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New Prayers for a New Day

When the person you are interceding for is in sin or stumbling in their Christian walk, the Bible says there is a gap or opening in their lives that needs to be closed by our praying for them.

I think a wonderful application of the word gap is Generation Applying Prayer. Each generation needs to look at their own time and find out what is pleasing to God about how they are living and what needs to be changed. How does the generation and the times we live in measure up to the Word of God? Whatever deterioration of our society we see becomes our prayer assignment.

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There can be no doubt that God is raising up a generation of believers across the face of the earth unlike anything the world has ever known. With this new move of God, it is more important than ever that we take a fresh look at the subject of prayer.

One of the keynote themes I hear as I travel is the subject of friendship and intimacy with God. Friendship and intimacy require relationship, and to have those components in our Christian walk, we need to converse with God on a regular basis.

This conversation takes many forms. One of these, of course, is what I and others simply call petitioning prayer. This is when we come to Him and say, “God, I have this problem, and I am stuck. I don’t know what to do … help me!”

Petition prayer is exciting because there are so many things we cannot handle on our own, and our crying out to God opens the door for His divine intervention. I usually pray quite a few of these prayers a day myself.

The second form is what I call intercessory prayer. Now, this may sound unusual to you, but not all prayer is intercessory. Intercession is when you come to God and pray for someone other than yourself. Every lover of God needs to pray not only for their needs, but those of the world around them.

You may have heard people say, “We need to pray and stand in the gap for God’s will to be done.” This gap standing is intercession and is based on Ezekiel 22:30: “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one” (TNIV).

When the person you are interceding for is in sin or stumbling in their Christian walk, the Bible says there is a gap or opening in their lives that needs to be closed by our praying for them.

I think a wonderful application of the word gap is Generation Applying Prayer. Each generation needs to look at their own time and find out what is pleasing to God about how they are living and what needs to be changed. How does the generation and the times we live in measure up to the Word of God? Whatever deterioration of our society we see becomes our prayer assignment.

Once one finds out where the gaps are in our society, we need to ask the Lord what is on His heart for us to intercede for on a regular basis. And the issues of today are not the same as the ones I encountered when I was growing up. In order to change our culture, we need to understand where it has fallen away from God’s purposes for it.

An issue very dear to my own heart is that of poverty. In my book, The Reformation Manifesto, I wrote: “We have the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and yet societies are deteriorating around us. How could there be roughly 2 billion Christians on the face of the earth today and the major problems of sin, poverty and disease still plague the planet? Why haven’t we figured out solutions to these problems?”

If you are thinking, “Well, I care about the poor also!” then my challenge to you is to be informed in your intercession and find out the needs of the poor in your city and add them to your prayer list. How many homeless are in your city? What about single mothers who live below the poverty level? How many elementary kids go to school without school supplies? The great thing is that many times prayer assignments also thrust you into personal action. Never pray a prayer you are not willing to be the answer to!

Another powerful prayer task is to intercede on a regular basis for friends you know who are fighting sickness. A prayer list is essential for developing your intercessory life. How about praying for the cure for cancer or AIDS? We need to learn to pray for micro as well as macro issues. Generation prayer is needed to heal the problems of the day. God wants to answer and send help from heaven, but He has chosen to answer us through being asked by us.

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When you are developing your prayer life, don’t forget to pray for those in authority over you. We are commanded to do so in I Timothy 2:1–2, which commands us to pray for those in authority over us, even if we don’t agree with their politics or everything they do. We should pray for the head of our nation every day as well as the congress or parliament.

This passage also says this kind of prayer for authority figures (such as teachers, youth group leaders, pastors) is important so that we will lead peaceful lives. I’m for living that kind of life!

The final aspect I have on my personal prayer list is to intercede for nations each day. I recently returned from a trip overseas and spoke with leaders whose relatives were martyred this past year for preaching the Gospel. Laws are being passed in regions of the world that totally surpass the preaching of the Gospel, and we need to stand with our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Many are unaware that the figures on martyrs are rising at alarming rates.

Prayer is an adventure with God. Each generation needs to discover their intercessory assignments in order to see the purposes of God fulfilled and leave a righteous legacy behind them. The Lord wants us to visit with Him each day on a regular basis for intimate friendship’s sake, to live a personal righteous life and to steward our nation and the nations of the earth in our life span.

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This article originally appeared in Neue Quarterly Vol. 01. You can subscribe to the Quarterly or buy individual copies.

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