This week, I, along with several members of the Mission Partnership Council, have been at the IMB Training Center on the Missions College campus in Richmond, Virginia. The Nalls recommended this opportunity to us, and it has not disappointed. There is no way you can leave this conference without being excited about the movement of God around the world. During one of the breakout sessions, I was challenged by something one of the leaders said, “Without a prayer strategy, there is no strategy.” Woah. That’s worth writing again, “Without a prayer strategy, there is no strategy.”
Proverbs 29:18 says, “Without a vision, the people perish.” Where do we get vision? Prayer. That’s the only answer. Abraham Heschel famously said, “To pray is to dream in league with God.” In order to envision the impact that the gospel can have in transforming our lives and ultimately the world, we must pray specifically, boldly, and devotedly for God to act. In order to get where we want to go, we need to begin with the end in mind. In other words, we need to set divine expectations, create godly goals, and elevate our dreams of what can be to God’s level.
To be blunt, this takes us recognizing that closing our eyes for two seconds and asking, “God bless my children,” will hardly get our spirit in line with the creator and orchestrator of the universe in regards to His will for transformation in our lives. Rather, what is your specific prayer for the different areas of your life where you want to see change? What’s your prayer strategy for your children? What’s your prayer strategy for your work? What’s your prayer strategy for your retirement? What’s your prayer strategy for your Sunday School class? I can go on and on about places in our lives where most of us have never considered a prayer strategy.
Individually, that’s absolutely true for you. As a congregation, that’s infinitely more important. What’s our prayer strategy for Tabernacle Baptist Church? If we want to truly impact our community and world with the love of Christ, then we need to prayerfully envision what that looks like. For your respective ministry area at Tabernacle, what is your prayer strategy? What is our respective prayer strategy for missions, youth, discipleship, worship, Christmas Store, Night of Hope, Men’s Ministry, Women’s Ministry, etc. If we cannot clearly communicate it, then let’s start talking, brainstorming, and drafting it. As we consider how transformation happens in our world, let us all remember that it first starts with us. Let’s pray strategically towards that end.
Stephen V. Allen