A Christ Awakening And The Unleashing Of Prayer
By David Bryant
Edited from a message given at "The Christ-Awakening" Conference, held in Terre Haute, Indiana, October 23-25, 2003. Used by permission.
How do we start mobilizing people for prayer? If we are going to effectively start moving the Church into prayer for a Christ-Awakening, we have to first of all recognize what we are up against. The Church is struggling in the whole area of prayer.
An official survey conducted recently in a large evangelical church in America revealed that the primary reason most people were attending this church was to find refuge and protection for themselves and their families against the negative influences of the culture around them. Now there is nothing wrong with that, but if coming to church to find retreat and refuge is our primary reason for attending, we may not be real close yet to hungering and thirsting for a Christ-Awakening.
Those surveyed said that they liked Sunday school and other opportunities to gain Bible knowledge. But the primary struggle most of the people in this congregation were having was the fear of intimacy with Christ.
Why would that be? It might be that we sense how great and awesome God is, and maybe we don’t want to get too close to Him because of what it might reveal of sin in our own life. It might be that there is such an emphasis on what we ought to be doing for the Lord. We’re trying to do so much for Him that we fear that if we get any closer to Him, He’s going to ask us to do even more than He’s asking us to do right now, and we simply can’t do any more.
Whatever the explanation is, it appears that we have in our churches a good percentage of people who are there for survival. They love to get Bible knowledge and will continue coming as long as you give them that. But they don’t really want to get close to Christ for who He is. That is part of the struggle we face in mobilizing prayer in our congregations. But there is more to it, as well.
What Does It Take to Raise up a Movement of Prayer?
What does it take to raise up a movement of prayer that not only has a Christ-Awakening as its primary agenda, but actually leads to a Christ-Awakening?
Look at Isaiah, chapter sixty. This chapter begins with the whole theme of awakening. A spiritual awakening is similar to our awaking from a night’s sleep. God somehow invades the consciousness of His people with enough of the reality of who Christ is and what He promises and where He’s headed, that we just can’t roll over and go back to sleep on Him any longer. We have to get up, put on the Lord Jesus Christ and get on with the day, as Paul says in Romans 13:14.
Here is Isaiah 60:1-3: "Arise, shine…" In other words, it’s morning. Get up, "for your light has come." It is not, get up so it will come; it’s already here! "…and the glory of the Lord [already] rises upon you." That is true of every one of our congregations, even for those who come for survival, who are afraid of getting close to the Lord. The fact is that the glory of the Lord has already risen upon them – the glory of the Head of that church, the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Isaiah continues: "darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you." In other words, the darkness isn’t of any consequence, considering Whose glory is rising. "The Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you."
Notice the next words: "Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn [rising]." That sounds like Zechariah 8:23: "Ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the edge of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’" It is an international movement of evangelism. People are laying hold of those through whom the light is now shining, saying, "Take us with you because we see that God is with you." Then the rest of Isaiah 60 describes all the marvelous ingredients of a true spiritual awakening.
But suddenly, in the midst of this great revival, Isaiah brings one special person before our eyes. This individual now says, "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor" (61:1). In other words, He is preaching hope to those who are in spiritual poverty. "He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…" This phrase and those that follow, are descriptive in many ways of people who struggle with prayer, who struggle with intimacy with the Lord in our churches. "…to proclaim freedom for the captives…" In the context here, this isn’t exactly evangelism among unreached peoples. Rather, it refers to the people of God who are brokenhearted, who need to be set free in a whole new way, and who need to experience a re-conversion back to the Lord Himself. "…release for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…" Here is a whole year full of nonstop grace upon grace upon grace – inexhaustible grace!
And then Isaiah adds: "the day of vengeance of our God." This doesn’t mean God’s vengeance on His people. Rather in the context of Isaiah 60-61, it means God’s judgments on all of their enemies, seen and unseen, that have come against God’s people. Isaiah continues, "to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes…" Hope upon hope. Grace upon grace. What a marvelous ministry this messenger is having! "…the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord…[in other words, strong, sturdy and unyielding as they live for the righteous purposes of the Lord] and for the display of His splendor."
In Isaiah 60 we have the message of hope being described. Revival is already at work. The light is already shining. It is time to get up. In Isaiah 61 a messenger steps in to actually articulate that message to the very ones who need to hear it most. Then we come to Isaiah 62. We hear a voice saying, "For Zion’s sake, I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn." This may be the same person described in Isaiah 61, or it may be the audience who has heard the message from the messenger in Isaiah 61, and now is saying, "How can we be silent any longer? When we see what God wants to do, when we hear what this messenger has brought to us – a message of hope from the Lord – how can we be silent any longer until all of this happens?"
In either case, we come to 62:6-7: "I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give Him no rest till He establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth." This is one of the great passages on prayer. The question I want to raise is, how do we get our churches to reach this point of unceasing prayer?
Part of the answer is that people have to get a much bigger vision of Christ – like we have in chapter 60. The other answer is that someone must spread that vision, proclaiming it with the kind of anointing and passion that Jesus Himself had when He stood up to preach in the synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4). He opened to this very text of Isaiah 61, read it and then said, "Now it is being fulfilled in your hearing." How was it being fulfilled? Was revival breaking out all over? No, not at that moment. It was being fulfilled because the entire text was about Him and He was here! Revival is, ultimately, Christ Himself.
Paul conveys this in Colossians, chapter one, when he teaches that his message is to make known "the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom so that we may present everyone perfect [complete] in Christ." What does it mean to be complete in Christ? Does it mean to be morally perfect? Or, to have a discipleship program all worked out? No. Paul understood completion in Christ to mean "I am going to preach this message to the Christians in Colosse or anywhere else I go so that people may understand who Jesus is so fully and embrace Him so utterly as ‘the hope of glory,’ that He is who they live for, who defines their lives. And when that happens," he says, "then I know that person is complete."
In the same way, when Jesus said, "It is fulfilled in your hearing," He was announcing, "Here I am. All of God’s promises are in Me, and I am among you." Supremacy and the centrality are brought together in one Person.
So, we learn here that the key to mobilizing and sustaining a work of prayer is to be clear about the hope they are praying toward, and to be sure we shape that hope around nothing less than the supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Moravian Prayer Watch
You may know about the Moravians. In the early 1700’s, the Moravians set up a prayer watch that lasted for one hundred years. They called their little community in Germany where the prayer watch took place "Herrnhut." "Herrnhut" was the German word for "The Lord’s Watch." It came from Isaiah 62:6-7. Study the preaching and the vision of the Moravians. Ponder the way they were able to sustain a 24 hour prayer watch for over one hundred years. Watch how they spawned global missionary movements and pacesetting renewal movements that came out of their community. You’ll find it is because they were so possessed with this vision of the supremacy of Christ.
People writing about Count von Zinzendorf (the founder of the Moravian community) say that one of his favorite phrases was to simply say "Christ, it is He! Christ, it is He!" He lived a life so overwhelmed with the glory of who Jesus is, that the best he could say was "It’s all about Him!" That conviction pervaded the whole community. That’s what kept them praying the way they prayed.
This year is the 50th anniversary of Revival Prayer Fellowship, founded by Armin Gesswein, who died about two years ago at the age of 96. Around World War II, Armin Gesswein called together a group of pastors to pray for revival. Then, in 1948 that group invited Billy Graham to come and preach in Los Angeles. If you know the story of Billy Graham, you know that this meeting was the watershed moment. He pitched a tent in the city, and he built an evangelistic crusade on the back of that prayer movement among pastors. God answered their prayers by the major breakthrough through Billy’s preaching. It was more than an evangelism event. It was a form of spiritual awakening. It not only touched Los Angeles but, as it was picked up by the newspapers, it began to touch the whole nation.
Several years later, Armin Gesswein founded the Revival Prayer Fellowship. First called Pastors’ Prayer Fellowship, it became Revival Prayer Fellowship because that was really what it was about. One of Armin’s favorite statements was: "When Jesus Christ went back to heaven, He left just one thing behind – a prayer meeting."
Preaching in meetings with Armin, I’ve often followed his statement up with this question: "But how did Jesus get His disciples from where they were trembling in fear in an upper room about 40 days earlier, to where they would gladly go back to that upper room, lift up their hearts, and with one voice pray unceasingly until Pentecost came? How did He work it so He could leave behind a prayer meeting?"
I’m struck by the fact that when Jesus rose from the dead, He might easily have had His coronation that very day. On Easter Sunday He could have ascended up into glory, taken up His authority at the right hand of God and proceeded to manifest His supremacy among the nations. But instead we’re told in Acts, chapter one, He stayed behind forty more days. To do what? Jesus stayed to do two things:
1) He kept giving his disciples convincing evidences of His resurrection. It says in Matthew 28:17 that when some saw Him they rejoiced (though some others doubted). It was not a total, overnight conviction that came to them. Jesus’ disciples could not believe their eyes, that this Man had been permanently raised from the dead. This was a whole new reality, a "new creation." It took weeks to convince them that He really had conquered all of Heaven and hell, all of death and Hades. He was the Victor! He proved it to them in forty days.
2) Also during these forty days, Jesus taught His disciples about the Kingdom of God. That was what He had already done for three years. Now He went back over the same things, only now from the whole new perspective of the Kingdom as seen through the reality of the resurrected Christ. In other words, He spent these forty days instructing them in what His supremacy was all about, so that when He ascended back into heaven, His disciples, with the commission of the Lord ringing in their ears to bear witness to Him to the ends of the earth, would be driven to the place of prayer to wait and prepare for the coming of the Holy Spirit. They formed a prayer meeting with 120 people. "Wait" is a wonderful synonym for prayer. They were to wait in the city until the gift of the Holy Spirit was given. Ten days later the Spirit was given and the power of the Lord came upon them.
Jesus left behind one strategy for world evangelization when He went back to glory. A prayer meeting. How He got them there was by being what Isaiah 61 says He was – a messenger of hope who expressed the outworkings of the supremacy of His own life until His disciples longed for His glory to be revealed among the nations and they could do nothing else but pray!
New York City Prayer Watch
In New York City we have over one hundred churches involved in what we also call "The Lord’s Watch." It’s been going on for over seven years. Taking a calendar of a month, different churches adopt different days. There may be four or five churches adopting a given day. Each church is responsible to divide up the twenty-four hours of their adopted day among their people. Those participating take fifteen-minute segments or thirty-minute segments, until every segment of the twenty-four hours is covered. For over seven years now, we have had nonstop intercession over New York City.
We are praying for four things which express the hope God has given us for our city: 1) Revival of the Church, 2) Reconciliation among the races and the churches, 3) Reformation of our society as a city, and 4) the Reaching of the lost.
Everybody who participates in the "The Lord’s Watch" gets a newsletter each month by Email, giving ideas of what to pray concerning those four major issues during their fifteen minutes in the coming month. We are united in exclusive agreement and union. This round-the-clock intercession is visible in Heaven, even if we can’t all be together in one place on earth.
At the end of September we had a banquet in one of the major hotels on Times Square. About 800 people came from at least fifty or sixty different churches for the banquet and program to celebrate what God has done and is doing at this moment through our movement of prayer. In New York and in many other cities I have visited, prayer is released by instilling into people’s lives a vision of hope for their community based on the glory and supremacy of Christ.
The Scripture Mobilizes Prayer As a Book of Hope
About a month ago a young Chinese man came to talk with me about a group of Chinese in our area who are meeting with him in prayer. He said, "I’m having trouble. People want to be in this prayer group, but they don’t want to pray out loud." He asked, "What should I do with them to change this?"
I said to him, "Sometimes the main reason we don’t want to pray out loud is that we don’t know what words to use. There are a lot of people in our churches who are afraid to be a part of a prayer emphasis because they’re afraid to look foolish when they open their mouths. What comes out may seem to be paltry when compared to what they know they ought to be praying. So, I suggest you start by helping them pray through the Scriptures."
I told him how a number of years ago, I took a Bible in my quiet time, for about nine months, and worked my way from Genesis to Revelation with a pink highlighting pen. I highlighted every passage that underscored the promises of God centered on the supremacy of His Son – foreshadowings in the Old Testament, and the fulfillments in the New Testament. I looked for the promises. [It has been estimated by a number of Bible scholars that there are over 7,000 separate promises in the Word of God.] Isaiah chapters 60, 61 and 62, for instance, would be entirely pink. When I got done I looked back through my Bible. I found that nearly half of my Bible had turned pink! I was shocked to discover that much in Scripture about the hope God has given us is centered and fulfilled in the supremacy of His Son.
That experience told me I needed to start making sure when I study Scripture I am always watching for the "pink passages." Also I realized I should never look at the "white passages" without making note of the context of the "pink passages" that are around them. This has changed the way I study every part of the Bible.
But it also taught me I ought never to have trouble praying. Why? Because if I don’t know what to pray, I only need to turn to one of those pink passages, take God’s words, restate them in my own words and come back to Him and say, "This is what You have said in Your Word. This is what I desire for myself, for my people (whatever the situation may be). So now in Jesus’ Name, for His sake, so that there may be more focus on His glory, more fullness of Him, of His hope, more fulfillment of His purposes, I pray that You will bring to pass the promises that You have just given."
Then I said to this brother, "Go back to your prayer group. Open up to a pink passage. Take the next fifteen minutes with your Bibles open, and work through that passage verse by verse. Ask people to pray whatever they want to say based on one of the verses. If it is one sentence, that is all right. But these biblical words are the words they should incorporate into their prayer. It can change the whole sense of their confidence about how they pray. It can also change the motivation for why they pray."
Someone at this conference asked me last night: "You mentioned about having a testimony service where half of it would be for people to share times when they experienced what felt like disappointments with God. What would you do with the other half of the prayer meeting?"
I said, "Paul says if we bring anything into the light it will become light. One of the things that is undermining our ability to move forward in prayer is that we keep all those feelings down inside. We don’t get them out into the light. Take thirty minutes (of an hour’s prayer meeting) and let people say, ‘I love the Lord, and I know He is faithful, but I have this point – I’ve been praying for my son [or my daughter] to come back to the Lord for the last ten years, and it doesn’t seem like it’s made any difference. I am really discouraged. I don’t know where God is in all of this any more. It’s breaking my heart.’ Then somebody else stands with a similar testimony. Do that for thirty minutes or so.
"Then turn that experience around by saying: ‘Here we are, a room full of disappointments. Now we have one of two choices. We can focus on the questions, the confusions, and the heartache. Or, together we can help one another get back to Christ for who He is and keep moving with the hope that is before us in Him.’ Then, take the next thirty minutes for other testimonies and say: ‘Why don’t different ones of you stand up and tell us what promises of God have had the greatest impact on your life?’ Spend thirty minutes hearing promises from one another that have already blessed the people. All Christians have some promise that God gave them at some point in their lives that really helped them get up and get going again.
"It is all right to be honest about where we are struggling. But it is also necessary for us to come back to the promises of God in Christ, focus on Him, keep pursuing Him – seeking and asking and knocking. We encourage each other by words like these: ‘If you’re willing and I’m willing, come, let’s go at once and seek the face of the Lord, and see how God will bring us along into more of the glorious hope we have in Christ, even out of our darkest moments.’"
Praying toward a Hope Shaped by the Supremacy of Christ
You ask, "How do we get people praying with a vision of hope that will bring them out of their struggles and help them become the men and women of prayer God wants them to be?" After some years of dwelling in the pink passages and looking at the promises, while studying everything I could that has been taught on prayer, some years ago I came to something I would like to share with you. I call it a grid. See a sample below.
There are three words across the top and six words down the side. This is a practical tool I share almost everywhere I go. It represents everything you could ever pray. This is your prayer life as it should be. It also captures what a vision of hope in prayer should look like.
Across the top are the three major dimensions of the Supremacy of Christ, the three major foci of all the promises of God. The 7,000 promises of Scripture, are either 1) promises to increase the focus of the revelation of who Christ is, the glory of God to His people, or 2) promises of what more He wants to impart of His fullness in the midst of His people, as He fills them with all of His blessings, all of His grace and all of His power, or 3) promises related to the fulfillment of His purposes, and how He wants to advance those purposes throughout the whole earth and ultimately throughout all creation and into all the ages to come. The promises of Scripture are always under one or more of those three headings. This grid represents the full agenda of who Christ is and what He is about. If you’re praying about focus, fullness or fulfillment you can be sure you are praying according to the whole will of God.
Down the side of the grid are six different ways to approach prayer. Notice the six R’s there. I suggest that anything the Bible teaches about how we go about prayer is here. While the top three words give our agenda in prayer, the side six are our approach to prayer. Anything Scripture teaches about the activity of prayer falls under one of these six areas. Consider:
1) Rejoice captures every expression of praise, worship, thanksgiving, or adoration. We’re told in Romans 5:2: "Rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." Many times we worship God for who He is and for what He’s done, but we hardly ever worship God for what He’s getting ready to do (hope). That is a whole dimension of worship and praise we need to move into both in our worship times and in our prayer times. We should adore the Father for what He will one day show His Son to be; for what He will one day accomplish in the life of Christ’s Church; and for what He is getting ready to do in the mission of Christ among the nations.
2) Repent means dealing with sin, and with anything that may be hindering a fuller revelation of Christ, a deeper work of His life in His people, or a greater fulfillment of His purposes among the unreached. A word I often use for repentance is "dismantle." Repentance means dismantling sin in my life, like an addiction to pornography. Sin has to be dismantled if I’m going to see prayer answered. Or, repentance could be the dismantling of a particular program in my church. It was good at one point, but now God says it is time to set it aside. Sometimes we have to repent of our traditions because they are beginning to hinder the fuller work that God wants to do among us or among the nations for the glory of His Son. Sometimes good things get in the way of God’s best.
3) Resist refers to any prayers dealing with how the enemy is trying to prevent a greater revelation, prevent greater fullness and revival in the Church, prevent the outward mission of the Gospel. The enemy is fighting us on all three fronts, all the time. James 4:7 says, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you." Resisting by prayer requires us to put on the full armor of God, to stand our ground, and to pray on all occasions for all the saints (Eph. 6). We stand our ground with the Word of God and the life of prayer. Then the enemy is going to flee! The greatest form of spiritual warfare is our steadfastness, declaring that Christ is our all. We refuse to budge!
The armor of Ephesians six reminds me of what Paul says in Romans 13:14,"Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and give no place to the lusts of the flesh." When I put on the armor, I put on Christ! That means I will give no ground to anything that would hinder the fuller glory of Jesus in and through my life. Then I hold forth the Word of God. That’s how I become a messenger of hope, and the devil has to flee! Therefore, prayer geared in that direction is what I refer to as resist.
4) Request is everything the Bible teaches about petition, intercession, requesting, etc. It is coming to God "full throttle," and saying, "Yes!" and "Let it be done!" to the promises of God. All the promises of God to us are "Yes," in Christ Jesus, to which we say "Amen" to the glory of God. "Amen" means "so let it be done." This is a one-word prayer meeting– "Amen!" In other words: "Father, let it be done, according to Your promises You have given for the glory of Your Son." Every one of the leading verses in the "Lord’s Prayer" is in the imperative. They are like commands. Request means we come before the Lord with a great sense of confidence. We know these are His promises; this is His will. This will make all the difference in the world for His Son. So, we urge Him to let it be done!
5) Receive reminds us that prayer is a two-way conversation. Not only are we talking to God but we are receiving back from Him. At times, the power of silence needs to be worked into our lives of prayer, both individually and corporately. Oh, to give God room to move in and speak to us! I don’t mean with audible words but in the very depths of our souls. "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psa. 46:10). There is a reality of knowing Christ that often only comes in the stillness.
"Receive" means that as we are praying, we consider what God is saying to us even as we pray. Is He showing us new directions to move? Is He giving new commands? Is He quickening new promises for our lives, for our church, for the ministry to which we’ve been called? Is He planting in us new dreams and visions for where we can go with our ministry? "Receive" isn’t something we do in one moment. We do it all through our time of prayer, individually and corporately. There is always a listening component. There’s a need for waiting, for a readiness in our hearts for God to take action as we pray.
Above all, while I’m on my knees seeking Him for great and mighty things, He wants to begin answering me right here and now, immediately, by showing me more of Christ in the very area in which I am praying.
6) Recommit summarizes any kind of prayer of dedication or consecration to Christ. I put it at the end of the six R’s because I think it is important for us to be able and willing to say in our hearts, about all we are praying about: "Lord Jesus, You may come now and use me in any way You please to be an answer to any prayer I’ve prayed. Wherever it leads me, whatever it costs me, I am Yours. I am ready to be a part of the answer. I am ready for God to bring out the answers through my life, whatever it costs me."
The Grid as a Tool
In the grid you will see I have given you eighteen squares. Those eighteen squares represent everything you’ve ever prayed about or ever will pray about!
For instance, you can pray prayers of repentance over things in your life keeping you from seeing Jesus for who He is, or breaking the unity of the Body of Christ in His fullness, or hindering your next door neighbor from really having a concern to know Christ because of your lack of love for her.
Or take Rejoice – you can rejoice in all that God is revealing of Christ to you now, or what you know He is getting ready to do in our nation for a Christ-Awakening, or of all that He is doing in the life of your congregation to revive it. We also rejoice over the springtime, the first fruits of revival that are coming among us even as we pray. We need to rejoice in whatever fullness of Christ there is in our churches and in our own lives, and then rejoice that there is so much more of Christ in glory to be revealed.
And remember: Once the people start worshiping Him for how His kingdom is being fulfilled among the nations, they’re going to start seeing in a whole new way how He wants to fulfill His Word through their lives as well.
How to Use The Grid
Let me tell you two or three ways you could use this grid as a tool. Let’s say you were leading a prayer meeting of about an hour. You might divide it up into three segments. First, take twenty minutes for Focus. Limit your prayers to these kinds of issues using God’s promises regarding His Son. In the same way, take twenty minutes on Fullness and twenty minutes on Fulfillment. In one hour you will have covered every dimension of the supremacy of Christ. But you will have lingered long enough on every one of those three areas to have discovered some of what each agenda of a Christ-Awakening involves. People will leave the prayer meeting feeling that their prayers were strategic in the three directions of Focus, Fullness and Fulfillment.
In those twenty-minute segments you may do any one of the approaches. Someone might pray a rejoicing prayer, somebody a requesting prayer, someone a resistance prayer and so on. Or, someone might say, "I think we should just sit quietly for a minute or so and see what God wants to say to us about what we’ve just been praying in the last five minutes." You may implement any of the six, weaving them back and forth. Take long enough on each one, however, to go deeper, whether in terms of worship, request or whatever. That’s one approach.
Another approach altogether is to divide the hour prayer meeting into six segments according to the six R’s. During the ten minutes of rejoicing you may praise Him for what He has done or is getting ready to do in terms of the Focus, the Fullness or the Fulfillment. Next offer only repentance prayers for ten minutes; then only resistance prayers for ten minutes, etc.
In the receiving time, you might have a time of listening and then share with each other what you’ve been hearing. See if there are some common themes that have emerged, maybe one or two, during your previous times of prayer. Take what you sense you’ve received, and before that ten minutes is up, bring it back to Him in prayer. In your recommitment prayers you might get down on your knees before you close in prayer.
Here is another way to use the grid – perhaps for a 30-minute prayer meeting. Share your season of prayer together but do so with the understanding that at the close you’ll take five minutes to critique the prayer meeting! During the time of critiquing, look at the eighteen squares of the grid, and say, "In the light of what we have prayed, which of these squares were represented?" Put check marks on these squares. Ask yourselves, "Where were we weak in our praying? Where were we strong?" If one area was neglected, come prepared next time to give more emphasis to that area.
Then, have each person take the grid into their personal prayer times the next six days, so that they keep coming back to the areas that you prayed about together the previous week. Commit yourself to pray privately about the areas you prayed about together. When you come back together the following week have your sheets with you. Say, "Looking at the boxes we checked off last week, and what we have prayed about individually all through the week, do we see any place where God has intervened in terms of Focus, Fullness or Fulfillment?"
Part of the reason we often feel disappointed with God is because we don’t spend enough time watching Him operate, learning how He goes about answering our prayers. We have preconceived ideas of what the answer will look like. We don’t take time to study what God is actually doing and what we need to learn from Him as to how He answers prayer. And we don’t take counsel together to share with each other what we have observed.
When it says in Acts, chapter four, that they lifted up their hearts with one voice, remember that there were thousands of people gathered. How could Luke say they were speaking like one voice? I assume a lot of conversation went on until finally the leaders of the Church became of one mind. They were able to sort it out beforehand. Then their prayer was finally of one mind. The grid can help you do that.
I spoke earlier about the Moravians, mentioning that Isaiah 62:6-7 was their theme text. Did you know that every Moravian was buried facing east? That’s because in their understanding of how God will ultimately consummate the Kingdom of His Son, they believed the Scriptures taught that Jesus would come from the east. They wanted to be buried facing east so when He came and they were raised from the dead, they wouldn’t even have to turn around to greet Him! What a movement of hope – right up to the day of burial, just living for Him!
The motto of the Moravian movement – the thing that moved them to prayer and to revival and to missions – was very simply this: "The Lamb has conquered! Let us follow Him!" This grid gives you one way to follow a conquering Lamb by prayer.
Father, we ask that You conquer each of us in a whole new way. Conquer our lives of prayer with the glory of who Christ is, as the Lamb slain, who now sits on the throne. Conquer our churches so that our people will rise up and say, "Truly He is alive! He is victorious! He is all our hearts could ever want or long for. He is the glory of the nations and we will follow Him. We will begin as a movement of prayer ourselves." Father, only you can create that kind of Christ-Awakening. We ask for it because He is worthy of it. Amen.