Posted: 10 Feb 2014 10:00 PM PST
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26).
Some churches are finding ways to combine the efforts of high school teenagers to bring God’s power in prayer into local high schools. Several church youth pastors in Chesapeake, Ohio, have challenged their teens to pray daily for five classmates. These students begin by laying a thirty-day prayer foundation by praying a BLESSing (B =body; L = labor; E = emotional; S = social; S = spiritual.
What they see God doing in answer to prayer is written out on testimony cards. These cards are received by the youth pastors and shared with all who are praying. When a school has twenty-five students praying for classmates, the youth pastors pay a visit to the principal and share the list of testimonies. They then offer to be prayer partners with the principal and the school.
There’s also the potential of starting new churches with Houses of Prayer. In Oak Mesa, California, Dale Roberts, a feed-store owner, started a House of Prayer. It grew! As he delivered hay in the region, he challenged others to start Houses of Prayer and provided them with a devotional booklet. Before long, several Houses of Prayer were started, and together they formed a church, which has grown to 125 members. Roberts has become their pastor. Every Sunday Pastor Dale challenges the members to pray for their neighbors, and during the worship service he invites them to share what’s happening in their Houses of Prayer.
A group of churches can also work together to impact their city in an extraordinary way. In Anchorage, Alaska, prayer leaders are deliberately planting Houses of Prayer in centers of influence as well as in residential neighborhoods. Houses of Prayer are popping up all over—in government agencies, at the city airport, in city newspaper offices, at television studios and radio stations, in prisons, in senior citizens’ homes, in public schools, and in neighborhoods. The entire prayer movement has been finding favor in the city. Even government officials are taking notice.
Anchorage’s mayor recently invited city prayer leaders to assist in dealing with a difficult issue he faced. Eileen Starr, director of the city’s House of Prayer ministries, reports that “many people are praying, and many lives are being changed.”
As churches work together and develop a common vision, the goal of a House of Prayer on every street and an intercessor for every person becomes a realistic possibility. When the day comes that all the major cities in our land have reached that goal, I expect we will see a spiritual awakening.
Father, You have instructed the people called by Your Name, to be a house of prayer for all nations! Thank You for the example of those who are taking Scripture to heart and stepping into Your kingdom purposes within their communities. May our homes and churches collectively speak blessing into our dark culture so that the light of Jesus will shine into the shadows and make a difference in the lives of lost people You love!
–Adapted from Shine His Light: A Simple Way to Pray, Care and Share Jesus in Your Neighborhood by Alvin VanderGriend. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Check out this Five Blessings Brochure (comes in pkgs of 10) that uses the acronym B.L.E.S.S. to help people to pray effectively for their lost neighbors.
Praise God that he is completely trustworthy and that he has never failed anyone (Jn. 14:1-23). Thank God that Jesus Christ is preparing a place for you at this very moment. Confess any reluctance to trust God in everything. Commit yourself to living with your heart as Christ’s home. Ask the Lord to do great things through you in the power of the ascended Lord.
Ask that our society will respect the value of human life at every stage of life. Pray especially for people who today are making decisions about the life of another.
“Trouble and perplexity drive me to prayer and prayer drives away perplexity and trouble.” —Philippe Melanchthon
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend