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