BLOG: Re-discovering the power of prayer part 1

By Chris B, Church Development Co-ordinator 

‘Jesus never taught his disciples how to preach, only how to pray.’ South African pastor, Andrew Murray.

We know that prayer is essential. Scripture tells us that the early church ‘devoted themselves… to prayer’ (Acts 2:42). But although I know how important prayer is in theory, if I’m honest, I still find it difficult to pray. You may be in this place too.

Recently I was reminded of two aspects of prayer. My prayer for you is that, as you are reminded of these aspects of prayer, you will re-discover the power of prayer.

Prayer as a spiritual weapon

We make the bold claim that prayer is the cornerstone of all we do. This makes sense as we need to use this mighty weapon for the spiritual battle. Paul tells us that ‘our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms’ (Ephesians 6:12).

I remember talking to Ashley* who heads up one of our ministry teams in the Arab world, who reminded me of this spiritual battle:

Bulus* is a believer from a Muslim background and lives in the region where Ashley works. He was being severely persecuted and threatened for his faith. We can hardly imagine receiving genuine death threats for our faith in Christ. But the ones Bulus was receiving left him feeling there was no way out. They were so severe, he shouldn’t have survived past Easter this year. With such desperation for Bulus’ situation, Ashley mobilised prayer among believers around the world. ‘Sometimes all there is to do is pray.’ After these faithful prayers, Bulus was released and led to safety! Ashley concluded, ‘The prayers of the saints are powerful and effective.’


Prayer is partnership

Prayer is a gift from God. As we pray, we partner with God and we can rejoice when we hear of answers to prayer and testimonies from our ministry teams. I have recently been running AWM prayer evenings on Zoom. It has been a joy to be able to report back on answers to specific prayers with attendees who interceded with us. We firmly believe that nothing will be accomplished in the Arab world without prayer and complete dependence on God. The battle is, after all, the Lord’s.

In a letter a few years ago, the Pioneers’ International Director wrote, ‘Our overarching prayer is that God will bear much fruit through our mission family.’ It is God who is at work and as we pray we partner with God and our mission family. How much would we miss out on if we didn’t partner with our Lord in prayer?


In part 2 of this series, we will explore some specifics in praying individually and as a church for God’s mission.

For more information on how to pray for the Arab World, why not sign up to receive our regular prayer updates?

Image credit: Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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