What do we pray for?
1. Through prayer we offer our beloved Lord the worship He is worthy of - and to listen and follow what He is saying to us.
2. In this harvest season, we ask the Lord of the Harvest for harvest workers - and we go as sent ones "so none would perish."
3. We pray and for arise as God's agents of community transformation so righteous and just governance will bless all aspects of our nation and His kingdom will come on earth as in heaven.
Does God need your prayer? How many people and what kind of people does God wait on?
Does God need 51% of the population?
Proverbs 15:29 “The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.”
Proverbs 14:34 “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”
Philippians 1:9-11 “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
Community transformation begins with us each being totally available and radically obedient to God’s leading.
When a righteous remnant establish God’s government rule, His kingdom reign, all the people benefit. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Isaiah 62:6-1"Prepare the way for the people; build up the highway; clear it of stones; lift up a signal over the peoples."
Pray for community transformation
The following notes are extracts from: 5 Step Prayer Strategy for Harvest and Transformation.
You may be surprised how simply we can work with God and each other to see Jesus and his kingdom breakthrough in our homes, churches, local cities and nations.
This is a quick summary of the five steps:
1. Home Prayer Altar: We all first establish powerful prayer in our home for our family and neighbourhood.
2. Church Prayer Altar: We all next contribute to building powerful prayer in our local church for the salvation of people within the reach of the church members.
3. Community Prayer Altar: We gather regularly in united prayer for God's kingdom to come in our town or local city with pastors, intercessors and government and workplace leaders and people from multiple local churches, ethnic groups and spheres of society.
4. Overthrow the reign of evil in your region: When we, as the Body of Christ, represent His righteousness in our homes, local churches and local towns/cities throughout our region, God will overthrow the evil powers that hold the region in bondage. We each have specific parts to fulfil.
5. Reap Harvest and Measure God’s Transformation of Your Local City: Once the barriers and blindfolds are removed, it is much easier for the gospel of the kingdom to be shared and received by the people in this region and for kingdom life to flourish abundantly.
How do you define prayer altars?
Again and again the Bible describes how God led His people to establish prayer altars on earth - as in heaven (371 references in ESV). A prayer altar may be represented by a regular place or times for prayer, but the significance of the prayer altar is that we create a commitment to be set apart in friendship - intimate covenant relationship and constant communication with God. (Psalm 25:14 TPT) The prayer altar is a heart space where we encounter the presence of God and hear what is on God's heart - His secrets and plans - so we know what to agree with in our prayer and what we are to do. At the prayer altar we surrender ourselves to our Father's will and unite with the continuous worship and prayer in heaven and the life and power of God's kingdom, so this can be manifest on earth through us as we faithfully do what our Father asks of us.
Step 1. Home prayer altars
The first step is for us each to establish an ongoing commitment to personal prayer on behalf of our household (Joshua 24:15). This is two or three of you praying in agreement for your family and with your family or household. It is especially crucial that husbands and wives prayer together daily. The enemy will do everything in his power to distract and disrupt this.
"Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 19-20
To reach our neighbours we need to go to them, so it is vital that we prayer walk around our homes, local parks, schools - proclaiming God's blessing and sovereignty over our whole local area.
"Put on the full armour of God - your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." Ephesians 6:10-20 "And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet." Romans 16:20
Step 2. Church prayer altars
"My house will be called a house of prayer." Matthew 21:13
Once we have built a strong home prayer altar, our next challenge is to build the church prayer altar. A church altar is only as strong the home prayer altars that support it. The enemy will do everything in his power to distract and disrupt this with other priorities in the services and in pastor's and leader's participation in church prayer.
The church altar establishes an enduring relational base for building spiritual authority and intervention in a local area and equipping and sending labourers to this area and across our nation and the nations.
Step 3. Community prayer altars
"But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare." Jeremiah 29:7
Community prayer altars are built through long term faithful relationships among intercessors, pastors and leaders from multiple churches who commit to meet regularly, as brothers and sisters in Christ, to prayer walk their community and communicate, pray and co-discern so they can pray in agreement. They can then equip the saints (representing multiple churches and spheres of society) with frequent opportunities to prayer walk and gather to pray in agreement for their community and serve and reach out to their community.
How do you define agreement?
Community prayer altars are established through prayerful agreement between local churches and key leaders working as the Body of Christ in their community. We are to work as one body with many parts, under the headship and leading of Jesus. The power of agreement (Matthew 18:18-20) at the community prayer altar includes agreement between leaders & people from at least two or three local churches, agreement by diverse people groups – of different ages, Indigenous tribes and multiple ethnic backgrounds, denominations, spheres of society, states/territories etc.
In Haggai 1, God called for a partnership between the church leaders, the governmental leaders and the people to build the House of the Lord. This was not just a tabernacle building, a house of prayer or a church. It was a call to prepare the community for God’s inhabitation. The community was suffering drought, infertility, economic hardship and heavy workloads because the people were all building their own “house/lifestyle” rather than putting God’s inhabitation first. The word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai and stirred up the son of the governor of Judah, and Joshua son of the high priest and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people to obey the voice of the Lord their God.
Together, representatives of the community will arise in their God given spiritual authority, to explicitly invite Jesus Christ to reign as Lord over their area and obey His leading so we release His kingdom, abundant life-giving atmosphere over the people, flora, fauna, economy etc. When we are the Body of Christ, one church with many congregations, we can effectively evangelise and serve our community.
How do you define, form and maintain unity?
"I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me." John 17:23
"I... urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." Ephesians 5:1-5
We are quickly united in one Spirit when we meet each other in the presence of God and see each other through our Lord's eyes. This happens through authentic prayer & worship. We unite with God and find ourselves in unison with each other! This is harmony rather than uniformity - releasing each to fulfil their part. When we embrace and collaborate across gender, denomination, age groups, ethnicity, language and cultural diversity, we feel the Lord's enormous pleasure and see His power released extraordinarily to all the people groups we represent.
The unity, maturity and authority of community prayer depends on the stability and strength of our church and home prayer altars because these underpin the community altar - like a 3 tier wedding cake. We are called to be vigilant in discernment and prayer and humble in our accountability because the enemy will attack our character, marriages, families and neighbourhood relationships to destabilise home prayer. Let's pray for each other and for our pastors and leaders because the enemy specifically targets their characters, marriages and families. Let's humbly resist the enemy's efforts to stir pride, accusation and division, and destabilise relationships and the formation and maintenance of church and community prayer.
“'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.' Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep... Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. Do not speak evil against one another, brothers." James 4:6-11
"But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift." Matthew 5:23-24
What does a community prayer altar look like?
Community prayer has many forms and functions:
Prayer groups, with people from multiple churches, meet regularly (e.g. weekly) to pray for their community.
Groups need to regularly (e.g. weekly) and as the Spirit leads, prayer walk in the local community to see the needs and strengths of the people, flora and fauna. As God leads, engage with the community.
The one church is evident to the community when the Body of Christ in a region unites to pray & worship openly in public spaces -parks, workplaces, cafes for Prayer Breakfasts, Christmas carol and Easter events.
The spiritual influence of the one church in the city grows when local churches collaborate to host united public regional gatherings e.g. a day of corporate prayer & worship in the region each 3 months.
Relationship built through co-discerning their community needs will lead the one church to collaborative in servanthood through justice, righteous and evangelistic service.
Unceasing day and night prayer over a region shifts the spiritual atmosphere over the region on earth. This is particularly strong when the 24/7 covering is woven through intentional prayer agreement between prayer altars in homes, churches and workplaces etc. It can be as simple as 30 local churches each hosting one 24 hour of prayer each month.
Regional gathering places - Houses of Prayer for All People Groups provide ongoing community prayer altars.
Through online prayer rooms we are able to gather on a daily basis across our nation to pray for Australia. Join us online via Prayer Call.
Community prayer altars also represent broader territories, nations and global regions. Periodically Australians gather at state, national or international community prayer altars to seek God's face and worship Him together (2 Chronicles 7:14). These include annual commitments - National Day of Prayer & Fasting & 40 Days or times for prayer for elections or crisis when God's intervention is urgently needed.
Step 4. Overthrow the reign of evil in your region
How do you define regional strongholds?
Strongholds are evil powers and principalities that hold our region (town, city, state, nation) in recurrent patterns of spiritual blindness, brokenness and bondage - such as murder and suicide, crime, poverty, depression and resistance to the gospel.
"The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:4
We struggle to see fruit if we are labouring for harvest, revival and transformation without first standing together in our authority in Christ to overthrow the spiritual forces of evil that resist Him.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armour of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm…" Ephesians 6:10-13
Regional strongholds are not established or broken by a democratic vote by 51% of the general population. When God's people tolerate sin in their own lives - especially idolatry, shedding of innocent blood, sexual sin and broken covenants - we give permission and agreement to the enemy's schemes, and these evil forces enter and gain power over our region. They cause destructive patterns that repeat through generations and escalate in influence until the evil schemes gain a stronghold by becoming established in our society's beliefs, cultural patterns and laws. When our elected governments introduce laws that are counter to the law and will of God, our municipality, state or nation, evil releases its destructive power over the people.
As one example, the Lord is exposing child abuse in the church, so this hidden sin and root can be expunged. When the church confesses and repents (turns), we can regain our spiritual authority in the righteousness of Christ, to stand against the enemy and overturn the schemes promoting sexual sin in our nation.
"For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.' Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?'" 1 Peter 3:12-13
How do you overcome regional strongholds and release God's blessing?
We must not be naive in tackling territorial spirits. Individuals or local prayer groups are ineffective and vulnerable if they apply the same forms of prayer used in personal ministry. See: John Paul Jackson, Needless Casualties of War.
"Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 18:18
Principalities and powers in the heavens are not bound merely by our individual proclamation. Before any group can overturn strongholds in the heavens and earth, sin needs to be bound in our lives. Be careful to only take the people, the Lord permits, when you go on spiritual warfare assignments.
By first establishing homes, churches and community prayer, the Lord deals with the enemy's strongholds in us. The relational wisdom, experience, unity, agreement and authority gained from building the relevant community altar, forms the Body of Christ in a region. The righteousness of Christ, expressed in His church, brings down the evil spiritual forces that hold our region in blindness and bondage, and establishes and maintains the reign of the kingdom of heaven in our region.
"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." Proverbs 14:34
God's strategy for overcoming the consequences of our sin is clear. If we, God's people, will humbly prayer and seek His face and repent (turn) from our wicked ways, God will hear and forgive and intervene to heal our land.
"When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time." 2 Chronicles 7:13-16
2 Chronicles 7:17-22 says the Lord will reign in our nation as long as we remain His people who continue to do what He asks us to do. This is how the earth is blessed through us.
"I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” Genesis 22:17-18
"Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For 'Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.'” 1 Peter 3:8-12
Will you let the Lord lead you?
God is leading teams with His specific strategies - as when Jesus sent ordinary disciples into local regions and saw Satan fall from the sky. (Luke 10:1-24) We each need to be available to be led by the Holy Spirit to fulfil our unique part.
Samuel Hofmann advises that intercessors prayer walk their community together once a week to see what God reveals and report this to local city elders, who meet to pray monthly, so that together they can who can discern together the Godly and ungodly origins of the presenting community needs. Local communication is also needed from with spiritual watchmen and researchers who discern what God is showing them through local papers and statistics and Spirit-led research into the history, crime rates etc. in the region. Through the elders, the Lord will activate His strategy for spiritual warfare and for working with the churches, local government and workplace representatives to measure the reduction in crime etc. as well as evidence of the increase in the kingdom of heaven's reign in our regions.
How do you define city elders?
Samuel Hofmann has finally given us a definition of elders that we can activate straight away! Samuel suggested we work with local elders - e.g. elders in local cities rather than the elders of 'Greater Melbourne'. He said, elders are simply faithful long-term pastors and intercessors, who meet together (at least once a month) to pray for their town or local city. We'd include long term faithful Christian leaders from the workplace. To restore the presence and reign of God in our community, it's important that the faithful long-term leaders who represent the one church in a local city also work with leaders from government (e.g. mayor) and the people. (Haggai 1)
We pray you identify and work with the faithful long-term pastors and intercessors who pray together for your local city! See Pray for Melbourne: 31 day Local City Prayer Plan. Pray for intercessory and eldership teams to arise in each of these local cities so we can work together to discern and implement safe prayer assignments.
Step 5. Reap the Harvest and Measure God's Transformation of Your Local City
"I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God." Acts 26:17-18
When the battle shifts the spiritual realm - it changes the spiritual atmosphere over the local city, making it easier for people to discern the Holy Spirit's convictions, hear the gospel and receive Jesus as Saviour, Lord and Restorer.
"After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you...'" "Say to them, the kingdom of God has come near you." Luke 10:1-3a, 9
How do you define a good harvest?
In 2017 alone, Every Home for Christ brought 19 million 400,000 people to Christ! The rate of conversions has been rising since 1945 but shot up exponentially after 2012, when they established Jericho Centre - as a prayer watch over the ministry. I recently had the privilege to be on a zoom call with Dick Eastman who had just been at the funeral of Billy Graham. Dick reminded us that Billy Graham attributed their effectiveness in evangelism to a three part strategy. First, was prayer. Secondly, just as important, was prayer and finally more importantly, was prayer. The key is pray, pray, pray! Pray at your home altar. Pray at your church altar. Pray at your community altar.
How do you define transformation?
It is vital that community prayer altars are maintained after regional strongholds have been demolished - so ground is held against further inroads and the kingdom of God can manifest through God's transformation of the region. The diverse experience and strength released through the community prayer altar enables powerful corporate social justice and evangelism initiatives to be built and maintained. When Jesus’ kingdom is evident on earth, there is reduced crime, abuse, addiction, depression death rates and increased employment, productivity and well-being.
We want to help local teams discern Spirit-led measurable prayer points, criteria and strategies, and disseminate these to connected church prayer altars, so you can define and measure transformation in your communities - and give glory to God for His mercy and grace.
We need to sequentially build prayer altars as solid foundations for our homes, churches and community. Time together at the prayer altar leads us to mutually discern God's perspective and strategy and His compassion for the lost. So we can work together as local city watchmen and elders to identify and demolish strongholds. So we are moved to go as labourers to reap a bountiful harvest and see Jesus' kingdom come.
Have you ever been prayer walking?
What did God show you?
Did something shift in the spiritual atmosphere?
What kind of prayer walk you could do tomorrow?
- Simply walk & pray. When you pray – walk. When you walk – pray. Be on site with insight.
“Breathe upon me with your Spirit wind. Stir up the sweet spice of your life within me…
Hold nothing back until I release your fragrance.
Come walk with me as you walked with Adam in your paradise garden.
Come walk with me until I am fully yours.” Song of Songs 4:16 TPT
“Put on the full armour of God - your feet fitted with the readiness
that comes from the gospel of peace” Ephesians 6:10-20
- First seek the heart of the Father – his perspective of the place he calls you to go.
- Spend time with God in prayer before you go – as Jesus did.
- Go with clean hands and a pure heart – and a prayer partner.
- Go with Scripture, praise and worship in your heart.
- Be in right authority – with leaders in local churches and life groups.
- Pray for and seek relationship with local elders: long term, faithful pastors and intercessors who pray together (e.g. monthly) so you can report significant things that God shows you.
- Obtain local maps, online and from your Council Office.
- You may feel prompted to do your own research or connect with those who are noting spiritual implications from local history, newspaper articles and trends in local statistics.
- You are a watchman so be silent and on alert in the spiritual and physical realm.
- Always be led by the Spirit of God – and move in trust, faith and obedience.
“God sends angels with special orders to protect you wherever you go, defending you from all harm.” Psalm 91:11
Go regularly 2x2 to prayer-walk your neighbourhood – as the Spirit of God leads you and as you go, observe, discern, pray, bless, and love your neighbour.
Observe: Become aware of community needs, strengths and values. These may be reflected in local people’s interactions with each other, advertising, event notices, litter, quality of care for houses, gardens and public area, the types of local shops, evidence of economy etc
Discern: See what the Spirit of God shows you is happening in the spiritual realm in your neighbourhood or territory. Walk with the Spirit of God at the times and in the places where the Lord takes you.
Walking at night, manmade features fade away and you become alert to the movements in the night sky, the lay of the land, the flora and fauna, the high places, and the spiritual realm.
Be aware that angels accompany you. Note the impact of the Lord’s presence on birds, animals and people. The Lord may show you where He has assigned angels in your territory and where darkness reigns.
Pray: Be alert to what the Lord shows you or says, how you are to pray and worship – e.g. with gratitude, praise, declaration, intercession. Note where and when the Spirit moves you. You may bring the discernment back to your prayer closet or prayer group – e.g. to pray identificational confession. Usually on the street we would pray in tongues, or silently or discretely but there are times when the Spirit will move you to make loud sound or declaration. Often, God will create naturally appropriate ways to do this or will give you opportunity to do this unobserved.
Bless: Overflow God’s blessings – declaring His Kingdom come where ever you go. Intentionally and joyfully bless the region’s people to know God and the economy, fauna and flora to know his favour. Release the Kingdom of God through your presence, praise, thanksgiving and worship and through human and fauna your contact and testimony.
Create opportunities to gather locally with other Christians to pray and proclaim blessings over your region. Bless in Jesus’ name, marriages, families, godly friendships, safety, health, environment, economy, employment, churches, schools, community services etc. Bless their hearts to be softened to God, quickened to his voice; and open to the gospel!
“How beautiful on the mountains are the sandaled feet of this one bringing such good news.
You are truly royalty! The way you walk so gracefully in my ways displays such dignity.
You are truly the poetry of God—his very handiwork.” Song of Songs 7:1
Exercise your authority in Christ: Recognition of your spiritual authority in this territory will shift over time as you prayer walk consistently (ideally weekly). God and the spirit realm will acknowledge your spiritual authority in Christ to establish the rule of Jesus’ kingdom in a territory when you have been faithful over time. God will share His assignments with you for cleansing the land. People will gradually recognise you too.
“Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you.” Joshua 1:3
Your eyes may be opened to see territorial spirits – principalities and powers but do not come against these individually or with a prayer group. Report what you observe and discern to God’s local city elders -united long term faithful pastors & intercessors, who pray regularly together for the local city. Pray they will discern God’s strategy and timing to displace the strongholds and maintain God’s kingdom reign in the territory.
More information: Step 4. Overthrow the reign of evil in your region in 5 Step Prayer Strategy for Harvest and Transformation at http://partnersinprayer.org.au/prayer-strategy-for-local-cities/
Recommended Reading: Needless Casualties of War by John Paul Jackson
“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” Romans 16:20
Love your neighbour: Respond warmly to your neighbours, pausing to give them time. Initiate comfortable levels of greeting or conversation – be real, not weird. If you meet neighbours who are open to receive you, build ongoing relationship over food and drink. Luke 10:5-6,8, Luke 7:34
When you meet people, speak God’s blessings as natural, warm, hope filled encouraging words. Be God’s blessing to your neighbours! Meet their felt needs in practical and supernatural ways.
“…what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
Offer to pray for their expressed needs, e.g. healing, provision, peace, joy, reconciliation, identity and follow through in a few days or weeks to ask them how things are going. Luke 10:9, Mark 16:15-18, Romans 14:17 When people personally experience God’s love and power.
“Say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near you.’” Luke 10:9,
Do what Jesus did – be friendly, acknowledge them in ways that give them meaning, invest in attentive conversations, act justly and show loving kindness, as God leads offer prayer for their stated needs – including prayer for healing.
Be alert for divine assignments and appointments, prophetic words of knowledge for ‘treasure hunt.’ Recognise opportunities to share the good news that the whole world has been reconciled to God, as our Father, by his Son – Jesus if they will just receive the abundant and eternal life he offers.
“And how can the message be proclaimed if messengers have yet to be sent?
That’s why the Scriptures say: How welcome is the arrival of those proclaiming
the joyful news of peace and of good things to come!” Romans 10:15
Follow through after prayer walking
- You may feel prompted to keep records of what the Lord shows you or has you do, your neighbours’ names and prayer needs, so you can follow up.
- Debrief issues arising with your local leaders.
- Report significant discernments to local city elders.
More articles on Prayer Walking: See http://partnersinprayer.org.au/prayer-walking/
Sue Tinworth [email protected] www.partnersinprayer.org.au www.PrayfortheNations.com