Prayer: The Greater Work
“Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” ― Oswald Chambers
It is Thursday morning and a group of intercessors are gathered in the prayer room of Cherry Hills Community Church. “I feel like we need to stand” says a man who is praying against the effects of trauma on survivors of sex trafficking. “Yes!” agrees a woman who jumps up and raises her hands toward heaven. Scenes like this have become commonplace for a group of people who meet every week to pray over Rescue America and the mission to eradicate the sex industry.
This weekly prayer hour began a year ago. We had just learned the full scope of businesses selling sexual services in Colorado and felt overwhelmed, heart broken and moved to action. However, we knew immediately the best of strategies to attack this evil would be rendered impotent without first falling to our knees. The first action required was prayer. God had been growing our church community in the area of intercessory prayer over the last 2 years, calling us deeper into relationship with Him, instilling in us a desperation to hear His voice and see Him move. God’s power and grace had been pouring out in the form of signs and wonders, something many of us had never before experienced. We knew that without His holy power the chains of sexual addiction could not be broken. Without His power the devastating injury to survivors, pimps and buyers could not be healed. Without His power the Gospel could not go forth. Apart from Him we could do NOTHING. So, how do we access this power?
Paul Billheimer, in Destined for the Throne, describes the answer to that question. “It is like a safety deposit box in a bank vault. The keeper has a key and you have a key. Neither key alone will open the box. But when you give the keeper your key, he inserts both keys and the door flies open, making available all of the treasure stored in the box. Heaven holds the key by which decisions governing earthly affairs are made, but we hold the key by which those decisions are implemented...Prayer is not overcoming reluctance in God. It is not persuading Him to do something He is unwilling to do. It is ‘binding upon earth that which already has been bound in heaven.’ (Matthew 16:19) It is implementing His decision. It is enforcing His will upon earth. Prayer makes possible God’s accomplishing what He wants ...the content of all true prayer originates in the heart of God.” You have probably heard it said, “prayer is key.” The Lord has taught us it is literally THE KEY to unlock the power of heaven which longs to pour out treasures upon the earth!
What do our weekly meetings look like? We always begin with testimonies about what God has done. HE rescued a woman who had been trafficked since age 5. HE directed a woman in Washington to place the first call to the Rescue Denver hotline, took her to treatment in another state AND positioned her to report 4 women being trafficked on her flight. HE gave the exit strategists a safe place and program for every Survivor who has called the hotline. HE moved someone to give $30,000. Sharing testimonies is praising God for what He has done and who He is. We “enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise, giving thanks to Him, blessing His name.” (Psalm 100:4)
We ask God what He wants us to pray, knowing all prayer originates in His heart and should align completely with His will. We listen! Throughout the meeting we check in with each other to see what people may be hearing, seeing or sensing God communicate and then we respond.
We always go to His Word and pray Bible verses that He highlights for us. Praying three words from Scripture carries more weight than 300 words of our own. People often bring typed out Scripture for the group to pray so we are interceding in unity.
Paul Billheimer says “The only power that overcomes Satan and releases souls from his stranglehold is the power of the Holy Spirit, and the only power that releases the energy of the Holy Spirit is the power of believing prayer” Therefore, in faith I pray over you these stunning words of our King Jesus:
“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (Luke 10:19)