Prayer . . . Prayer . . . Prayer posted by Evangelism Explosion on Feb 15, 2017
Prayer . . . Prayer . . . Prayer
Dr. Mark Roessler, Field Staff (Tucson, AZ)
. . . praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. . . and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the Gospel. – Ephesians 6:18, 19
In November 1979, I attended my first EE clinic at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The highlight was On-the-Job Training. As we returned from making calls on Monday night, I heard loud clapping in the sanctuary. I walked in to find about five hundred people who had been praying for us while we were out on calls.
As they listened to the reports, enthusiastic prayer partners circled the sanctuary, applauding. That week, we witnessed astounding results. Many people made professions of faith, including three participants who came to learn how to share their faith but left the clinic with something more – their own conversions! What impressed me most from that weekend was the preeminent role of prayer.
We all know the verses admonishing us to pray: “pray without ceasing,” (I Thessalonians 5:17 ESV), “ask anything according to His will” (I John 5:14 ESV), “in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV), “Continue steadfastly in prayer” (Colossians 4:2 ESV), and many others.
Too often, prayer is an afterthought, an ancillary part of our ministry; yet it is impossible to over-emphasize its importance. Oswald Chambers said, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer IS the greater work.”
In 1982, I participated in a Billy Graham Crusade at my alma mater University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The night before the crusade, student leaders had the opportunity to have dinner with Dr. Graham. One student asked Dr. Graham what he thought was the key to a successful outreach at Chapel Hill. “I believe there are three keys to a successful outreach here at Chapel Hill . . . Prayer, prayer, and prayer,” he said. “Prayer is the key to a successful outreach anywhere.”
You can under gird your own ministry with the power of ongoing, effectual prayer in many ways:
- Cultivate a deep, consistent personal prayer life.
- Anticipate God’s work by praying daily that He will bring divine appointments into your path: “I am open, Lord, who do you have for me to reach with the Gospel today?” Listen, and expect God to lead you in unexpected and miraculous ways.
- Pray using Scripture, such as with Ephesians 6:18, 19.
- Never give up praying for the lost. God’s timing is everything. Remember, He is sovereign, but He chooses to work through our persistent prayers.
- Recruit prayer partners. I always have two prayer partners when I make calls. One is a 92-year-old widow, who delights in hearing my reports; she is honored to be participating in building God’s kingdom through prayer.
If prayer was that preeminent for the Apostle Paul, Rev. D. James Kennedy, and Dr. Billy Graham, maybe we should make it a central focus as well. Contact Darrell Farney, director of the EE Prayer Ministry, to see how you can emphasize prayer in your own ministry.