Living on a PrayerBrian Heasley - 20 Jun 2011
Someone recently said to me “I love the way you guys at 24-7prayer have made prayer an evangelistic strategy”. Surprised by this I gently pointed out that we hadn’t made prayer an evangelistic strategy; that prayer was not some new way of reaching the lost, it was not another programme that needed to be rolled out by churches across the nations.
‘Prayer and mission are as inseparable as faith and works. In fact prayer and mission are faith and works' Nobel Laureate, John Mott 1902The history of the Church's mission from the day of Pentecost to the great Hebridian revivals and beyond is the history of faithful praying people’s prayers being answered.
Here in Ibiza God does some great things through 24-7 prayer, we have some wonderful stories and have really seen God use us in impacting and reaching a community. The impact we have would never have happened without long term, sustained and relentless prayer. We have to be careful that as we seek to encourage others and build up the body of Christ by sharing great testimonies and fantastic stories of how God is moving that we give proper emphasis to the reality that these stories are born out of prayer, without prayer the stories wouldn’t happen. We can end up living for the story, working tirelessly and relentlessly to see Gods kingdom come without realizing, that in the words of the great 20th century theologian Jon Bon Jovi, rather than “living for the story” we should be “living on a prayer”.
The late Ken McGreavy, a dear friend of 24-7 Prayer, once told us that for every history that is seen, every testimony that is told, there is a secret history, a history that no one knows about. Souls saved, towns changed, families transformed, cultures redeemed, revivals that break out are all born out of the secret place of prayer, they all have a secret history. Are we willing to be involved in the secret history of our friends, families, communities and nations, to prayer without reward, relentlessly and unceasingly until we see change? And even if that change never comes in our lifetime to keep praying?
I believe God is looking for a generation that will take itself to the secret place of prayer and win victories on their knees, a generation that will go to the closet of prayer and get involved in the secret history of the world from a place of supplication and intercession.
This is not the kind of prayer that locks itself away forever in a prayer room it is the kind of prayer that should take us from the intimate place to the involved place. Gods heart is for a generation who will pour themselves out in prayer in order that they can pour themselves out in mission.
“24-7 Prayer exists to reconcile the world to God in Jesus Christ. We are changing the world by mobilising the Church in prayer, mission and justice”We at 24-7 Prayer whether it be in Ibiza, a justice project, a council estate in England, a university campus in America, or some small church in Finland, believe that we will only see true transformation of the world through prayer. All our efforts in mission and justice will be futile unless they are born out of prayer and sustained by prayer.
Is prayer an evangelistic strategy? No! it is the very life blood of our existence, without prayer the Church will die, the kingdom will falter and we will find ourselves caught up in some vain works driven system that lacks the life, vitality and effectiveness that the bride of Christ needs to fulfill the great commission.