I was attending an intercessory prayer gathering in Canada when I began to see the connection between theology and prayer. There was just over one-hundred people who had gathered to pray for the needs of their city. Their goal was to strategize for how they could more effectively pray for their city. The event itself was glorious and a tangible sense of God’s presence was felt by us all. It was in this setting when a subtle and dare I say, life-changing thought occurred to me.
“it’s hard to mobilize people to pray when they don’t know their authority in prayer.”
Those who gathered for this event were from a number of churches in their area and identified across the denominational spectrum. What was similar in all those who gathered, was an understanding that if they prayed for their city – God would move in, through and because of their prayers. Regardless of denominational backgrounds, these saints had caught a glimpse of their authority in prayer.
These saints believed that God would answer when they prayed, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
They, believing they had been made right with God through Jesus, understood James 5:16, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
They believed the object and reward of their prayer, was that their city was to experience the Kingdom of God. They believed and prayed that the drug and homelessness crisis was to be resolved, the city to prosper and the lost to find Jesus. They prayed for restored marriages, political leaders and miracles. They also prayed for an evangelistic zeal to sweep through their churches.
These believers understood and believed 1 John 5:14 when it says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
Every prayer they prayed that day was heard by God. People had been mobilized to pray for their city because they understood that their prayers could impact history. Prayer for these incredible believers wasn’t passive. Prayer was their weapon and Jesus’ Kingdom was their hope.
When you want to craft a culture of prayer or mobilize others to pray, teach them about their identity and authority in Christ. Teach them they their Heavenly Father hears their prayers. Teach them that the Holy Spirit is given to those who ask. Share testimonies of God accomplishing the impossible and agree that He will do it again! Don’t only call a prayer meeting, teach sound theology and build a prayer army.
Since that prayer meeting, this city and its believers have seen noticeable transformation. Churches are combatting the drug crisis. There is more strategy and funding to serve the poor and close to 500 people have been trained to share the Gospel with their neighbours. The service and prayers offered by these believers are not yet done, nor is the ability and willingness of God to empower them.
These saints are praying until, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)