Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
Pray.Network ~ Manny, books on prayer are often written by men and women who are prayer ministry leaders. Radical Prayer seems to have emerged from your personal journey of prayer . . .
The seed for the book was first planted in me as I stood on the curbside, facing the undercarriage and four wheels of my wife’s car, as it lay turned on its side—with my wife still inside the vehicle. The chief of police told me the only thing I could do for her at that moment was pray. I felt like a hypocrite. I had been treating God like a paramedic, just calling on Him in times of need. I was convicted of my lack of intimacy with the God that I served.
Pray.Network ~ "Many of us pray with little heart, little faith, and little expectation." How did this observation fuel your writing?
As our loving Heavenly Father began to work on me concerning my prayerlessness, I observed that many other believers were experiencing the same thing. I attended a pastors conference shortly after my wife’s crash which was focused on the prayer life of pastors. Over 2,000 pastors met for several days. We listened to sermons on prayer, we had discussions on prayer, and Q&As on prayer. We were even told that a survey revealed that 80% of pastors did not have a personal prayer life. But never once did we take time corporately to pray. I came home greatly burdened and began to cry out to God our Father. I knew I had lost my passion for prayer and the attitude of expectancy. I begged God to create in me a new capacity for prayer, for a deeper faith that would lead me to believe that He can do the impossible. We live in very precarious times. Issues facing us in our families, communities, churches, our nation are overwhelming. Only God our Father, through His Son Jesus Christ, can bring about the solutions that we desperately need through the power of His Spirit.
Pray.Network ~ Please describe radical prayer...
Manny ~A radical, biblical Prayer is one made with an unwavering commitment to obey all that God our Father commands, for the Hallowing of His holy name (Luke 11:2). We commit to worshipping no other god, “for the Lord whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14).
Pray.Network ~What would you say to someone who assumes radical praying is not much more than more volume and emotion?
Since I am Cuban, I come from a culture that knows about volume and emotion! But seriously, the word radical means relating to the root of something. In botany, a radical is the root or stem base of a plant. Radical praying doesn’t denote the “how” of the prayer – it can be loud or quiet, exuberant or calm. Rather, radical denotes the “what” of the prayer. Our prayers should be springing up from a relationship deeply rooted in our Triune God. The content of our prayers should be concerned with God’s glory. Radical praying is asking that God would be glorified, that His name would be hallowed in whatever situation or concern or praise we are bringing before Him.
Pray.Network ~How would you counsel pastors and prayer leaders who want to implement radical prayer in their setting.
I would first counsel pastors and prayer leaders to take time to ask God our Father to do an honest assessment, take an inventory of their own personal prayer life. I needed to go away by myself for a few days to do this, to come clean before God our Father and listen to what He said should be my first step of obedience in developing my personal prayer life. During those days away, He told me I needed to begin a regular daily routine of walking and praying. I made the commitment to obey and do this—even though it was the middle of winter in Chicago-land. After I started being faithful in my personal prayer time, God led me to other corporate prayer opportunities. I’m now part of two weekly prayer meetings. One of those groups already existed and I was able to join them. The other group was something that arose right within our ministry, So I would counsel leaders to develop their own prayer life first. Be faithful in personal prayer. Then ask God to glorify Himself in the lives of their church members or group and show them what their corporate prayer times should be. Ask expecting that He will show you the specifics.
Pray.Network ~ Anything more you'd like to share?
Of course, I believe church leaders, boards, and small groups would be challenged and encouraged by reading Radical Prayer. It contains lessons I learned from studying the Lord’s prayer in Luke 11 and the prayers of Moses in Exodus. We are hearing from readers that they are reading it twice—once through to get the main themes and be encouraged by the true stories we relate, then a second time through to dig into the scripture lessons and begin applying some of the practical suggestions. As the old saying goes, “The church that prays together, stays together.”
Pray.Network ~ Manny, please write a prayer we can pray with you toward becoming radical biblical pray-ers . . .
God our Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, empower me through Your Spirit not to fear but to love, not to doubt but to trust You with all of my heart, mind, soul, and strength that I might hallow Your holy and loving name all the days of my life. My Father, give me the same heart as Jesus Christ, that I might love You the same way He loves You. May I fulfill the great commission in the context of the first and second greatest commandments (Matthew 28:16-28; 22:37-40), so that You will be glorified. In Jesus’ matchless name, Amen.
In the clutches of the cross (Jim Elliot's words), and
In the Master's service for eternity,
Radical Time Out Website