5 Step Prayer Strategy for Harvest and Transformation

Close up of a family playing together

You may be surprised how simply we can work with God and each other to see Jesus breakthrough in our homes, churches, local cities and nations.

  1. Home Prayer Altar: We all first establish powerful prayer in our home for our family and neighbourhood.
  2. Church Prayer Altar: We all next contribute to building powerful prayer in our local church for the salvation of people in the reach of the church members.
  3. Community Prayer Altar: We all, as local churches, intercessors, pastors and societal leaders, gather regularly in united prayer for our town or local city.
  4. Demolish Regional Strongholds: Once we are strong in unity, maturity and  our authority in Christ, representative faithful long term pastors, intercessors and leaders who have established the kingdom of God in their region will be led by the Holy Spirit to remove evil powers that hold the region in bondage.
  5. Harvest and Transformation: Once the blindfolds are removed, it is much easier for the gospel of the kingdom to be shared and received by the people in this region and for kingdom life to flourish abundantly.

This 5 step prayer strategy is based on liberating definitions brought by Samuel Hofmann, from the International Prayer Council. God has used Samuel’s prayer, with elders in their regions, to bring peace and salvation in the darkest war torn Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist places of the world. Samuel comes from the Jesus House in Herrnhut, Germany – where the Moravians prayed 24/7 for 100 years  from 1727 and from where they brought the gospel to the world.

How do you define prayer altars?

Again and again the Bible describes how God led His people to establish prayer altars on earth  – as in heaven (371 references in ESV). A prayer altar may be represented by a regular place and times for prayer, but the significance of the prayer altar is that we create a commitment to be set apart in friendship – intimate covenant relationship and constant communication with God. (Psalm 25:14 TPT) The prayer altar is a heart space where we cultivate our availability to hear what is on God’s heart – His secrets and plans – so we  know what to agree with in our prayer and what we do. At the prayer altar we surrender ourselves to our Father’s will – His kingdom come on earth.

The fragrance of Christ is present around those who linger in His presence and God’s presence and power is evident in places where there is extensive prayer and worship –  creating an “open heaven” – an atmosphere in our homes, churches and communities where it is easier for the people around us to encounter Jesus and His kingdom.

“Prepare the way for the people; build up the highway; clear it of stones; lift up a signal over the peoples.” Isaiah 62:6-12

We, at Partners in Prayer & Evangelism, seek to support you to sequentially build prayer altars so together we will take back our nation, one local city at a time.

Step 1. Home prayer altars

Shot of a group of people holding hands and praying together

The first step is for us each to establish an ongoing commitment to personal prayer. This includes praying in our homes for our wives and husbands, families and neighbours  – and praying in agreement with our wives and husbands, family and neighbours. (Joshua 24:15, Matthew 18:18-20)

Regular, fervent and sustained times at the home prayer altar build our hunger  for adorational worship and encounter with God’s presence. (Song of Songs 4:6 TPT) At the home altar our intimacy with God and each other builds, equipping us and our children to discern the Holy Spirit’s leading and practise listening across gender and age differences so we build each other up and grow in favour,  joy and spiritual maturity – holiness. As elders in our homes we model repentance and forgiveness (Matthew 5:23-24) to release our family, flatmates and neighbours from personal and familial patterns of sin (strongholds) into freedom in Jesus. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6) Answered prayer build our confidence in Jesus’ love, power and authority and enables us to see God’s  supernatural intervention, His will done in our homes, neighbourhoods and the nations.

Our Father’s love moves us with His compassion for the lost and leads us to overflow in love for our neighbours. Get to know your neighbours and pray for them regularly by name – talking to God about them before you talk to them about God – so you are aligned with Father’s heart and His authority and words,  and God given timing and opportunities to hear their felt needs, bless them, help in practical ways, pray for them and share the gospel with them.

To reach our neighbours we need to go to them so it is vital that we prayer walk around our homes, local parks, schools – proclaiming God’s blessing and sovereignty over our whole local area.

“Put on the full armour of God – your feet fitted with the readiness that comes form the gospel of peace.” Ephesians 6:10-20 “And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” Romans 16:20

We, at Partners in Prayer & Evangelism, can help you build your home prayer altar; and work with pastors as you support your congregations to do this.

Step 2. Church prayer altars

Large party group of people holding their arms and hands high in the air during an Outdoor Concert

“My house will be called a house of prayer.” Matthew 21:13

Once we have a home prayer altar, our challenge is to build the church prayer altar. Regular times of fervent sustained prayer & worship refresh us corporately  – aligning us with our Father’s will and empowering us to do what He says. Is prayer the bedrock of your church service, decision making and calendar? We are called to gather in regular fellowship to worship and pray in agreement, to pray for each other and for labourers for the harvest.

At the church prayer altar we grow in spiritual encounter and maturity and are equipped to use our giftings, working together maturely as one across age, ethnic and cultural differences. (Ephesians 4:1-16) Elders at the church altar train us to hear and obey the  word of God and to discern and align together with what the Holy Spirit is saying.  Our corporate agreement is powerful and crucial for authority in Christ and victory over the enemy’s schemes (2 Corinthians 2:10-11, 1 Peter 5:8-9)  that seek to entrap congregations: distracting our focus from Christ; keeping us too busy or divided to obey what Jesus asks us to do; draining our love for the lost; and immobilising us from sharing the gospel.

From the church altar, and with the ongoing backing of the church prayer altar, we are equipped, empowered and led by the Holy Spirit to go as Jesus’ disciples into our local area, prayer walking and ministering to our neighbours, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and releasing God’s love, mercy, healing and blessing to the world. (Matthew 24:14, Luke 10) The church altar establishes an enduring relational base for building spiritual authority and intervention in a local area and equipping and sending labourers to this area and across our nation and the nations.

We can help you build your church prayer altar. 

  • Discover how to host Spirit filled prayer meetings and see answered prayer.
  • Consider hosting regular days of prayer & worship e.g. monthly Day2Pray.
  • We invite you to register your church prayer altar in our ongoing prayer relay to draw others to pray at your church. You can use the map of praying groups and churches to find local churches you can work with to build a community prayer altar in your local city.

Step 3. Community prayer altars

volunteer with arm raised at sunset

Community prayer altars are established through prayerful agreement between local churches and key leaders representing the Body of Christ in their community. Together they need to arise in their God given spiritual authority, to explicitly invite Jesus Christ to reign as Lord over their area, releasing His kingdom – abundant life giving atmosphere over the people, flora, fauna, economy etc. When we are the Body of Christ – one church with many congregations we can effectively prayer walk, evangelise and serve our community.

How do you define unity?

“I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” John 17:23
“I… urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 5:1-5

When we unite with God we find ourselves in unison with each other. This is harmony rather than uniformity – releasing each to fulfil their part. When we embrace and collaborate across gender, denomination, age groups, ethnicity, language and cultural diversity, we feel the Lord’s pleasure and see His power released effectively to all the people groups we represent.

How do you define a community?

Community prayer altars are built through relationship so it makes sense to primarily focus on local communities. Samuel Hofmann confirmed that ideally community prayer altars will be established in each town or local city (i.e. municipality) where there is opportunity for real relationship across the Body of Christ – easy proximity, shared purpose and frequent connection. A city like Melbourne has 31 local cities within it and we need to build and hold the kingdom one local city at a time.

Community prayer altars are built through long term faithful relationships among intercessors, pastors and leaders who commit to meet regularly, as brothers and sisters in Christ, to communicate, pray and co-discern so they can pray in agreement and equip the saints from multiple churches/ denominations/ workplaces etc with frequent opportunities to gather to pray in agreement – as one – for their local city neighbours and neighbourhoods.

Community prayer altars have many forms and functions:

  • Regular prayer groups -involving people from multiple churches – meeting to pray for their comunity.
  • Groups regularly (e.g. weekly) prayer walk in the local community to discern, pray (silently) and engage with the community.
  • Spiritual atmospheres shift when the Body of Christ in a region unites to pray & worship openly in public spaces (parks, workplaces, cafes etc). Examples include Prayer Breakfasts, Christmas carol events and spontaneous prophetic prayer walking events.
  • Local churches collaborating to host united public regional gatherings e.g. a day of corporate prayer & worship in the region each 3 months.
  • Groups host regional gathering places –  Houses of Prayer for All People Groups.
  • Community prayer altars can represent broader territories, nations and global regions. Periodically Australians gather at state or national or international community prayer altars to seek God’s face and worship Him together (2 Chronicles 7:14). These include annual commitments – National Day of Prayer & Fasting & 40 Days or times for prayer for elections or crisis when God’s intervention is urgently needed.
  • Through online prayer rooms we are able to gather on a daily basis across our nation to pray for Australia. Join us online via Prayer Call.

We can help you build community prayer altars – and connect – locally, regionally, nationally and globally

Step 4. Demolish regional strongholds

Beautiful orange sunset sky with light rays going through clouds

“The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:4

We struggle to see fruit if we are labouring for harvest, revival and transformation without first asking God to overthrow the schemes of the enemy that reign in our region.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
“Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:18-20

How do you define regional strongholds?

Once the local homes, churches and community altars are established, our Lord recognises the Body of Christ in a region and releases his spiritual authority and strategies to bring down the evil spiritual forces that hold the region in blindness and bondage. These evil forces have been given power over a region by our historic permission and agreement, and they have gained a stronghold by becoming established in our society’s beliefs, cultural patterns and laws. We should not be naive in tackling territorial spirits. The relational wisdom, experience, unity and authority gained from building the relevant  community altar is needed to demolish evil strongholds and establish and maintain the hold of the kingdom of heaven in this region.

As representative groups prayer & fast together, the Holy Spirit will identify the schemes and strongholds of the enemy over your region and lead appointed teams in His specific strategies for how to bring down these evil schemes and strongholds. It is vital that teams who are appointed by the Holy Spirit humbly wait upon and obey God’s leading together in His timing. See how Jesus modelled this with ordinary disciples in local regions and then saw Satan fall from the sky. (Luke 10:1-24).

Samuel Hofmann advises that intercessors prayer walk their community together once a week to see what God reveals and report this to local city elders, who meet to pray monthly, so that together they can discern and obey the Holy Spirit’s strategic leading.

How do you define city elders?

Samuel Hofmann has finally given us a definition of elders that we can activate straight away! He said, elders are simply faithful long term pastors and intercessors, who meet once a month to pray for their local city. (We’d include faithful long term leaders from the spheres of society in this. ) Samuel suggested we focus on elders of local cities  – not for example seeking the elders of ‘Greater Melbourne’!

I have personally searched for God’s definition of city elders for 15 years! Evidently this has been a stumbling block that held us back from breakthrough. Many of us recognise that in the years that we have prayed, fasted and searched for city elders, we have become ‘faithful long term pastors and intercessors’!

We can help you identify and work with the faithful long term pastors and intercessors in your local city!

  • Is this you?
  • Do you know faithful long term pastors and intercessors in your local city? Get in touch.
  • See Pray for Melbourne: 31 day Local City Prayer Plan. We will be praying for teams to arise in each of these local cities so we can work together to discern and implement safe prayer assignments. 

Step 5. Reap the Harvest and Measure God’s Transformation in Your Local City

evi-radauscher-325004 harvest sm

“I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God.” Acts 26:17-18

When the battle has been won in the spiritual realm – it changes the spiritual atmosphere over the local city, making it easier for people to discern the Holy Spirit’s convictions, hear the gospel and receive Jesus as Saviour, Lord and Restorer.

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you…'”Say to them, the kingdom of God has come near you.” Luke 10:1-3a,9

How do you define a good harvest?

In 2017 alone, Every Home for Christ brought 19 million 400,000 people to Christ! The rate of conversions has been rising since 1945 but shot up exponentially after 2012, when they established Jericho Center – as a prayer watch over the ministry. This week I had the privilege to be on a zoom call with Dick Eastman who had just been at the funeral of Billy Graham. Dick reminded us that Billy Graham attributed their effectiveness in evangelism to a three part strategy. First, was prayer. Secondly, just as important, was prayer and finally more importantly, was prayer. The key is pray, pray,  pray! Pray at your home altar. Pray at your church altar. Pray at your community altar.

Partners in Prayer & Evangelism can help support you in equipping yourself and your church in local soul winning and in connecting with equipping evangelists and regional evangelism. 

How do you define transformation?

It is vital that community prayer altars are maintained after regional strongholds have been demolished – so ground is held against further inroads and the kingdom of God can manifest through God’s transformation of the region. The diverse experience and strength released through the community prayer altar enables powerful corporate social justice and evangelism initiatives to be built and maintained. When Jesus’ kingdom is evident on earth, there is reduced crime, abuse, addiction, depression death rates and increased employment, productivity and well-being.

We want to help local teams discern Spirit-led measurable prayer points, criteria and strategies, and disseminate these to connected church prayer altars, so you can define and measure transformation in your communities  – and give glory to God for His mercy and grace.

In summary

We need to sequentially build prayer altars as solid foundations for our homes, churches and community. Time together at the prayer altar leads us to mutually discern God’s perspective and strategy and His compassion for the lost. So we can work together as local city watchmen and elders to identify and demolish strongholds. So we are moved to go as labourers to reap a bountiful harvest and see Jesus’ kingdom come.

Before you take one step: please listen to David Wilkinson’s sermon, A Call to Anguish  (56 mins) 5 August 2012

Sue Tinworth,
sue@partnersinprayer.org.au www.partnersinprayer.org.au www.PrayfortheNations.com

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