I have taken all these ideas with thanks from Alec Dunn, who has a website on prayer. What I like about his approach is that it is uncompromising and no-nonsense. You have to be in a serious mood to read it!
I have just listened to a great talk by Keith Green in which he draws on Charles Finney and argues that you are no more spiritual when you clean your teeth than when you pray: it is all about our motive. This is so true, and this is why it is important not simply TO PRAY, but at all times when praying (and Paul does tell us to ‘pray without ceasing’) to keep a check on our hearts, and to stop and confess and clean up whenever we realise that we have not got the compass of our spirit set to His frequency.
1. Be Humble and Reverent
“If my people ……humble themselves.” (2Chron.7:124) Humility is the first and the
greatest requirement for those praying for revival.
“This is the man to whom I will look. He who is humble and contrite in spirit, and who
trembles at my word.” (Is.66:2) So many prayer meetings are too casual and irreverent.
“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” There has to be genuine humility and
brokenness before the Lord. Remember Evan Roberts with his arms over the pew and sweat
pouring from his brow, pleading “Oh God, break me, break me.”
2. Repent and be Honest before the Lord
“If my people….turn from their wicked ways.” (2Chron.7:14) There has to be real honesty
before the Lord, as there was in Lewis in 1949. “Is my heart pure? Are my hands clean? God
has to have clean vessels to pour His Holy Spirit through. We need to confess our sins and the
sins of the churches and the sins of the people of this land, as Moses and Daniel and Nehemiah did.
3. Be Earnest
“If my people…..seek my face.” (2Chron. 7:14). So many prayer meetings are too casual and
assume too much, that God will hear our prayers and will answer. But God says we have to “seek
His face.” That means earnestly seeking His presence and His power until we “touch the throne.”
Even Solomon, after he had built the temple at God’s command, and the glory of the Lord had
come down and filled the house so that the priests could not stand to minister there, still asked
God to listen to his prayer, and Nehemiah asked God to make His ear attentive and His eyes open,
so that He would see him and hear his prayer, even though he had wept and mourned and fasted
and prayed for days, and was praying day and night, confessing the sins of the people of Israel!
(2Chron. 18-21 & 40, Neh.1: 4-11)
4. Be passionate
Some prayer meetings are too mechanical, just praying for things on a list, without power or
passion or urgency. There has to be the “Oh” in our prayers. “Oh that You would rend the heavens
and come down, that the mountains might shake at your presence.” (Is.64:1)
5. Be Definite
So many prayer meetings are too vague. There may be lots of ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Praise the Lord,’
declarations of God’s greatness, etc, but the prayers are not definite and precise, and finish up as hot
air. Prayers must be specific to be answered. (e.g. Ex.32:11-13, 2Chron.6:19-42, Eph.6:18-20, etc.)
6. Be united
It is unity that God blesses. When we are united in purpose, then God can command the
blessing and answer our prayers. (Ps.133:1-3, Acts. 1:14 & 2:1) All the people praying must be
genuinely united in praying for the same thing. Their prayers must be focussed on the same
objective. Everyone must know exactly what they are praying for, so they can all be of one heart
and mind, according to the will and purpose and word of God.
7. Be persistent
We need to go on praying and not give up. We need to be like Blind Bartimaeus, calling on
Jesus until He answers, (Lk.18:35-43). Jesus said we need to be like the man who knocked on
his friend’s door until his friend came to the door. We need to go on asking, seeking and
knocking,(Lk.11:5-10), and we need to be like the persistent widow who carried on asking
until she got her way,(Lk.18:1-8)
8. Claim His Promises
So many prayer meetings are shallow and lacking in faith, thereby limiting what
God can do. Once we have got through to the throne room, we then need to claim His
promises. We need to quote them and say to Him, “Lord You have promised, so You
must fulfil Your word,” as they did in Lewis in 1949.
9. Confront the Powers of Darkness
When we pray seriously for revival and awakening, we are confronting the devil
and all the spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. (Eph.6:12) We are in a
spiritual battle that we cannot win by ourselves. But many prayer meetings do not
seem to realize this. They “pray” as if they are not in a battle at all. But we are up
against the wiles of the devil , and only divine power can defeat him. We need to
take hold of spiritual weapons to destroy the strongholds of the evil one, or we will
not succeed. (2Cor. 10:3-5) Once we have bound the strong man, and pushed back
the forces of evil, the way is then free for God to “take the field,” as Duncan
Campbell used to say.
Once we are broken before the Lord; have turned from all our sinful ways; are in
right relationships with others; are united in heart and mind and spirit; have
confronted the powers of darkness, and claimed victory over them by the blood of
Jesus; have got to the stage of desperation, and prayed God’s promises back to Him
persistently in confidence; then we have every right, according to His word, to claim
the fulfilment of those promises, and ask Him, or ‘command Him’ to rend the
heavens and come down.
Ask the Lord to lead you and your group into that position, so you will see God
working, and can give Him all the glory.