Most of us know enough about the teachings of Jesus to understand the value of persistent prayer. He tells us to ask, seek, knock, and repeat until the door opens (Matt 7:7-8). Anyone who has ever actually tried this, though, may have found it to be a daunting task! No one knows this better than our team at Take the City.
We launched the Harvest House of prayer right around the time that the pandemic began. We did not plan the timing of this. It just worked out that way! In this sacred space we have gathered corporately multiple times a day for the past two years with a clear agenda– to minister to the Lord in our worship and to pray for God to move in our city, region, nation, and world. Since its inception, we have learned a lot about persistent prayer, particularly within the context of global crises. Here are some key things we’ve learned.
We’ve heard it said by leaders in the prayer movement, “If you want to pray persistently, get it down on a schedule.” There is just something about getting a date and time down on your calendar that increases your likelihood of actually taking a specific action step.
We like to refer to these scheduled times of prayer as appointments with the Lord Himself. We’ve found that by describing it this way, more of our volunteers experience His presence more frequently and their prayer sets are much more enjoyable. It feels less burdensome to know that you have a scheduled meeting with the most lovable person in existence, i.e. Jesus. We have found it to be true that when we make appointments with the Lord He is faithful to meet us!
Before making that first appointment, we recommend choosing a time that you can commit to on a weekly basis. This will create a rhythm for you and Jesus to fellowship with one another and enrich your prayer life in amazing ways. So go ahead! Make that weekly appointment and watch what He will do!
“Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt 18:20 KJV). These are the words of Jesus and we have applied them fervently in our prayer room. You can trust us when we tell you it is absolutely true. There is just something about community that enlivens your prayer life like no other. Some of the most powerful encounters I have had with Jesus were during corporate prayer times where others were right there with me, pressing in through worship and intercession.
Consider these benefits of communal prayer:
Do you know anyone who would want to join you in your appointments with the Lord? Pray into this. Ask the Lord to highlight friends and family to you who would be the right fit.
If we started right now to give Him thanks for everything He’s done and all that He is, it would take billions of years, and we still wouldn’t scratch the surface of His goodness and His worth. If prayer is the act of talking with God, then the main subject ought to be praise, thanks, and joy.
In regards to persistence in prayer, I have personally discovered that it is not possible without joy and without gratitude. We embark on activities with much more longevity if they’re fun and enjoyable to us. The Lord knows us and He knows He is the only thing that will satisfy our endlessly searching hearts.
David knew this when he wrote the following in Psalm 16:11–
… In Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore…
We have found this to be true! He never runs out of ways to bless with Himself in the place of prayer. And we never run out of thankfulness. It is an eternal dance that we will never grow weary of. Jesus is so good and worth every second we give to Him.
Persistence in prayer doesn’t have to be an enormous burden to carry. On the contrary, it can be the most rewarding thing you will ever embark on. Remember that in prayer you are dealing with a Person. Jesus is a Person. He is the most beautiful, powerful, adventurous Person in all existence. We want to rip out the lie that says that God is in any way boring.
As you continue in your journey of discovering Jesus by setting regular appointments with Him-in community- and with gratitude, we know your life will be changed forever in the most amazing ways. If you need a place to help you in this journey, Harvest House of Prayer is here for you!
Yours in Christ,
Director of Harvest House of Prayer
“Getting to be a part of Take the City was such a blessing both in seeing how God moved in the lives of the people I met as well as how he moved in my heart. I was so encouraged to be surrounded by people willing to passionately pray for their city and the people in it. As we worshipped, people would stop and ask what was going on and we got to talk and pray with them. I felt a greater desire to pray for our nation grow in me as we sang and prayed together.”