As children of God, we know that prayer is an important part of our relationship with the Lord.
However, It wasn’t until I watched the movie War Room that I understood the importance of having a specific and strategic plan for prayer. This movie opened my eyes to the concept of war room prayers – which basically is just a prayer strategy.
Having a plan and strategy for your prayers may seem like just another religious activity. Something to mark off your checklist.
Although, if we believe that prayer is powerful and able to effect change in our lives and circumstances, doesn’t it make sense that we would want a plan for implementing it?
Prayer is Our Spiritual Weapon for Spiritual Battle
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our wrongdoings, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus – Ephesians 2:4-6 NASB
Prayer is that which ushers us into the heavenly places. It is in this unseen, spiritual realm where we are seated with Christ.
However, there is also a battle that rages within these places. We must use spiritual weapons to fight in this battle. The greatest ammunition we have been given is the weapon of prayer.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ – 2 Corinthians 10:5-6 NASB
We have a very real enemy who operates in and among these heavenly places. He has a strategy against us. A strategy to devour, steal, kill, and destroy the abundant life that Jesus came to give us.
God wants us to live this life in the here and now experiencing His life, joy, peace, and love flowing from His Spirit He has placed within us.
The enemy wants us to live in fear, confusion, strife, and distraction. We need a prayer strategy because we need a plan to fortify and fight back against our spiritual enemy.
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8 NASB
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10 NASB
We Can Boldly Approach the Throne of God
There are many areas and circumstances in our lives that require the power and resources of heaven. Prayer is not only how we wage war in the heavenly places, it’s also how we approach the throne of God to make specific requests, supplications, and intercessions for these areas that require His grace.
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
How to Develop a Prayer Strategy
Developing a prayer strategy doesn’t need to be complex or difficult. It’s simply making a plan to pray over certain areas of your life and the lives of others.
Just to be clear, we don’t need to plan out every single prayer we lift up to our Father. We have a relationship with Him. Some of our prayers need to be spontaneous. Yet, there are certain areas that we need to be strategically praying over.
4 Main Strategic Prayer Points
I would suggest starting by compiling a list of your prayers. There are four main types of prayer to consider – long-term, short-term, declaration, and praise. What are your specific things to pray for every day? Here are a few examples of the things I like to strategically pray over.
1. Long-Term Prayers
Long term prayers are things that you want to be praying for on a continual basis. Here are some examples:
Spiritual condition and hearts of my children
The lost people in my life
Strength, provision, and kingdom fruit for missionaries around the world
My pastors and leaders
President and other national and world leaders
2. Short-Term Prayers
Short term prayers are prayers that do not require long-term consistency. Here are some examples of short-term prayers.
Requests of others
Things I feel anxious about
Requests for wisdom and clarity in a specific area
Declarations are prayers, promises, and precepts in God’s Word that you declare over different areas of your life and the lives of others. These can be spontaneous but are also just as effective and powerful when done strategically. Many of the songs that we sing in praise to the Lord include this element of declaration.
Declaration is a great way to transform your mind and counsel your heart with truth.
4. Praise and Thanksgiving
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
Just as prayer ushers us into heavenly places, praise and thanksgiving escort the peace of God into our minds. It is this peace that guards and protects us against fear and anxious thoughts.
Use Scripture to Pray Powerfully
Once you have started your list and have an idea of what you want to be strategically praying for, the next step is finding some scriptures to form the foundation of your prayers. Ask the Lord to show you (and yes, sometimes the Lord can speak through a google search) verses that apply directly to the area in which you are praying for.
Praying scripture is a powerful way to pray because we can be confident that we are praying according to the will of God.
This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. – 1 John 5:14
Examples of Scriptures to Pray
Here are a few examples of scriptures to pray over different areas.
Prayer For The Lost – God would you remove Jack’s heart of stone and give him a heart of flesh that he may walk in your statues and keep your ordinances and do them. Make that everlasting covenant with Him that he shall be your child and you shall be his God. – Ezekiel 11:19-20
Prayer For the Request of Another – Lord, your word says that if anyone lacks wisdom he should ask You. Would you please give my friend the wisdom she needs to make this difficult decision she is faced with? – James 1:5
Examples of Scriptures for Praise and Declaration
Here are some examples of Bible verses to use for declaring His truth.
I am blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ. – Ephesians 1:3
Because of God’s divine power, I have everything I need to live a godly life. – 2 Peter 1:3
God has not given me a spirit of fear. He gives me power, love, and self-discipline – 2 Timothy 1:7
I will exalt You, my God, the King, and I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever. – Psalm 145:1-2
Praise the Lord, all nations; sing His praises, all peoples! For His mercy toward us is great, and the truth of the Lord is everlasting. Praise the Lord! – Psalm 117
More Tips for an Effective Prayer Strategy
Here are a few other principles to keep in mind as you develop and apply your strategic plan for prayer.
Pray with Expectation
In the morning, Lord, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will present my prayer to You and be on the watch. Psalm 5:3 NASB
I love this! David presented his requests to the Lord at the beginning of his day, then he was watchful. He was expectant that the Lord would send an answer. When you pray, do it believing that God is going to answer. He will answer in His time and His way but expect that He will give a response.
Pray in Faith
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for the one who comes to God must believe that He exists, and that He proves to be One who rewards those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6 NASB
Our prayers need to be covered in the fragrance of faith. Faith is what pleases and gains the approval of our Father.
Stay Focused on His Kingdom
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you. Matthew 6:33 NASB
We should always prioritize God’s kingdom and glory above our own desires, preferences, and comforts. Continually ask the Lord to search, know, and reveal your heart’s true motives.
Use A Prayer Strategy Worksheet or Journal
Using a prayer journal is a great way to help you strategize and write out your specific prayers. You can use something as simple as a spiral notebook or binder. There are also some printable prayer journals you can find online.