Blog Introduction: Strategic Intercessory Prayer: Implications for Mission Advancement
Some years ago I was doing research at a Mission headquarters in the Global South. The mission archivist walked by me one day with a binder, turned around, and said, “Hey Dan, this might interest you”. I looked it over – a “Compilation of ‘How to Reach the World by the Year AD. 2000”. We chuckled as we saw the far fetched and unrealized plans many organizations had put together. The historian then threw it into the garbage because, as he said, it had ‘no historical value’.
It wasn’t until he left the room that it dawned on me. I myself have been part of those groups. The ones helping to strategize around the board room table – determining how as a mission organization we can ‘reach the world’.
Was our time and resources worth it – only to wind up in the garbage a few short years later?
What about the noble efforts – but mostly unrealized – from the experienced groups in the binder? Was it all worth it – or just a waste of time and resources?
I started thinking about Jesus, who after three years of ministry said: “It is finished”. What, pray tell, made the difference between Him and our well intentioned efforts? This blog is dedicated to those who are searching for the answer to that question: Christian leaders, and a new generation of intercessors.
After thirty plus years in Christian and mission leadership positions I believed, it was time to start capturing on paper the amazing ways I have observed God at work. Analyzing these patterns eventually led me to a desire to conduct academic research with the goal of sharing my findings with others.
This blog series seeks to examine lessons learned from Biblical characters, the Early Church and their Fathers and historical movements right through to the present day. As we proceed, we will develop a model to help us grow in ‘strategic prayer’.
Some critical first observations are:
God is Sovereign and above all patterns or formulas;
- One gets tired of the simplistic “5 Easy Prayer Steps” approach. God seems to delight to “upset our formulaic apple carts”. Perhaps in order to dispel our pride, God works in new ways and often challenges our preconceptions! That truth withstanding, God has typically worked throughout history according to laws and patterns – which we hope to uncover, or more accurately ‘rediscover’ as, ‘there is nothing new under the sun’.
“The more you know, the more you don’t know”;
- The mystery of the majesty, sovereignty and timing of God continues to humble the most learned of us. One can only hope to get a glimpse into the ocean of God’s wisdom and grace – but that is better than nothing! Praying on our knees is not only a common posture of prayer but also one of humility. No one has the last word!
- The conclusion we determine will be that strategic Intercessory Prayer that advances God’s kingdom is found at the ‘intersection’ of God’s mission, timing – and our participation. How we arrive at that conclusion – and apply this to our situations, is the subject of this blog.
We will start with learning from a paradigm breaker: “Honest Abe? How Abraham redefined communication with God”.
Dan Baetz holds a Ph.D. from North West University, in addition to a French Language Certificate from Laval University. He is a father to six young adult children which has helped to greatly advance his prayer life! He has served in leadership positions through different ministry organizations within four Canadian provinces over a 35 year span. Dr. Baetz is currenlty the Canadian Director of Africa Inland Mission. To learn more about AIM follow the link to our website (http://ca.aimint.org ). For questions or feedback, email firstname.lastname@example.org