Unceasing Prayer — Alternative to Impotence!
By Dr. Don Moore
We have not chosen the times in which we live and serve. God has ordained that we be here NOW! We have no choice about the circumstances or environment where our assignment takes us. As soldiers of the Lord, we find ourselves on a battlefield growing more hostile by the day. As Hebrew 11:13 says we have to admit that “we are aliens and strangers on the earth.”
Politically, morally, educationally, emotionally, medically, sexually, and spiritually we are a part of a culture so troubled and in such disarray, no human being or group of human beings knows which way to turn.
It must have been such a time when the Psalmist asked, “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3, emphasis added) Hebrews tells us what the righteous can do… Hebrews 10:19–22 (NIV84), “19Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, …22let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…” WE CAN PRAY!
At awful cost, Jesus paved the way for us to enter “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16, ESV)
Jesus was very clear about the place of prayer in the believer’s life. “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1, ESV) We pray or lose heart. Except for prayer, this would be a really good time to “lose heart.” How much praying will need to be done for us to not lose heart? In Paul’s opinion, it will require “prayer without ceasing.” “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18, ESV, emphasis added)
What does “unceasing prayer” look like? Like Jesus! All that He said and did sprang from His constant communication with His Father. It will look like the New Testament Church that was so marked by the supernatural that it could not be ignored, much less extinguished. It is difficult to ignore a fire, even a spiritual one. If today’s church really engaged in “unceasing prayer,” the force of the Holy Spirit’s impact would be such the world could not disregard it or mock it. The symbols of His Spirit implied unquestionable force. Light, Wind, Fire, and Water reflected the nature of His work. Such transforming realities can only come from the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit will only work in answer to “fervent,” “unceasing” prayer.
Is my church, by any stretch of the imagination, a “House of Prayer,” as Jesus desires?
Am I as good a pray-er as I am ever going to be? After all of these years of following the Chief Intercessor (Hebrews 9:27, Romans 8:34), and having settled in at this level of praying, will I take steps to grow in the effectiveness of my prayer life?
If the spiritual welfare of our loved ones depends upon the effectiveness of my praying, are they at risk?
If God sends revival in response to intense prayer, what chance is there that my current level of praying would produce revival?
I want to encourage you. The history of every empire referenced in scripture was at some point impacted by the prayers of repentant people. E.G. Syria with Nineveh the Capitol, at the urging of a pagan King, prayed. Jonah 3:8-10, “But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish. When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.” (emphasis added)
“Unceasing prayer” will not likely make us more comfortable, but it would doubtless make us more powerful. Such praying will not take place apart from a sense of desperation or distress. Psalm 107:26, “in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits’ end. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress.” (emphasis added) This the divine pattern.
Our best efforts will fall far short of what the world, the church, and Kingdom need. His best efforts will command the love, life, and loyalty of His people whom He will use to “turn the world upside down.” His best will come in response to our constant pleas.
As Churchill said at a critical point in World War II,
“I find this all quite exciting.”
Arkansas Prays is a great example of churches interlocking together with a citywide vision. Right now, churches in Arkansas are linking together across denominations to cover communities in 24/7 prayer! Arkansas Prays is a simple, church-based model for unceasing prayer that is both transformative to the community and beneficial to the health of every participating church! Any time of any day, you will be able to look at our calendar and see multiple churches covering that day in unceasing prayer! Together, we are fulfilling the call of Jesus to be a house of prayer.