If you are reading this blog post, you have already allowed God to share His passion for a particular ministry with you.
And if God's shared his passion, He's chosen you to stand in the gap on behalf of others who are on the front lines of Christ's kingdom advance.
Those others might be missionaries, pastors, teachers of pastors, strategists, supporters, or believers who are enduring persecution.
I've no doubt their resources are limited, their challenges are great and their dreams are large.
They teach, and travel, and build, and recruit, and promote, and fund raise, and...do it over and over again, all day, everyday.
And you? You have been called to pray.
The enemy would like for you to consider your job insignificant. You're not like them. You've not sacrificed, or gone hungry, or slept on the hard ground under a star-studded sky. This praying job is the kind that can go undone and no one will notice if you don't show up to work. The enemy wants to convince you that your prayers don't make much difference at all. After all, what could possibly happen when you pray?!
Of course, prayer would be a waste of valuable time and emotional resources if the work depended on us. It would be silly to sit around and call out to God if He didn't exist or told us not to bother!
But if the work of His Kingdom depended on Him (John 15:4-5); and if He does exist (I Corinthians 8:6); and if He assured us that He will hear, answer and reward us when we pray (Matthew 7:7) then your prayers are not only significant, they are absolutely essential.
The fact that you are even entertaining the possibility of engaging in prayer is evidence that God's got something in His mind that He plans to do--and something in His heart that He desires to do--therefore He chose you to fill in the space left vacant by the will of God.
What is this space? It's a you-shaped spot between the Throne of Grace and this present darkness. A _______________ with your name on it.
The hunger in you for God to reveal Himself in and through this ministry draws you to it.
Because Jesus gave Himself up on the cross, you are welcome there.
Take your place in that space. Heaven is eager to heave its glorious riches into and through the ministry you love and transform this present darkness with God's brilliant light!
Why doesn't God pour out heaven's bounty without us?
I'm not sure...but I think it has something to do with the authority He gave us; and the redemption He provided us; and the intimate, siginificant, genuine partnership He shares with us.
It's a slap-in-the-face-of-the-devil, trophy-of-grace kind of place that brings Him satisfaction and delight when we take our place in that space!
So step right up, take your place and as you settle in, echo the prayer of Jesus, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
Take your place in your space.
Step 1. Recognize and accept the fact that...
It's not hard because God made it that way; prayer is hard because we have to fight through the weeds of worldly affections and fleshly addictions and selfish ambitions to get to where God is.
Step 2. If you want to pray effectively for the ministry you love...
Your body position is important. Unless you are physically unable to take on this posture, get off your blessed assurance and get on your knees.
In this posture, begin to think about the existence of God. Choose a Psalm and read it a loud. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Be a creature here below who acknowledges God and recognizes Him as high and lifted up. Worthy to be worshiped, honored and praised.
Step 3. Get carried away in...
Praise God for the blessings that have already flowed to the ministry. Worship Him for every expression of His faithfulness, goodness, mercy, kindness, gentleness and love. Be specific as the Holy Spirit reminds you of these expressions of His Grace in the ministry already.
Step 4. Let your praise and worship lead you to holy contemplation over your own sin.
The really odd and amazing thing about God is that He sees much in us that we don't see in ourselves. He considers us worthy partners in noble, eternal, significant work. Fully aware of our shortcomings, hang-ups and habits, He puts us on His team anyway!
Declare your utter desperation for God to have at you. And when He's done with you, recognize that the leaders of the ministry you're praying for are human too.
Invite God to "have at" them as well.
Step 5. By now you should've been talking for quite a while. I hope you let God get all up and in your business!
Because you've been at it for some time, for a few minutes...
If you're like me, you're like, "How am I supposed to do that?!"
Just, be still. (and quiet)
Not just yet.
Breathe in...breathe out...breathe in...breathe out...breathe in...breathe out...
Rest, for just a bit more.
Now. You can move on.
Step 6. Consider this. You are now resting at the footstool of the God of the Universe. You've got His full attention. He's not using his cell phone--it's turned off (not just on silent). His angels are singing, but His eyes are on you. There's nothing but love in them.
You've come all this way to invite Him to do what only He can do in and through the ministry you love because He loves it and He invited you to share His love!
As you gaze into His loving face, say, "Lord, what do You want me to want? What do You want me to request? I dare not ask on my own initiative for I will surely ask for far less than I know You are eager to give."
As God communicates with your heart...
You can't ask for too much--there's no such thing. He's there. He's eager, He's invited you to come, and now, He wants you to fill in the mysterious gap between heaven's bounty and this ministry's dependency on what only He can deliver.
Yours is a sacred honor and a weighty responsibility.
You can fulfill it because God chose you to do it!
Step 7. When you know that you've finished. Look full in His wonderful face and begin to thank Him like You know He's already commanded His angel armies to set about the task of fulfilling your "order."
And when you're done...
Step 8. Do it all over again, every day, again and again.
Step 9. When God begins to answer your prayers
I guarantee that when you pray, God will work. The ministry you love will begin to experience growth in supernatural, divine proportions. Don't get discouraged if there are unusual setbacks or trials. Understand that the enemy's setbacks will be used by God as setups for His greatest work.
Show up for work! And take your place in your space!