Start to pray!
Before you can
start to pray, you must first concentrate on it and -- most of all -- reserve
time for it. David Wilkerson said in 1974 in his book The Vision
that in the future the main sin among the Christians would be misuse of their
free time, meaning that they would not spend time with God praying. Television
and other unnecessary leisure activities would steal this time from the most
In order to prevent this from happening to you, you must
reserve time for prayer. Give up unnecessary activities and start to pray, for
example, for your neighbors and their salvation. It might seem difficult in the
beginning if you are not used to praying, but certainly their salvation is more
valuable than anything else here on Earth:
- (Rom 10:1) Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God
for Israel is, that they might be saved.
Oswald J. Smith wrote about the problems we will face when we start to
pray. He also spoke about the meaning of prayer, and how we might replace it by
our own gifts, abilities, and acts. Permanent prayer alone can lead to what we
cannot achieve through our natural abilities:
A Christian who starts to pray for other people
goes through quite a different experience. Satan will do everything in his
power to prevent and block the way. His presence and resistance will be
We might also get depressed. We
might repeatedly feel ready to give up. No wonder that the Lord told the
allegory of a friend who came to the house of his friends in the middle of the
night. Persistence is one of the most important preconditions. We will pray for
a certain time and not getting an answer straight away, be depressed and give
up. This is how Satan uses one of his most successful weapons against us, and
crushes our decision to start praying for others.
else has failed, Satan puts a workload on our shoulders. He would rather like
to see us working than praying even for a moment. He knows perfectly well that
working without prayer is powerless and useless. Therefore, if he can only make
us so busy that we do not have the time to pray, he has achieved his goal. (…)
prayer is the most effective weapon the Christians have. Nothing rivals its
power. It will make things happen when everything else has failed; and it seems
strange that we turn to other resources to try to make such things happen that
can only happen through prayer. God has given this great weapon to us, and He
expects us to use it. How disappointed He must be when we put it aside and
replace it by natural tools in doing spiritual work. (4)
If it is difficult for you to pray for a longer time, work sheets can be
useful. You can write down all your prayer issues and people you want to pray
for, and then pray for each of them for 5–10 minutes, for example. When you
have reached the end of the list, you can start from the beginning again and
again or have a break in between.
(The same method of a work sheet that can be distributed to
the participants can be a good tool also in larger prayer meetings. For
example, Yonggi Cho described in his book Kokemuksiani rukouksesta (DR.
CHO’S PATTERNS OF PRAYER), p. 34, how this method is used in their meetings.)
The prayer and worksheet can be drawn up, for instance,
from the following issues:
- Salvation of one's relatives: spouse, children, sisters, parents,
grandparents, grandchildren, cousins, aunts, uncles and their families.
- Salvation of neighbors and friends.
- Salvation of co-workers.
- Prayer for the leaders of your nation and city, so that they would
also be saved. Pray also for the representatives of the media. Prayer for the
authorities should be one of the most important prayer subjects:
- (Jer 29:7) And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captives, and
pray to the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall you have peace.
- (1 Tim 2:1-4) I exhort therefore,
that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of
thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings,
and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable
life in all godliness and honesty.
3 For this is
good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of
- Pray for your neighboring countries, and that their people would be
- Pray for missionary work.
- Pray for spiritual work, and the leaders of the congregation. For
example, Paul wrote:
- (Col 4:2-4) Continue in prayer, and
watch in the same with thanksgiving;
praying also for us, that God would open to us a door of utterance, to speak
the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
- (Eph 6:18-20) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the
Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all
19 And for me,
that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make
known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak
boldly, as I ought to speak.
- (2 Thess 3:1) Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the
Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you
- Pray for those believers who have just found salvation so that they
would grow in faith.
- Pray for your own personal needs and the needs of your family,
guidance in spiritual and everyday issues.