Prayer Points

While we are on the subject of prayer, may I ask what your prayer points are? I ask because I believe you can locate a person by her prayer points. What a person cries about at the throne of grace is an indication of what is important to him. In other words, your prayer points are an accurate indicator of your spiritual state.

Much of the prayers now (especially in the church in Africa) are patently self-centred and widely off the mark. Inept governments and pervasive poverty have combined to make basic needs and survival the focus of unending prayers. God must do for people all that their governments have failed to do for them.

The volume of prayer going on is stupendous and should have brought earth-shaking revival. Yet the continent remains steeped in corruption. Consecutive night vigils and very long fasts (21, 40, 70, or even 365 days depending on your church affiliation) are now commonplace. The invariable prayer points are in three main categories: for health and long life, for wealth, and against enemies real or imagined. People are using prayer to kill their enemies and persecutors, and to obtain things – claiming cars, jobs, houses, visas etc. There is nothing wrong with getting our needs met but even Solomon, a wise Old Testament individual knew there were better uses for the precious privilege of prayer. He prayed strategically for wisdom and insight and everything else was added to him:

“The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for – both riches and honor – so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life."

New creatures in Christ are having night vigils fixated on the temporal. Whole ministries are dedicated to these three issues. The prayer Jesus taught us to pray has lost appeal among many Christians. “Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done…” sounds “old school” to a new generation. Christians are praying like crazy to get the very things Jesus promised would be added to us if we sought His kingdom and righteousness as our first priorities.

So what are your prayer points? What do you so desperately desire God to do for you? What do you cry about when you pray? Are you using the promises of prayer that can be used to shake nations merely to collect perishables? Are you praying for peanuts when you already own both the farm and the barn? How do your prayers profit divine agenda? Where is God’s kingdom in your requests?

Solomon asked for wisdom to direct a whole nation. He got other things thrown in.

Paul prayed that believers might comprehend “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of the love of God which passes understanding” and be filled with all the fullness of God!  What a daring request! “That you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!” It will be worth your while to read Paul’s prayers in the Bible. The kind of things he prayed for were way beyond the vanities we currently hanker after. He opened his mouth wide, and God filled it.

Moses prayed, “Show me your glory!”

John the Beloved cried, “Maranatha! Even so, come Lord Jesus.”

John Fletcher prayed, “Lord, give me souls or else I die”. God gave him a minimum of a soul each day in answer to his prayers.

John Knox prayed, “Lord, give me Scotland or else I die!” God used him to shake the nation. Bloody Queen Mary feared the prayers of John Knox more than all the armies of England.

Evan Roberts prayed, “Lord, bend the church and save the world”. A mighty revival swept through Wales as a result.  

If others are using their faith and prayers to ask for God Himself, collect nations, ignite revival, and to break the strongholds of the devil over whole communities, how come all your prayers are centred on you? Where is the kingdom of God in these torrents of prayer and fasting?