December 3, 2018

Following God’s Leading in Prayer

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I was recently in a gathering of pastors and prayer leaders where the main speaker posed the question, “What is Jesus doing in heaven right now?”

His answer: “He’s praying!”

Hebrews 7:25 says “… he (Jesus) always lives to intercede for those who come to God through him.”

That realization should be of extraordinary inspiration to us as we too gather in our cities, our regions, our communities, our homes, and across denominational lines to pray.

One of the main goals of the Regional Synod of the Great Lakes Strategic Prayer Team is to equip and encourage you to invite others in your community to a focused time of intercessory prayer on behalf of your church, AND your geographic and spiritual space.

As people of God, in Christ Jesus, you have authority in the region in which you live, work, and minister to pray in the power of the Holy Spirit and see things change!

When praying as a group, we want to follow God’s leading so that we accomplish God’s purposes for that time.

It should always be our aim that whatever God wants done (what He wants prayed, declared, repented of, forgiven, the blessing He wants released, etc.) is exactly what happens.

To do that, we need to pray as God leads, and to do that well, we need to be able to recognize the voice of God by the Holy Spirit in us and by the Holy Spirit through each person in the group.

How do we recognize God’s voice?

By cultivating our own personal relationship with Jesus.

Spend time EVERY DAY with Him, in His word, listening for His voice, and writing down what stands out to us.

The more we do this, the more God will confirm what He already spoke to us in our quiet time. In everyday life we can recognize God speaking to us.

I believe 50% of hearing God is simply paying attention; literally watching and listening to what’s happening all around us.

God speaks through a thought or picture in your mind, the scripture verse that just happened to pop in, the song lyrics stuck in your head, coincidence, our conversations with others, that billboard you drove by, that Facebook post, the dream you had last night, and so on.

The more we stop to acknowledge that which we may have previously ignored, the more we’ll grow in our understanding of what God is saying.

All of these “God moments” come together to build (and tangibly increase) our love relationship with Him.

It’s out of that place where we can take what we experience in quiet time with Him and recognizing His voice in everyday life, and apply that to the group prayer setting, following God’s leading in prayer as a group.

What does a group prayer setting look like?

Often as we gather for strategic prayer, we do a few key things each time:

1. We go around the circle and ask, “Does anyone feel like God gave them something specific for our time today?”

Sometimes, it’s a scripture passage, a word, a thought, a picture, a repeated theme, a dream, etc. If God spoke in these ways in scripture, why would we not think He could speak in these same ways today? Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

From this sharing, there are often “connections” that get made, like pieces of a puzzle that fit together, so we get a bigger picture of what to specifically pray for.

2. We invite the Holy Spirit to lead and guide our prayers and ask His covering and protection over us and our families.

In addition, I often pray, “Lord, whatever You want accomplished in our time today, I thank You that is exactly what takes place, in Jesus’ name.”

3. We begin to pray aloud what He has already shown us initially in the specific things shared and also pray the new things He brings to our minds in the moment.

4. We pray the scriptures. For the word of God is living and active. (Hebrews 4:12) My word does not return void, but accomplishes what I intend. (Isaiah 55:11)

5. We pray in collective discernment (agreement is important!) Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. (Matthew 18:19)

6. We pray until our allotted time is done or when we collectively have a sense that we’ve taken care of what God wanted accomplished during that time.

A Powerful Story: 

We were meeting as a small group to pray. It was myself, another leader from our church, and a prayer leader from another church. Early on in our time, a group member mentioned sensing something “underground” and that it was dark, not good, and not God.

As soon as she said the word underground, I immediately remembered something I wrote in my time with God that same morning — a written prayer from my journal: “Help us take hold of Your revelation Lord, and I ask You to shut down the enemy’s lines of communication, underground and otherwise, in Jesus’ name!”

I don’t know about you, but the word underground is not one that typically comes forth in my daily quiet time. Ultimately, that was the confirmation we needed to know what God wanted us to pray into that day.

We prayed accordingly, applying scripture; praying boldly, in faith, in declaration, in petition, and with collective discernment.

God is amazing!

Not only has He confirmed what He is saying to us, but he has also helped us see the fruit of our prayers; THAT is hugely encouraging!

I pray for the spirit of wisdom and revelation, counsel and might, knowledge and fear, of the Lord to rest on you and your team as together you seek to follow God’s leading in prayer… to see things change!

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