Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
How can you and I have our hearts on fire in prayer for the lost?
A strategic way is to know our Coach and our winning team position in prayer. The intercession of the saints is leading to a great harvest of souls now at the end of the age. Anticipate it, cry out for it, and seek God for this great ingathering of souls into His Kingdom. All over the world as never before individuals are turning to Christ. As we pray for the lost, we need to know in our hearts that we are on the winning team. In watching the World Series, the biggest major league baseball game in the U.S. every year, I could see the discouragement on the faces of the losing team. With the odds against them, they looked anxious, troubled, defeated, and disheartened.
When we think our situation is hopeless, it’s easy to give up and to lose heart. It’s hard to have a heart on fire in prayer when you feel defeated.
In sports, people often talk about being "in the zone.” This is the place of optimal, peak functioning when athletes perform to their absolute maximum and have the perfect game. Performance can be influenced from anything from the amount of sleep, nutrition, relationship status, training, coach input, and a number of other things. Individual player’s methods for attaining peak performance vary. Self-talk, how to deal with mistakes, and effective goal-setting must be considered for peak performance. Music that calms the mind and relaxing, positive self-talk are important.
When athletes are "in the zone," they are fully immersed in feelings of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. They are completely absorbed in what they are doing with single-minded immersion. Their motions are positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand. There is the feeling of spontaneous joy while performing the task with a deep focus on nothing but the activity – not even oneself or one’s emotions. There is an intense concentration on the present moment, a merging of action and awareness, and a loss of reflective self-consciousness.
Intercessors praying for the harvest need to know the importance of being "in the zone” in prayer. So many of us can get disheartened with feelings that we have lost the battle. Others have lost their joy in prayer. Many of us do not have energized focus and are often distracted and preoccupied with our problems when we pray. We may have lost our deep focus on the task of intercession and may feel that the world is totally out of control, as well as our personal lives.
If you feel that the world situation looks bleak and hopeless, look carefully at these exciting statistics of what God is doing. The important thing when you feel that you have lost heart is to get back "in the zone" and realize that God is winning! Your prayers are making a worldwide impact, and you are on the winning team. I encourage you to shake off all of that end-time gloom, fear, anxiety, and feelings of defeat. Your team will win.
The Winning Team
“Christianity is openly mocked in all media: television, movies, print. Nightly News portrays a world seemingly in despair with no hope. The U.S., Canada, and Europe continue their downward slide away from God in their rejection of anything having to do with Christ and the Bible. Even common sense and tenets of basic human morality are regularly attacked and vilified. Yet the truth is that, in our time, worldwide, God is winning. The Holy Spirit is greatly moving in what was once called "the Third World". We need to be thankful and even amazed at what God is doing!”
The following statistics are from several different sources and change continually, but regardless of the exact numbers, we can see that God is up to something big! See operationworld.org for the latest updates. Also see www.prayerfoundation.org.
All the turmoil that is presently happening—terrorism, natural disasters, and lawlessness—leads people to seek for something beyond this life. Their attention is drawn to look for an anchor of stability and hope, something more than the uncertainties all around them. Our hearts are made for eternity, and we will not be satisfied unless we pursue it with all our hearts.
Our great responsibility and joy is to pray for the ingathering of this worldwide harvest.
There is a cathedral in Milan, Italy with these three inscriptions spanning its great arches. Over one is carved a beautiful wreath of roses, under which is written, "All that which pleases is but for a moment." Over another is sculptured a cross with the words, "All that which troubles us is but for a moment.” Underneath the central entrance to the main aisle is the inscription, "That only is important which is eternal." If we will remember these three truths, we won’t worry as much about the daily troubles we face. We won’t seek after temporary pleasures. We will live for that which is eternal and seek to pray and share the eternal Christ with those who are lost. It's time that we have a heart on fire in prayer for the lost.
God wants us to be “in the zone” on His winning team in prayer. He wants us to function optimally in prayer for the lost. To be "in the zone" with hearts on fire in prayer and to stay there, practice the following daily:
Remember that you are partnering with God and are on His winning team. This is the perfect game, and there is no reason to lose heart. You already know the final score. At this point in the game as we pray for the lost, losing is absolutely impossible. Keep in mind daily that one day every knee will bow and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:9-11). That day may be soon!
“The Lord Jesus has united us in partnership with Himself in carrying out the great work of intercession. He in heaven and we on earth must be of one mind. We must have one aim in life. That aim is that we should love the Father and the lost by consecrating our lives to intercession for God’s blessing. The burning desire of Father and Son for the salvation of souls must be the burning desire of our hearts, too.” Andrew Murray
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff