Thursday, June 18, 2009

Saturation Praying

by Rev. Will Bruce, Minister-at-Large

Overseas Missionary Fellowship
10 West Dry Creek Circle
Littleton, CO 80120-4413
Telephone: 800.422.5330 or 303.730.4160
Fax: 303.730.4165

I. Saturation Praying is praying in which we share, unite, and zero in on the target with specific and full coverage.

Luke 11:1 "Lord, teach us to pray." We are commanded to pray: 1 Thess. 5:17. We are invited to pray:John 14:14. We are the losers if we do not pray: James 4:2b.

We talk to God, the Father through Jesus Christ, the Son, helped by the Holy Spirit. We talk with God simply and naturally as we would talk to others, yet with reverence.

It is hard to change old habit patterns and adopt that which would prove to be more effective in relation to answers for ourselves and for others. Involve the whole family or group in praying--no spectators, all participate. We move on from panic or crisis praying to protective praying.

God loves us, accepts us and cares for us. He will also forgive and cleanse us as we repent. "We are His workmanship." Ephesians 2:10. He is a living God who hears and answers.

II. General Rules:
Brief--back and forth
Only one formal opening and closing
Avoid simply "Lord, bless so and so."
Specific. Not shotgun praying. Luke 11:5,6.
Saturate one subject at a time.
Pray in agreement.
Everyday language but not crude.
Honest and open.
One step at a time.
Then move on to another subject.

An example of saturation praying for a missionary coming home on furlough. Items for prayer will include: extra strength for the multiplied duties prior to his leaving; handing over the work to others; health problems; travel arrangements; safety in travel; needs of the family (change of schools, new friends, culture shock); relationships with family members at home (including unsaved or bereaved ones); a place to live; a ministry in the home church; deputation opportunities; need of a car, furlough studies; ability to communicate the challenge of the field, etc.

Evelyn Christenson has an excellent book on prayer and a leader's guide for teaching prayer. She suggests these 6 simple steps:

1. Subject by subject.
2. Short prayers.
3. Simple prayers.
4. Specific prayers.
5. Silent prayers.
6. Small groups.

III. Five suggested steps for praying, with full freedom to move back and forth between steps:
1. Tune in: Psalm 46:10; Ps. 27:14, and think of:
a. What He is.
b. What He has done for us.
c. What we are in Him.
d. What we have in Him.

2. Praise Him (worship): Phil 4:4-7; 1 Thess. 5:16, and thank Him for:
a. Who He is.
b. What He has done for us.
c. What He will do.
Be specific. Give thanks for NEW LIFE, HEALTH, FAMILY MEMBERS, ANSWERS TO PRAYER, etc.

3. Share personal needs: James 5:13-16. In honesty, in openness, with reality. Use "I" for expressing a need or in confession, not "We."

4. Bear one another's burdens: Gal. 6:2. Have a real concern for and understanding of one another. Use your imagination concerning the needs of others. Ask God for guidance.

5. Reach out in earnest, specific, in-depth prayer for other Christians and those without Christ in your neighborhood, nation, and world.

IV. Benefits:
1. A new awareness of one another.
2. A new sense of being loved.
3. Timid ones begin to participate.
4. Praying is more thorough, therefore more effective.

Some recommended books on prayer:
Prayer Power Unlimited by J. Oswald Sanders
Born for Battle by Arthur Mathews
God's Powerful Weapon by Denis Lane
Prayer without Pretending by Anne Townsend
Mountain Rain by Eileen Crossman, The biography of J.O. Fraser. Gives an ideal example of what is accomplished on the mission field through prayer in the home country.
The Prayer of Faith by J.O. Fraser
Effective Prayer by J. Oswald Sanders

Overseas Missionary Fellowship
10 West Dry Creek Circle
Littleton, CO 80120-4413
Telephone: 800.422.5330 or 303.730.4160
Fax: 303.730.4165

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