Our Lord Jesus says that “my house shall be called the house of prayers for all nations”. Every local church must be built around sincere, effective and intensive intercession to God. Corporate prayers posses much power to bring God’s power to our lives, the church and our nation. But the reality is that most of us pastors have led prayer meetings with low attendance—and we get discouraged when only a few people gather to pray. I suspect, though, that we don’t help ourselves when we jump to conclusions that people just don’t care about prayer.
Having studied and written about prayer for a number of years, I think these other reasons—reasons I’m convinced we can fix—also contribute to this issue.
- We’ve done a poor job teaching believers how to pray.
We tell them to pray but don’t teach them to do so. If Jesus’ disciples needed instruction to pray well (Luke 11:1), surely our church members do, too. We’re expecting them to join us to do that which we’ve never taught them.
- We don’t preach much about prayer.
I realize that’s a generalized statement that may not apply to everyone, but I can’t remember the last time I heard a teaching or a sermon on the necessity and power of prayer. Occasional references to prayer aren’t the same as a focused teaching series on this vital component of our Christian walk.
- As leaders, we aren’t often model prayer warriors. I know a lot of pastors, but not all of them so live in prayer that I want to be like them. Most only practice selfish, spasmodic kind of prayer life. But those few who really intercedes,though, have a deep, genuine relationship with God and incredible confidence in Him. They make me want to be around them when they pray.
- We don’t celebrate answered prayer enough.
In fact, it’s not uncommon that churches still have on their prayer list the same requests God answered some time ago – but no one kept the church updated. If we never hear how God responds to our prayers, we miss an opportunity to grow in prayer.
- We don’t use enough sermon illustrations of prayer warriors in church history.
I’m currently reading another biography of Charles G. Finney—and it’s hard not to be overwhelmed, amazed, and challenged by Finney’s life. It’s even harder not to tell others about a man who, according to his story, “knew his God.” And brought revival down to Christianity through his prayers.
- We’ve led boring, disorganized prayer meetings.
To be honest, I’ve been to prayer meetings that I never want to attend again, too. Most often, they lack focus and direction. At times, the praying itself is minimal, self centered, more talk than actual praying. Those who lead sometimes lack any sense of prayer passion themselves.
- We try to create praying congregations rather than develop praying
That is, we try to change the whole church and make them prayerful through a program or process. We focus on the enemy, forces of Satan and attacking them continuously. That’s seldom the way we raise up prayer warriors, however; rather, we raise them up one-by-one as we teach individuals to personally pray, seek God presence, power, person, Spirit and mercies. and invite them to join us.
- We eat too much, no longer fasting and seeking the Lord.
Generally speaking, modern churches eat a lot of food and do little personal and corporate fasting. We lose a lot of spiritual power when food is much more than fasting to seek the Lord. We even serve much food in our programmers, no wonder we are not powerful in prayers like churches of old time.
So, I’m convinced we can work on these areas. I’m praying that we will, because individual believers, pastors and church leaders needs to wake up afresh to deep praying. We need to get out of our monotonous, lifeless, powerless and unanswered prayer lives. We need to seek God for revival of our faith from God afresh. Our lives, churches, nation and general state of things demands for intensive intercession based on God’s unfailing promises to revive, revisit and refresh those who seek His anew.
BOOKS BY BOLA AKIN-JOHN
- Fruitful and Fulfilling Ministry Today
- Grow the Pastor Grow the Church
- Sexual Purity in Leadership
- Money, Ministers and Ministry Today
- 22 Dynamic Laws of Church Growth
- 25 Pillars of Church Health
- Personal Growth Today
- The Loyal Associate
- Guest Ministers Today
- 120 Strategic Ways to Increase Church Attendance
- Quality and Quantity Growth in Churches
- Strategic Church Planting Today
- Spiritual Warfare for Dynamic Church Growth
- Supernatural Power, Miracles, Signs and Wonders Today
- Church Change
- The Place of Anointing and Administration in Church Growth
- Pulpit Power for Church Growth
- Daily Nourishment for Leaders
- Healthy Leaders Healthy Churches
- Anointing Alone is Not Enough
- 101 Ministry Lessons
- Healthy Home
- Small Middle-Size and Mega Churches
- How to follow well
- Strategic Living
- True success in ministry
- Rise and Fall of Churches / Ministries
- Closing the Back Door
- 25 Indispensable Qualities of a Competent and Credible Minister
- Church Growth Principles of Jesus
- Your Church Your Community
- Your Growth is Your Future
- Frank Talk to Men
- The Cell Church
- Our Churches and His Church
- How to Support & Strengthen your Pastor
- 101 ways to progressively kill a church
- The Real Man in Every Church
- Matured Pastor’s Wife & Female Minister
- Pray and Grow
- Short Course on Family Growth
- Short Course on Church Growth
- Short Course on Wholesome Sexuality
- Short Course on Financial Growth
- Short Course on Personal Growth
- Fundamental Teaching & Doctrines of the Bible
- With Jesus in the School of Money
- Holy Spirit the True Vicar of Life and Ministry
- Five Fold Ministry
- Prophet & Prophetic Ministry Today
- Leading your Church to Lasting Growth
- Your Image is Your Growth
- Conflict and Crisis in Ministry
- Thy Kingdom Come
- DiscipleShift Today
- Healthy Local Church
- Congregational and Cell Church Today
- Heart of a Christian
- Overseer and Senior Pastor Hand book 1
- Abusive Pastor Abusive Churches
- Church Turn-Around Strategies
- Pastor and People’s Price For Church Growth
- Fatherhood and Sonship
- Healthy Woman Minister
- Women In Church Growth Resource
- Kingdom Stewardship
- Overcome At The Gate
- Healthy Pastor, Dangerous Pastor
- Sexually Wholesome Church
- Healthy Pastors, Dangerous Pastor
- Impact-Driven Church
- Clergy Coupes
- Apostolic Ministry
- Evangelist Ministry
- Pastoral Ministry
- Prophetic Ministry
- Teaching Ministry
- Your Church Can Grow in a Healthy Way
- Real Men Resource
- Strong Christian, Strong Christian
- Planting Disciples-Making Church
- Front and back Door of Your Church
- Discipleship Process Recourse
- True Biblical Church Growth is still Possible
- Daily Nourishment 2
- Reaching and Disciplining Children and Youth in today’s Church
- Eschatology and Kingdom Teaching Resource
- I Can’t Breathe