Hearts on Fire in Prayer for the Lost

“Christ’s power to save, and save completely, depends on His unceasing intercession. The apostles’ withdrawal of themselves from other work to give themselves continually to prayer was followed by the number of the disciples multiplying exceedingly. As we, in our day, give ourselves to intercession, we will have more and mightier conversions. Let us plead for this.” Andrew Murray

How can you and I have our hearts on fire in prayer for the lost?

A strategic way is to know our Coach and our winning team position in prayer. The intercession of the saints is leading to a great harvest of souls now at the end of the age. Anticipate it, cry out for it, and seek God for this great ingathering of souls into His Kingdom. All over the world as never before individuals are turning to Christ. As we pray for the lost, we need to know in our hearts that we are on the winning team. In watching the World Series, the biggest major league baseball game in the U.S. every year, I could see the discouragement on the faces of the losing team. With the odds against them, they looked anxious, troubled, defeated, and disheartened.

When we think our situation is hopeless, it’s easy to give up and to lose heart. It’s hard to have a heart on fire in prayer when you feel defeated.

In sports, people often talk about being “in the zone.” This is the place of optimal, peak functioning when athletes perform to their absolute maximum and have the perfect game. Performance can be influenced from anything from the amount of sleep, nutrition, relationship status, training, coach input, and a number of other things. Individual player’s methods for attaining peak performance vary. Self-talk, how to deal with mistakes, and effective goal-setting must be considered for peak performance. Music that calms the mind and relaxing, positive self-talk are important.

When athletes are “in the zone,” they are fully immersed in feelings of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. They are completely absorbed in what they are doing with single-minded immersion. Their motions are positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand. There is the feeling of spontaneous joy while performing the task with a deep focus on nothing but the activity – not even oneself or one’s emotions. There is an intense concentration on the present moment, a merging of action and awareness, and a loss of reflective self-consciousness.

Intercessors praying for the harvest need to know the importance of being “in the zone” in prayer. So many of us can get disheartened with feelings that we have lost the battle. Others have lost their joy in prayer. Many of us do not have energized focus and are often distracted and preoccupied with our problems when we pray. We may have lost our deep focus on the task of intercession and may feel that the world is totally out of control, as well as our personal lives.

If you feel that the world situation looks bleak and hopeless, look carefully at these exciting statistics of what God is doing. The important thing when you feel that you have lost heart is to get back “in the zone” and realize that God is winning! Your prayers are making a worldwide impact, and you are on the winning team. I encourage you to shake off all of that end-time gloom, fear, anxiety, and feelings of defeat. Your team will win.

The Winning Team

“Christianity is openly mocked in all media: television, movies, print. Nightly News portrays a world seemingly in despair with no hope. The U.S., Canada, and Europe continue their downward slide away from God in their rejection of anything having to do with Christ and the Bible. Even common sense and tenets of basic human morality are regularly attacked and vilified. Yet the truth is that, in our time, worldwide, God is winning. The Holy Spirit is greatly moving in what was once called “the Third World”. We need to be thankful and even amazed at what God is doing!”

The following statistics are from several different sources and change continually, but regardless of the exact numbers, we can see that God is up to something big! See operationworld.org for the latest updates. Also see http://www.prayerfoundation.org.

  • There are as many as 200 million Christians in China with between 10,000-25,000 converts a day. Some say there are over 30,000 conversion per day (Open Doors)
  • The number of Christians in Indonesia has grown from 1.3 million forty years ago to over 23.5 million today. (Operation World)
  • The Jesus Film has been translated into nearly 1271 languages in 220 countries and over 200,000,000 people have indicated decisions for Christ as a result of the film. (Campus Crusade)
  • No Christian was officially allowed to live in Nepal until 1960. Now there is a church in every one of the 75 districts of Nepal with estimates of over 850,800 believers. (Operation World)
  • In A.D. 100, there were 360 non-Christians for every true believer. Today the ratio is less than seven to every believer. (Vision 2020).
  • Every day, 20,000 Africans come to Christ. Africa was 3% Christian in 1900 and is now over 50% Christian (Vision 2020).
  • Bible translation has been accelerated by over 100 years and is now on pace to be completed in 2025 (Wycliffe).
  • About 500 Muslims come to faith in Christ every month in Iran – a country ranked among the top ten persecutors of Christians in the world. (Vision 2020).
  • Every day 50,000 people in countries served by Asia Access come to Christ (Asia Access).
  • The government of Papua, New Guinea mandated Bible teaching in every school in the country. (Vision 2020)
  • In 1900 Korea had no Protestant church. Today Korea is 30% Christian with 7000 churches in Seoul alone with several having over 1,000,000 members (Vision 2020). Today, six new churches open every day.
  • After 70 years of oppression in the Soviet Union, Christians number about 100 million – 36% of the population.
  • In Nepal, the world’s only official Hindu country, over 100,000 Hindus have met the Savior in the last two decades.
  • Every month another 15,000 in India are baptized as new believers in Jesus.
  • Millions of Buddhists have come to Christ.
  • Of over 400 million Latin Americans, more than 50 million have become evangelical Christians.
  • In Africa the church is on fire. It’s the first continent to become majority Christian (over 50%) in a single century. There are over 25,000 new believers per day.
  • More Muslims in Iran have come to Christ since 1980 than in the previous 1000 years combined.
  • If only 1 out of every 6 believers “reproduced” themselves one time each year, the entire world would be reached for Christ by the year 2020!
  • Christianity is by far the fastest-growing religion in the world today.

All the turmoil that is presently happening—terrorism, natural disasters, and lawlessness—leads people to seek for something beyond this life. Their attention is drawn to look for an anchor of stability and hope, something more than the uncertainties all around them. Our hearts are made for eternity, and we will not be satisfied unless we pursue it with all our hearts.great responsibility and joy is to pray for the ingathering of this worldwide harvest.

There is a cathedral in Milan, Italy with these three inscriptions spanning its great arches. Over one is carved a beautiful wreath of roses, under which is written, “All that which pleases is but for a moment.” Over another is sculptured a cross with the words, “All that which troubles us is but for a moment.” Underneath the central entrance to the main aisle is the inscription, “That only is important which is eternal.” If we will remember these three truths, we won’t worry as much about the daily troubles we face. We won’t seek after temporary pleasures. We will live for that which is eternal and seek to pray and share the eternal Christ with those who are lost. It’s time that we have a heart on fire in prayer for the lost.

God wants us to be “in the zone” on His winning team in prayer. He wants us to function optimally in prayer for the lost. To be “in the zone” with hearts on fire in prayer and to stay there, practice the following daily:

  • Look at God’s statistics around the world for an accurate picture, not the news.
  • Ask God to keep you in “His winning zone.” Pray for grace to perform to your absolute maximum in prayer for the lost.
  • Repent of discouragement, fear, anxiety and all negative emotions and beliefs.
  • Cast your cares on Him and ask for His ability to concentrate in prayer.
  • Pray for energized focus and single-minded, full engagement in prayer.
  • As God’s athlete, get enough rest and eat healthy. Practice the Sabbath rest.
  • Deal with your mistakes. Repent of personal sin daily.
  • Pray for harmonious relationships. You are a team player and pray-er with others.
  • Set prayer goals and focused prayer times for the lost. God’s athletes live a disciplined life.
  • Listen to peaceful worship music that relaxes your mind. Think on things above.
  • Watch for negative thoughts and speech. Seek a holy optimism as a winner.
  • Ask God to bring you into enjoyable prayer. Pray for spontaneous joy.
  • Pray for your prayers to be aligned and energized with God’s Word.
  • Follow your Coach carefully every day. Listen and obey His instructions.

Remember that you are partnering with God and are on His winning team. This is the perfect game, and there is no reason to lose heart. You already know the final score. At this point in the game as we pray for the lost, losing is absolutely impossible. Keep in mind daily that one day every knee will bow and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:9-11). That day may be soon!

“The Lord Jesus has united us in partnership with Himself in carrying out the great work of intercession. He in heaven and we on earth must be of one mind. We must have one aim in life. That aim is that we should love the Father and the lost by consecrating our lives to intercession for God’s blessing. The burning desire of Father and Son for the salvation of souls must be the burning desire of our hearts, too.” Andrew Murray

Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff
deb@intercessorsarise.org
http://www.intercessorsarise.org

Prayer Discovers God’s Agenda

“Every time the Lord faced an important decision, He prayed. When He was being tempted to do things by the world’s methods instead of the Father’s, He prayed (Matthew 4). When it was time to choose His disciples, He prayed the entire night (Luke 6:12). If the Son of God required a night of prayer in order to determine the Father’s mind, how long might it take us in prayer to clearly determine our Father’s will?” Henry and Richard Blackaby

Let prayer set the agenda of your life. Many of us often worry about our lives. What should we do next year? Where should we live? What school should we go to? These are all good questions that need careful thought. But if most of us were honest, we would admit that we worry needlessly. It is right to get wise counsel and weigh out the options; however when concern turns into unnecessary anxiety, we are not trusting God, who knows exactly how to handle every situation we face. Life becomes simpler when we learn to seek God for every aspect of our plans. Our times spent in prayer will bring revelation of His agenda for us. We can be confident that in the final analysis, it is God who knows what is best for us and what will give Him the greatest glory.

Prioritizing prayer and letting God set your agenda brings great peace. We lived for five years in Asia and experienced the typhoons that are so common in the Indian Ocean. Primarily they move in circles instead of from east to west or north to south. Before navigators understood their movement, they would try to maneuver out of the storm and often suffered serious destruction in the process. With a better understanding of typhoons, navigators have learned to locate the center of the storm—where it is totally calm—and go there. This is much like prayer and discovering God’s agenda. As we pray, we are able to circle in on God’s agenda and find the center of His will. In this place, we experience His peace. When we try to get out of His will, we find destruction and chaos. Through prayer and renewing our mind in God’s will, we discover God’s perfect and pleasing will (Romans 12:2).

We must learn to pray about everything and trust in God’s wisdom, which far surpasses ours. At times we may sense His direction and feel the peace that comes from the Holy Spirit even though nothing may look logical according to our human perspective. I remember a time when my husband and I began to pray about lengthening our ministry time overseas because we felt God might want us to extend our visit to certain countries. We had already been traveling for two months, we were tired, we had much to do in the U.S., and my father was ill, so an extension needed prayerful consideration. There were other reasons why going home would have been the right choice from a human standpoint. The problem is, often God’s viewpoint is different from ours. He sees things far in advance and from His perspective, which far surpasses ours.

Through prayer, we discovered God’s agenda. We sensed His peace in staying longer, even though going home would have been easier and seemed more logical. In this case, we felt we had to go with the leading and peace of the Holy Spirit. The real key for us was prayer and waiting upon God, listening and hearing His voice.

We may not know the full picture of why we were to extend our time overseas, but we do know that we had to take that step of faith that was guided and empowered through prayer in order to do God’s very best. We knew that we were in the right place and that when we did return home, we had completed what God had for us.

God loves to hear us pray with fervency and then listen and step out in faith according to His leading. Perhaps there is something you need to pray over regarding God’s plan and purpose in your present circumstances. Praying through every decision, listening to His voice, and leaning upon His wisdom will enable you to determine His agenda. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Guidelines to Hear God’s Voice in Prayer

“But as for me, I will look to the Lord and confident in Him I will keep watch; I will wait with hope and expectancy for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me” (Micah 7:7, Amplified).

How can we hear God when we pray? Here are some guidelines to help you hear His voice as you seek Him in prayer:

  • Bathe your life in prayer – Pray about all the decisions in your life daily. Ask Him for direction so that you may fulfill His will for your life for that day. Continually bring major decisions to Him in prayer. Pray, listen, and wait with expectancy.
  • Believe that God does speak to you – Accept the promise in John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
  • Find time to be alone with God – Take time to pray and listen. Most of life is very busy, but time with Him is of utmost importance so we can hear from Him. Often the Lord responds with a thought planted by His Spirit into the mind or heart.
  • Keep a journal of what God says – We can better evaluate guidance and see what God is saying when we journal on a regular basis. Journaling helps us to ponder our thoughts and impressions so we can clearly discern the path God wants us to take.
  • Test what you hear – What we think is God’s voice may come from the Holy Spirit, the enemy, or from our own souls. Ask the Lord to confirm what you think He may be saying. First John 4:1 exhorts us to test the spirits. It’s good to seek confirmation from at least two other Christians before taking action, especially on big decisions.
  • Carefully check all guidance with Scripture – God’s Word is truth. What we think God is speaking should line up with Scripture. This is why we should examine everything carefully with the Bible.
  • Obey God – We must be willing to act on what God has told us. When we obey God, there is blessing. If we still doubt what we think God is saying, it is good to continue to ask Him for confirmation until we sense His peace.

Let’s follow these guidelines and practice listening to God. Let’s learn to eliminate the distractions in our life.

“Jesus knew that His mission was not to attract a crowd, but to remain obedient to His Father. It was prayer that set the agenda for Jesus’ ministry (Luke 6:12). Prayer preceded the miracles (John 11:42-43); prayer brought Him encouragement at critical moments (Luke 9:28-31); prayer enabled Him to go to the cross (Luke 22:41-42); and prayer kept Him there despite excruciating pain (Luke 23:46). Follow the Savior’s example, and let your time alone with God, in prayer, set the agenda for your life.” Henry and Richard Blackaby

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff

The Tremendous Power of Our Words

“The Bible stresses that what you say is an accurate indication of what is in your heart. If your words bless and encourage others, they give evidence of a compassionate heart. If you often share the good news about Christ, you demonstrate a heart that is grateful for your own salvation. When others are in a crisis, do they know they will find peace and comfort in your words? Do you frequently and spontaneously offer prayers for others? Do your words and the manner in which you say them reveal a patient heart? All of these behaviors indicate a heart that is like the heart of the Father.”


The words we use have tremendous power. The Bible says that life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). I believe that our prayers will have more power and a greater anointing when our everyday life is filled with words that uplift and bring grace to others (Ephesians 4:29). A holy life is a powerful life when it comes to seeing answers to prayer. Jesus’ prayers were heard because of His reverent submission (Hebrews 5:7). Righteous living and right speech come from a right heart before God.

It is important for all of us who want to have an effective prayer life to carefully watch our speech.

The Power of the Tongue

A person can speak many words a minute and several thousand in an hour. You can imagine how many words an average person speaks in a day! And some estimates are that women speak twice as many words a day as men. We could fill a library in a lifetime! If we did, what would the titles of those books be? The tongue has a powerful influence on others. God is looking for a holy life, and one of the key areas that we must guard with all diligence is our tongue.

The truth is, we all have problems with what we say. That’s probably why the Bible says so much about the tongue. Proverbs is filled with verses about both the positive and negative aspects of the tongue. I counted the terms tongue, lips, mouth, and words, and they appear over 170 times in the Bible. We lived many years on a ship and remember how the small the rudder would steer our ship in huge storms. James 3:4-5 says:

“Take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.”

Speaking negatively is costly in the spiritual realm, while watching what we say can bring spiritual reward. In Jericho, God’s people marched around the city in silence for six days. When they finally shouted on the seventh day, the walls came down immediately. Their silence and then shouting at the right time won them the victory. This is true of us individually as well. If we guard our speech, we can win a great victory. Think about this:

  • When we walk and speak in the power of the Holy Spirit, we defeat the enemy.
  • When we abide in Christ, His Spirit flows from our lives in word and deed everywhere we go.
  • When we enter a place where fear is evident, we can come in the spirit of peace and speak words of life.

Our words can be kind and full of love. Our actions along with words spoken with gentleness, peace, and self-control demonstrate love even in the midst of our enemies. We read in Galatians 5:22-23, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

The Lips of the Righteous

In Proverbs 10, we find seven characteristics of the lips of the righteous. When we refrain from critical and negative speech, we must replace it with uplifting, positive, and grace-filled words. Think about the words you speak. Are they uplifting and do they bring life to others? Ask God to help you evaluate your speech as you read these verses:

  • A fountain of life – “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked” (verse 11).
  • Discerning lips – “Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks judgment” (verse 13).
  • Holds his tongue – “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise” (verse 19).
  • Choice silver – “The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value” (verse 20).
  • Nourishes many – “The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment” (verse 21).
  • Brings forth wisdom – “The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out” 
(verse 31).
  • Knows what is fitting – “The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse” (verse 32).

On a trip to India, I took with me a book to read called A Chance to Die, by Elisabeth Elliot about Amy Carmichael. She was a successful missionary in India who saved children out of child prostitution, a shining example of one who had learned to give up her own life and live for God alone. Amy had Christlike character and godly speech. Every time I rode on those bumpy roads or had to go through hardship, I said to myself, “This is a chance to die to myself.” I had many opportunities on that trip to remind myself again what God was doing inside me. He was teaching me humility and brokenness and developing my character. I was reminded in those moments to watch my tongue and speak words that would uplift and bless others. And when I did speak positively, God blessed even in the midst of hardship.

When you’re going through adversity, realize the tremendous power of your words and tell yourself, “I will watch the words that come out of my mouth. This is a chance to die to myself and live for Jesus.”

“Jesus spoke plainly about our idle words, yet his warning often goes unheeded. Jesus said that for every idle word there will be a time of accounting in the day of judgment. We would expect Jesus to condemn profane and vile uses of the tongue, but idle words? Idle words are things we say carelessly, without concern for their impact on others. We too quickly assume that the sins of our tongue are minor sins, sins that God will overlook. Yet Jesus was fully aware of the devastating nature of our words.” Quotes by Henry and Richard Blackaby

Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff
deb@intercessorsarise.org
http://www.intercessorsarise.org