Thursday, January 28, 2010
We need to continue to build the church through prayer. In my last blog, I introduced Jack Miller’s idea of “front-line prayers.” Front-line prayers seek God for something much bigger than prayer for our own needs. It is prayer that fully focuses on God and considers His passions and desires.
Previously I began my description with:
1. It is prayer that is focused on God’s power, presence, and kingdom.
Let’s further unfold what front-line prayer is…
2. It is a prayer that asks God for the flourishing of the Church.
You fill prayer meetings to pray for the church to grow and mature, for people to grow in Christ, for worship to be living and vibrant, and for the prayer life of the church to grow. It is praying for the church to get out of apathy, for the knowledge of the gospel to explode, and for the church to shine in the city.
3. It is a passionate desire to know God more and more.
We seek after God’s presence and we ask for Him to open the eyes of our heart so that we see Him more clearly. We begin to ask for His glory. It is going hard after Him when we gather because we want to sense His presence in our midst.
4. It is bold, specific and persistent prayer.
We pray for particular people groups and neighborhoods. We seek out God’s grace for them. We don’t let Him go until we see people coming to know Jesus.
5. It is prevailing corporate prayer
When you spread coals out, a fire dies down. When you bring them together, the fire begins to roar. Likewise as believers, we must pray together to keep ourselves hot for God. We must gather together corporately and pray.
May our churches look to God more fully with such bold and prevailing prayer! May we see many in our communities come into His kingdom as we experience His presence together!
Monday, January 18, 2010
In his book The Heart of a Servant Leader, Jack Miller writes:
“Make the whole ministry center on private and corporate prayer. Do not expect bigger victories in tough areas until corporate praying becomes the complete center of the ministry. The reason? It is in prayer together that we find grace to give up control to the Father, rely exclusively on the Spirit, and see the demons subdued. It is here we get our life, vigor, zest, and authority for the battle…Without constant adoration, thanksgiving, intercession, and confession together, we are going to teach people to rely on our traditions, plans, technologies, and methods rather than on grace.”
Miller then describes the difference between “maintenance prayers” and “front-line prayers.”
- Maintenance prayers are short prayers in which we ask for our basic needs, health, and for God to consider our personal situations.
- Front-line prayers seek God for something much bigger than our own needs. It is praying in a way that we are considering God and His passions and desires.
First, it is prayer that is focused on God’s power, presence, and kingdom. Instead of quickly moving to “Give us our daily bread…” we stay and pray for “God, your Kingdom come, you will be done” with intensity and often in protracted ways.
- is prayer for the renewal of the Church and of the city. It is prayer that is larger and more intense.
- is when people gather and cry out and “lift their voices together” (Acts 4:24) as we pray in the Kingdom of God.
- seeks after God’s grace and recognizes that nothing can be done without it.
I’ll look to unfold more about Front-line Prayer in my next blog…
Monday, January 4, 2010
Both biblically and historically prayer brings advancement of God’s cause.
Prayer meetings launched a worldwide missionary movement. In Acts 13:1-3, while in a prayer meeting, the church experienced the Holy Spirit calling Barnabas and Paul to plant churches in the nations. The first recorded launch of the gospel in Europe came from the prayer meeting in Acts 16:12-15. Paul was part of a riverside prayer meeting in Philippi. At that prayer meeting, Lydia’s heart was opened to receive Christ.
Prayer has been as a powerful force throughout church history:
- Jeremiah Lamphier called a prayer meeting in downtown New York in 1857. Within six months, 10,000 businessmen were praying for revival. Within two years, two million people were saved and added to the churches.
- James McQuilkin and three others met in a schoolhouse in Ireland every Friday evening for prayer. By the end of the year 1858, fifty believers had come to pray and they prayed for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The next year, an estimated 100,000 were saved and added to the churches in Ulster.
Corporate, prevailing, intense prayer always preceded every move of God. People began crying out to God in a way they had not previously experienced. May we also fervently and continually pray for God to move as we look at all that awaits us in the year ahead.