Unless we are praying and spending time alone with God, we really can’t understand what it means to follow Christ. We are deceived by thinking that dynamic preaching, a good worship service, special music, great choruses and an outstanding church program are where it’s all at. But they’re not.
In the Bible one of the strongest agendas God has is to get people alone with Him. For example, Jacob ran 20 years or more. Finally, once God got him alone, He could make him into Israel.
When we find ourselves before God alone, we can more easily recognize our pride and our sins that we often cloak in our own hearts. With everyone else, we argue these things away and look wonderful and smile. But when we are all alone before God, there is no where else to hide, and we can turn to Him, repent and receive His cleansing and purification.
The more we are with the Lord, the less phony we become. I cannot tell you strongly enough how important it is for each of us to develop a very strong habit of prayer; otherwise, our Christian walk will be missing the substance and strength we need.
But this is only the first step in God’s agenda for each of our lives. The next step is for Him to show us the desperate faces of more than 2 billion people who are waiting to know that Jesus loves them. Each of them is created in the image of God with a soul that lives forever. Yet they do not know the name to call upon for salvation.
God searches for those people who will stand in the gap on their behalf and intercede for them.
I am not talking about a little phrase we say at the dinner table: “Lord, please bless our food and our family, and let the people in Africa hear the Good News.” I am talking about entering into incredible spiritual warfare. This means going consciously into battle against the powers of darkness for the freedom of people who do not even yet know the hope that Jesus can bring them.
It is basically the hardest, most agonizing and difficult job we can ever embrace—but the only one that guarantees absolute victory.
It is amazing how easily we can get people in the Body of Christ motivated to demonstrate, to wear T-shirts, to collect signatures or to raise money for a worthy cause. But it is the hardest thing to get them to pray for a world that needs Christ.
Why are our views and priorities so distorted? Why are we so easily distracted from the one thing that makes the biggest difference? The answer is because we are up against an enemy who knows what can hurt him the most! The devil is well aware that prayer is our most powerful weapon—it defeats him every time. With it, we touch heaven and cause the hand of God to move in a mighty way. Therefore, the devil would rather see us doing every other Christian activity instead.At Gospel for Asia (GFA), we consistently experience that prayer is the quickest shortcut to victory. What would take us 50 years of struggles to accomplish, God can do in no time at all.
But how can you start, and what can you pray for? Go to the internet and pull up the news or watch the news on TV. Note down what is happening and start praying, truly interceding for the needs in this world today. A day doesn’t go by anymore without truly alarming news.
Just this week in Las Vegas, NV, 59 people died in what they are saying is the worst mass shooting in modern American history. When have we ever seen such large-scale storms and natural disasters one after another? From floods and tsunamis in Southeast Asia to Hurricane Harvey to Hurricane Maria in the Western Hemisphere.
The need for the people of God to rise up and pray for this world and to truly engage in intersession has never been more needed. Look around at Christian ministries and missions and hear their cry and see their need for people to stand with them to pray for them. It doesn’t take long to know that now is the time to pray as never before.
Put up a world map in your house to remind you that this world needs your prayers. Go online and lookup prayer requests from ministries across the world. Soon you will discover that 30 minutes, one hour or two hours will not be enough to even scratch the surface.
It is the incredible wisdom of our God to ordain prayer to be the most powerful weapon of the church. Prayer doesn’t require any talent and can be done anywhere and anytime. A housewife, a poor person, a child, a 90-year-old grandmother, an executive or a lonely believer in a nursing home all are able to change the world and help change the lives of millions of people through prayer.
If the Lord has spoken to you today, please respond by doing just one thing: Pray!
Checkout more ways to be involved in prayer at https://www.gfa.org/pray/, by KP Yohannan.
Click here, to read more articles on Patheos by Dr. KP Yohannan Metropolitan.