Going Deeper 5


Having greater power in prayer comes from laying hold of God’s word and praying with authority.

Praying God’s word . There is great power in God’s word and we should use it. The Bible is full of promises. Paul tells us all God’s promises are ‘yes’ in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). They can be ours, if we claim them. Imagine winning the lottery and not bothering to check your ticket to see if you had won the prize! Or throwing away the ticket because you didn’t believe that the lottery company would keep their promise to pay! But that’s how we often treat God’s promises.

We should diligently seek out every promise that is available for us, and then by faith, lay hold of them in prayer. We can be inspired by those who, ‘Through faith… gained what was promised’ (Hebrews 11:33). Jesus taught us to pray, ‘Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ (Matthew 6:10). As God’s word expresses his will, so we can ask him to fulfil his word on earth.

We can pray with greater authority as we believe what God has said.

Praying with authority . Satan’s greatest fear is that the Church might realise that she is more powerful than he is! Like Pharaoh, the devil is afraid that the Church might leave the land of captivity. When the Church begins to proclaim the truth of the word and to put it into practice, and is able to pray with authority, she is destined to overcome. Like the Israelites in Egypt, we have God’s promises. In addition, we are, ‘seated in heavenly places with Christ’ (Ephesians 2:6) but over time, we forget some of these truths, and find ourselves enslaved again. Our tendency is to invent reasons that explain our spiritual misery and our inactivity. Often we stop saying those prayers that could only be answered through a miracle, or we form our prayers in such a way as to give God ‘a way out’, in case no answer comes. But it is the truth that sets us free, so the truth must be proclaimed.

In Egypt, the children of Israel cried out to God and they were heard. Praying was all they could do. Moses came and spoke with authority to Pharaoh declaring the truth of the Israelites destiny. They would be freed because God was going to do it (Exodus 3:7-10). What God says is true, is true. It should be believed and can be proclaimed. This is how we can pray with authority. It was the same for the early Church. Their prayer was dynamic and powerful. God gives us ‘the power to walk on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy’ (Luke 10:19). ‘You, little children, you are of God, and you have the victory over them, because he that is in you is greater than he that is in the world’ (I John 4:4). God has given us authority over the enemy; it is up to us to use it.


Taking responsibility for the place where we live. To reach a whole town or city people are needed who are ready to bring it to God. A few key people who commit themselves to prayer can make the difference. In Genesis 18:16-33, God showed Abraham two cities which were about to be destroyed – Sodom and Gomorrah. The outcry of destructive pride and sexual malpractice brought about by the sin of people in those cities was causing immense grief. God invited Abraham to pray. Abraham interceded for the lives of the righteous in these cities. His intercession brought about the remarkable escape of one family.

Jonah, after a little diversion with a big fish, preached to Nineveh (Jonah 3). This was a city teeming with 120,000 people. But it was facing catastrophe. His ministry brought about repentance which averted the destruction. God had concern for the people in that city and he wanted to show is compassion.

Has God invited you to pray for your town or city? Some people are particularly called to take responsibility like this. Eternity will tell the significance of such praying. To reach a whole town or city also needs evangelism. A few key people are needed who are ready to make Christ an issue. When Paul arrived in Ephesus it took only two years for everyone in the whole region to hear the word of the Lord (Acts 19:10) .


Rebuilding our walls. The walls and gates of a city are biblically and traditionally significant. The walls are an important part of the defence of a city. The gates were a means of trade through which the city was served on a day to day basis. They were also a means by which the city could get rid of its waste. Gate-keepers were appointed to look out for opposition and keep the gates closed from dusk to dawn.

When we ‘(re)build the walls of the community’ we do so to protect it and strengthen it against attack, so that it can be a place of God’s presence, a place of praise, unity and peace. Intercessors often build spiritual ‘walls’ and some view themselves as gatekeepers. They keep spiritually alert to assess and marshal the spiritual activities of their cities. Researching the influences sociologically, historically and spiritually as well as prayer walking can give insight about the current spiritual state of an area.

Restoring community relationships . The gap between the rich and the poor in the UK is the largest it has been for 40 years. A recent report showed that people’s lives are still largely determined by parents’ social class and skin colour. National statistics tell us that attainment at school, participation in further or higher education, and even life expectancy are strongly influenced by people’s social and economic background. Certain specific social injustices are evident in all communities.

Injustice, wherever it occurs, needs prayer. It needs to be exposed and it needs to stop. Pray for good relationships between groups of people in your area. Identify a tension in your local community (between racial groups, old and young people, different neighbourhoods). Visualise the relationship as God would want it – hurts healed, distrust removed, injustice righted, and respect restored. Ask God to intervene and pray the image into reality.

But isn’t doing things more important than praying? See the next article!