During a group study on prayer one time, I had a good Christian man comment, “I just don’t know what you’d pray for after 10 minutes.” I’m sure many believers in Christ share his sentiment. Unfortunately, it comes from some misconceptions about the purpose and power of prayer. Often people pray for generic blessings in good times and specific interventions in bad times. Yet, if we’re on mission for Christ we need to learn to pray specifically about good things that our redeemed hearts would like to see happen. Jesus demonstrated this sort of proactive prayer when he taught his disciples, “Your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Much in this world needs to come under the kingdom authority of God in Christ. It is through prayer that we exert that kingdom authority.
To help communities of Christ followers pray strategically, we’ve developed “The Three O’s.” This form is based on Paul’s words from Colossians 4:2-6 where the apostle instructs his readers to be devoted to prayer, being watchful (observant) and thankful. Specifically they were to ask that obstacles be removed from before Paul that would open the door for further proclamation of the gospel. They themselves were to take note and advantage of opportunities they would have to share life with outsiders as well.
Though this tool is new, we’ve found it to be very effective in keeping the missional focus of our Life Teams as they gather to pray. Why not give it a try next time you meet?