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8 Actions of Preparation to Pray with Power

Over the past two decades, God has been working in many different groups to call for more prayer. We’ve had concerts of prayer, solemn assemblies, prayer and fasting gatherings, days of prayer for various purposes or praying for people groups, prayer teams to pray for specific leaders, prayer ministries, prayer chains, and prayer conferences. Books on prayer fill bookstore shelves. We’ve prayed for revival and spiritual awakening. Perhaps never in history has more prayer been offered to God for a transformation in our churches, society, our nation, and the world. Why then do we find ourselves in a time when our nation seems to be growing farther and farther from God? What we need is not more prayer alone; we need more power when we pray. We need a people who are right with God when we pray so that God will answer the prayers of His people. God’s Word is true:


“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16, NIV)


Do you want to be a person who has power with God in prayer? Do you want your prayer group and church to have power to work with God in prayer to transform a life, a family, a community, or a nation? Then ask God to guide you to come clean before Him so you can pray with power. Here are 8 ways you can come clean before God so you can pray with power.1


1. Examine yourself. “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5). Joining a church or claiming the name “Christian” doesn’t make you one. A saving relationship with Jesus Christ does. Does His Spirit live in you in such a way that your life is a new creation that looks and acts like Jesus? That’s the starting point for being a powerful prayer relationship.


2. Judge yourself. “If we were properly evaluating ourselves, we would not be judged” (1 Cor. 11:31). Do you know of any sin or impurity in your life that is unlike Christ? Those need to go.


3. Remove idols of the heart. An idol of the heart is anything that captures my love in such a way that I’m distracted from my first love for God. Things, money, pleasures, hobbies, sports, careers, positions of power, or other people can all become idols. If you are loving anything too much, put it away and return to your first love.


4. Consecrate yourself and your home. Have you allowed anything into your life or your home that is impure, unholy, ungodly, or unbecoming of a Christ follower? Get rid of it. Whether others know or not, keep your life and your home pure and clean before God.


5. Reconcile broken relationships. Have you offended anyone and not gone to ask forgiveness or make restitution if needed? Get things right with him, her, or them. Has anyone offended you and you are holding on to unforgiveness and bitterness? Forgive. Let no broken relationships remain outstanding.


6. Humble yourself. Do arrogance and pride show up in the way you relate to others? Are you bearing the fruit of pride through such things as a judgmental spirit, critical attitude, prejudice, controlling behavior, condescending attitude, and so forth? “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Pet. 5:5).


7. Love God and one another. Return to your first love for God and allow His love to flow through you to others in tangible ways. Demonstrate your love by meeting needs.


8. Watch and pray. Draw near to God in prayer and receive His power to resist the temptations that are sure to come your way.


________


1. For more on prayer and revival see my video blog at www.lifeway.com/growingdisciples.


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Comment by Dennis Conner on August 16, 2010 at 7:02pm
Nothing better than solid-biblical-practical teaching, which you are a "Master" at providing! While I am in complete agreement with these critically important steps each pray-er needs to take if they sincerely desire to pray A-ffectively and E-ffectively, I am convinced--via working closely with pastors and church prayer leaders the past seven years, in their efforts to grow the church's Prayer Ministry--that until their is a focused desire and intentional "game plan" (championed by the pastor and church leadership) to fulfill Jesus' declared will for His House to be known as a "House of Prayer", the POWER that is evident in the 1st century church will never be matched by our 21st century church. God's Word clearly confirms (1 Samuel 2:30) that He will honor those who honor Him. Unfortunately, too many churches are satisfied with having a "Prayer Ministry" rather than seeking to obediently pursue what our heavenly Father wants: a power-filled "House of Prayer"...that brings ALL honor, glory, and praise to Him! A corporate body of believers where the very culture--DNA, if you will--of the people is rooted and grounded in prayer first, activity second!

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