Prayer MUST Be a Part of Your Strategy

by Paul on May 1, 2009

Prayer is essential to every strategy

If you don’t have prayer as a part of your strategy, there is one of three things going on:

  1. You hadn’t ever thought about prayer and strategy like that.
  2. You don’t know how to include prayer in your strategies.
  3. You didn’t want to succeed in the first place.

If prayer isn’t part of your strategy – especially if you are planting the Gospel among lost communities – then your effectiveness will be limited and, over time, your strategy will crumble.

Not to be an alarmist or anything, but I thing God was pretty serious when He spoke to us through the Apostle Paul:

 10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
 19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.  Ephesians 6:10-20

And, to think of the enormity of the opposition, think about this passage from Daniel:

 

 10 A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.

 12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.” Daniel 10:10-14

 

So one angel, bearing the word of God to Daniel, was held up by a demon for 21 days and had to be helped by Michael to escape and get the message through.  Considering the enormity of that situation gives me pause and makes me think about prayer and spiritual warfare pretty hard.

Prayer is serious. Period.  When you add these passages to the accounts from church planters on the mission field, there is little doubt that prayer is more than just asking God to heal your toe and bless your food.

So, with that in mind, we strive to make prayer a critical part of our strategies.  That includes our online summer missions program.

How We Teach Our Summer Missionaries to Develop a Prayer Network

Soon after we accept them into the program, I ask each of our summer missionaries to number a sheet of paper from 1-30.  Next to each number they write the name and phone number of a Christian friend – no repeats.  Each day they are to call the person with the number that corresponds to that day of the month.  So, on the 15th they would call number 15 and so on. 

When they call, they say something like this:

“Hey [insert name]!  I have your name on my prayer calendar for today.  I’m going to be praying for you on and off throughout the day.  Is there anything you want me to pray about?”

Then they pray with the person right there, on the phone.  After they are done, they say,

“Thanks for letting me pray for you.  I would appreciate it if you would pray for me sometime today – when you get a chance.  I’m involved in a summer missions program.  We trying to reach the lost online.  We could all really use your prayers.  I appreciate it.”

Then they end the conversation.  Obviously it won’t go like that, word-for-word, but you get the idea.  The point is that each summer missionary is now involved in a prayer ministry rather than merely recruiting people to pray for them.  It is much more relational.

When you look at the numbers, it is pretty powerful.  We have 10 summer missionaries.  Each one makes their own list.  That means that 10 people per day, 300 per month, will be praying for them and the program.  The only committment our summer missionaries had to make was to call a different person each day!

We have our missionaries begin this activity the month before the program begins, continue throughout their assignment, and pray for the month after their assignment is over.  We’ve learned that Satan like to attack especially during those times.  

Summer Missions Update

We are one month from starting the first online summer mission program in history (at least as far as I know).  We have two teams of five summer missionaries each.    Several of us are already noticing an increase in spiritual warfare.  Strange dreams, irritability, inter-personal conflict, unexplained accidents, depression, etc.  All of these threaten to knock us off our game and keep our eyes off our mission – planting the Gospel among lost communities online.

We know God is going to do great things.  God wants people to follow Him. We are walking out in the center of His will and purpose.

And we are all very excited.

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Speedlinking - May 6, 2009 « Thoughts of Resurrection
May 6, 2009 at 7:03 am

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew Conard May 1, 2009 at 10:36 pm

I believe that you are right on here. I appreciate the guidelines and simple use of a phone call to facilitate prayer networks. I believe that I will take up the practice. Thank you!

Daniel Jansson May 2, 2009 at 10:28 am

Hi!
I agree with you that prayer is essential in making things go Gods way.
I think that we often miss praying because we are trying so hard to do Gods work so we don´t pray because of lack of time, and perhaps because we are afraid He might interfer with our work.

Mark Brown May 3, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Greetings Paul,

I have just set up a Twitter account called @prayer4U that aims to gather together a community of people to pray for each other. The idea is that in following you will receive the prayer requests as they come in. If you would like to be prayed for you can send a Direct Message to Prayer4U or email: twitterprayer@hotmail.com

To sign up to become part of this new prayer network head to: http://twitter.com/Prayer4U/

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