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Praying Toward God’s Purpose

Praying with purpose is simply praying for God to fulfill what He has already begun. Since God’s work is always a story, our best praying will be part of an ongoing story. Instead of using prayer as a quick-fix procedure that will supposedly get results if performed correctly, your prayer becomes a way of collaborating with God.

God is already on the move

We’re not pushing to get God started. He’s already doing good things; and He has promised to do even better things, both great and small. Instead of holding off the worst, our praying can ask for God to bring on the best.

God’s favorite way to be glorified

God is the one who is orchestrating the united prayer of which we are a part. He’s the one stimulating us to pray as never before. Why is He doing this? God is about to do some of the most amazing things that He has ever done. He wants us to pray for them all before they take place. That way He can explicitly receive thanks for doing them. God is setting us up to give Him much more glory than if we hadn’t prayed, or if we had only prayed privately about our personal concerns. Answered prayer could be God’s favorite way of being glorified.

Because there’s joy in it

God doesn’t need our prayers, but He wants us to experience the joy of working with Him in bringing new life to many others. And the joy is even greater when we find that we have labored with many others for the fulfillment of promises, some of them for many centuries.

Pursuing God’s purpose

God has been unfolding His purpose throughout the earth for thousands of years. This grand story will culminate with Christ becoming both famous and followed in every community. As you pray your way into this epic story, your prayers will become a pursuit of Christ’s glory and His kingdom. As you stretch your prayers longer and larger, you will do an even better job of praying for everyday needs of others. You’ll be praying in hope.

The following articles will give you some thoughtful and practical ways to pray with God’s greater purposes.

Praying With Missionaries Instead of for Them

What shall we pray when praying with missionaries? We are accustomed to focusing on prayer points and specific actions and ask with precise timing in mind. This is wise and right. We should be as specific as we can in our praying. But ultimately God gives us better than we ask. We almost always find that God answers our prayers differently and better than we prayed. How does He always outdo our best praying?

As a child I often heard church folks “pray for missionaries.” Missionaries were usually described as struggling in some way, somehow in desperate need. Our prayers, it was often said, were the “lifeline” of the missionaries.

Despite my imagination of missionaries dangling by a fraying rope over crocodile-infested rivers, the “lifeline” prayers intoned in routine fashion seemed particularly lifeless to me. The generic prayers for protection and supply seemed a dreary but necessary duty. Little wonder I grew up with a profound respect for missionaries but no real interest in praying for them.

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Christ-inspired, Extraordinary Prayer

Find out how Jesus instilled “passionate stamina” in His followers that sustained some extraordinary prayer. This article, published in PrayerConnect Magazine, describes a global prayer movement that means many are not just praying more, we are praying differently. An excerpt:

In our day, many global movements of prayer are finding that their prayers are not just surging. Our prayers are converging as we pray for His Kingdom to come and His glory to be great. May our Lord impart the passionate stamina of the upper room, so that we may resolutely focus on what He will accomplish to fulfill all of His purposes in every people and place.

To continue reading, download a PDF of the article.

Praying Beyond Fix-it Prayers: But I Have Prayed for You

Pray for God to complete what He’s doing in the lives of the people you love. It can be surprising to realize how Jesus’ prayer for His friend Peter reached beyond an immediate crisis toward an important fulfillment of God’s purpose for Peter’s entire life.

Can you recall the last time someone told you that he or she was praying for you? No doubt it was meant to reassure you. Telling people that you’ve prayed for them is a loving way of encouraging them or cheering them on.

Only once do we find Jesus telling someone that He had prayed for that person. And what He said about His prayer was not a reassuring platitude. Jesus was not offering up a simple fix-it prayer aimed to deal with obvious, right-now needs. Instead, His prayer focused on…

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Be Assured That You are Heard

The opening line may draw you in. The solid biblical theology can help keep you persistent in appealing to God on behalf of others before His throne.

It may surprise you, but the Bible never says that God answers prayer. In all the books of the Bible, in the original languages anyway, you will never find one time which specifically says that God answers prayer. What you will find are hundreds of times that God responds…

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