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A Vision for a Praying Church
By Guest Author on April 27th, 2012

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse. ” (Malachi 4:5–6)

Each Friday at 6:00am at the International House of Prayer of Kansas City, we pray for the fatherless. I have had the privilege of leading this prayer meeting for about a year—and what a gift this has been to my heart! We pray often from Malachi 4:5–6; we agree with the Lord’s promise in this passage to send the spirit of Elijah, turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of children to their fathers.

During the course of this year, I have asked the Lord what He says concerning Malachi 4:5–6, and He has convinced me at a greater level of His jealous, strong, and enduring love for children. He has put dreams and desires in my heart for these children that I know are His own. Above all, He has convinced me of the wisdom of standing with Him in the place of prayer for their precious lives.

In the place of intercession, I have become certain that my prayers are effective and necessary. The uncreated, all-powerful God loves to partner with weak and broken people who pray that He will pour out the desires of His heart on a hurting and dying world. This is how He has set up His kingdom!

In the face of such daunting crises like fatherlessness, we, even in the Church, tend to imagine that we can bring a real solution to the problem by using our own strength. We cover these self-dependent efforts with spiritual language, forgetting to heed the Word’s countless exhortations to pray. When we don’t pray, we end up discouraged in our pursuit of solving the problem and with our inability to bring any real and lasting change—ultimately we pull out of the fight altogether.

How much differently would this situation look in our own cities, in our own nation, and in the nations of the earth if the Church began to partner with God in prayer, believing Him to do what He’s promised He would do in His Word?

I have a vision for a Church rising up with intercession, believing God to do what He longs to do for every fatherless boy and girl. I have a vision for a Church rising up, full of godly families, compelled with love for Jesus, and carrying the burden of His heart.

–Vanessa Cisneros

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