Prayer can move mountains. (Pixabay/reenablack)

At Grace Hills, having sensed something of the direction God was taking us as a community, we declared 2017 to be "the year of the breakthrough." And we've seen breakthrough!

  • People have come to know Jesus and have been baptized.
  • Marriages have gotten back on track toward unity.
  • People have discovered and committed to biblical community.

And much more. God's Spirit has been stirring our hearts as we've gathered before him. And it's left us wanting more of what God wants to give us, which really means, it's left us wanting to give ourselves more to his control and influence.

We held a worship celebration recently and referred to it as an "All-In Gathering," but it was really a meeting filled with prayer, praise and a little bit of preaching, too. The night culminated in us huddling together as a church family around the stage, praying over our leaders and asking God to show us how to follow him into the future more faithfully.

There were nine particular prayers we prayed, repeatedly, throughout the night and that we're going to continue to pray over our church family. I want to invite believers everywhere to pray these prayers over your church family as well.

1. God, Give Us a Breakthrough in Evangelism

God, remove the blinders from the eyes of unbelievers so that the gospel we are sharing will connect with their minds, hearts and wills. Empower us, as You've promised to do, to be faithful in sharing our own faith-stories and the life-changing story of Jesus' death for the sins of the world. Help us to faithfully proclaim the life-changing power of the message of the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

2. God, Give Us a Breakthrough in Discipleship

God, help us to identify people into whom we can pour our time, our lives and our knowledge. Help us to dive deeper into our personal relationships with You than ever before and to be formed, by Your Spirit and Your Word, into the likeness of Jesus Christ. And help us sustain a multiplying movement of disciple-makers.

3. God, Give Us a Breakthrough in Community!

God, help us to live authentic lives with others, studying the Bible, holding each other accountable, offering encouragement and going deeper together. Give us friends who make us more like Jesus and help us to reflect God's love to others.

4. God, Give Us a Breakthrough in Ministry and Serving

God, thank You for giving, entirely by grace, gifts for each of us to use in ministering to each other. Point us toward having the hearts of servants. Open our eyes to the needs of other people around us and give our pastors wisdom as they equip us all for the work of the ministry.

5. God, Give Us a Breakthrough in Our Mission

God, help us to want what You want—the joy and gladness of all the nations as they hear Your story of redemption. Open doors and empower us to go to new fields and people groups with the gospel. And help us to live missionally in our everyday lives, representing You in our neighborhoods and workplaces. Help us bring the nations into the white-hot enjoyment of Your glory!

God, help us also to see our role in our communities as redemptive. Use Your good news about Jesus to bring about reconciliation between ethnicities and factions. Help us to be healers in a hurting world.

6. God, Give Us a Breakthrough for Families

God, for broken marriages, we plead for healing! For relationships between parents and children that are strained, we pray for unity. We pray that the enemy would be rebuked in his attempt to undermine the stability of families all around us.

7. God, Give Us a Breakthrough in Our Vision

God, break our hearts under the burden of our broken cities and give us the vision and energy to keep on growing churches that influence their communities with the light and love of the gospel. Increase our desire to see massive movements of people, drawing other people along in following Jesus. Forgive us of small or self-centered thinking. Help us to think bigger and pray kingdom-oriented prayers.

8. God, Give Us a Breakthrough in Generosity

God, we trust You to provide for your work entirely, but we know that You often choose to provide for Your work by raising up givers. God, bring financial peace and healing to people trapped under the burden of debt, and release people to give and invest joyfully into the growth of Your kingdom. Help us to give in a way that reflects Your own giving nature to others.

9. God, Give Us a Breakthrough in Worship

God, we want to strive to be a church that you want to bless. Help us to so humble ourselves that we compel You to empower us like never before for ministry. And help us to communicate such joy, such truth, such grace and such passion in our worship that we compel others to join the experience of praising You.

The more we come to depend on an all-powerful God to show Himself strong through our weakness, the more God will move among his people. Let's pray as never before for God to expand the witness and influence of His church in this world.

God, give us a breakthrough!

Brandon Cox has been a pastor since he was 19 and has served churches, large and small, including serving as a pastor at Saddleback Church. Currently, he is planting a purpose-driven church in northwest Arkansas. He also serves as editor of pastors.com and Rick Warren's Pastors' Toolbox and authors a top 100 blog for church leaders, as well as a blog about men's issues, a blog about blogging and a blog about social media.

This article originally appeared at brandonacox.com.

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