by Angela Doreathy Watkins
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Stra-te-gic also stra-te-gi-cal: Importamt or essential in relation to a plan of action.
Without question, prayer is the most important - and potentially the most powerful - tool in a Christian's arsenal.
It's time we learn to pray practical, specific, result - oriented prayers. The earth is our Lord's, the fullness of it, and everyone who lives in it.
Eddie Smith, the author, the cofounder and president of the U.S. Prayer Center, equips pastors and intercessors worldwide.
Michael L. Hennen (coauthor) has served as a pastor, missionary, and church planter to diverse cultures and people. He and his wife spend most of their time in the Middle East.
Eddie's wife, Alice is one who was called at an early age to pray for the nations.
This book addresses the practical need to identify and prioritize prayer targets. Its prinicpal reflect a theology born more out of life experience than the classroom.
The effectiveness of spiritual methods depends largely on the conditions of the spiritual environment and the experience of those employing them. Attentive to spiritual principles, regardless of environment or experience, always bring positive results.
The overriding purpose of Strategic Prayer is to equip you to pray more strategically.
The power of our prayers is resident in the person of God, and our effectiveness as intercessors is wholly dependent on the quality of our relationship with Him.
Effective prayer is faithfully aligning oneself under His authority to speak and to do His word and will.
Wait for the Spirit's leading, through those who cover you, before proceeding with any strategic and corporate prayer initiatives.
There are 1,200 - 1,500 demolition companies worldwide that raze skyscrapers, chimneys, towers, bridges, and other structures.
CDI, founded in 1960 by Jack Loizeaux (retired in 1964), today is a family business run by his two sons, Marc and Doug, and Marc's daughter Stacey.
Each project CDI accepts requires months of precision planning by a world-renowned team of engineering experts to determine the best equipment, materials, manpower, and methods to be used.
What targeted, strategic prayer can destroy in a few minutes, satan has neither time nor resources left to rebuild.
As for spiritual structures, one of the biggest challenges facing any intentional intercessor is knowing how to prioritize prayer. And how can we be certain that our prayer coverage is adequate? Prayer targeting. We must carefully evaluate and select ours.
We use strategic prayer targeting to prioritize our prayer to acheive a specific goal.
In both physical and spiritual warfare, strategic timing is "mission - critical information."
We must engage in thorough research and become well informed of circumstance3s in natural and spiritual realms.
George Otis Jr. has defined spiritual mapping, our reconnaissance of the spiritual world, as "superimposing our understanding of forces and events in the spiritual domain onto places and circumstances in the material world" (Last of the Giants, 85).
In the summer of 1994, while Michael was serving as a missionary in Russia, he was asked by a television crew for an interview. One of his friends suggested that it would be great publicity for their new church, so reluctantly, ignoring the check in with his spirit, Michael agreed.
When their visa ran out, they had to leave the country to get it renewed. Upon returning, they were told that the interview had done more harm than good - because of it some had even left the church.
From that day, Michael banned all recorders and video cameras from the church and never again agreed to another interview. He decided that God doesn't need publicity!
When we leave the doors of our hearts open and unguarded to the world's influences, we can expect unwanted guests.
When the Sunni mosque was being built, Eddie, would drive by and prayer - walk their property.
As it reached completion, he wrote a letter of apology for the medieval crusades in which millions of Muslims were slaughtered in the name of Christ. He had the apology written calligraphically on parchment, took it to the five closest evangelical churches, and asked the pastors to sign it with him. Then he placed it into a gold frame and presented it to the iman. He was moved with tears and asked him to speak at the mosque's grand opening. Since then,he has developed a meaningful relationship with one of his elders. He is very near a decision to Christ.
2 Chronicles 7:13 - 14: Intercessors, we must stand in the gap and "repent the land (turn from and sincerely apologize to god for the sins that have defiled the land, whether our own or others)."
Therefore, I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. (I Timothy 2:1 -2 NKJV)
When we pray for those in authority, we pray for those who occupy positions of leadership in our community.
Our responsibility to pray for our leaders is twofold:
We must certainly pray for our church leaders.
We must also pray for our community leaders.
First, we must identify the leaders in our communities and churches.
But when we cannot know the leader personally, we should pray for those that do. We can pray for them and for their influence in his life.
In the spring of 1988, Michael was about to realize a dream for which he'd prayed for more than a year. He was being sent as a missionary to Venezuela. He had two problems: not enough money and not enough time to get the money needed.
When he arrived at his Messianic Jewish Congregation, he was greeted by his travel agent and handed a ticket.
Finally, the time for his ordination came; he was prayed over and officially sent out. The pastor called him up, gave him an envelope with a check that would cover the cost of his ticket and gagve him eleven dollars besides. He could have shouted!
Money is not a problem for God, and God is always on time!
But by God's grace the riches of heaven are at the disposal of those who have faith to apprehend them, and time is only a hiccup in our eternity with Him.
Ask God to supply the financial resources necessary to expand His Kingdom through our lives.
Several years ago, Eddie attended a national conference on world evangelism in a midwestern city.
There he met Rasheed, from Pakistan. He asked him, "Has anyone this week shared with you the good news of Jesus Christ and His Salvation?" Rasheed shook his head. Eddie took the time to present Christ and His gospel, and Rasheed prayed to receive Christ!
When Eddie arrived at the meeting, a long discussion developed on strategies the American Church might employ to complete the Great Commission. Eddie said, "Gentlemen, the longer we sit in rooms like this, discussing the problem, while ignoring people like Rasheed - the young Pakistani man who manages the gift shop across the hall, who just gave his heart to Christ - the further we will be from the goal."
Strategic positions, high places can also be called "the gates of the city." The basic types are (1) geographic, (2) political, (3) commercial, and (4) religious.
Geographical gates are actual physical locations. It's said that in the world of retail marketing there are three essential criteria: location, location, location.
Political gates are "gates of influence - positions of influence in a society." People need influential favor and blessing for their endeavors.
Commercial gates are gates of financial influencde within a community. God will hold us accountable for the ethical use of the "talents" He's given us, and we should pray accordingly.
Religious gates are institutions that primarily exixst to shape a people's worldview. Because people who accept religious postions influence society's general worldview these "places" can be extremely financially and politically profitable. Therefore, we must not neglect to pray for the righteous of religious leaders.
The four "inner gates" through which all society passes are (1) health and human services, (2) education, (3) mass media, and (4) culture. Those who occupy the inner and outer gates control the communities destiny.
When Michael visited El Vijia, they were able to bring together in one room thiry-two of the city's thirty-six pastors in a historic meeting.
This was the launch of their plan to visit El Vijia to bring a word regarding Israel to its pastors.
Followers of Christ, regardless of denominational affiliation, usually agree that Jesus Christ, who is God, came to earth as a man, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died an atoning death, was raised from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is coming again. This agreement is the basis on which we come together to do Kingdom Business.
We must remain vigilant to the Holy Spirit's voice when establishing strategy. He alone knows which one is best applied at any given time.
The Bible is replete with examples of God's perfect timing.
Consider, for instance, the story of Esther, the Jewish girl who came to a postion of influence with the king at the appropriate time (Esther 2:15).
Targets are timing - critical. There is always an appropriate, strategic time for focusing on any target.
Timing - critical prayer targeting depends on discernment. Discernment deepends on sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit is the hallmark of intercessors and prophets.
The Holy Spirit (called the Spirit of Truth) given by the Father at the request of His Son, is as a Counselor (John 14: 16 - 17).
Tools and Knowledge is worthless until applied.
Paul says, "Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed upon you through prophetic utterance."
God endows individuals, communities, and nations with gifts designed to help lead the nations to Christ.
All authority and power in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus. God will hold us accountable for how we use His power and authority.
Do not try to accomplish His purposes with His power.
As a church, is our faith in God sufficiently evident to adequately reflect His glory to the communtiy?
Has God's glory ever invaded my/your life or home and brought with it a spirit of repentance and weeping?
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