prayer in outreach

Six Prayers To Increase Your Outreach IQ by Steve Sjogren

prayer in outreachNormally it is thought that one’s IQ is a fairly static number, that it can’t be increased, but not in the case of Outreach IQ. When it comes to outreach you can increase your level of intelligence. It’s a matter of doing some practical things—prayerful things. 

Prayer is the lifeblood of all vital outreach. You can pray without doing outreach, but you can’t do outreach without prayer.

You can pray without doing outreach, but you can’t do outreach without prayer.

It is easy to fall into the trap of being busy in outreach activities without walking in a spirit of prayer. Such a routine will only stir up lots of activity but little lasting fruit. Operating in this mode won’t yield the results we seek. 

God communicates with us all the time. The only hold up is on our end—the receiving end of things. As we pray we are able to hear his voice clearly. There are certain prayers that bear more fruit than others. Some prayers are easy to answer. They are the kinds that express his heart without hesitation.

If we hope to be effective in outreach we need to offer up prayers in faith, with no reservation.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting. James 1:5,6 NKJV  

We are wise if we choose our prayers well. If we hope to pray enthusiastically our prayers need to express the heart of God as revealed in his word. Consider the following as part of your prayer arsenal.

Prayer 1. “Bring People To You O Lord”
Pray for the Lost.

God shapes our hearts by the things we pray. 

The beginning point of prayer for outreach is to focus on THE point of it all—the Lost. Pray for the Lost around you. God will sensitize you to their plight, their pain, their struggle as you lift them up to God. Until we pray for the Lost we will likely only be irritated by the them. We are likely to lose patience until we enthusiastically welcome them in—in word and action.

Prayer 2. “Capture My Heart”
Ask God to Move Your Heart.

God will take a risky prayer like that seriously and move in your life. This can be a dangerous prayer to utter—at least dangerous if you don’t wish to participate in the action of the kingdom. Once God has gotten hold of your life he will take you, use you and send you to do his work. 

Prayer 3. “Increase My Anointing
Ask God for more power.

Praying this prayer is Part A. Being available to obey is Part B.
Practice doing the will of God. Practice a LOT. We get better at any skill as we do it frequently. Evangelism works in the same way. Get among others to practice your outreach chops frequently. God will build his momentum in you as you walk out his power. 

Prayer 4. “Stir Up My Gifts
Ask God for greater skill.

The Bible says the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance. God has clearly gifted you whether you can see the extent of his gifting in you or not. Life is about seeing more of the gifting he has given us and we explore our way forward. Flow with your gifting. Allow him to explore your gifting. Allow him to pour more gifting into you. Don’t demand perfection. If you do you will miss out on the majority of what he has for you. God will use you in new ways as you pray to that end. 

Prayer 5. “Give Me Favor
Ask God for greater effectiveness.

As God moves in your life, he gives you his favor and you are able to move forward with momentum. One of the first things you will need is a cadre of people to support you in your mission. You will need a team to help carry out the mission God has called you to. His favor needs to rest upon you if you hope to walk out the vision he has given. 

A prayer that goes hand in hand with this one is this:

Prayer 6. “Bring Contagious People To Me”
Jesus prayed this with slightly different wording.
After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. 2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. Luke 10:1-3, NKJV 

The key verse is Luke 10:2, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” A friend of mine encourages people to set their watches and cell phone alarms to sound at 10:02 every day to remind them to pray in agreement that the Lord would send laborers into the harvest. Thus twice a day (AM and PM) people all over the globe are praying in agreement that God will send out workers into the harvest field. A great reminder!

Spend time with those who have the outreach virus. We catch it from others more than we are taught it in a head-to-head fashion. It’s about catching outreach. You don’t so much learn about it in a classroom setting. It’s vital that we walk with those who are already fluent in outreach. Catch on as you catch it from those who have it. Better yet, let’s pray our way forward.

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