Prayer Thought: How to Help People Pray…How to Help People Pray for the Nations
“The Bible does not present an art of prayer; it presents the God of prayer.”
-Edmund P. Clowney
We all know we need to pray. The average Christian prays a measly 3 ½ minutes a day. Average pastor, 4 ½ minutes. The best thing to do for your lifestyle of prayer is by praying a different way today than you did yesterday. We’re far too rigid in our praying…only asking for certain things, being afraid to REALLY get down to brass tacs, praying only on the basis of what we want our experiences and feelings to be in regards to a Holy God.
“We should not decide how to pray based on the experiences and feelings we want. Instead, we should do everything possible to behold our God as He is, and prayer will follow. The more clearly we grasp who God is, the more our prayer is shaped and determined accordingly. Without immersion in God’s Words, our prayers may not be merely limited and shallow but also untethered from reality. We may be responding not to the real God but to what we wish God and life to be like. Indeed, if left to themselves our hearts will tend to create a God who doesn’t exist (Timothy Keller).”
It’s important to pray according to who God is as revealed in Holy Scripture and not merely by our own needs or psychological understanding. The God of the Bible is majestic and tender, holy and forgiving, loving and inscrutable. Therefore, prayer can’t be only one type of expression (confession, praise, appeals…etc.) The character of God is what dictates our prayers and praying to Him. His character qualities have to be working all at once, in tandem for Him to be God. So, He is at once our friend, Father, Lover, Shepherd, and King.
7 Mountains of Influence
I would like to suggest seven areas to pray for. Also included are some
suggestions for each topic, but let the Lord direct you here. These are just
designed to get you started.
1. Education– pray that Bible truth gets taught, not just political dogma.
2. Religion– pray the doors for the expansion of Christianity are flung open
3. Family– pray for health and strength of marriages and families of all.
4. Business– pray for economic security and interactions with Christian
businesses that lead to seed planting.
5. Government/Military – pray for a strong government that is fair and open
6. Arts/Entertainment– pray for entertainment that is clean and not
destructive to the local society.
7. Media – pray for the media to build up the country,
and not to import and spread damaging ideas.
These suggestions are taken from the so-called
Seven Mountains of Influence, which were originally
identified by Francis Schaeffer and Bill Bright in the
mid 70‘s. They appear to me to be just as solid today
as they did then. Pray for one of these each day this week.
Clayton J. Elliott, Kontaktmission USA
Director of Pastoral Ministries and Prayer