Different people have prayed for years for this one thing. I’ve prayed on and off for a while for it. And God finally answered our prayers through laying the idea on a teen’s heart and he has spearheaded the entire venture.
For one week my church will be crying out to God for revival in our own lives, in our families, in our church, in our city, and in our nation. Most of your reading this are part of this exciting week and have signed up for a 30 minute or hour time slot, so that at least one person in our church is praying every minute of the day.
I’m thrilled to see what God will do in us as we seek Him this week, how He may continue the 24/7 prayer afterwards, and the prayers that He will answer. I know this is a big step for a lot of you though. I’m still learning how to stay focused for long periods of prayer by myself, but what I have learned I would like to pass on to you. Whether you are part of this 24/7 prayer initiative or you just want to start setting more time aside in your life for intercession, I hope that these ideas and tips bless and help you.
Don’t Get Relaxed:
If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t get the exact amount of sleep you need every night and naps are a luxury you don’t get often. Our culture, with its addiction to media, has also trained our minds to have short attention spans and not be able to focus on one thing for very long. Because of those two things, don’t get relaxed when you are going to pray for a long time. Recliners and beds are not the best place for this type of prayer (unless you physically have to).
Get up, walk around your house, walk around your neighborhood (or around your work building if you’re praying during your lunch break), kneel by your bed. But don’t lay back and think that you’ll be immune to the sweet, sweet call of sleep while praying. The disciples kept falling asleep during some of the hardest hours of Jesus’ life and His question to them was “could you not stay awake to pray for one hour?” Don’t be like them and lay down to pray. Realize that there is an intense battle going on for whatever God has put on your heart to pray for and that though our spirit is willing, our flesh is weak.
James 1: 6-8 says that “But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
We are now heirs of the promise and co-heirs with Christ. All the promises of God are amen in Christ for us (2 Cor 1:20). But we must have faith and not doubt if we want our prayers answered. If you feel you are doubting, read the promises of God in His Word out loud (Rom 10:17). Tell your spirit that you refuse to doubt, just as David spoke to his soul in Psalm 43:5.
And most importantly, ask God to pour out His grace on you and fill you with faith. Ask Him to give you His heart for what you are interceding about. We may get weary about praying through something for the umpteenth time, but God never does. Ask Him for His passion, will, fire, and desperation to fill you as you pray. Then be prepared for your heart to change as you pray .
Memorizing scripture is great for intercessory prayer because God loves to be reminded of His promises. Praying through a verse or passage is an easy way to know what is on God’s heart and so pray according to His will. If you don’t have many verses memorized yet, then find a few that speak specifically to what you are praying about and write them down on note cards. I find this helpful, even if I have memorized the verse, so that I can remember and pray through every Word.
Praying through scripture is one of the best ways that I have found to stay focused during prayer. It gives me a guideline to pray for, opens my heart to pray for more than I would come up with on my own, and fills me with faith as I pray. Spend a few extra minutes to get prepared before spending time in prayer and you will notice a big difference.
At the end I have some of the scriptures that I will be praying through during this week of 24/7 prayer. Use any for your own prayer time that you wish or find some others that God shows you!
Example of Praying Through Scripture:
Matthew 9: 37-38
Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
Lord, You promise that the harvest is plentiful. I don’t see it right now,
but You promised and You cannot lie. I hold You to Your promise.
Open my eyes and the eyes of the church to see the harvest. Help
us to walk in faith that the harvest is here and that You have prepared
their hearts for the gospel. Lead us to the people who You have prepared,
God, and that are white for harvest, and anoint us to bring them into
God, send out workers for this harvest! Burden my heart more for the
lost. Burden the hearts of the people in the church for the lost.
Burden the hearts of those I work with, that are Christians, for the lost.
Spur us on Lord! Show us the times that we can be sharing the gospel.
Give us ALL boldness to share the gospel and to pray for people.
Help us to draw people out to lead them to a knowledge of the truth.
Pour out repentance. Give us no rest and help us to give You no rest
until You bring in the harvest.
Jesus, remove anything in me, anything in us, that would keep us from
putting Your Kingdom and Your righteousness first. Remove the dross
from our lives so that we can be ready vessels for Your use. Remove
addictions and idols, especially the idol of self, from us so that we seek
and depend on You above everything else. Glorify Yourself in us!
Bring Your Kingdom here!
Scriptures I’m Praying This Week:
Isaiah 55 (whole chapter)
Songs for Worship:
Too many others to name…
Wrestling Prayer (book on prayer)
Hunger for God (book on fasting)
Helps to Holiness by Samuel Brengle (Chapter 18)