When the President Prayed – by Ruthie Jacobsen

A few days ago I was on a prayer call with several prayer leaders from one of our conferences.

As is often the case, the conference president was on the call with us.

It was an intense time of intercession, but an instant lump rose in our throats when the president began to pray. With a passion I don’t think I’d ever heard from him, he cried out, “Oh, God, please show us how to make every church in our field a house of prayer!”

Jesus Himself declared that this should be our name, our identity. As important as preaching is, He never called His church “a house of preaching.” As essential as music is, He never called His church “a house of music.” Jesus said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer” (Matt. 21:13).

The president’s words hung in the air as we prayed. We could sense a rise in the intensity of our prayer time. We perceived that God wanted to say something of importance, that a dream was birthing, a vision was coming to light. Every church a house of prayer.

What if …

What if, as people drove by our church building on a Wednesday evening, they had the distinct sense that something of eternal significance was happening inside?

What if, when a neighbor was facing a crisis, one of us knocked on her door and asked if we could come in and pray?

What if, when a new school term was beginning, we invited parents from our community — and their teachers — to a special time of prayer for our public schools?

What if, when the church board met, they decided to spend as much time praying as they did in discussion of the business agenda?

What if the mid-week service became prayer meeting night again, and such a strong awareness of God’s presence filled the community that you had trouble finding a place to sit?

What if there were victories and healings, marriages repaired, children reclaimed, and sinners turned heavenward?

What if …

We believe God would be honored. That’s why, as we move toward the new year, you will begin to see the appeal, HOPE heals. HOPE is an acronym for Houses Of Prayer Everywhere. We urge you to begin to ask God to show you what that would look like where you live.

Ruthie Jacobsen, prayer coordinator, North American Division

Note: To view this week’s prayer requests for the church, please click here!

Practical Application: 

If prayer is not a major part of everything you do at your church, now is the time to start praying that God would change this. It may not be easy at first to learn how to incorporate more prayer into the routine activities of the church, but if you and several others catch the vision for “HOPE Heals” and keep praying, God will bring more and more on board.

There are many things you can do to get the ball rolling. Invite a special prayer speaker and host a prayer weekend to help your church members see the vital importances of prayer. Plan a day of prayer and fasting for backslidden members or for your children. Plan a special agape banquet and take turns sharing prayer testimonies. Take a Sabbath afternoon just to spend a couple hours taking turns surrounding each other (and your burdens) in prayer. This will bring great healing and unity to your fellow church members as you carry one another’s burdens and lift up each other’s needs in prayer. Start a weekly (or more) prayer meeting where you don’t just talk, you PRAY for specific spiritual goals! Satan doesn’t mind how much time we spend talking and strategizing about prayer, just as long as we don’t take time to pray! Let’s break this habit and make his host tremble.

As your prayer activities in your church grow, you will begin to see revival among members, backslidden members will return to church, your young people will begin to sense that God is at work and start asking questions and more and more amazing things will happen.

God is just waiting to work! He’s waiting for us to pray! He truly wants to make our churches houses of prayer, but even more, He wants us to be houses of prayer! Let’s pray that He would do just this!

Dear Heavenly Father, We talk a lot about prayer, but we really don’t pray in our churches or homes as we should. Please help this to change. Help us to make prayer a true priority. Help us to get past the distractions that the enemy throws across our path, and truly fall on our knees in fervent prayer for our churches, our children, backslidden members, and the lost around us. We know You want to do so much more with us, but our faith and small belief in the power of prayer has limited us. May these things limit us no longer. Help us to become the houses of prayer that You’ve designed us to be. May Your work in answer to prayer be seen in such a powerful way that people will begin flocking to see what is happening in our church. This is a miracle we are praying for! But YOU are the God of miracles. Thanks for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Promises to claim: Mark 11:17, Jer. 33:3, Eph. 3:20

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  • Margaret Major

    Amen. Prayer is the way forward always but especially in these last days as prophecy is fulfilling before our very eyes. We receive direction and encouragement from God and at the same time nurture and build one another up in faith and commitment. I praise God for prayerful, humble leaders who set such wonderful examples of absolute dependence on God and lead through example by attending the weekly prayer meetings or resurrecting them if they have fallen by the way. I will be praying for Houses Of Prayer Everywhere. HOPE.

  • Merle B. Platel

    I believe in the power of prayer. In July 30,1991, I had cardiac arrest the day before our flight back to Madagascar. Our 11 yr.old daughter and I were in the Philippines, while my then Dutch husband was in The Netherlands together with our two teen-aged sons. Many friends and loved ones prayed for me as I lay in coma at our SDA hospital in Manila. When I woke up the next day, at the ICU, I noticed the date of the calendar and realised that I missed our flight, because I was lying on my hospital bed and not on board the plane that day.That was 24 yrs. ago, and by the grace and mercies of God, I am still doing well. Heavenly Father, I can not thank You enough for so many answered prayers, in the past, and up to this moment. May the church, I go to, and all the churches here in Holland, and around the world be a house of prayer. May we all be United in prayer wherever we may be as we witness and prepare for these lasts days prior to the return of Your Son, in Jesus name. Amen

    • Marilyn Fletcher

      Amen. I am so very glad that God answered prayer and you are still here blessing us with your insights into our heavenly Father. Praise God. He is just good.

      • Merle B. Platel

        My dear sister, I am so glad to “see”you are up and about after your surgery. You are constantly in my prayers, and I’m sure all the others are also praying for your complete recuperation. God is good, and praise be to Him always! Tomorrow I will be going to the Philippines, my first visit after 9 years. I am requesting for travelling mercies, and to be able to witness to my non-SDA friends and relatives during the 4 months that I will be there. Thank you all, and have a blessed week everyone.

        • Marilyn Fletcher

          Thank you, Merle. I will pray that God keep you safe and use you to light the way to Christ for all the people you meet while in the Philippines. May God bless you, my sister.

          • Merle B. Platel

            Amen, and THANK YOU!. Your blogs and words of encouragement are all a source of inspiration and may our heavenly Father continue to use you for His service. Blessings to you

    • Vanessa Grace Cruzata Taylor

      Amen

    • Justina

      Amen Sis. Merle; God continues to prove His faithfulness unto the His children.

  • Debi

    What I find so amazing is that last week as we came toward the end of our Sabbath School lesson what I was impressed with were the very words of Jesus, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people?” What if that became a reality? Perhaps that building which we now call or label ‘the church’ would instead be labeled ‘the house of prayer’! How different would our attitudes be; our focus. I envision God’s house becoming a place of refuge, a sure retreat, a place of prayer! Imagine how it would change the church. I matinee how it would change the world!!

  • Sandrine SOOS

    Prayer is the power that can change the spiritual situation of our churches. As we are living in the last minutes of humanity we need to be prayer warriors. God is waiting to use each one to change the face of our churches only if we are willing to spend time with him in prayer.

  • Vanessa Grace Cruzata Taylor

    Please pray for the Pope Francis. May he be like Jonah the prophet to the World. Listening to GOD to not past the Sunday Law. By the Great Love of GOD’S grace and mercy all the world with be United in Christ in prayer as we fight ISIS on our knees. As they destroyed the ruins of Nineveh and the tomb of Jonah the prophet of the one true GOD and a generation of Christians in the land of Ninivah continued fasted and prayed for generations and for thousands of years in the land. May we those United in Christ in prayer. See GOD pour HIS Holy Spirit to regain what the enemy has destroyed and stolen as many grow in the truth, grace and mercy of GOD and lift us HIS Son our LORD and Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. AMEN.

  • Marilyn Fletcher

    Prayer; help us to pray more and trust always.

  • aaw2aah

    I love the idea of HOPE and sincerely pray that it is fulfilled in our churches. Can you imagine the power houses they will be when this becomes a reality! My prayer also is not to allow the distractions of my job,, and fatigue, to prevent me from attending prayer meeting each week as we enter a period of prayer, fasting and spiritual revival.

  • Justina

    Thank you Sis. Jacobson for the prayer focus today. Oh my precious Family of God prayer is the essence of the church today. It is the glue that connects us to Our God. It is the engine in our lives. Each Sunday our conference have a 6am prayer meeting and each quarter we have an all night prayer meeting. Churches have prayer groups that pray daily. A prayer retreat weekend is scheduled for October end. More prayer more power; (PUSH) pray until something happens is our reality today. Jesus is about to burst the eastern sky. Let us pray without ceasing; let us all become aware of the urgent need for continuous prayer. Let us pray for our global family as we together await the Second Coming of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

  • N Bal4 – Sinner saved by Grace

    Ow how I wish I could prioritise prayer more than just talking. Please pray for our church to grow in prayer. We have started our prayer ministry but we seem to be studying more than we pray. Please Lord let your Holy Spirit guide us to pray more and grow spiritually. Amen

  • zsuzsi woodward

    praise GOD for HIS goodness and mercy; may we all be blessed with ur insight from the power givin u through the “holy spirit” AMEN

  • GR

    God always answers prayers when we pray in faith. We must believe that He is still working miracles. His name be glorified.