Prayer is one of the key factors that will determine an individual’s spiritual maturity over time. Prayer also has the power to shape our families, churches, and society as a whole.
One of the easiest ways to define prayer is to say this: Prayer is talking to God and asking Him to do His will on earth. So, when we see brokenness, despair, and injustice, we have the power of prayer to combat these things. This does not mean that we should not act because there are certain things that can be done in the natural, but there are also situations where change and victory can only be won in the spiritual. The reality is that major societal problems develop over generations and God is looking for a generation of prayer warriors to establish His will in society.
Prayer Invites God into Our Situations
I often say, “If you could have changed it in your own strength, it would already be changed.” People face so much frustration when they don’t see the change they desire in themselves, others, or in society. These same people often don’t engage in a regular disciplined prayer life, so they have no practical means to confront the very things that frustrate them. The reality is that our lives are filled with challenges. We are complicated people who live in a complicated world. But being a disciple of Jesus has huge advantages in life. Part of the proof of being a disciple is to have a regular disciplined prayer life.
God’s power is released in an ongoing way with regular prayer and works in addition to our own physical efforts. When we pray, we humbly ask God to help us. Humility sets the atmosphere for God’s grace to be released into our lives and into society (Proverbs 3:34).
God Is Looking for People Who Pray
“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land” (Ezekiel 22:30a NIV).
God is actually looking for people who will engage Him in prayer on behalf of our family, community, and country. This verse speaks to the reality that God is not just looking for people with a title, position, or some type of special gift, but simply a person with a heart to see their community and country impacted by the power of God.
Prayer Can Shape our Country
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV).”
This is a picture of a humble disciple who comes to the Lord, leaves any wrong behaviors behind, and moves forward in God’s strength to heal the brokenness caused by societal sin —helping us move forward in a better way. Power is also multiplied when people join together in prayer. So how can we personally grow as a disciple and also see our society change to demonstrate the heart of God?
It Begins When One Person Makes a Decision to Regularly Pray
Here are three simple steps to building a generation of prayer warriors who shape a generation:
- Set a time to pray — choose what works best with your schedule, personality, etc. and try to stick to this special time. Consistency often causes the greatest impact.
- Set a place — having a special place without distraction helps to maintain a strong prayer life. Jesus deliberately went to certain places to pray. (Luke 5:16, Mark 6:31)
- Make a List of Prayer Items that are impacting society and pray for God’s will to be done in those areas.
Prayer is key to both individually becoming a strong disciple and in building a generation of Christ followers who impact society. We don’t have to sit around and just accept what we see on the nightly news, we can act, pray, and watch God bring change!
Jack Redmond is the Church Mobilization Pastor at Christ Church. He enjoys reading, hiking, and fishing. He has written seven books and enjoys traveling to minister in India and Nicaragua. To connect, go to www.jackredmond.org.