A church that had run about 50 in attendance for 50 years repented of their prayerlessness. God began to bring inactive members back into active fellowship with the body. They began to reach people in their community for Christ and become involved in an international missions partnership. For me, this church was an example of the difference between a “house of prayer for the nations” (Isaiah 56:1-8) and a “den of robbers” (Jeremiah 7:9-11).
How could God’s people miss what should have been the greatest revival in all of history? God’s people were so disoriented to God that when God Himself (in the person of Jesus Christ) came to lead the revival, they rejected Him and His message. Jesus explained that they were supposed to be a house of prayer, but they had become a den of thieves and robbers. Inspired by a message by Henry Blackaby on Luke 19:41-45, I’ve contrasted a house of prayer for the nations (described in Isaiah 56:1-8) and a den of robbers (described in Jeremiah 7:9-11). Lest we miss the revival and spiritual awakening we are longing for, we must flee from the sin and idolatry characteristic of a “den of robbers;” and we must become a house of prayer for the nations. Based on Isaiah 56:1-8 a house of prayer for the nations is… [Read more…]
In this video Sergio Arce and I describe the nature and characteristics of a praying church and steps you can take toward developing prayerful dependence (a prayer culture) in your church.
God’s Definition of a House of Prayer for the Nations: Isaiah 56:1-8
- A place where God’s people keep His covenant and do what is right (vv. 1-6)
- A place where God’s people love, worship, and serve the Lord (v. 6)
- A place of God-given joy (v. 7)
- A place where offerings and sacrifices are accepted (v. 7) (see Matt. 5:23-24, Mark 11:25)
- A place where God’s people have a love like God’s for the nations (v. 7)
- A place where God gathers the exiles of His people back to Himself (v. 8a)
- A place where God gathers a lost world to Himself (v. 8b)
A Working Definition of a House of Prayer for the Nations: A prayer-saturated church where kingdom-focused prayer is such a priority that it permeates everything they do.
8 Steps for Developing Prayerful Dependence in Your Church
- Get right with God and one another.
- Rekindle a first love for Christ, the wounded Savior
- Experience an intimate and personal love relationship with God in prayer.
- Be devoted to prayer with God’s people in every setting possible.
- Make prayer a primary part of your work strategy in every aspect of church life.
- Pray for one another while together with one another. Ask: “How may I pray for you.”
- Tell stories and share the testimonies of answered prayer.
- Pray for God’s assignments to the lost world beginning at home and to the ends of the earth. Then obey the Final Command (Great Commission).
3 Resources to Assist You in Developing Prayerful Dependence
A House of Prayer compiled by John Franklin
Disciple’s Prayer Life: Walking in Fellowship with God by T. W. Hunt and Catherine Walker
Growing Disciples: Pray in Faith by T. W. Hunt and Claude King