I am not particularly well qualified to write this article …
but I am a Christian who prays, knows most of the passages in the Bible that concern prayer, have been partaker in countless prayer meetings, and have many times seen God answer prayer.
While this old dodderer has once again been consigned to Covid lockdown, I do so knowing I can do my bit as a Watchman on the Wall and a Bible student, and share what the Lord has laid on my heart, so it may bless some. I am grateful my own church has called a week of prayer (even if only via WhatsApp, due to the restrictions) mindful if ever there was a need for such a time, this is it. The days of national emergency, such as during World War 2 when the King called the nation to pray, seem to have gone and, while I don’t want to use this opportunity to bash church or government, I regret such calls don’t happen and, if my reading of the Bible is correct, God allows calamities to wake His people up. I was going to spend a few hours researching my next topic, holiness, but that will come next. But I can make the connection that God (Yahweh) wants both a holy people and a praying people and the one leads to the other.
Before I give my list of ten areas we need to pray into, I will give ten “qualifying” thoughts by way of a precursor:
- I often precede studies like this with a Bible search, in this case on the word “pray”, and feed this into my online Bible application (BibleGateway) and thus meditate. I commend this practice.
- Besides studying the Bible, I have read many helpful books on prayer, which I commend, but confess the revolution and transformation that should follow is very much work in progress.
- There have also been many “heroes of the faith” to supplement those mentioned in the Bible, who took God at his word, and prayed, and as a result of their praying have seen often wonderful, unexpected, unusual, miraculous, powerful answers to prayer.
- Prayer is no substitute for obedience to God, living a holy life and having a contrite heart and a penitent spirit.
- Prayer must lead to action. The likes of Wilberforce and Bonhoeffer prayed and it led to needful political action. The likes of George Carey and Hudson Taylor prayed and it led to missionary endeavour, like India and China. The likes of Mueller and Booth prayed and it led to social action, like caring for orphans. The likes of Bonnke and Prince prayed and it led to Pentecostal revival. The likes of numerous church planters prayed and it led to churches being planted. The likes of many martyrs prayed and it led to their deaths. The likes of you and me prayed and it led to wonderful breakthroughs in often small things.
- We must be careful not to pre-empt God – who while He will answer our prayers, it may not be in the way we hope of expect. We must be reliant on the Holy Spirit to help us to pray.
- We are beholden to pray and the objects for our prayers are countless, but we must begin somewhere.
- Prayer, including supplication and intercession, should accompany worship, including praise and thanksgiving. It also means we have to forgive those who have wronged us. It also involves spiritual warfare and is an important weapon in this important undertaking.
- While our prayers are often general e.g. bless Aunt Soandso, we need to learn to go from the general to the specific and be like Jacob, not to let God go until he has blessed us.
- As members of the Body (the Church), which is universal and includes people we may not like or agree with, we need to pray for them, and especially for the suffering church.
So now for items of prayer, which here is a halfway house between the general and the specific. I also have a view as does the reader and will do my best not to force my view.
- As I write the USA is uncertain who has won the US Presidential election. The issue of voter fraud is a real one. The outcome will have huge implications for the USA and the world.
- Last night the UK Parliament voted to impose another Covid lockdown. Whichever way the vote may have gone has enormous ramifications for the UK. What is God saying in all this?
- The UK is due in the next few weeks to completely leave the EU, deal or no deal. Pray for a righteous transition and for the UK’s future outside of the EU.
- It is evident the Church (true followers of Christ) are not united and yet Christ loves the Church and seeks a bride, pure and holy. Pray he will raise up leaders, like King David, after His own heart.
- Many of our brothers and sisters across the world are suffering persecution. Every day, the Barnabas Fund (and others) gives examples of sufferers of persecution for us to pray concerning.
- There are many mission agencies, including those known to us, who are doing sterling work, but under great pressure and all sorts of constraints, including financial ones.
- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
- all of us have unsaved family and friends. Pray for their salvation.
- The elderly, young, perplexed, lonely, disaffected, feeling cursed in our fellowship. Outreaches: youth, old folks home, homeless.
- for the furtherance of the gospel, here in the UK and in the whole world, for there to be harvest of true disciples of the Lord Jesus.