Prayer as Strategy – A Roadmap to getting your prayer strategy in place.
By Linda Bemis †Prayer Strategist/Sr. Associate International Orality Network (ION) https://IONPrayer.com
What might it look like to be a part of the work of God using Prayer As Strategy?
To “Pray first, then join God in what He is doing.”
Prayer must take on the priority status above everything else, so that everything else can effectively be done.
International Orality Network (ION) Prayer has been asked to help resource others to see prayer as “An invisible, yet tangible platform from which everything flows, as it did in the first century church”. It has been said, “Every great move of God was birthed in a movement of prayer.” We believe that goes directly back to the birth of the Church, when the disciples and the 120 were praying in the Upper Room. This we consider was a movement of prayer going into Pentecost.
For far too many, prayer is an area the Body of Christ “assumes” is being done. We are at a critical juncture in missions. Each and every leader must know there are tangible, physical groups praying alongside them. ION Prayer seeks to encourage others to advocate in prayer for Oral and Oral Bible-less peoples. In the process we help others see the great need for strategic prayer to accomplish the work with which we all are tasked. This requires getting prayer advocates and even prayer strategists in place for each of the least reached people groups, as we work alongside each other. The need will continue until there are ZERO people groups still waiting to hear the name of Jesus.
Purpose: To have a foundational Prayer Component in each group working with or adopting a UUPG.
- Who drives your prayer strategy?
- Who is your team (pit crew)?
- How do you find them?
- What will it take?
- What are the elements an Executive Leader or Minister needs to contribute?
- Crafting a plan before the end of the workshop?
The most effective setup & format for a workshop is Round tables, with an interactive format.
For the full resources spoken about in this workshop we have placed them in a google document for everyone to use:
Can we ask the Father to help those working toward any path of ministry to make it a priority to have prayer as their foundation. That they might see the need to have a Prayer Champion in place that would come alongside the work and who will keep the fire of intercession hot on the altar for the work.
This might look different to different groups, but at the core, there is one person who connects to the Prayer Strategist and one person who serves on your team whose primary focus is Prayer As Strategy working with the larger group. Seek the Lord’s guidance for your organization for the right person.
An excellent model for Prayer As Strategy is the Book of Acts. See the attached information on using the Book of Acts to build and form groups that pray.
This is a wonderful orality tool in using the stories from the Book of Acts as a CPM model, The Oral BIBLE School Track 2 – Acts: Forming Groups that Pray http://theoralbibleschool.com or the direct download for pdf one page: https://orality.imb.org/files/1/379/Oral%20Bible%20School%20%7c%20Track%202%20%7c%20Sheet.pdf
- Pray – Prayer is always a part of everything you do, but it should be your first step. Wait and Pray – Acts 1-2
- Seek – Seek the Holy Spirit – Acts 1-2, Repent, Baptize and Meet together Acts 2
- Ask – Ask along the way – Ask what might be needed to prepare us to do the work. – Share, Evangelize Acts 2
- Knock – Knocking is a process – Who do we share with, What do we say, How do we disciple? Acts 3, How do we maintain being honest and sharing with one another Acts 4:32-5:11
- Walk – Walk it out, in whatever might come. Walk it out in whatever it may cost. – Acts 5:12, Acts 6:1-7, Acts 8:9-25, 12:1-24, Sending out missionaries Acts 13-14, Getting rid of unholy things Acts 19:1-20
- Obey – Obeying God in everyday situations, in hard situations and in training others Acts 6:8-8:1, Acts 18:18-28
It is recommended to have a Prayer Mobilization Team. Set them in place as early as possible. The role of partnership in prayer is the core of how prayer happens. Bringing everyone into the role of prayer is a shared responsibility, jointly owned by all. The Bible tells us that one can put 1,000 to flight but two can put 10,000 to flight—there is multiplied power in agreement. We are called to be His Body, His hands and feet on earth. Psalm 133 explains a commanded blessing in working together in unity. Partnerships in prayer are essential in seeing His kingdom accomplished. Prayer is not only an individual experience, but as we call others to join together before God. . . He hears our every prayer. Where two or three are together in His Name, He is in their midst. Jesus told us “…if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 18:19
Listening Component: Praying and Listening are two key components for Prayer As Strategy. Listening may or may not be on the top of your list or a practiced habit, but in the world of missions today, it needs to be. As you begin to seek what paths to go forward in that God might have for you, He will tell you through these two key areas. If you put a priority of prayer and listening into practice, as you hit barriers you will see answers.
Utilizing “Prayer As Strategy” there needs to be Praying & Times of Listening as key components. You will want to take advantage of having someone embedded in the team present during each meeting who will physically pray and to actively listen. That is also a part of what your larger team should be doing.
Prayer is not just a call to join God in the work, but it is an invitation to learn to rest in Him along the prayer process. Knowing that God is on your side helps us to enter the rest He offers. (1 Pet. 5:7; Matt. 6:25-26) Cast your burden upon Him and He will sustain you. (Ps. 55:22) Cease striving and partner with Him. He longs to share His heart with you. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7) Listening prayer is something that every follower of Christ should be doing.
[Go into Listening Prayer as you feel is needed. See the info provided in the attached resources for more info: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Y5jLMO1ptjyNSGd8dljuAhYzdt6LJD35skW9s0mTceo/edit?usp=sharing]
“The man or woman at home who prays often has as much to do with the effectiveness of the missionary on the field, and consequently with the results of his or her labors, as the missionary.” — R. A. Torrey
Prayer Leaders/Directors/Facilitators/ Prayer Strategist
Prayer Strategist and/or someone who sees Prayer as Strategy or Uses Prayer as a Strategy
Prayer is not a department, but the foundation for all we do. It is our connection to God.
PRAYER AS STRATEGY Workshop offered during the Finishing the Task Conference:
By Linda Bemis Prayer Strategist/Sr. Associate International Orality Network (ION)http://orality.net
Email: IONPrayer@gmail.com Blog: https://IONPrayer.com
The Workers Are Few: “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:35-38 The fields ARE ripe unto harvest. God’s heart is for every and all peoples to have the opportunity to come to know Him and have the opportunity to receive the gift of salvation because of His Son. Prayer brings us directly into the larger perspective of what God is doing! Jesus’ solution was always prayer. Prayer changes things!
When we pray, we recognize that prayer. . .
- Ushers us into God’s presence
- Reveals God’s plans
- Obeys Jesus’ command to ask the Lord of the Harvest to send workers.
- Invites God’s presence
- Removes hindrances to the gospel
- Prepares hearts to hear and respond
- Releases resources
- Gives protection for all
- Releases spiritual power
- Exercises divine authority to change situations and people
- Prayer IS the battle, and prayer brings the victory
Praying Effectively. . .
- Pray that believers will see the hearts among every least-reached people group that are ready to hear and respond to the Gospel. John 4:35
- Pray that the Lord of the Harvest will send laborers into His Harvest fields. Luke 10:2
- Pray that the Lord will help the Body of Christ to labor together in the unity of the Spirit to bring good news where it’s never been heard before. 1 Cor. 3:9
- Pray that God will supply and multiply the resources necessary to support His workers and their work. 2 Cor. 9:8-11
- Pray for 100-fold fruit that remains for God’s glory and transforms each group by its presence. Matthew 4:20
See more at: http://www.globalprn.com/praying-for-the-unreached/
How to pray specifically for Oral and Oral Bibleless People:
The remaining Unreached Unengaged People Groups are predominantly oral societies. We need to shift our understanding to include prayer for the Oral and Oral Bibleless peoples as well. Realizing that large portions of the globe still do not have access to Scripture, we need to learn to pray for those who communicate in oral ways or prefer oral methods. Let’s ask God to teach us to understand the needs of oral communicators, recognizing that they need to hear the gospel story in a different way or format in order to properly understand its message. Let’s pray for God to use technology to bring His story to the masses of this day so that soon there are ZERO peoples left to hear the name of Jesus. Let’s pray for new gateways and new pathways for the gospel to every tongue, tribe and nation.
God is making a way. God the “WayMaker” of Isaiah 43 is making a way, where in the past it seemed as if there was no way. Isaiah 43:14-21
See more at: https://orality.net/networks/gateways/
Prayer Mobilization: The focus has shifted us from what “we are doing” to “what God is up to”. We are moving into a fuller appreciation and operation of being God-centered and Spirit-driven, remembering the 18 months in praying for the Unengaged Unreached People Groups (UUPG) listing, name by name. We linked it to the larger prayer initiative of Ethne/Harvest Prayer (see a sample from Dec.2013IONPrayerFocus). We did not give up, but we continued to press in calling others to join to pray for each people group to have SOMEONE who would be willing to reach toward them. Pray for more workers in the area of prayer mobilization. The Body of Christ needs to be mobilized to pray in this area into the future.
Commitment to Pray in a different way: From that 18 months, we began to ask God, “How do we pray for the oral peoples of the globe?” In October 2014, we began to ask the intercessors and pray-ers to move into a different format of prayer: To listen to the Bible in 90 Days (https://orality.net/prayer/bible-in-90-days-prayer-initiative/) as a way of connecting to oral peoples and those peoples who do not yet have Scripture in their heart language or mother tongue. We were wondering what it might be like for Scripture engagement to involve listening and praying. Now we are asking more boldly for God to send the workers into His harvest fields in the area of Bible translation.
The reality of the need for a new strategy of prayer: How is it that after 2000 years, still not everyone has access or the ability to hear of Jesus Christ? How is it possible that those of us in the West have stacks of Bibles in our homes and there are still 1,778 peoples who do not have one verse? As we allowed God to open our ear gates to His Word, something different began to happen. God began to bring a greater reality to us of the 5.7 Billion people (with over half of those numbers being children) not having the same access to Scripture that we knew, it shifted us. It shifted our prayers.
God’s heart is for the every and all to have access to Him and to hear the name of Jesus. He can and will bring a new awakening to the Body of Christ. We are believing that the Body is being reset this year of 2016, the year of REFRESH. Having finished a year of intentional listening, we acknowledge that as we shift into this second half of the year, we are allowing Him to recalibrate us. We are asking God for some very big things. He is a very big God! The globalization of ION is upon us as a network. Praise God, we are seeing people all over the globe catch the vision of reaching the oral peoples.
Prayer and fasting is the key to moving into next levels. That reminds us of a story. After the experience of Transfiguration, the disciples had the opportunity to come to a new awareness of what would be needed. You remember the story in Mark 9. They tried unsuccessfully to deliver the young boy, but to no avail. “After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting.” And this same story back in Matthew 17, “Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. ”But this kind doesn’t come out except by prayer and fasting.”
Do you know how you fit into being a part of God’s Great Commission plan:
God centered & Spirit directed
Seeing prayer being centered around God and His Kingdom, rather than directed toward our needs and what we think.
How we pray is critical. The reality of Him in us. God’s plan for the whole world to hear of His Son and turn, is still at work. We are called to come alongside Him in this work. Much of the prayer that is done is man centered and need based.
“In this world you will have trouble, but take heart for I have overcome the world.” –John 16:33
Prayer is a part of His foundation, because of who we are as sons and daughters of God. We must help everyone feel able and needed to pray. We must “demystify” the call to prayer as being something more than what it is. . . Prayer is simply part of our ordinary life as a believer.
Have you thought of yourself as a prayer mobilizer or a prayer strategist? In the Scriptures, many times, those who led in prayer also mobilized prayer. They too, were the ones who brought the strategy of prayer to the people. We are in a very critical time in the history of the church. It will take everyone doing their part and being willing to link together in the area of prayer to pray in those who still wait. We invite YOU to the conversation at: https://prayerstrategists.net/
Prayer is not a formality, but a responsibility of every believer.
Prayer is not a department or a small group who “takes care of our prayer requests.” In prayer we must allow ourselves to simply “be” with Him. To understand prayer as the foundation of everything we do is critical for every believer and every group involved in the work of God. Prayer is essential to the work of God. It is His work. Prayer is how we come into agreement with Him. That takes listening to Him and trusting Him fully. Trusting the Holy Spirit for the power to accomplish, because we simply join the Son as He intercedes to the Father.
We want to share two PowerPoint presentations that give an overview and share the need for prayer in two specific areas:
Lord, teach us to pray For Unengaged (UUPG), Oral Culture & Oral Bibleless Peoples around the world. Click Here
Lord, teach us to pray “Understanding the gift of intercession in Biblical Intercessors, God’s pray-ers.” Click Here
We invite you to visit the Orality website: http://orality.net