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Lord, teach us to pray!

On Sunday, a thousand people gathered to pray, worship, and be inspired by the testimonies of students involved with the Asbury outpouring. The Spirit of the Lord was present with us and encouraged us. We took time to cry out in adoration together and then we examined our own hearts and confessed our sins. We were led to search the scriptures together and speak the word of God into the spiritual atmosphere. We prayed for each other and for the healing of the Church.

We have not cultivated a spirit of prayer in this conference, so it will take time to learn how to pray and worship together. Yet, it is evident that we are hungry, that we want more, that we are not satisfied with our spiritual status quo. So let's continue to fast and pray. And let's join in that heartfelt request of those first followers of Jesus: "Lord, teach us to pray."

This week's prayer points reflect the invitations offered during the four movements of prayer at our "Bring the Fire Home" event on Sunday night. We can keep the spirit of that event alive by continuing to pray, seek, and ask for the Lord to move among us:


There is a Korean style of praying called tong sung kido. It literally means to “cry out together loudly.” Often, it is a kind of praying that happens when people are feeling desperate. It is a cry for God to move. Though you may be alone as you pray this week, we can still -- as one voice, through our fasting and praying together -- speak out our desperation for more of God.

So as you pray, find a posture that is worshipful. Turn your chair into a altar, or stand, kneel, or lay prostrate on the floor. However you posture yourself, you are invited to get reverently into the presence of God. Then, as you pray, trust that your prayers are joining with hundreds of others in our conference as we each cry out for more of him …

Take time (several minutes, at least) to worship and adore the Lord. Let your faith in God lead you. Cry out your praise. Speak aloud what you know to be true about our God. Use the many names of God to bless and honor him and allow your desperation for more of his love and holiness to move you to cry out in praise and worship. Don't rush past this movement of prayer.


When the Spirit of God moves into a room, his very presence will often draw out of us the things that need to be acknowledged, confessed and repented. This is the work of revival. It is to be cleansed of anything that stands between us and the God of our salvation. 

How hungry are you for the Lord to move? How willing are you to confess the anger, bitterness, worry, or unholy fear that you’ve been carrying around? How willing are you to say “no more” to the things in your life (never mind everyone else!) that serve no purpose in the Kingdom of God? In this movement of prayer, we are invited to confess, to repent, to make that turn and choose a new path. Confess the baggage and the unforgiveness.

This is a time for us to confess our sins, believing that he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Search your heart and life and leave no stone unturned.


As we continue praying, we move into a time of praying for God to set us free. Freedom prayers look a lot like what Jesus prayed when he taught us to pray, “You kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” We pray for God’s inbreaking Kingdom. We pray that whatever is happening in the Kingdom of Heaven will be manifest on the earth. We pray for God’s vision and God’s will to be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. 

This is a time for listening for God’s voice and vision. It is also a time for contending in prayer for God to move in the situations where we long to see his more perfect will accomplished. It is a time for praying prophetically … speaking that which is not as if it is. What are the God-sized visions we need to be speaking into the world? What great move is God inviting us into, that needs our cooperation in the place of prayer? 


Finally, let's pray for a breakthrough … in our denomination, in our conference, in our churches, in ourselves. To do this, we are going to pray first for the system we belong to. Pray for healing over the systems that are in power. Pray that God will work his justice and righteousness into the UM connectional system as a whole, and into the system at work in our conference. Pray that we will be set free of unbalanced bureaucracies and unholy agendas. Pray that leaders at every level will be set free to lead and be led more freely and faithfully by the Spirit of God.

Pray also for your own church. Pray for your pastor and the leaders of your church. Ask the Lord to release your church from the demons of distrust, anxiety, fear, anger, control or competition, and from any political spirit seeking to tear down faith and breed bitterness. Ask the Lord to reveal any ways that you personally are a hindrance to God's ability to move freely in your church. Then ask how God would use you to welcome and advance His Kingdom where you are.

Spend the remainder of your time in prayer seeking healing and direction in any area of your life … physical, emotional, spiritual. Close your time of prayer by returning to adoration. Speak trust into your own spirit -- trust that God is faithful, and trust that God will move.

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