5 Messages Essential to Establishing a Culture of Prayer

May 29, 2013

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I wrote yesterday on critical components to establishing a specific culture in your church community. One component that is often overlooked is messaging. Many times leaders desire a certain culture, but their messaging actually inhibits the building of that culture. Leaders teach what they know. And so if they desire a certain culture beyond what they know it requires them to learn the messages that will build that culture. It can’t be an empty parroting, they must learn the messages at the heart level. A leader must be moved by the message himself, if he expects to move his hearers. Once he learns the messages, he can then declare them and begin to shift the culture. In developing a culture of prayer I have found several messages that are essential. I encourage you to give yourself to these messages until they move your heart and then begin to proclaim them in your community.

1. Intimacy with God

This is the essential message to developing a culture of prayer. God has designed prayer as a means for His people to connect with Him relationally. Many believers relate to God as a servant without revelation of His desire to be known by them. If people relate to God through a lens of service, duty or shame, they won’t pray. And when they do, it will be dutiful and shame-filled. Prayer is the communication path that is born from a heart filled with love and a desire. When I teach the intimacy message, I teach it from one of three angles: The Knowledge of God, The Father Heart of God and The Bridal Paradigm. Intimacy with God is the foundational component to developing a culture of prayer.

2. Eschatology

Because of alarmist teaching and false predictions, many have shied away from messages on the end of the age. However, the clear testimony of the New Testament is that the believers are to be motivated to live righteously in light of the impending return of the Lord (Rom 13:11-13, Eph 5:14-16). The study of the end of the age not only gives believers urgency to live righteously now, it also gives them perspective that goes beyond this life. Paul said if we only hope in Christ for this life we are to be pitied above all men (1 Cor 15:19). Eschatology, then, is an incredibly helpful message that produces perspective and urgency in the heart of believers.

3. Breakthrough

In addition to having a view to the end of the age and the age to come, it’s critical that our faith is engaged in seeing breakthrough now. David said he would have given up unless he believed He would see God’s goodness manifest in this age (Psalm 27:13). The vision for breakthrough adds an immediacy to our faith. There is a fullness of grace, revelation and power available to us now. We must recognize there is always more available. The vision of seeing God’s kingdom manifest in authority now, producing mass harvest, causes our hearts to have stamina to contend in prayer for the long haul.

4. Fasted Lifestyle

The Sermon on the Mount is Jesus main teaching on the values of the Kingdom. It’s where we get the concept of living the fasted lifestyle. If we encourage others to embrace Jesus’ value system, it will aid us in establishing a culture of prayer. The Sermon on the Mount calls believers to embrace a lifestyle that resists immediate gratification in exchange for faithfulness in righteousness over time. This requires restraint in many areas, thus – the fasted lifestyle. As believers get the message of the fasted lifestyle they experience the manifold grace of God. His grace empowering our hearts, keeping us free from carnal entanglements, is critical to developing a culture of prayer.

5. Justice

The message of justice adds intensity and vision for intercession. I’m going with the broadest definition of justice which includes, ministry to the lost, the poor, the orphan, widow & the oppressed. Justice sets our heart on seeing all the wrong things made right. Nothing fuels intercession quite like the recognition of God’s desires concerning the great needs that exist in the earth. When we touch the truth of who He is as the Just one, our desires to see justice established mushroom. Partnering with Him in intercession and becoming available to be the answer to our own prayers, spurs us to continue to pray.

When taken altogether these messages can have a powerful impact in transforming the culture of your ministry. Start with the intimacy message and allow the Lord to build from there. There’s no substitute for having a heart alive in love as the foundation for developing prayer culture. Once intimacy is firmly rooted in the culture add the other components. Continually proclaim from the lenses of one of these messages and you will develop a culture that breeds prayer and worship as a culture.

What other messages have you heard that have helped you to live a lifestyle of prayer and fasting?

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5 responses to 5 Messages Essential to Establishing a Culture of Prayer

  1. 

    Gratitude for the ways that God has moved in your own life. I feel like heart that has experienced first hand God moving as a result of prayer, will be more motivated to continue to pray, especially during ‘dry’ times.

  2. 

    ” It can’t be an empty parroting, they must learn the messages at the heart level. A leader must be moved by the message himself, if he expects to move his hearers. Once he learns the messages, he can then declare them and begin to shift the culture…. There’s no substitute for having a heart alive in love as the foundation for developing prayer culture.” I totally agree, I’ve been waiting for some like mindedness or at least some words to explain what I have been feeling when I am listening to preachers that preach messages straight from their notes, but not really talking to the congregation, I am left going home unfed because they preach from a place of deadness with messages that don’t even pierce their own hearts. I don’t really know of many that preach on the REAL RAW Bible, either. In some aspects the message may be uplifting, but they don’t teach us how to pray or how to go about living a fasted lifestyle, or about the end of the age, and because of that a large portion of the Body of Christ is left immature. This was really helpful, I pray that those who are teaching would wake up and stop playing around with us with these prosperity messages and self-help seminars.. Where is Jesus in their preaching? What has become of The Cross in their preaching?

    • 

      @Kiah,
      Thanks for your comment. You know, just reading the quote from my blog also reminded me that sometimes the best way to get the message in your heart is to just preach it at the level you have it until it goes deeper into your own soul. This is honestly what I did the first year I planted the house of prayer. I can’t say that I had the messages at a depth, but I offered what I did have and the Lord added to it.

      • 

        Thank you for responding! 🙂 I’m glad He added to it, I hope I didn’t seem divisive ^-^, but thank you for being used by Him and finding that treasure for yourself and taking it seriously because I don’t hear many that preach like you.

  3. 

    The message by Lou Engle on the Nazarite Vow made such a huge impact on me!