When David Butts heard the call from God into full-time prayer ministry, his initial desire was to teach churches and individuals to pray more effectively for missions. However, as he began teaching, he realized that people and churches actually needed more basic teaching on how to pray first.
This realization led David to start Harvest Prayer Ministries, an organization with a mission “to equip the local church to become a House of Prayer for all nations, releasing God’s power for revival and finishing the task of world evangelization.” From there David became a champion for challenging God’s people to bold faith through extraordinary prayer until his death in 2022.
David’s book Forgotten Power: A Simple Theology for a Praying Church (PrayerShop, 2015) is sure to offer motivation and empowerment to those who believe that God moves in power through the prayers of his people.
AN AMAZING OPPORTUNITY
In Butts’ book, we discover what has been revealed in Scripture but remains somewhat mysterious to us. In Butts’ own words, he tells us, “God (Father, Son, and Spirit) has invested something of great significance in prayer. It is His way of bringing about change on planet earth and at the same time, bringing sons and daughters to maturity.”
In the early chapters of Butts’ book, he makes the case that prayer is an amazing opportunity to join God in his work to accomplish the good and wonderful things he seeks to do right here and now. What stands before every believer is the opportunity to be a partner in the work God is doing in communities the world over. Through prayer, we get to know God more intimately and experience what he is doing and how we can be a part of it. While we get to enjoy the many connections we have with God (e.g., teaching, preaching, worship), prayer is the one thing that connects us to the Divine like no other.
A PRAYING CONGREGATION
And yet we often look past the extraordinary power of prayer for the humdrum of day-to-day activity and ministry within the Church while the power to act and do for the sake of the kingdom is there for the taking. “God shapes the world by prayer. The more prayer there is in the world, the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil.” Butts makes clear what it takes to see a prayer-fueled change in the world:
If we are to see New Testament power in our churches, we must have New Testament prayer. It is prayer that is pervasive and prevailing. Prayer that is intense and intentional. Not relegated to a few specialists, it is for the whole Church. New Testament Christians were praying Christians.
Butts goes on in Forgotten Power to share the greatest discovery he has ever made about the truth of the Church when he writes, “When Jesus built the Church, He built a praying congregation!” Every powerful move of God in Church history goes back to a praying group among his people. This isn’t magic. It is part of God’s divine plan to shape the world through the prayers of his people.
Butts takes the reader back to the early church in his book and draws a distinction between how that church prayed and how we pray today:
The difference in these situations, and the typical decision-making process in today’s church, has to do with intent. These early believers were coming together to pray and seek the Lord. In the midst of that time, a decision was made … a new direction was laid out for them.
A SLEEPING CHURCH AWAKENS
Butts highlights the urgent need for extraordinary prayer today when he writes:
Prayer can no longer be seen as a side issue, just for the super spiritual. It is at the heart of what God is desiring to do in the world today. Spirit-led prayer will center around three concepts: revival praying, evangelistic praying and watchmen praying.
When God’s people give themselves to pray in this way, a sleeping Church will awaken from its slumber to experience Christ in a fresh and new way. This is the hope that Butts holds out for his readers and one that he reiterates: “There is no doubt of the desperate need for revival or spiritual awakening in the Church today. Any student of revival will tell you that God always sets His people to prayer in anticipation of an awakening.”
The final chapter of Butts’ book includes a vision for a praying church and its potential to change the world. “Because the Lord’s people are busy in prayer, all of Heaven is busy with divine activity. Things begin to change on this planet that would not have changed had the Church not prayed. Prayer really does move the hand of God.”
ALL THAT’S REQUIRED
Prayer does move the hand of God and extraordinary prayer is something that must be true of us as the people of God today. We must be a praying people, who want to see God do great and impossible things among us now and in the future. The opportunity for transformation and societal change is there. All that is required of us as God’s people is faith-filled, Spirit-led prayer. God is big enough to handle the rest.
Forgotten Power was published by PrayerShop Publishing and is available for purchase at the publisher’s website or on Amazon.