev. 10:1).

However, there is one fire that makes the difference—the fire of God’s holy, manifested presence and power.

“And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar….which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.” (Lev. 9:24)

“Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven…and the glory of the Lord filled the house…and when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down…they bowed…and worshipped…” (II Chr. 7:1,3)

In both these instances, there had been much planning, work, activity, and sacrifice from the people.  However, it is when they had waited before the altar that the fire of God fell and the people were affected.

The fire that makes the difference comes on those who tarry at the altar of prayer and sacrifice. There is no substitute for the fire of God.  The “strange fire” offered by Nadab and Abihu is clearly man’s attempt to act in the things of God without seeking the mind of God!  Death is the result of this careless spirituality!

A new millineum is open before us—a new decade, a new year, a new month, a new day.  The most important thing we can do is to wait at the altar of prayer until the fire of God, His manifested presence and holiness, comes in its fullness of power.  And if we do, when we do, He will come, and the people will bow and worship.

As the royal priesthood of the New Testament church, we need to be aware of our responsibility to the altar.

“And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning…The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.” (Lev. 6;12-13)

Prayer is the priority to preaching, studying, organizing, working, planning, singing, and shouting.  Paul wrote “…first of all….prayers…” (I Tim. 2:1)

God’s house shall be called a house of prayer, but what have we made it?  (Mark 11:17)

The maximum or minimum results of all our efforts in the new millennium, will be determined by the ministry of prayer.  It will be the fire that will make the difference.

The Fate of the World

Dr. Paul Bilheimer in his classic book, Destined for the Throne, reminds us that “the fate of the world is in the hands of nameless saints.

During this past year in the country of Myanmar (Burma), where the gospel is very restricted, 400 saints gathered under the banner of World Network of Prayer in two prayer summits to intercede for our world.  We rejoice in that, but I remember the lone prayer evangelist strapping himself with rope to the back step board of an open jeep as his only way of getting to an unevangelized area where he would seclude himself in deep intercession for the souls of the lost.  He and many others tilted the balance in this Buddhist country until the Spirit was poured out and we have a thriving church in spite of obstacles.

“the fate of the world is in the hands of nameless saints”  Interceding-in prayer!

I remember also Northeast India where the Holy Ghost was poured out on thousands of praying Presbyterians.  I remember the dedicated workers trudging through the wilderness, pushing out the frontiers of the Kingdom, with blood-sucking leeches locking onto their legs.  To redeem the time in reaching their unevangelized location, they wouldn’t stop until they had at least 6 leeches which had to be removed.

“the fate of the world is in the hands of nameless saints”  Praying and going!

And in my own Louisiana, praying mother concerned for her family and community, was surely the cause of the breakdown of the car of an itinerant Pentecostal pioneer preacher.  In the middle of the night, Bro. Hawthorne was forced to knock on her door to ask for help.  When he identified himself, she started praising God, shouting and dancing because, she said, “I have been praying for a preacher and a church!”  And one of many churches birthed by prayer started the next night on her front porch.

“the fate of the world is in the hands of nameless saints”  Praying people.

The WNOP is now 4 years old, organized with coordinators in 30 districts, the Black and Spanish fellowships and in 109 nations around the world.  Almost all of Africa, much of Europe, and countries around the globe are uniting in focused agreeing prayer.  We have a dedicated team of volunteers, some who work up to 15 hours a week.  They range in age from their teens to the eighties.  Brother and Sister Knowles come every week.  He and Frank McGarvey spend their time in prayer in the chapel while Sister Knowles answers the prayer line, prays and assists with other work.

“the fate of the world is in the hands of nameless saints”  And they are praying!

755,000 Prayer Guides, which form the basis for informed intercession for pastors, missionaries, and leaders, have been distributed to saints, to prayer groups, and used in prayer meetings around the world.

Prepared teams for Prayer Evangelism are walking the streets of unevangelized cities around the world praying  for the people in darkness.  There was real breakthrough in Holland last year.  While doing a prayer walk in Honduras this past year, there was a dramatic change in the political, economic and spiritual climate.  Mark Foster and Raymond Woodward, along with a group of pastors from Louisiana, felt the beginning of a breakthrough in Quebec during a time of Prayer Evangelism.  As they prayed in a Catholic Cathedral, recognized as a holy place, they witnessed the shattering of a candleholder directly in front of them, which was said to be unbreakable.  They felt this was a sign of a breakthrough.

Praying children, led by a Pentecostal teacher, diverted a tornado headed directly for their school, a powerful witness to the power of prayer.  A child’s earnest prayer dislodged an unmovable sinner father and deposited him at the foot of the cross.  A Pentecostal woman, Billie Jean Bauer (DeQuincy, Louisiana) is stretching a prayer covering over many schools with Partners in Prayer, teaming churches with schools. The testimony from the schools, ” We feel the difference!  Come now and do a prayer walk on site.”  She was recently invited to speak to a gathering of 80 Superintendents and is receiving enthusiastic acceptance.

Jack Yonts, Jr. is not only breathing and living, but preaching to reach the lost!  All because his crisis request, as with the thousands of others we receive, went out to over 1000 individuals and groups who share them with multiplied numbers of prayer partners, prayer meetings, and post in prayer rooms.  They are also deposited in the chapel at World Evangelism Center, and many are posted on our website where we also received thousands of requests last year.  On our prayer telephone line we receive hundreds of calls a month.

“the fate of the world is in the hands of nameless saints.”  And they continue in prayer!

Through WNOP every Home Missionary has at least four prayer partners; Metro Missionaries have at least four prayer partners, Foreign Missionaries have at least eight prayer partners.  Every leader, board and committee meeting, and every crusade are well covered in assigned prayer with follow up reminders to continue in prayer.

During General Conference we sat with amazement as over $4.9 million was invested into the Kingdom.  What you didn’t see was this:  a group of saints and pastors led by WNOP Coordinator, Bro. Kellstrom, were praying through the Book of Acts, which was the design of the Prayer Room.  Just before the Missions service started they gathered around the area designated “Pray for a Spirit of Apostolic Giving” and started interceding.  The presence of God came into the room as they prayed for a spirit of Apostolic giving, as in the Book of Acts, would come to the people.

“the fate of the world is in the hands of nameless saints.”  Sensitive to the Holy Ghost!

One afternoon recently, missionary Kathy Miller,, walked into the WNOP office in St. Louis and said, “You know I will soon be going alone into 3 Muslim countries where we have never had a witness.  I need prayer partners-it is a dangerous venture.”  With our rapid communication, it was out by e-mail within minutes-the call for prayer!  The next morning, we had 23 pledges of prayer partners; by afternoon, 48; and the last time I checked, we had 71 prayer partners!

“the fate of the world is in the hands of nameless saints”  Praying saints!

The World Network of Prayer is not a program.  It is the hub to motivate, direct and focus prayer for the ultimate purpose of proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom to the whole world.

When prayer was lifted to the place of priority in Acts 6:4, “We will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word,” something very special happened.  Not only did the number of disciples multiply greatly, but a company of priests was obedient to the faith (Acts 6:7).  God is bigger than any of us and He will fulfill the promise of the great outpouring of the Holy Ghost on this world.  Prayer is the escort for this outpouring.  I plead for the priority of prayer among us.  When prayer becomes the continual priority the disciples will multiply greatly and the obedient priests/ministers will become the multiplied laborers Jesus told us to pray for when he spoke of the great harvest.  (Luke 10:2)  Jesus said, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray…”

“the fate of the world is in the hands of nameless saints.”   Are you one of them?

Prophesying Prayer

Prophesying shouldn’t seem any stranger to us than speaking in tongues. The reason for this is because both originate as the Spirit gives utterance and both reside in the scriptural location of the birth place of the Apostolic Church in Acts. The question is, if we exercise ourselves in one, why not the other? Because the prophetic dimension is also a part of the Spirit-filled believers birthright.

Prophecy can mean to foretell or to forth tell. There are scriptural prophecies, the gift of prophecy, the office of the prophet, and there is a spirit of prophecy. Paul confessed that we sometimes know not how to pray as we ought but the Spirit makes intercession for us. (See Romans 8:26.) This can happen with groanings, which cannot be uttered, or praying in tongues, but it can also be something that happens in our mind as we converse with God.  Any sincere believer can have and probably has had, something suddenly come to mind. In scriptural terminology could this not be considered to be “the word of the Lord came to me”?

The mind of Christ will work in us if we let it, and the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:10). This is the source for the resource of prophesying believers.

When we combine the enablement of the Spirit of Prophecy with the medium of prayer we are blessed to tap into a powerful force.

Understanding that all prayer originates with God because no one can come to the Father except the Spirit draws him is one facet, but we must also realize that in knowing that God is so in control that He actually waits to act until we pray. He wants to share with us what He desires to do so we can then ask in prayer for His intervention into our earthly affairs. Prophesying prayer is hearing God and praying His desires and will.

Daniel tells us that the God of heaven reveals secrets and makes known what shall be. When Daniel understood God’s intentions, he prayed them (Daniel 2:28)!

Isaiah assures us God will tell His intentions before they happen (Isaiah 42:9).

The dimension of prayer is readily available to Spirit-filled believers, but if we are not aware of it, we will only by accident engage in it. The power of prayer has yet to be explored fully. It is the most potent power available to man.

I have a very personal story which illustrates prophetic prayer. At our General Conference in 2003, we had lunch with our friend Brother Freddy Clark. After we had finished eating, Brother Freddy prayed over each of us. As he was praying for me he prayed for my health, my well-being and specifically for my heart. When he had finished praying he looked at me and said, “You have a little problem with your heart, but you will be okay.”

This puzzled me and I must confess that although I have great confidence in Brother Clark, I told my husband, “He missed it this time. I just had a good check up saying that there was nothing wrong with my heart.” Three months later, I had surgery for a knee replacement which went very well. However, about fifteen hours after my surgery, my heart stopped. I had a pulmonary embolism and kidney failure. The diagnosis: a problem with my heart that had never shown up in any medical exam. A prayer, a prophecy, and I am okay today keeping a full schedule of work, travel and ministering.

Prophetic prayer is simply hearing God tell us what to pray and praying it. The possibilities are limitless.

If you are interested in further study, Pastor Jeff Ramsey of Minden, LA has written a book called Prophetic Prayer.

The Power of Praying

It is absolutely beyond the natural mind to believe that a little band of believers on their knees have the power to determine destiny, to rule kingdoms, to chart the course of events, to loose, to bind, to destroy, to give life, to bring revival; but it is verified in the Word of God.

More than once, Moses’ prayers saved his nation from destruction (Deuteronomy 9, 11, 16, 21).

On his knees, Daniel towered over pagan Babylon and made them know that God rules.

Elijah strangled the economy of a nation and then, with one prayer, broke the drought as a witness to the power of God.

Hosea prayed a hedge of thorns around his wayward wife until she would be redeemed (Hosea 2:6).

A prophet’s prayer blinded and subdued a destroying army who then took orders from him (II Kings 6).

Praying women initiated revival on the continent of Europe (Acts 16:13-15).

Cornelius prayed down an angel and a revival in an unlikely place with unlikely people (Acts 10).

A home prayer meeting dispatched an angel to unlock prison doors (Acts 12:5-7).

The prayer and praise of Paul and Silas provoked an earthquake which broke open a revival (Acts 16:25-34).

Peter prayed, Dorcas was raised from the dead, the whole city heard about it, and many believed (Acts 9:40-42).

Paul prayed, the governor’s father was healed and became a witness to the power of God (Acts 28:7,8).

Consider that small group praying had major effect on nations, heathens, enemies, continents, the economy, strange people, family, prisoners, angels, the sick, and the dead.  What an awesome thought, and most of it was done on location of daily living—in homes, on the street, or in public.  The power of aggressive prayer is easily accessible to all of us.

The early church prayer warriors not only prayed strong prayers bolstered by faith, but they were not afraid to exercise the authority which Jesus had given them.  Their bold prayers were accompanied with bold words.  They not only prayed, asking God for, they also spoke to, and against, as they perceived through the Holy Ghost.

In Acts 4:29-31, they decidedly spoke against the hindering forces and prayed for boldness accompanied with the miraculous.  There was no sign of timidity in their prayers.  Neither their ability nor worthiness was considered.  Their petitions were not made from a beggar’s stance.  Their unshakable confidence was in God and He shook the place to vindicate their primitive faith.

Peter not only prayed miraculous prayers (see Acts 5:1-11; 8:20-24), but he also spoke judgment and rebuked with the power and perception of the Holy Ghost.

Peter and John, without pseudo humility, could say, “Look on us,” and then with unshakable faith could say, “…rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6).

Peter visited palsied Aeneas and brought strong words of command rather than simple words of cheer.  “…Aneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole; arise…” (Acts 9:34).

Paul, on a downtown street, commanded:  “Stand upright on thy feet” (Acts 14:10).

This same authority and power has been given to us.  Read Matthew 10:1, 7, 8; Mark 16:17, 18, 20; and Acts 1:8.  Timidity, inferiority, and self-consciousness have no place in the spiritual life of a believer.  Let us raise our sights, enlarge our borders, and become bold enough to pray prayers and speak words appropriate to the power of our God.  In His divine wisdom, He has decreed to respond to us in proportion to what we ask of Him.  “Whatsoever ye ask…”

The telecommunications revolution, and now social media, has changed our world.  Almost everyday breakthroughs surprise us as to the extent of how man has learned to communicate.  Can we imagine the breakthroughs possible in communicating with God through prayer? The power of aggressive prayer, rooted in faith by the Word, and executed in boldness of authority by the Name, can change our world.

Prayer, What Is It?

Prayer is breath to the spirit.
It is the lifeline to the soul.
It is the tether to the eternal.
Prayer is communication between creature and creator.

It is the eye into the invisible.
It is the ear to the unspoken.
Prayer is the access into the heavenlies.

It is the activator of the miraculous.
Prayer is enlightenment to the mind.
It is understanding to the emotions.
Prayer is man’s greatest opportunity.

It is man’s daily challenge.
It is man’s amazing possibility.
Prayer – what is it?
Prayer is the mystery of all mysteries.

It is as complex as creation.It is as simple as a child’s talk.
It is the most powerful power available to man.
It is more piercing than a laser.
It is the seed of all things possible.It is the finality of man’s ability.
Prayer is man plugged into God.

It is God working through man.
Prayer is creative.
Destructive.  Cohesive.  Dividing.
Awe-inspiring.  Frightening.
Possible and probable.
Prayer is bigger than can be imagined.

It is faster than a beam of light.
It is endless in possibilities.
It can be more concentrated than an atom.
Prayer is forceful.  Tender.  Shattering.
Healing.  Complex and simple.

Prayer has never been totally understood, completely explained or utterly exhausted.
It is beyond the wisest man’s comprehension.
It can be effectively used by a child.
All the words ever known can not adequately describe it.

Yet it can be reduced to a single word.

Every language can speak it.

Only God can understand it.

Practice it and find peace.
Believe in it and find faith.
Let it consume you and really live.

Prayer – the unimaginable, incomprehensible, obtainable connection between the finite and the infinite, the earth bound and the Almighty who fills the universe.

Prayer – God’s gift to man.

Use it.  Engage it.  Revel in it.  Enjoy it.  Reap from its riches.

Sing it.  Read it.  Think it.  Speak it.

“Men ought always to pray. . .”

The Bible is a book of prayers.  There are over 600 recorded prayers.  There are long prayers, short prayers.  There are desperate prayers and prayers of devotion and thanksgiving.  There are requests and rebukes and repentance.  There are prayers of destruction, life-giving prayers, and multiple intercessions.  There are prayers from a lonely woman, a fearful child, a frightened fisherman, a patriarch, an apostle, a prophet and a disciple.

Leaders prayed.  Nations prayed.  Friends prayed.  Groups prayed.  Individuals prayed.  Sinners prayed.  Saints prayed.

Jesus prayed.

Men ought always to pray.