“Persistent prayer is a mighty move of the soul toward God. It is a stirring of the deepest forces of the soul toward the throne of heavenly grace. It is the ability to hold on, press on, and wait. Restless desire, restful patience, and strength to hold on are all embraced in it. It is not an incident or a performance, but a passion of soul. It is not something half-needed, but a sheer necessity. The wrestling quality in persistent prayer does not spring from physical violence or fleshly energy. It is not an impulse of energy or a mere earnestness of the soul. It is an inward force or ability planted and aroused by the Holy Spirit. Virtually, it is the intercession of the Spirit of God in us. It is “the effectual fervent prayer that avails much” (James 5:16). The divine Spirit supplies every part of us with the energy of His own striving. This is the essence of the persistence that urges our praying at the mercy seat to continue until the fire falls and the blessing descends.”
Are you convinced that 24/7 prayer is needed in your city? Do you see how it will change our cities as we unite in prayer?
We want God to stimulate us all to a higher level of steadfast, persistent intercession in order to see day and night prayer established. God will do it in His perfect timing, but we must be steadfast. He is working in our hearts, but it takes great prayer to see Houses of Prayer started and continue consistently day after day. It will take the unity of the Church to see this happen. Everyone is needed and vital. God is right now calling for the whole body of Christ to increase in steadfast prayer. He always lives to make intercession for us, and we are called to be like Him (Hebrews 7:25).
Intercession is growing all throughout the world, and people of all denominations are beginning to unite for the purpose of prayer. It definitely is time to drop our differences, rejoice in our diversity, and come together for the great purpose of seeing the Kingdom of God dwell in the nations. Although the enemy will oppose continuously, it is as we unite that we shall see the victory. The heart of God is for unity (John 17:20-23). When we are united, we can support and build one another up as each one of us does our part in serving God (Eph. 4:3, 11-16). Through day and night prayer and worship the presence of God can reign in a city, multitudes can be saved, and ministries and churches can prosper. Night and day prayer changes the spiritual atmosphere of a city dramatically.
Justice is released in the city through 24/7 prayer. The International House of Prayer here in Kansas City began praying for several years regarding the problem of human trafficking around the world. Shortly after they started corporately praying for human trafficking, the police uncovered a huge trafficking ring from clues that just kept “popping up”. This was a big answer to prayer as a result of united prayer.
An Architect’s Mindset
To begin laying this great foundation in our cities for prayer, we need to have an architect’s mindset. Like an architect, we need to see the big picture. So often we are overwhelmed as we think only of our own personal problems or what our own church is facing, but we need to begin to see our entire city through the eyes of God. We need to have a vision that is persistent. Seeing life from God’s point of view changes everything. Our own problems become small in light of the needs of our city.
An architect can see a big, beautiful building even as he sees nothing tangible in front of him. He knows there is much work ahead for the workers in order to dig deep, and they must be willing to pay the price of hard foundational work. We also need to dig a deep foundation because we are building something of great significance and stature. We must be steadfast in prayer as we begin. Mike Bickle, founder of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, says the following:
The first key is to be steadfast in prayer regarding a 24/7 and to have an architect’s mindset. The architect’s mindset sees the big picture. To work with others to build a house of prayer, we must all think on the big picture. The more I understand the big picture, the more sense of responsibility I feel about getting the foundation right. What are we doing today that will impact tomorrow? I remind our staff that a building site starts with digging a large hole to build the foundation.13
It takes time and patience to build a solid foundation for day and night prayer. It takes great persistence in prayer. It can start with a couple two-hour segments with a committed group of people made up of worshippers and intercessors who will be faithful and steadfast. It may start with a one-month or one-week House of Prayer. Or it could start with increased prayer in your own church and your own life. We must pray that the foundation will be laid properly. We must have the persistence and steadfast heart to see a House of Prayer started in our church or city. We won’t see it with a microwave mentality, but God is looking for long-term faithfulness and persistence.
There are many examples of those who have stood the test of persistence. One was the American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh who discovered the planet Pluto. Astronomers calculated its’ probable orbit, but being only a “suspected” heavenly body, it wasn’t even tangible. Tombaugh took up this challenge in March of 1929. Time magazine recorded the investigation: It was the most dramatic astronomic discovery in nearly one hundred years.
He examined scores of telescopic photographs each showing tens of thousands of star images in pairs under the dual microscope. It often took three days to scan a single pair. It was exhausting, eye-cracking work—in his own words, “brutal, tediousness.” And it went on for months. Star by star, he examined 20 million images. Then on February 18, 1930, as he was blinking at a pair of photographs in the constellation Gemini, “I suddenly came upon the image of Pluto!”14
You may not be trying to discover a planet, but you are attempting something that is challenging and may be exhausting at times. But it will be worth the effort. Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh saw Pluto with the eyes of faith, and you are beginning to see the possibilities of prayer in your city through the eyes of God. The day of smallness has great significance in God’s sight (Haggai 1-2; Zechariah 3-4). Every House of Prayer will start small, but we can’t despise the day of small beginnings. We read in Zechariah 4:10:
Who despises the day of small things?
Realize that the starting of every House of Prayer is a dramatic accomplishment in God’s eyes. It will change the face of your city. Increasing prayer in your church is also big in God’s eyes. Right now you may be looking at starting 24/7 prayer in your city, but think about your church as well. Scale it down to size and adapt this to your church even as you consider your city. Think about it. How do we begin to lay a strong foundation?