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How to Unleash The Power of a Praying Church

  • Whitney Hopler Contributing Writer
  • 2009 16 Jun
How to Unleash <i>The Power of a Praying Church</i>

Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Storrmie Omartian & Jack Hayford's book, The Power of a Praying Church: Experiencing God Move as We Pray Together, (Harvest House Publishers, 2003).

Jesus has promised that when two or more people gather in His name, He will be there in the midst of them. Praying with others invites God to show up and move in powerful ways in response to your prayers.

Here’s how you and other people can join forces to pray:

Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you.  Realize that you’re powerless to do anything of significance or accomplish anything lasting without the God’s help.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to fill your soul each day and teach you what God wants you to learn about the people and situations you encounter.  Ask God to give you His perspective on your life so you can better understand how He wants to use you to change the world for the better through your prayers.  Don’t rely on your own limited strength and wisdom; develop a daily habit of relying on God’s unlimited power as the Holy Spirit flows through you.  Ask God to show you how the keys He has given you unlock and unleash His power in prayer.  Pray to be a great ambassador of God’s kingdom, inspiring other people to love God more because of what they see in you.

Build healthy prayer habits.  Following these steps can help you pray effectively: Acknowledge God as your heavenly Father; Praise God for who He is and what He has done; Choose one of God’s names, attributes, or characteristics and thank Him for being that to you; Present your day to God, asking Him to guide you in specific ways with all you have planned; Present your body to God as a living sacrifice and ask Him to help you be a good steward of it, since it’s a temple of the Holy Spirit; Confess your sins before God and ask Him to help you live His way; Ask God to help you speak only words that bring life and please Him while avoiding sinful words that bring about destruction; Ask God for whatever specific needs you have at that time; Pray for God’s will to be done in your life; and Pray for other people and situations, listing all who come to your mind.  Thank God for the answers to prayer that He gives you.  Don’t be disappointed if your prayers aren’t answered immediately or in the exact way you’d like; trust God to take care of your concerns at the right time and in the right ways.  Ask God to give you peace.

Find a prayer partner.  Ask God to send one or more people into your life who are willing to pray with you on a regular basis.  Pray for those people to be trustworthy, mature in God’s ways, and full of faith to believe the God will answer the prayers.  Ask God to help you support others in prayer well, help you hear the Holy Spirit speaking to you, and do miracles through you when you pray.  Don’t let pride or fear cause you to conceal anything in your life for which you need prayer; pray for the courage you need to be open and honest with the people who are praying with you.  Ask God to help you recognize opportunities to pray with others and take full advantage of them.  Pray for the ability to pray according to God’s will, and for the faith you need to believe that He will answer your prayers.

Start or join a prayer group.  Plan important logistics for your group, such as where you’ll meet, how often you’ll meet, who will be in your group, how long each meeting will be, and what format you’ll follow.  For worship time, choose songs that everyone knows.  Encourage group members to have their requests prepared before prayer time.  Don’t allow people to take more time sharing their requests than they do actually praying about them.  Don’t allow any one person to dominate the rest of the group.  Stress the importance of confidentiality.  Ask God to help everyone in your group come to complete unity with each other as you all pray, and to pray according to God’s will. 

Pray together for your local area.  Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what specific needs to pray about for your community, and understand the biblical grounds upon which you’re expecting those things to happen.  Pray for the ability to become a person who reaches across all types of barriers (cultural, racial, generational, economic, denominational, etc.) to share God’s love with all people and appreciate how the differences between you and them can help you all learn and grow.  Ask God to help you be in the church He wants to you be in, and to move in harmony with others in your congregation as you intercede for your community.  Pray for God to draw all people in your local area to Himself.

Pray together for your state and nation.  Ask God to forgive the sins committed by people in your state and nation, and to pour out His mercy and grace.  Pray for deliverance from issues that pollute your culture, like: pornography, abortion, murder, stealing, lying, corruption, fraud, destruction, and violence.  Don’t become more preoccupied with the problems than with God’s power to solve the problems.  Ask God to make you an instrument of bringing His power to reign in your state and nation.  Pray for God to guide the leaders of your state and nation to make wise decisions.  Ask for protection for military troops fighting to protect your nation’s freedoms.

Pray together for the world.  Your prayers can be powerful even when you’re praying about people and situations in places that are far away, because God is always near when you pray.  Be alert to the specific topics God calls you to pray about – perhaps something you learn about through the news.  Be assured that when you join your prayers to those of your brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world, God will respond by moving in power.  Pray for peace and godly leaders for specific areas of the world that God has placed on your heart.  Ask God to send missionaries, evangelists, and other Christian workers to specific places around the world to reveal the truth about Him to people living there.

Thank God for His answers.  Regularly acknowledge what God has done in response to your prayers and thank Him for it.  Rejoice with the people with whom you’ve been praying, and keep praying faithfully together.

Adapted from The Power of a Praying Church: Experiencing God Move as We Pray Together, copyright 2003 by Stormie Omartian with Jack Hayford. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Or., 
Stormie Omartian is the bestselling author of The Power of a Praying® series (more than 13 million copies sold worldwide), which includes The Power of a Praying® Wife and The Power of a Praying® Husband. Her many other books include Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On, The Prayer That Changes Everything®, The Power of a Praying® Woman, The Power of Praying® Through the Bible, and The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage. Stormie and her husband, Michael, have been married more than 35 years and are the parents of two adult children. 
Jack Hayford is the founding pastor of the Church On The Way in Van Nuys, California, and currently the chancellor of the King’s College and Seminary in Los Angeles. A bestselling author and songwriter, Pastor Hayford has penned more than four dozen books and 600 hymns and choruses, including “Majesty.” He and his wife, Anna, have four children and 11 grandchildren.

Original publication date: June 16, 2009