“Prayer meetings were the arteries of the early church. Through them, life-sustaining power was derived. The condition of the church may be very accurately gauged by its prayer meetings. So is the prayer meeting a grace-o-meter, and from it, we may judge of the amount of divine working among a people. If God is near a church, it must pray. And if He is not there, one of dying first tokens of His absence will be a slothfulness in prayer!” Charles Haddon Spurgeon
When is the last time you prayed for your church body? What about your pastor? Staff? Leadership? Have you prayed for your Sunday School teacher? Have you interceded on behalf of issues taking place in your church or decisions that need to be made?
Our churches are under the attack of the enemy like never before. Our leaders and each of our brothers and sisters in Christ need our prayers. We are the Body of Christ and we must lift one another up! Let’s use these prayers for the church – both your local church and those around the world.
A Prayer for Good to Prevail over Evil
“‘As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.’ Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” Genesis 50:20
Lord, what the enemy means for evil against our church body, we believe You can use for good. Remind our hearts of this. When we are being attacked and crushed from all sides, remind us of Your faithfulness to use everything for Your good and Your glory. May we not fear but trust in Your provision for our church family. May we not only be readers of Your Word but believers and doers. Increase our faith, Lord.
A Prayer for Unity as a Church Body
“I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3
God, help our church body to walk in a manner worthy of the calling You have given us. Help us in all our interactions with one another to have humble and gentle hearts. Grant us patience for one another, bearing with one another in love. Grant the Body of Christ unity. May we walk humbly with You, God, allowing You to show us our wrongs.
A Prayer to Seek the Lord
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.” 2 Chronicles 7:14-15
Lord, You have told us in Your Word that You hear our prayers. We are crying out to You, we are humbling ourselves before You and seeking Your face. We come together as a church body to seek You. We repent and turn from our wicked ways, thank You for hearing us. Thank you for Your forgiveness and healing.
A Prayer to Pursue Peace
“So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” Romans 14:19
Father God, You desire peace and unity and encouragement for our body of believers. Help us, Lord, to pursue what makes for peace and for building one another up. To pursue the things You will lead to peace and unity. Give us discerning hearts to know Your will and give us the courage to be obedient. Lord, we know that without You and Your Holy Spirit indwelling each of us, we cannot do any of these things. But, with You and for Your glory, grant our body peace and unity.
A Prayer to Follow Jesus
“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Luke 9:23-24
Lord, You have given us what seems like an impossible task with this passage. You have asked us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow You. Even when our spirits are willing, the flesh is weak. You know our hearts, Father. Help us, with Your Holy Spirit, to examine our hearts and hear from You. The longer we walk with You, the more we look like You. We desire to become more and more like You, less selfish and more selfless, willing to deny ourselves in any and all situations. You have told us that when we lose our life for Your sake, we will save it. Save us from ourselves, God.
As we lift up these words for our churches, let us come before God with humility and a willingness to obey. Let us put others first and serve our brothers and sisters in Christ. May we seek God first, putting aside our own desires. May we become intercessors for our brothers and sisters in Christ. May we pray more and criticize less. May we be encouragers and uplifters.
Candace Crabtree is just a broken mama thankful for grace and new mercies every morning. She and her husband live in East Tennessee where they homeschool their 3 kids. Candace also enjoys teaching piano, coffee, good books and blogging at His Mercy Is New. On her blog, she shares encouragement for weary women from God’s Word along with resources for learning to pray the Scriptures.
Publication date: July 7, 2016
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.
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“The life of the church is the highest life, and its office is to pray. Its prayer life is the highest life, the most fragrant, the most conspicuous. When God’s house on the earth is a house of prayer, then God’s house in heaven is busy and powerful in its plans and movements. ‘For mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people’ (Isaiah 56:7), says our God. Then, His earthly armies are clothed with the triumphs and spoils of victory, and His enemies are defeated on every hand… The very life and prosperity of God’s cause – even its very existence – depend on prayer. And the advance and triumph of His cause depend on one thing: that we ask of Him.” E. M. Bounds
There is supernatural power released when the Church in the city prays. What is needed in the worldwide Church at this hour is a unified, praying Church. We need supernatural power. Only the power of God will defeat the attacks of the enemy in our cities. When the Church in a city or region decides to drop its own agendas and decides to come together to pray, there is great spiritual power released into the atmosphere. Prayer will affect everything! It will affect time, places, occasions, and circumstances. A praying Church within the city brings success and supernatural power into that region.
We must get on our knees and seek God passionately together. The obstacles towards city transformation are many. We must believe that our cities can be transformed by the power of God. We must know that none of us has the answer to our city; only God does. He is the one who transforms and brings change. This is all about the Kingdom of God and intimacy with the King. We must stop our busyness, remove ourselves from the distractions all around us, and become passionate for God. It is time to seek the Lord. We all want transformation in our cities. In his book, E. M. Bounds on Prayer, Bounds emphasizes that a praying church is a successful church:
“Success is sure to follow a church given to much prayer. The supernatural element in the church, without which it must fail, comes only through praying. More time in this bustling age must be given to pray by a God-given church… More heart and soul must be in the praying that is done if the church would go forth in the strength of her Lord and perform the wonders that is her heritage by divine promise.”Requirements for Transformation in Your CityGod wants to come into your city with His presence. He is greatly concerned with your city and cares deeply about reaching the people who live there. We need to ask ourselves, “What are the requirements needed to bring God’s power into our city – power that will reach the lost and set the captives free? What is required for transformation in our city that will change the face of everything?” Here are some requirements that will help bring life and transformation into your city:
- Make prayer a priority.Fervent prayer will release God’s destiny for our cities. Be willing to persevere in prayer with a holy determination. Determine not to let go of God until He breaks through. Become desperate for God.
- Expect God to work uniquely in your city.Don’t think He will do the same in your city as another one. The work of God comes through prayer, and it is unpredictable and out of man’s control. God will show up in unexpected ways. We think our strategies are the way, but God sees things in a much more powerful dimension.
- Seek for unity among the churches in your city. Remember that God doesn’t need a majority but He only needs a few churches coming together with hungry hearts for the cause of revival and transformation of the city. The presence of God will bring supernatural unity as we cry out to Him for it. Only together will we see the results that God wants. Seek to unite with other churches in prayer for transformation.
Are we willing to pay the price for God to transform our cities through prayer? God’s heart is that your church becomes a praying church. For many of us God has brought us to the point of desperation. We are willing to lay down our own agendas and get on our faces before God for however long it takes. We have seen that our own methods and plans will never change the increasing darkness that is permeating our land.
We are becoming desperate and that is a good place to be. Seeking the manifest presence of God in a region is risky, but it is the way towards a true and powerful transformation in our cities. In the Transformation video by George Otis, Jr., the following words were spoken that stress the requirements for transformation:
“It’s risky, aggressive, and brought about through prayer. It’s not predictable and out of our control. There is an unexpectedness of God. We are fooled by strategy. We lack God’s processing power. You can’t format God. We are proud and impatient. God’s approach is to come in through the back door. He shows up, not shows off. There is a flow with the Holy Spirit that is not stage-managed. He is willing to be invited but only on his terms.Leaders must be committed to a community. They must persevere through apathy and not give up. I can’t coast and there is no time to say, ‘I’ll relax.’ It’s not a quick start but a long run. The goal is to get to the last day and then face Jesus and through everything to direct men and women toward the Kingdom. God is looking for a man who will take the burden on himself for the nation. God is looking for leaders who will stand in the gap for their nation, who don’t care who gets the credit. They are not stakeholders but shareholders. They give God the glory. Revival leaders are often unlikely choices. The measure of leadership is not influence with the public but influence with God.”Are we ready for transformation in our cities? Are we willing to enter into God’s heart in prayer that the Church in our city becomes a praying Church? A few years ago we started a month-long 24/7 House of Prayer in a central location in southern Spain. As we prayed, God began to fit everything into place. He provided in an amazing way a large 200-year old hotel. This place was set apart for the entire month to seek the face of God. Churches and individuals in the region dedicated time in the prayer room. They chose to unite and drop their differences. They were seeking God’s Kingdom purposes for that region. Individuals from several other countries came, dedicating large amounts of time in the prayer room.
Cities around the world are beginning to seek God for transformation. Houses of prayer are starting all over the world. Here at the International House of Prayer (IHOP-KC) hundreds of individuals from all over the world come to learn how to start a House of Prayer and see transformation in their city. Join us for the free OneThing young adult conference (One Call, One Story, One Coming King) here in Kansas City through the webstream. We expect 25,000 young adults here and perhaps 30,000 through the webstream. It is good for all ages and is excellent preparation for the future. See OneThing.
It’s time to believe that God will transform our cities through prayer. There is power in a praying Church. God is inviting us to enter His heart for a praying Church. We invite you to pray this prayer for your city and believe God for a mighty transformation: “Lord, whatever it takes. Give me the grace to get there. I will live and die believing for my city to be transformed.”
“The time has come to lift the bar of expectations. Transformation is attainable for God. This is the heartbeat of God. It’s not the work of man. It’s the finger of God. ‘If you call on me, I will answer.’ He takes care of the problems. The church becomes a beacon of light and hope.”George Otis, Jr., Transformation video
May you have a very merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.