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Praying Spirit Empowered Prayers

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27 NASB).

As we read this passage with a desire to pray spirit empowered prayers, we find many valuable ideals:

  • The Spirit is the most effective prayer partner we could ever have.
  • The Spirit helps us pray for things that go far beyond our understanding.
  • The Spirit prays through us for things at times that we do not even fully know.
  • The Spirit inspires prayers in us when we may not even feel like praying.
  • The Spirit lifts faith, brings compassionate tears, and ignites joy in our praying.
  • The Spirit reveals things to us so we can pray with more focus.
  • The Spirit often brings the Scriptures to us so that we can stand on them claiming victory.
  • The Spirit literally joins us as a real tangible partner in our prayer times.
  • The Spirit, who joins Christ in the Trinity with Father God, lifts us into this fellowship as we pray.
  • Spirit partnership in prayer is far more than a new prayer language. It is a real prayer partner!

Keep these thoughts in mind as you pray and watch as the Spirit partners with you to empower and lead your prayers. Many of these ideas are taught by that wonderful teacher of prayer, Andrew Murray in his work “With Christ in the School of Prayer.”  

Additional Resources:

Consider also these classic prayer sources:

  • M. Bounds, “Power Through Prayer”
  • Jack Hayford, “The Beauty of Spiritual Language”
  • David Yong-gi Cho, “Prayer: Key to Revival”
  • A. Torrey, “The Power of Prayer”
  • Richard Foster, “Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home”
  • Peter Wagner, “Prayer Shield”

About Our Contributor 

Contributor: Bishop Randall E. Howard

Download This Prayer Guide

Download this prayer guide as a bulletin insert here. Let us know you are praying with us by using #COGOPprays on social media to share your requests, inspirations, and praise reports.

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Praying to Know Him More Intimately

In his letter to the Romans, Paul speaks of having peace with God through Jesus Christ and having been introduced or gained access by faith to a position of grace with the hope of glorifying God (Romans 5:1–2).

The challenge for many is moving beyond the introduction or from mere acquaintance to a true intimacy with the One who is beyond full comprehension.

This month, we invite you to join us daily as we move from our complacency, press in to know God personally, and commune with Him intimately.

Prayer Directives

  • Praise God as the all-knowing, ever-present, all-powerful, most-high God who brought the universe into existence with the word of His mouth, yet He invites us to know and experience a deepening relationship with Him (Isaiah 43:10–12; Romans 11:33–36).
  • Thank the Lord Jesus Christ that by His Holy Spirit, He has introduced you to the Father’s grace, mercy, and peace that become the platform for knowing Him more deeply (John 1:16–18; Romans 5:8; Hebrews 10:19–22; 2 Peter 1:3–8).
  • Confess your desire (or lack thereof) to move beyond the restraints of time, personal agenda, and cultural pressures to know Him (Philippians 1:9–10; 3:7–11).
  • Ask God to teach and empower you to imitate the worship atmosphere of heaven when you commune with Him (Psalm 100:4; 103:1; Isaiah 6:1–3; Revelation 4:8–11; 5:11–14).
  • Acknowledge your longing to listen to and obey His voice, reaping the promised blessings from doing so (1 Samuel 3:8–9; Luke 10:38–42; John 14:21, 23).
  • Assume a posture of meditating and listening for the voice of the Lord through His Holy Spirit and Word (Psalm 1:1–3; 119:15; John14:26–27; 16:12–15).
  • Pray and intercede according to what you sense the Lord speaking to you—not only for yourself but for others (Romans 8:26; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Timothy 2:1).
  • Express gratitude for the joy of intimate communion with Christ and a willingness to continue walking in obedience to His directives as you love Him and live your life on mission with Him (Matthew 22:37–40; John 17:13–23).

Additional Prayer Resources

Web:

Print:

About Our Contributor 

Kay Horner is executive director of Awakening America Alliance and The Helper Connection. Kay has served in a variety of ministry roles including executive director of New Hope Pregnancy Care Center and administrator for Voice of Salvation Ministries. While Christian education minister for World Impact national television program, she provided insight segments for the agency, and she has been ministry projects coordinator for the Center for Spiritual Renewal.

Kay currently serves as executive director for Awakening America Alliance and a newly established initiative, The Helper Connection. She is the author of “The Christmas Dance” and is a member of the National Prayer Committee and Mission America Coalition/U.S. Lausanne Committee.

Download This Prayer Guide

Download this prayer guide as a bulletin insert here. Let us know you are praying with us by using #COGOPprays on social media to share your requests, inspirations, and praise reports.

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Praying for the Nations

The heart of God, as revealed to John in Revelation, is that people from all nations will stand before the throne of God. “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands (Revelations 7:90.  

The whole world is in dire need of the Savior, now more than ever before. For the kingdoms of this world to become the Kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ (Revelation 11:15) we must pray “Thy Kingdom come, thy will to be done on earth as it is in Heavenover the nations and believe God will save them, for “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12). 

As we await the imminent return of Our Lord, our goal should be that all the nations will hear, serve, and know Him, so that the salvation he offers will be received by all. 

We invite you to join us in praying that the nations will embrace the Lordship and love of the Almighty God.   

Prayer Directives: 

  • Praise God that He rules over all the nations and they belong to Him (Psalm 22:28; Psalm 24:1). 
  • Ask God to forgive us for any way we have failed in proclaiming His love and rule to the nations (Mark 16:15). 
  • Pray for God to open the eyes of all the nations to His redemptive will for each of them (Luke 1:68). 
  • Pray for the leaders of all nations, especially all presidents, prime ministers and the parliaments/congress, that they will acknowledge and seek God (Isaiah 11:3-4); Rev 1:5). 
  • Ask that He give us the heathen for our inheritance and the ends of the earth for our possession (Psalm 2:8). 
  • Pray that the Lord will open the doors to the “closed nations” so that they will embrace the love of God (Psalm 24:9).
  • Ask the Lord to send laborers into the harvest, for the fields are white unto harvest (Luke 10:2). 
  • Pray for the Lord to use you to go, send, or pray for world evangelization (Matthew 28:19-20). 
  • Pray for peace, righteousness, and salvation to saturate all nations (Proverbs 14:34). 
  • Pray for the Body of Christ to rise up and make an impact in all spheres of your nation and help bring the Lordship of Jesus in every nation (Revelation 19:16). 

Additional Prayer Resources 

  • Operation World  by  Jason Mandryk and Patrick Johnstone, Gabriel Resources 21st Century Edition; Revised edition, ISBN-10: 1850783578 

About Our Contributor 

Pastor Michael Obi is the National Coordinator of the African Strategic Leadership Prayer Network, (ASLPN) and a cabinet member of the Awakening America Alliance, representing the African continent. He is also the Pastor of Mount Zion Prayer Center Church in Cleveland, Tennessee, and serves in many other organizations, mostly on the area of prayer.  

Download this prayer guide as a bulletin insert here. Let us know you are praying with us by using #COGOPprays on social media to share your requests, inspirations, and praise reports.

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Fasting Prayer Guide

Fasting was an expectation of Christ for His disciples. In Matthew 6:16, He said, “When you fast” not “If you fast.” He modelled fasting as an effective and necessary part of His prayer life with the Father.  

Although many Christians participate in fasting for dietary and physical reasons, there are benefits reserved for those participating in fasting as a spiritual discipline. All too often Christians approach fasting as a strength of determination, a sacrifice, or an overcoming of self-will. Fasting, however, is ultimately an emptying of one’s self to be filled with God achieved not by our own strength but from God’s work in us (Philippians 2:12, 13) through the strength he provides (1 Peter 4:11). 

Fasting serves as a compliment to the prayers we pray. In many ways it adds an extra dimension of intensity and earnest desire than our routine, normal prayers. It also moves us beyond a simple tool for seeking those things we desire and moves us toward something greater than provision, protection, or guidance—God Himself.  

As you empty yourself through fasting, God promises “open wide your mouth and I will fill it.” Through fasting, God promises to reward us by aligning our hearts with His purposes and desires, as “He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things” (Psalm 107:9). 

Prayer Directives 

  • Thank the Father that as you fast and earnestly seek after His purposes, He hears your prayers and responds (Ezra 8:23). 
  • Ask the Father to reveal His purposes to you, naming specific areas where your need His guidance (Judges 20:26). 
  • Tell the Father about situations in which you or your loved ones need deliverance or protection (2 Chronicles 20:3–4; Ezra 8:21–23). 
  • Ask the Father reveals areas of your life that are not pleasing to Him. “Pour out” your heart to Him and repent (1 Samuel 7:6; Jonah 3:5–8).
  • Surrender yourself entirely to the Father’s will asking that He use you for His glory (Matthew 4:1–11).  
  • Spend time in worship, expressing your love and devotion to the Father (Luke 2:37, Psalm 107:9).
  • Ask the Father reveals areas of your life that are not pleasing to Him. “Pour out” your heart to Him and repent (1 Samuel 7:6; Jonah 3:5–8).
  • Surrender yourself entirely to the Father’s will asking that He use you for His glory (Matthew 4:1–11).  
  • Spend time in worship, expressing your love and devotion to the Father (Luke 2:37, Psalm 107:9).

Download this prayer guide as a bulletin insert here. Let us know you are praying with us by using #COGOPprays on social media to share your requests, inspirations, and praise reports.

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Christmastime Prayers

The Christmas and New Year holidays present us with limitless opportunities to pray. In addition to the hustle and bustle of the season that can often distract us from what matters most, many people experience an array of emotions as the holidays bring feelings of loneliness, loss, anxiety, and depression. 

This month, we invite you to think about those around you who may be suffering this holiday season. Consider those who might need extra prayer covering and support. Pray with us in remembering those who are far from loved ones this holiday season. Below are prayer directives to help you engage in prayers of hope, help, and healing for those in desperate need this season.  

Prayer Directives 

  • Pray for God’s protection upon all who are traveling throughout the Christmas holidays. 
  • Pray for a sense of God’s presence and mutual love as families and friends gather. 
  • Pray for healing and harmony for strained family relationships. 
  • Pray that those unable to be with family will enjoy the fellowship of friends. Remember missionaries, pastors, students, and those serving in their nation’s military to name a few. 
  • Pray for the Holy Spirit’s comfort upon family and friends who have lost loved ones this year. 
  • Pray for families and friends who have loved ones in the military and pray for divine protection and comfort upon military personnel separated from family. 
  • Pray for missionary parents and children who are apart during the holidays. 
  • Pray for those struggling financially who cannot afford gifts and special holiday meals.  
  • Pray that people who do not yet know Christ as Savior will accept His gift of salvation. 

Download this prayer guide as a bulletin insert by clicking here. Let us know you are praying with us by using #COGOPprays on social media to share your requests, inspirations, and praise reports. 

 

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A Call to Prayer 

“Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” Oswald Chambers  

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; it shall yet come to pass that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also” (Zechariah 8:20, 21). 

“Your mission, if you choose to accept it…” was a pivotal line in every episode of the old television show, Mission Impossible. Jim Phelps was given the specifics of that week’s top secret undertaking and the recorded voice gave him an implied choice in the matter.  

The Church of God of Prophecy has a mission. Do you know what it is? “Empowered by the Holy Spirit, through prayer, we will plant churches and equip leaders to carry out the biblical mandate to make genuine disciples of all the people of the world, to the glory of Christ our Lord, head of the church.” That is our mission statement. We each have a part to play in carrying it out. Some are planting churches and making disciples, but all are called to prayer. 

Jesus said, “Men ought to keep on praying and not give up” (Luke 18:1). We ought to pray. But too often we don’t. F. B Meyer said, “The greatest tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer.” And those who do pray, often give up too soon. Jesus knows we are prone to discouragement when the answers to our prayers are not immediate. He followed His “don’t give up” instruction in Luke with this story: 

Jesus said, “In a certain city lived a judge who didn’t respect God or worry about what men thought. There was a widow in that city who repeatedly came to him, saying, ‘I have been treated unfairly by someone and I want you to make it right.’ He did nothing for a while; but later on, he said to himself, ‘I don’t care what God or anybody else thinks, but this widow keeps on bothering me so I will punish the guy who mistreated her. Otherwise, she will nag and nag me until it wears me out.’ Then the Lord said, “Did you hear what that crooked judge said? Don’t you think a good and loving God will intervene for His own children when they are crying out day and night to Him? You think He takes too long? I assure you, He will help them quickly.” 

Charles Spurgeon had something to say about that kind of persistent prayer: “Faith uses pleas. Those who merely say a prayer, do not to pray at all, for they forget to argue with God; but those who prevail bring forth their reasons and their strong arguments.” We must keep on praying and not give up.

How important is it that we pray? Think about this: The Temple, God’s house in the Old Testament, was built following extremely specific instructions. In verse after verse, chapter after chapter, God communicated the exact dimensions, furnishings, colors, and fabrics to be used in the Temple. God’s house was important to Him. And constructing God’s house precisely as He directed was important to David and Solomon and all of Israel. In the New Testament, Jesus gives the only instructions describing His house. He said, “My house is the house of prayer.” More than purple drapes and gold chords, pillars and candlesticks, God’s house must be adorned with the beauty and splendor of fervent prayer. Prayer is important to God. Prayer must be important to us. 

“Teach us to pray, Lord,” the disciples requested. Oh, that we would passionately desire to effectively pray for the rule of God in our lives and in the world! Let us provoke each other to the good work of prayer. Zechariah 8:21 prophesies that people will one day say to each other, “Come on! Let’s all go now to pray. I’m going!” Let us all commit ourselves to a lifestyle of unceasing, fervent, militant intercession; praying in agreement with Jesus. “To pray in Jesus’ name means to pray in His spirit, in His compassion, in His love, in His outrage, in His concern. In other words, it means to pray a prayer Jesus would pray” (Kenneth L. Wilson). Jesus prayed, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.” Are we praying in Jesus’ name? Nineteenth century clergyman and poet, Richard C. Trench said, “Prayer is not getting man’s will done in heaven, but getting God’s will done on earth. It is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of God’s willingness.”  

And so, we commit ourselves to a revival of prayer. We must avail ourselves of as much instruction as possible and find many opportunities to pray, until our churches are known as houses of prayer and all of us, people of prayer. We will pray until the work of the Holy Spirit is evident in salvations, miracles, healings, and deliverances; where supernatural ministry is manifested so that it spills over into the community. We will pray until the signs follow us (see Mark 16:17, 18). 

Miracles happen when God’s people pray. A woman I know very well shared this story with me: “When the children were little, my husband started a new job. It was days before he would get paid and there was no food in the house. I did the only thing I knew to do. I prayed. ‘These babies need milk, Lord. We’re depending on You.’ Before I got up from praying, there was a knock at the door. Standing there was Eunice Moore from church. ‘I don’t even know if you need these, but the Lord told me to bring you groceries and a gallon of milk.’ God heard me and sent her to help us!”  

I know personally about the miracle-working power of prayer. Prayer saved my life. In January 2010, I was dying. Doctors called my family in and told them I had no chance living through the night. My husband, mother, and friends who were in the room immediately began praying. Then each of them got busy calling other people—some knew me, some did not—to pray. I lived! I was healed by God and have worked, preached, and lived a happy life since that miracle. Thank God people prayed. 

We must pray! For ourselves, for others, and for revival in the nations. Throughout history, when God was up to something, He preceded it with a call to prayer. D.L Moody said, “Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.” The Welsh Revival, the campaigns of Jonathan Edwards, Azusa Street, the Shearer Schoolhouse revival and many momentous outpourings interspersed through the centuries came about because earnest people gathered for concerts of prayer. A world-wide prayer movement is, once again, saturating Christianity. We must move where God is moving. We must communicate a sense of urgency and charge into this end-time prayer movement. Bible prophecy has already told us a great harvest is to come. We will only be ready if we are praying. 

James 5:16 tells us “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 instructs, “Pray without ceasing.” 1 Timothy 2:8 is clear. “Everyone, everywhere should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling.”  

We have a mission. And we have a choice. We must choose to accept it. 

-Marsha Robinson, Cleveland, Tennessee

As published in the January 2018 issue of the White Wing Messenger

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Seeking the Lord Together 

As printed in the January 2016 issue of the White Wing Messenger.

This month Church of God of Prophecy congregations on every continent will join together to seek God in prayer and fasting.  People will seek God by denying themselves of food or other things that are important in their lives.  They will come together to pray for their families, their congregation, their communities, and the world.  But my question is—“Will the children be included?” 

Children were included in significant times of prayer and fasting in the Old Testament.  When the Ammonites and Moabites joined forces to make war against Judah, Jehoshaphat called the nation together to seek the Lord with prayer and fasting.  2 Chronicles 20:13 says, “And all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.”  The Message paraphrase says simply, “Everyone in Judah was there—little children, wives, sons—all present and attentive to God.” 

During this time of seeking let’s invite everyone to participate—even the children.  Let’s provide age-appropriate opportunities for them to be present and attentive to God. 

Fasting 

Prepare the children to join in fasting during the season of seeking. Share what fasting is using the Bible story of Jesus fasting.  Just as Jesus was led by God’s Spirit to fast, God calls us to times of fasting as well.  Why? 

  • Fasting helps us to focus on Him.  Sometimes we are distracted by all that we have—food and drink, media, sports, and more.  When we willingly give up something, it causes us to consider God and what His desires are for us. 
  • Fasting also helps us to focus on particular needs or issues.  During this time of seeking we will focus on seeking God for His plans for our congregation, our families, our communities, and the world.   

Help the children consider ways they could join the congregation in fasting.  While most people give up food, encourage children to think about the following things:  

  • What habit or activity might I give up so that I can better focus on God?  Children might consider TV viewing, social media, video games, sporting events, etc. 
  • What is a specific meal, food, or drink that I enjoy that I am willing to give up?   
  • Could I give up my allowance, gifts of money, or money I earn doing chores to provide for someone in need?  

Include children in a congregational pledge to fast during this season of seeking.  For example, pass out notecards to everyone.  Have children as well as adults write or draw their fasting pledge and place it in a designated place.  

Praying 

During this season of seeking plan interactive prayer times so that everyone—including children—can participate. Some suggestions are: 

  • Prayers for the world.  Place pictures on the wall of countries that you will focus on in prayer.  Include a list (pictures too) of the specific prayer needs of that country and our church leaders there.  Invite your congregation to move around the room praying for each nation. 
  • Prayers for personal needs.  Create a wall of mesh wire.  Provide strips of colored cloth.  Create a chart that shows what prayer need each color represents. For example:  white might represent salvation, brown might represent physical needs, yellow might represent health needs, green might represent financial needs, etc.  Participants take a strip that represents their personal prayer need and tie it on the wire.  They then pray for the prayer needs represented by each of the strips already tied on the wire. 
  • Prayers for Christians who are being persecuted.  Set up a cross.  Prepare a brief written statement or audio or video recording to challenge people to pray for persecuted Christians around the world.  Provide pushpins.  Participants push a pin into the cross then pray for those who are suffering around the world because they are Christians. 
  • Prayers for our communities.  Have a large sheet of bulletin board paper with the name of your church community written at the top and the words, “I will pray and I will serve.”  Ask each participant to draw their hand on a sheet of construction paper, cut it out, and write their name on it. After praying for the needs of the community, they may tape their hand on the paper as a commitment to pray and serve. 

When Moses petitioned Pharaoh to take the people of Israel into the wilderness, Pharaoh asked, “Tell me who will be going.”  Moses answered without hesitation, “We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, and with our flocks and herds, because we are to celebrate a festival to the Lord” (Genesis 10:8, 9).   

Who will be invited to participate in this season of seeking?  I hope you will answer without hesitation, “Our young and our old will seek the Lord together.” 

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Praying for NextGen Leaders 

“We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV). 

NextGen leaders promote a holistic vision for the next generation’s spiritual growth from infancy to college. They partner with families and other ministries in the local church to ensure that there is a unified strategy for reaching, developing, and deploying the next generation into the harvest.  Our constant prayer support, therefore, adds another layer of defense against Satan’s attack on their lives, family, and ministry; increases the effectiveness of their work; and blesses and strengthens the local church.   

Prayer Directives 

As we join together to strengthen and encourage our NextGen leaders, 

  • Pray that the Holy Spirit would be poured our daily in the life of each NextGen leader (Ephesians 5:18).
  • Pray for vision and the leading of the Holy Spirit in NextGen ministries’ across our network (Habakkuk 2:2). 
  • Pray that NextGen leaders would be thoroughly equipped and fully resourced to win, disciple, and develop students (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Timothy 4:2, 5). 
  • Pray that NextGen leaders would cultivate a personal ministry of intercession and compassion for students (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18; Matthew 9:36). 
  • Pray that NextGen leaders would be positive role models and mentors (1 Corinthians 11:1; 2 Timothy 2:22). 
  • Pray for collaboration, communication, and synergy among NextGen leaders, ministry teams and lead pastors. 
  • Pray that NextGen leaders would pursue partnerships within their local communities (e.g., schools, sports, youth shelters, detention centers, etc.) to strengthen families and spread the Gospel (Matthew 28:19, 20). 

Additional Prayer Resources 

Web: 

  • Focus on the Family – http://www.focusonthefamily.com 
  • World Network of Prayer – prayingyouth.com 
  • How to Pray for Our Leaders (Billy Graham Association) – http://www.grbc.info/How%20to%20Pray.pdf 

Print: 

  • Praying Circles around Your Children by Mark Batterson 
  • Blessing Your Children by Jack Hayford

Download this prayer guide as a bulletin insert here. Let us know you are praying with us by using #COGOPprays on social media to share your requests, inspirations, and praise reports.

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Prevailing Prayer

As published in the book “The Last Great Conflict.”

As it is our desire and purpose for this book to stimulate and inspire its readers to redouble their energy and efforts to forward the Gospel and win the victory in this last great conflict, we feel it would hardly be complete without a chapter on prayer.

Prevailing prayer implies and embodies all works, as the seed embodies the trunk, root, branches, flowers, and fruitage of the tree.

The history of piety is the history of prayer. All piety and successful Christian work begins, continues, and ends with prayer. From the offering of Abel’s acceptable sacrifice down to the present moment, all blessings of grace have been bestowed in answer to the triple intercessions of the Son of God, the Holy Spirit and believing souls.

The angel said to Jacob (Genesis 32:28), “As a prince hast thou power with God and with men and hast prevailed.” If, by the effort of prayer, we may prevail, both with God and with men, is there anything else we can do in life which, in importance and power, is equal to prayer? On the day of Pentecost the preacher and the whole church being full of faith, the Holy Ghost, and power, in answer to the prayer of faith, one sermon resulted in the conversion of three thousand souls. Today three thousand sermons without this power in answer to prayer, would not save one sinner. The more of churches and sermons we have without prayer that brings an enduement of power, the worse are we off. They are a savor of death unto death, and as someone has said: “If there was a religion today that had the doctrine and all the ordinances of the New Testament, and yet, without the baptism of the Holy Ghost, it would not be Christianity.”

Because of the interests pending, and the power God has placed at the disposal of him who prays, the most interesting sight in this world is a man in the act of prayer. The angels of God look with wonder, and the Lord of angels bends from His lofty throne and exclaims, “Behold, he prayeth!”

God has revealed the necessity of prayer and its almost unlimited power. “Ask and it shall be given you.” “If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” Prayer is intimately associated with man’s salvation, and without it we cannot be saved.

How much in Christian experience and Christian labor, depends on prayer! Without prayer for the power of the Holy Ghost to attend the truth preached, the Word will be a dead letter. “The letter killeth but the Spirit giveth life.” No wonder there are so many dead formal churches. It is the unction that makes the preacher.

How did Fletcher and Finney get this unction? By praying without ceasing, by pleading, wrestling, and prevailing at a throne of grace. All great soul winners have conquered on their knees. Without prevailing prayer the meetings become as cold as death, and the churches will dwindle and become extinct. What is wanting in so many instances, is the power of the Holy Ghost to move and act in answer to the effectual, fervent prayer of the saints of God.

The Spirit of God is the great agent, who is the source of all vitality and power in every service. His life and power are given in answer to the prayer of faith, and never otherwise. How did the early church get such great power? What could they have done without it? What did they do with it? What can we do without it? A writer says of the sainted Bramwell: “I attribute the greater portion of his success in the ministry to his diligence and prayer.”

As we advance, we see in prayer the great means for obtaining strength and wisdom for our work in the Lord’s service. As we understand this subject, we will see more and more that intercessory prayer is the most important and the most real work the Christian has to do. “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 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). What a responsible position we occupy! To stand in the gap in intercessory prayer for the salvation of souls, to keep off the wrath of God is the need of the hour.

Prevailing prayer leads us into a holy and intimate nearness to God. It is the only way to God, the only medium of communion with Him. Prevailing with God is the secret of prevailing with men and must precede it. On what we transact with God at a throne of grace depends what we may accomplish with men. We may pray, sing, and preach until we drop in our graves, but until we prevail, all will go for nothing. It is one thing to pray, and another thing to prevail in prayer.

Esau was conquered while Jacob wrestled until the break of day. The lions’ mouths were closed while Daniel was on his knees. Elijah prayed, “And it rained not for the space of three years and six months.” He prayed again, “and it came to pass, in the meanwhile, that the heavens were black with clouds, and wind, and there was a great rain.” When the Israelites had made them a golden calf and worshipped it, God determined to destroy them, and said to Moses. “I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff-necked people: Now, therefore, let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation. And Moses besought the Lord, his God, and said, Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people? . . . Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people . . . And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.” But for the prayer of Moses, God would have annihilated the whole nation instead of cutting off but a few thousand of the idolaters. Strange as it may seem, yet the life of a nation depended on the prayer of faith offered by Moses.

“Oh, wonderful power of faithful prayer!
What tongue can tell the almighty grace?
God’s hands are bound or open are,
As Moses or Elijah prays!
Let Moses in the Spirit groan;
And God cries out, ‘Let me alone.’ ”

When Haman sought revenge on all the Jews in all the realms of Ahasuerus because of the insult tendered him by Moredecai the Jew and when it was decreed by the king that all the Jews should be put to death, Mordecai informed queen Esther of the bloody plot; and the queen bade Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me; and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise, and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.”

When the Jews had thus, for three days and nights, fasted and prayed, God answered and delivered them, and destroyed their enemy. He who prays in faith enlists almighty God, all the armies of heaven, and every law of the universe in the interest of his cause.

Strange as it may seem, nevertheless, the eternal salvation of the lost depends on God’s people at a throne of grace. It is in answer to prevailing prayer that power is given to move the lost to accept Christ. Peter was released from prison while the church at Jerusalem were on their knees. It was the power of the Holy Ghost, given in answer to the prayer of faith, that made the truth in Peter’s sermon, on the day of Pentecost, effectual in the conviction and conversion of three thousand souls. Without this power in answer to prayer, the multitude would have remained unmoved, except that probably they would have become so enraged that Peter would have lost his life. The prayer of faith brought a power that enchained the rabble and subdued the otherwise invincible.

It was the power of God that came while Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God, that made the earth quake and sinners tremble, and that opened the prison door and wicked hearts as well. The power that did these things centuries ago, can do the same today. This power is given to us in answer to the prayer of faith.

The Syro-Phoenician woman, whose daughter was a demoniac, cried out of her maternal heart: “Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David, . . . Lord help me!” To which Christ responded, “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.” And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. The all important thing for that mother to do was to believe—prevail.

The all important thing for us to do in these days, is to believe— to have great faith in God, and this comes of great praying.

The death warrant of “Bloody Mary” was signed in heaven, while John Knox was on his knees, saying: “Give me Scotland or I die.” When that wicked ruler said: “I fear the prayers of John Knox more than I fear all the armies of Europe,” she paid the finest tribute to the power of prayer to be found on the pages of history. The Emperor of Germany resolved to proclaim religious toleration throughout his realm, while Martin Luther and some of his helpers were on their knees, when Luther exclaimed, “Deliverance has come! Deliverance has come!”

Without the quickening and convicting operations of the Holy Ghost, the sinner will not, cannot come to God. These operations of the Holy Ghost are conditioned on the faith of the children of God. As the saints prevail with God for the convicting power of the Holy Ghost upon sinners, the responsibility for the salvation of sinners is transferred from the Christians to sinners themselves. Only where Christians have done their utmost is the responsibility entirely transferred to sinners. Then how great, how charming the responsibility of Christians! Then how important this subject of prayer in this time of the last great conflict!

As priests, we must go into the holy of holies of God’s presence by the way of prayer, and receive “all the fullness of God” ourselves, and answer for the salvation of others and then return to the people with a blessing for them. Christ spent a whole night on the mountain in prayer, that the next day He might return “in the power of the Spirit” with great blessings for the people.

How marvelous the power the church may wield at the throne of grace to move the “Lord of the harvest to send forth more laborers into His vineyard,” to carry “this Gospel of the kingdom in all the world for a witness” in this generation! The gathering of the harvest depends on prayer. How solemn the thought! How almost overwhelming the sense of responsibility that thrills the soul of him who understands the power of prayer and is in sympathy with a lost race in its paramount peril, and with Him who “gave His life a ransom for all” as he lifts his eyes and sees “the fields already white unto the harvest!”

No subject equals in importance this subject. By prayer we receive of God’s life and take on His character. We become like those with whom we have continuous and loving fellowship.

“We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” We now behold Him in the Gospel glass face to face, and are “changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” “As He (Jesus) prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment was white and glistering.” And the fashion of our countenances will be changed as we draw near to God in prayer.

Then pray for Jesus’ sake! Pray for the salvation of the lost! Pray for your own present good and eternal glory! Pray now, while we are in this last great conflict, for by prayer only will the victory be won and the conflict ended and Jesus reign supreme. Pray! Pray!! Pray!!!

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Praying for the Church

As the Church of God of Prophecy approaches a significant milestone, the 100th International Assembly, we will focus this month’s prayers on giving thanks to God for the heritage of this movement, share the present needs of our local congregations, and seek His divine direction for the future of our local and corporate bodies. Join with us this month in remembering the past, celebrating our present, and anticipating our future through prayer.  

Prayer Directives 

  • Give thanks to Father for your personal salvation and journey of faith. 
  • Praise the Father for the influence of your local church on your life. With thanksgiving, recall individuals who impacted your faith walk and celebrate the gifts of God in their lives.  
  • Thank the Father for the ministry of the Church of God of Prophecy. Thank Him for the obedience of the early church fathers and mothers who sought his purposes and sacrificed so that his plan could be accomplished.  
  • Give thanks for the global vision of the church, her impact in 135 nations of the world, and for her historical inclusiveness across racial and gender lines. 
  • Praise God for the present work of your local church. Thank Him for His faithfulness to your church and ask for opportunities to make a greater impact in your community. 
  • Confess to Him any areas of difficulty, discord, or division in your church. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring unity, direction, and help to these situations.  
  • Pray for the leaders of your local church including your pastor, ministry leaders, deacons/deaconesses, teachers, youth/children’s workers, church committees, etc. 
  • Ask the Father to give your pastor and congregation an unobstructed vision. 
  • Pray that the Father would let genuine faith, hope, and love arise in your congregation so that those in your community could see and be drawn to Him. 
  • Ask the Father to lead your church into the plenteous harvest fields that are all around your congregation.  

Download this prayer guide as a bulletin insert here. Let us know you are praying with us by using #COGOPprays on social media to share your requests, inspirations, and praise reports.

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