It been so wonderful for us (Kym & Nel) to be praying together night after night in the Canberra Declaration Zoom prayer meetings for our nation of Australia during this Covid-19 pandemic.
There is always a good number of people praying each night on Zoom, and some are there every night. Warwick even had to purchase a larger package on Zoom to accommodate even more intercessors the time when our Prime Minister Scott Morrison came on the call to pray during the prayer intensive 29th March 2020.
Kym and I have walked with Jesus since the seventies and in more recent times the Lord has placed us with different prayer ministries and so our prayer journey has deepened.
The people who really rule the world are those who know how to pray.
~ Derek Prince
Prayer is the cry of the human heart to Creator God. It can come in many forms; verbal, silent, groaning or tears. Jesus, Our Lord taught us to pray to Our Father and many of us know the words of this prayer off by heart.
He then told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged.
~ Luke 18:1 HCSB
We pray because we want and need answers for the things that we cannot change on our own in this world. Because God is a good Father, we know that He hears us and answers us.
And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for.
~ 1 John 5:15 HCSB
I am sure that many of us have prayed and prayed until we have peace and then we know that the answer is on the way. And when the answer comes, we rejoice and tell others about the goodness of Father God.
Effects of prayer
Prayer does not only change an individual, but it also changes nations. When an individual believer is in the place of prayer with the Lord, he is transformed.
We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.
~ 2 Corinthians 3:18 HCSB
After walking with Jesus for several years and having had various encounters, the cry of my heart was “Lord, I don’t want another experience – I want a changed life.” The Lord took me very seriously, and so my journey has been perhaps a bit different from the experience of others. We can minister from a place of His grace and He will bless others, but there is a greater spiritual authority when one has experienced the Father’s power in a certain area of life. This gives us keys to share with others to help them with their breakthroughs.
Rees Howells, in his book Intercessor, shared many examples of prayer that made a difference in WWII and ultimately gave the victory to the Allies. We also have seen the turnaround for national issues through corporate prayer. It is a season to come together and see Australia changed.
The power of corporate prayer by the Ekklesia in unity and oneness is unstoppable.
Calling the Church to prayer
Even before my conversion, my friends who were sharing Jesus with me took me to a Tuesday night prayer meeting, and I had not even attended a Sunday service. Right from the beginning, Father has been immersing me in prayer.
I was born again in 1971, and Ps Reg Klimionok was the Pastor of the Mt Gravatt church in Brisbane. I walked a journey with this man, and he modelled to me and the congregation what a life of prayer looked like. There were regular fasting times, all days of prayer for him in the church building alone on Saturdays. Sunday mornings, even before the service commenced, he was on the front steps of the church by the altar about half an hour before the service, kneeling and praying, and we joined him on those steps. This was an awesome example of faithful prayer, and without it all other gifts will be lacking.
Jesus Himself did not draw strength from the Synagogue or Temple, but He drew aside frequently to pray to His Father in Heaven.
Yet He often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.
~ Luke 5:16 HCSB
How much more do we need to be in that place of prayer and remain like it says in Psalm 91:1?
The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty.
~ Psalm 91:1 HCSB
The first verb here, yashav יָשַׁב means to sit, sit down, remain and the second verb, dwell, Lun לוּן means to lodge, stop over, pass the night, abide. So, one goes from sitting and staying, to lying down and staying for a while. To stay in His presence and not leave that intimate place is the ideal place for a believer.
Individual, congregational, and unity prayer
Many of us understand the benefits of individual prayer and intimacy with Jesus. Fewer understand the importance of congregational or corporate prayer. Many pastors have a prayer life and in some places there are prayer meetings before the service, which is great; however, prayer has been declining in churches over decades to the point now where many churches do not have a weekly congregational prayer meeting at all.
This photo shows us more clearly the prayers of years gone by where groups prayed on their knees for hours and found not only sweet consolation but glorious results.
So where to from here?
On Monday 25th May, as I was waking up I had a vision and a message from the Lord, which I shared with Warwick Marsh on the phone, and he encouraged me to write this article as I feel that the Lord has a message for us in it.
These are some of the salient points that the Holy Spirit showed me. I saw a picture of a cul-de-sac which looked like a U-shape on the right-hand side. The Lord was sharing with me that the churches were enjoying the benefits of the combined prayer of the people during this Covid-19 season. He went on to share with me that now in order to maintain this current move of the Holy Spirit, congregations need to have their own prayer meetings, or the results will not last.
The right-hand side represents God’s side. The cul-de-sac is a dead-end street. Combined prayer is really powerful, and each one of us who has been interceding on these Zoom prayer meetings knows that things are changing now as we come out of the Covid-19 season and back into a “new normal” routine.
The “now” message which I believe the Holy Spirit is trying to communicate to us is that the prayer in the next season needs to move back into the congregations. Perhaps you could invite other believers to your homes to pray, or you might like to share with your Pastor the blessings of what we have learned through the Zoom sessions and request a weekly prayer meeting in your congregation.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned from being with mainland Chinese believers is that continual repentance sustains revival. Many of us have been in moves of God that dissipate and we need to seek God for another move.
It is all about the heart, dear one, it is all about the heart. May we learn from our Chinese brothers and sisters, how to cleanse our hearts with repentance, keep a clear channel with the Lord and with each other, then together we will see Father God move in our lives, congregations and nations to bring wonderful transformation that only He can bring about, and He will receive all the glory.
Well family, we have been travelling on this prayer journey together and now the “take home” message I received from the Holy Spirit is that we need to take this new level of prayer back to our local congregations.