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Extraordinary Prayer

Prayer has been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve been really thinking about the act of prayer, growth in my prayer life, a prayer strategy for my church, and being a good steward of the gift of prayer.

Maybe you are like me and see prayer as an area of your life that is deficient, in need of repair, or just ordinary.

The good news is that God wants to teach us to pray, and He invites us to spend time with Him to better appreciate, understand, and utilize this precious gift.

Stan Parks said, “Your prayer life now is ordinary to you. Add something to it to make it extraordinary for you. Then keep repeating that process.”

So instead of me trying to teach you something about prayer, I want to share with you a few things that I’m adding to my prayer life so that, in December of 2021, I can hopefully say that my ordinary prayer life has become extraordinary.
Praying with my wife. I’m a church planter/pastor and have been in ministry for more than 18 years. You would think that praying with my wife is normal, but it’s not.

We both pray, but only at certain times do we pray together. The most common times are over a meal, when we pay bills and when something really bad has happened or is happening, so I want to add this to my prayer life.

I love the Lord, and I love my wife. Why wouldn’t I jump at the opportunity to spend time in their company together rather than separately?

In order to make this a part of my prayer life, I am going to ask her to remind me to pray with her. She is really good at reminding me of things.

Each morning before we leave the house, I’m also going to ask a friend and a brother of mine to hold me accountable and ask regularly if I’m praying with my wife.
Fasting. I know this can be a touchy subject with people. But I see in Scripture a clear pattern and assumption that God’s people would and will fast. With that in mind, I am setting aside one day a week to fast from my meal one evening until the meal the next evening.

During this time of fasting, I will be focusing my prayers on the people that God has entrusted to me in my church family, the community that He has called me to plant my life, and what other communities He wants me to plant in.
Prayer Walking. This is a great way to get to know your community better by understanding needs and meeting people. Praying specific prayers for your community is a great way to see God do some really cool things.

I’ve been involved in prayer walking, but I’ve let the habit lapse in my personal life. It’s time for a revival in this area of my ordinary prayer life.

I am also putting together a prayer walking strategy for my church and for the mission teams that will serve with us in Montana in 2021.

This will really be a strategic way to pray through every neighborhood in my community. My teams, my church, and I will literally walk through neighborhoods praying for each home.

One of the verses that informs the way we pray for our community is Habakkuk 2:14. Below is a brief explanation of this verse and a prayer I wrote for a Montana prayer initiative.

For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
As the waters cover the sea.
Habakkuk 2:14 (NASB)
This verse speaks about a future time when, as Paul describes in Philippians 2:10-11 (NASB): “so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow … and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

The verse in Habakkuk even compares this receiving of knowledge to waters covering the sea.

This makes me think of a flood of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord that will completely take over a person, a family, a community, a state, a nation, and a world. We know this day is coming and so we pray:
Jesus, we acknowledge You as Lord and Savior full of glory. But when we think of our family, friends, co-workers, classmates, community, and state, we think of so many who have no knowledge of Your glory. We know the day is coming when they will all bow and confess You as Lord. We also know that for many of them that will be the first time and so will therefore be too late to avoid an eternity without You. So we desperately cry out to You to flood our communities, our state, our nation, and our world with the knowledge of Your glory before it’s too late. We pray for a flood of revival in Your churches, and we pray for a flood of awakening in the lives of those far from You. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
May 2021 be an extraordinary praying year for you and me.

Darryl Brunson is pastor of Expedition Church in Livingston, Montana.

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