Edwards Calls for Prayer Emphasis As Vision “Re-Ignites the Flame”
GOD’S PEOPLE–are rediscovering not only the power of prayer , but the potency of union.
by Lt. Colonel Mervyn L. Morelock (R) –
Commissioner David Edwards, territorial commander, has just introduced a territorial prayer emphasis for 2000, “Re-Igniting the Flame.”
The theme has been chosen to introduce a year-long emphasis for every corps and center in the West to encourage personal and corporate prayer. The territory’s recently adopted vision statement is: That we shall become biblically authentic Christians, known by our commitment to prayer, holy living and service to others.
The goal is for every Salvationist and friend to be committed to a renewed personal involvement in personal and corporate prayer.
“Re-Igniting the Flame” will be introduced in every worship center in the territory during prayer services to be held on New Year’s Eve 1999.
These meetings will serve as a kick-off for the year long prayer emphasis. Research materials have been provided for each center of worship for the “Concert of Prayer.” Program ideas have been developed and distributed to each center for use during a nine-week emphasis on prayer from New Year’s Eve 1999 through Easter Sunday (April 23) 2000.
“I am so excited to see the quality of resource materials that have been made available to help and encourage our corps and centers to develop a renewed interest in the power of prayer among our people” said Captain Judy Smith, territorial evangelism and adult programs secretary. “Our people will be learning so much more about prayer and the power that God has available for us” she said.
Among the information being distributed to all centers of worship is a book, “Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire,” by Jim Cymbala, pastor of the Brook-lyn Tabernacle. Cymbala shares the God-inspired conviction that came to him shortly after he first went to be the pastor of this small, shabby, troubled, multi-racial, inner city church in Brooklyn.
He writes about the moving promise that came to him while he was seeking God on what to do about his tiny, strife ridden church:
“From this day on, the prayer meeting will be the barometer of our church. What happens on Tuesday night will be the gauge by which we will judge success or failure because that will be the measure by which God blesses us. If we call upon the Lord he has promised in his Word to answer, to bring the unsaved to himself, to pour out his Spirit among us. If we don’t call upon the Lord, he has promised nothing–nothing at all. It’s as simple as that. No matter what I preach or what we claim to believe in our heads, the future will depend upon our times of prayer.”
Twenty-five years ago, the Brooklyn Tabernacle could hardly draw 20 people to a Sunday service. Today it is 6,000 strong, a testament of what God can do when men and women begin to pour out their hearts to him.
The second resource that has been shared with each center is the video, “The Power of Prayer Walking.” It is a dramatic tool which illustrates what happens when people pray for their neighbors and the effect on both those who are praying and those being prayed for. It illustrates the power that can be unleashed to witness to and win the lost for Jesus Christ when we pray.
Bring an Army to its Knees
The third resource is a worship series notebook, “How to Bring an Army to its Knees” created and produced by the Music and Gospel Arts Department of the USA Central Territory. Several territories in the world have used the information to lead their people to a renewed emphasis on prayer. The materials have been created “as a small step designed to literally bring our Army to its knees, both on a personal and corporate level. This comprehensive resource contains nine complete worship outlines with suggested music, scripture, readings, dramas, and sermon outlines which can be used effectively from the smallest to the largest settings.”
The theme, “Re-Igniting the Flame” follows the two year emphasis on prayer, “Keeping Touch–A Call to Prayer.” The prayer ministry has been well received in the Western Territory and more than 2,300 prayer partners have been enlisted from each of the divisions and centers in the territory and from many other areas of the country and the world, including the Republic of China. Each prayer partner received a special Salvation Army praying hands pin and a packet of materials to help them focus on prayer needs. Prayer pins have been seen in abundance at Salvation Army gatherings over the last two years!
The “Call to Prayer” ministry has used several methods to communicate with the prayer partners. New Frontier publishes a monthly page listing the current prayer requests and praise reports with a coupon for interested people to send in to become a prayer partner. These listings have encouraged those who have become prayer partners to add these needs to their own list of prayer needs for their private as well as corporate times.
Several corps have reported prayer cells and prayer chains that have united their congregations and many thrilling reports have been received about answers to prayer being experienced.
The Call to Prayer ministry has also been covered in the USA Western Territory web page. Inquiries have come from many places around the world, from people wishing to become prayer partners. The web page will continue to be a source of contact for those interested in becoming part of the Re-Igniting the Flame emphasis.
Toll Free Number
Recently, a resource has been developed to enable prayer partners and others to be kept up to date on the more urgent prayer requests. A toll-free telephone number, (877) 347-PRAY can be called to hear a list of the latest urgent prayer needs in the territory. A list of 12 to 15 prayer needs are recorded and updated each week to share the most urgent prayer concerns of the territory with callers. Praise reports that have been recorded in New Frontier have shared many thrilling results when hundreds of people have prayed for healing, for lost children, for broken marriages, and for backslidden loved ones. It has been a powerful evidence of the fact that God does answer prayer!
Movements of Prayer
“Throughout church history men and women of God have felt constrained to summon believers to united prayer. The eternal work of God requires it–even waits for it.
These movements of united prayer were largely responsible for the Great Awakening (1725-1740) when God lit America, England, and parts of Europe with a brilliant result of pentecostal grace. Millions of men, women, and children were swept into the kingdom and great international figures were thrust to the forefront of Christendom (e.g. John Wesley, George Whitfield, and Jonathan Edwards).
Out of this massive international 18th century awakening came another design for united prayer that would weave itself into the fabric of the evangelical world with profound effect. Called “The Concert of Prayer,” this plan would become one of the most powerful schemes since the Reformation. For nearly 150 years, the concert prevailed.
Today, schemes of united prayer are being born in every quarter of the church; in the West, to be sure, but especially around the earth. The weekly, monthly, quarterly rhythms of the international concert of prayer are being resurrected, but dozens of other plans and strategies for prayer are flourishing, too. In extraordinary ways God is stirring up his people to seek him, pouring out upon them a spirit of prayer. God’s people are rediscovering not only the power of prayer, but the potency of union.” (“The Church at Prayer: an Historic Perspective” from Between Heaven and Earth, pg. 355-356, as quoted in “The Concert of Prayer Worship Series.”)
Resource material sent by the Territorial Evangelism and Adult Program department contain the six goals for the territorial prayer emphasis, “Re-Igniting the Flame:”
1. To RE-IGNITE THE FLAME of prayer in the hearts of Salvationists through teaching, preaching and practicing the art of prayer.
2. To fulfill our territorial vision statement, by being biblically authentic Christians, known by our commitment to prayer, holy living and service to others.
3. For each corps/center, in the Western Territory, to participate in a nine-week prayer emphasis, within the first three months of the year 2000.
4. To bring in the New Year, in the Western Territory, with a united effort of personal and corporate prayer.
5. To empower each corps/center to organize and conduct a prayer emphasis, by providing resource material which will encourage corps leaders in their planning efforts.
6. For the Evangelism department, the Territorial Evangelists, and the Territorial Prayer Coordinators, to be united in purpose as we promote and support the “Re-Igniting the Flame” prayer campaign throughout the territory.
Each corps/center of worship has received ideas and helps for sermon series over the period of the nine week emphasis.
The following is a partial list of resources available:
- Family-a-Day Praying.
- Why Did Jesus Pray?
- Just Like Jesus – Practicing a Prayerful Dependence on the Father.
- Four Hindrances to Answered Prayer – How to keep your prayer life from being weak and unproductive.
- What Hinders Prayer? Keeping the line of Communication Open.
- What to Pray When We Cannot Pray.
- How to Pray for an Unsaved Elderly Person Who is Dying.
- A Corporate Day-Of-Prayer Retreat.
Praying the “Mystery of Christ” into People. What should we ask God to do when the church or person we’re praying for already seems established and spiritually healthy?
Six reminders to Pray.
Nitty Gritty Prayer for Missionaries.
Keeping Intercession Simple.
Prayer in the Worship Service.
How to A-S-K in Prayer.
A New Zeal
The launching of the “Re-Igniting the Flame” Prayer Campaign promises to create a new zeal to pray for all Salvationists in the Western Territory. May we come to believe that God can make a difference in our present day world much as He did during the days of the “Great Awakening.” Our present generation needs a renewal of faith and power. May God touch each of us!