Here is a list help you pray for revival in the church and the further advancement of God’s kingdom.
Paul exhorted the Christians in Ephesus to: “…pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayer and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18).”
For us this includes being in regular intercession for our world.
Praying for Personal Repentance
“…Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…” Hebrews 12:1
John wrote, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives (I John 1:8-10).”
Effective intercession must include personal confession.
Refusing to acknowledge and turn from our own disobedience always results in a form of spiritual self-deception.
As Jesus explained, “First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye (Matthew 7:5).”
As you pray, put into practice John’s exhortation. Hold your life up to such passages as I Peter 3:8-12.
Praying for the Infilling of the Holy Spirit for Life and Ministry
Jesus commands us, if we are to be his witnesses, to be clothed with his power. Jesus urged his first disciples and us to be clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit for missions.
Paul exhorted the church, “Do not be drunk on wine … Instead, be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).”
The seedbed of theological, spiritual, and moral decline in the church is often lifeless, dry orthodoxy. Also, the church’s evangelism and overseas mission often falter because of reliance upon human strength, rather than empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
Having a biblical framework of theology is critical. But our head must be connected to a heart ablaze with the life of God.
As Paul instructed the church in Ephesus to be filled with the Spirit, pray for the church to be filled with the presence of God’s Spirit. Pray for yourself to be filled with the Holy Spirit so you may be empowered to do this work of prayer for the church, and to be equipped to do the work of Jesus Christ.
Praying for the World
1. Pray for workers: When Jesus saw the crowds, he instructed his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the Harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field (Matthew 9:38).”
In context, Jesus was looking at the sheep of Israel.
In part, he was instructing his disciples to pray for true workers to be raised up to shepherd his people. This should be our continuous prayer as we intercede for the church.
But, it also applies to the vast fields of people stretching around the world. Besides praying for godly shepherds to lead the church, pray for workers to be raised up to minister around the world.
2. Pray for Open doors: Paul wrote the Colossians, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ (Colossians 4:2-3).”
As you devote yourself to prayer, ask the Lord to open doors for the world mission endeavor to proclaim the mystery of Christ among even more people.
3. Pray for the Gospel to Spread and to be Honored: Paul asked the church to intercede for his mission team, “brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored … (2 Thessalonians 3:1).”
How does the gospel spread?
It takes people who are willing to go and share God’s truth.
It also requires Christians who are willing to stand with them in persistent intercession.
How does God’s message come to be honored? In answer to the church’s intercession God will bring the spiritual climate in which the Scripture is honored for what it is: God’s truth.
Our prayer should not only be for workers and open doors, but for the message to spread and find a place of honor in the hearts of people.
Setting the Captives free
1. Pray with Expectation: (Read Luke 18:25-27.) No matter how impossible the situation may look or how entrenched in spiritual darkness may be, God is able to cause his light to penetrate to the heart.
2. Pray for the Father to Draw People: (Read John 6:44) In our sinful state, none of us are capable of coming out of spiritual darkness and drawing near to God on our own. Only through the drawing of God the Father were we able to find freedom in Christ.
As we pray for people, in line with the clear will of God, our prayer should be for God to draw them to the grace, love and truth found only in Jesus Christ.
3. Pray for an understanding of Jesus Christ: (Read Matthew 16:17) Personally grasping the reality and the relevance of Jesus Christ comes only through the Holy Spirit’s work. We come to believe that Jesus is the Christ as the Holy Spirit imparts faith. Pray for the Holy Spirit to bring a true understanding of Jesus Christ to those blinded by sin and Satan.
4. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s Conviction of Sin, Righteousness and Judgment: (Read John 16:9-11.) The Holy Spirit brings conviction to people of sin, righteousness and judgment.
Concerning sin, the Holy Spirit brings an awareness to people of the sin and the spiritual darkness into which their sin has plunged their lives.
Concerning righteousness, the Holy Spirit brings a personal conviction that only through the accomplished work of Jesus Christ can a person be right with God. It is through the Spirit’s activity that people begin to understand their need to be put right with God.
Concerning judgment, the Holy Spirit brings an understanding that to continue in rebellion against God is to embrace the same kind of judgment which the prince of the world has already received.
As we intercede for people bound in spiritual darkness, our prayers should include the request for the Spirit of God to bring his conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment.
Bringing Down Strongholds
1. Focus on Jesus: First we are to focus on Jesus Christ in worship, obedience, and prayer. To let the twisting of truth, idolatry, or any sin to consume our attention is to lose our focus. No matter how great the darkness, our eyes are to be steadfastly on Jesus Christ as Lord.
2. Confession: Next we need to be honest before the Lord in confessing and turning from any idolatry, immorality or rebellion we are harboring within ourselves. This includes sins of omission. James taught, “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins (James 4:17).” Have we been in regular prayer for the church and the world? Have we been living our life according to God’s will as revealed through scripture?
3. Pray to be Filled with God’s Spirit, Wisdom, Discernment & Love: Neither our wisdom nor arguments will bring deliverance from the stronghold of darkness revealed. Only by the power of God’s Spirit will the obstruction be removed. God’s wisdom, discernment and love are required if our labor for renewal is to result in lasting change. As you pray, ask the Lord to fill his people with his Spirit and the love, wisdom and discernment needed for effective ministry.
4. In the Light of Scripture: All spiritual activity needs to be evaluated in the light of clear Biblical teaching concerning the true nature of God and his activity in the world.
5. Persistent Intercession: We are to respond with persistent intercession for those perpetuating and those influenced by the stronghold.
God has chosen to work through the intercession of his people to bring convicting, and awareness of spiritual bondage and an urgency for finding true freedom in Christ.
When a block is discerned, we are to pray until the stronghold is removed and those in darkness are finding true spiritual liberty.
6. Resist the Demonic: Peter instructed the church: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith ... (1 Peter 5:6-9).” With the praise of God, the Word of God, persistent prayer, the cleansing blood of Jesus, humbling ourselves in obedience and in the strong name of Jesus, we are to resist these spiritual forces of the evil one until they are fleeing.
Rejoicing in the Lord
Paul encouraged the church: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:4-7).”
As we pray, our intercession is to be saturated with joy and praise in the Lord. Our God is able and willing to answer.
1. Rejoice in God’s Faithfulness to Answer Prayer: (Read 2 Corinthians 18-20.) As you hear and pray according to the promises of God, of what can we be confident? Our joy in praying comes from the fact that God is faithful.
2. Rejoice in God’s Invitation: (Read Revelation 3:19-20.) How does God deal with those whom he loves? How does Jesus respond to those in the church who repent?
3. Rejoice in the Open Door: (Read Matthew 7:7-11.) As we consistently pray for open doors, what reason does this passage give us to rejoice?
4. Rejoice in our Lord’s Victory: In response to the confession of Peter, Jesus declared: “… you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:18-19).” The strongholds of Satan cannot withstand when those who are grounded on the rock of Jesus Christ move forward in obedience. Because the satanic forces have been bound through Jesus’ victory on the cross, we can take up the keys of the kingdom, step forward in his authority and unlock the forces of spiritual darkness. What are the keys of the kingdom? They represent the authority that Jesus has won to redeem people from spiritual darkness.
What do the keys of the kingdom do? They unlock the gates of hell and enable the captive to find freedom. What are the specific keys? They are the spiritual means through which Jesus administers his liberating power. One of the primary keys by which Jesus brings liberty to the captive is prayer. Whether it be an individual, a population group, or a religious body, a chief means for breaking Satan’s web of deception is prayer.
As we pray for the people and against the spiritual strongholds affecting their lives, we can rejoice even before seeing the results. Jesus has won the victory. Before the forward march of the church, the strongholds must collapse. As we persist in prayer, God will work his deliverance.
Author: Pastor Bill Dean.