Pray "the chains fall" off and "locked prison doors are opened
Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover. But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him. The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered. So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him. (Acts 12:4-10)
We are individuals, churches, a city, and a nation in bondage—restraints as real as the chains and prison doors that held Peter.
- Individuals (church members) are bound up by fear, discouragement, pornography and immorality, a shallow, unfocused commitment to Jesus, and pride.
- Churches are bound up by unbelief, apathy, traditionalism, coldness, and pride.
- Our city is bound up by violence, racism, poverty, pride, and selfishness.
- Our country is bound up by secularism, pride, immorality, and materialism.
What did the early church do when faced with bondage? Man made plans would not work against steel chains, locked doors, and Roman guards. “The church prayed very earnestly.”
“Chains falling off” and “a locked, prison door opening all by itself” are real. It happened then and it can happen now! This truth is not new to most who read this prayer guide. What needs to be new is our devotion to “pray earnestly.”
Would you seriously focus on seeing God do this in yourself, those in your church, this city and country. Is it difficult, really hard to see that actually happening? Yes it is.
It requires faith. And as Howard Hendricks said, “Prayer is the hand of faith that turns promises into performance.”
Pray for spiritual awakening
“Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:11-12 ESV).
If there was ever a time to be spiritually alert, it is now! Rebellion, ungodliness, violence, sin of every kind is coming forth. NOW, TODAY is the day to wake up from the doldrums of complacency and apathy and get engaged in the spiritual battle.
- Pray against a spirit of slumber. “According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear. (Romans 11:8 KJV). A spirit of slumber is an evil spirit, one that God will allow to come upon those who are not alert and clothed in spiritual armor. This spirit causes people to be lethargic, immobilized, in a fog, or spiritually or mentally dull.
- Pray we will be spiritually awake, alert and clothed with the armor of God. The following is from Bro. Steve’s Warfare Prayer. Today, I will stand firm in Your strength. Right now, I put on the whole armor of God. I gird my loins with truth. Thank You that Jesus, the living Word of God, is the truth, and that the Bible, the written Word of God, is the truth. I put on the breastplate of righteousness. Thank You that Jesus bore my sin and gave me His righteousness. I shod my feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. Thank You that I have peace with You because I have been justified in Christ. Thank You that You, the God of peace, will crush Satan under my feet. Today, I take the helmet of salvation. Thank You that I have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and nothing can separate me from Your love. I take up the shield of faith that will quench all the fiery darts of the enemy. I pray that no weapon formed against me will prosper. I take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and I stand on the promises of Your Word. I confess that: greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world; I am seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me; You will supply all of my needs according to Your riches in glory in Christ Jesus; I have overcome the evil one by the blood of the Lamb, the word of my testimony, and because I do not love my life even unto death; I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me; and no evil will befall me nor will any plague come near my dwelling and that You will give Your angels charge concerning me to guard me in all of my ways. Thank You for these eternal, sure promises, O Lord!
Pray for an outpouring of God's Spirit
In 1 Kings we see an encounter between Elijah the prophet and the prophets of Baal.
“Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, He is God.” And all the people said, ‘That is a good idea.’. . . Then Elijah said to all the people, ‘Come near to me.’ So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord which had been torn down. . . . At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, ‘O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that You, O Lord, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again.’ Then the fire of the Lordfell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, ‘The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God’” (1 Kings 18:24, 30, 36-39).
It is one thing for a glass to be clean. It is another to be filled. It is one thing to be spiritually alert and armed. It is another thing to be anointed by God’s Spirit.
We need the fire of God to fall upon people and churches.
- Pray God’s people will hunger for His presence and power and will not be satisfied with anything but God Himself. “Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, That the mountains might quake at Your presence” (Isaiah 64:1).
- Pray God, the Holy Spirit, will breathe life upon us. “The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ And I answered, ‘O Lord God, You know.’ So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army” (Ezekiel 37:1-3, 10).
- Pray God will revive His people. “Will You not Yourself revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?” (Psalm 85:6).
Pray for the 2022 elections next month
“Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Because you have prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria, this is the word that the Lord has spoken against him” (Isaiah 37:21-22).
Judah was surrounded by an army that wanted to overthrow them. In the same way, Christ-centered values are being constantly attacked. God gave deliverance to Judah because the King prayed. We need to pray for godly, praying leaders.
Pray that God will give us leaders who are:
- Pro-life. “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:13-14).
- Pro-biblical marriage (marriage is between one man and one woman). “For this reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
- Pro-religious freedom. “I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
- Pro-biblical values. “I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the level” (Isaiah 28:17).
Pray that Christians will see that our ultimate deliverance is from God, not any man or political party. “O give us help against the adversary, for deliverance by man is in vain. Through God we shall do valiantly, and it is He who will tread down our adversaries” (Psalm 60:11-12).
Pray for those who are presently leading.
Pray for Memphis
Rather than simply reading the words of Bro. Steve’s Prayer for Memphis, please take time to verbally pray for our city using this prayer as a guide.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Memphis. Thank You for strategically locating our city in the middle of this nation, so we can be a catalyst for revival and spiritual awakening. Please pour out Your Spirit on Memphis,Shelby County, the Mid-South, and beyond. Help every Christian and every Bible-believing, Jesus-loving, Gospel-preaching church to Love God, Love People, Share Jesus, and Make Disciples. Demolish every demonic stronghold of pride, violence, racism, poverty, crime, sexual immorality, drug abuse, sickness,religious formalism, fanaticism, legalism, liberalism, and traditionalism. Replace them with love, joy, peace,patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self- control, blessing, mercy, grace, hope, healing, liberty, and freedom. Destroy the stronghold of religion in Memphis that has a form of godliness but denies the power thereof. Give us churches that believe in the Bible and preach salvation only in Jesus Christ. Let Your Kingdom come and Your will be done in Memphis on Earth as it is in Heaven. Bring pastors, lay leaders, and congregations together as we pray for this city. Bless our governmental leaders, schools, and economy. Please send good jobs to Memphis. Keep casinos, strip clubs, and occultic activity out of Memphis. Do a work of revival in Memphis that can only be explained by Your presence and power and do it all for Your glory. Call Your people to fervent, united, visible, extraordinary prayer. May the latter glory of Your Kingdom in Memphis be greater than the former, and please grant Memphis Your peace. Do exceeding and abundantly beyond all that we can ask or think. In Jesus’ name, Amen!