What happened when 22 people prayed, name by name, for an entire city of over 13,000?
It’s an amazing story about all of the blessings bestowed upon 22 intercessory prayer warriors who wanted to do something for God.
The time – September
The place – A small city in upstate New York.
Beautiful original watercolor painting by Nancy R. Gonzalez
The Vision – In a city of a little over 13,000 in northern New York on the banks of the St. Lawrence Seaway, another far-reaching effective method and methodology has been launched to carry out the “great commission” – it’s called PRAYER EVANGELISM.
In this campaign to reach the populace of this city, 22 intercessory prayer warriors, led by one man, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and the Senior Pastor, who has a heart for God, of one small church in a small upstate New York city made plans to pray for every individual (by name) who lived in this city, all 13,014 of them, some 7,168 households – a somewhat daunting task.
They reasoned that rather than talking to people about God . . . they would talk to God about people.
What gave them courage to try to reach the community for Jesus Christ was the belief that the Holy Spirit had led them to take action in addition to the full knowledge of the scriptural mandate that Paul gave the people in I Timothy 2: 1-4 – that supplications, prayers, intercession and givings of thanks be made for ALL MEN.
I Timothy 2: 1-4 “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
The one man had heard of a prior PRAYER EVANGELISM story that took place in a tiny midwestern town; with people praying for each member of the town, name by name, lifting each one up to God and being led by the Holy Spirit for what to pray for in each individual’s life.
This small midwestern town’s PRAYER EVANEGLISM project was written about in a Daily Bread devotional some years prior.
What no one seemed to know though, including the author of the Daily Bread article, was what the results of their intercessory prayers for this midwestern town.
Did this midwestern town take the community for Jesus?
What happened to the people who were prayed for?
And what happened to the intercessory prayer warriors who started praying for the people in the community, one by one?
No one really knew and still to this day don’t know . . . since the author of the Daily Bread article didn’t follow up to see what happened.
He just reported what they were going to do for God – to be obedient and bring more people into His Kingdom by praying for every member of the community.
Even so, the author of the Daily Bread article couldn’t remember the name of the town.
It had just been too long since he had written the story and he didn’t have an opportunity to keep track of the results.
Even so, emboldened and encouraged by the prospect of a positive outcome for their community, 22 prayer warriors from that small church in northern New York took the inspired idea and ran with the example.
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, they found a simple way to get the names of all the people via the Internet and started dividing their city into lists of names from A to Z.
With a target date of 6 months to finish the project, starting with 22 praying volunteers, each volunteer committed to praying for three of their fellow citizens on the list a day, one by one, name by name.
Lifting each one up before the Lord as the Holy Spirit would lead them.
In all, they would have to pray for over 13,000 people and over 7,000 homes to reach their goal of praying for the entire town, each person in the city, each individual one by one.
Each intercessory volunteer was to pray daily asking the Lord to intercede on behalf of each person on the list that they prayed for.
But as time went on and the number of volunteers dwindled, the task became even more daunting, even overwhelming.
As more prayer volunteers dropped out or failed to finish their list, the prospect of finishing the task seemed like it was doomed to fail.
The question was, would they ever finish?
And so, after 5 1/2 months and thousands of people prayed for, the momentum has been lost and was down to the last two volunteers; the man who had read the original PRAYER EVANGELISM story in the Daily Bread article, contacted the Author, was inspired by the Holy Spirit to present the idea to his Pastor and started the prayer evangelism outreach, and the man’s wife.
When everyone else had either dropped out or lost focus, the remaining couple had become weary of praying as well, had backslid and discouraged because they did not know what kind of impact they were making, or if they were even making an impact on the community at all.
The two had completely stopped praying for their target list of three people, the fifteen minutes they spent opening themselves up to the Holy Spirit to pray for the neighbors seemed like it was somewhat unfruitful, even though God’s spirit was moving behind the scenes.
But one day, the man who started the PRAYER EVANGELISM, prompted by the Holy Spirit, began rechecking the lists and realized that there were only a scant 300 names left on one list – a far cry from the over 13,000 names they started with.
With only 300 names to go, they could reach their goal of praying for the entire community, one person by one person, one name by one name, one family by one family!
With renewed enthusiasm, the man told his wife that regardless of how long it took, he was going to pick the list up, not give up and continue the PRAYER EVANGELISM – even if he was the only one praying, until everyone had been prayed for – so that which was started was completed.
Once she heard that there only 300 names left to pray for, she eagerly agreed to help him.
And so they started once again to pray, only this time the finish line was in sight, the goal could be achieved as they could both see light at the end of the tunnel, 300 names was a piece of cake, a short sprint, a walk in the park and not the daunting marathon they had already endured.
With only 300 names to go, the couple would tally their results, almost hourly, sometimes taking time over the weekend to pray all day for 20 or 30 people more than just three per day they targeted as a daily goal when they started.
It was the hardest work he had ever done, he later admitted.
The heaven burden to finish praying for the list of 13,000 weighed heavily on him even though he wasn’t even from the community.
But in his spirit, he knew that God wanted this task completed.
Only months later did the couple find out that another couple who initially volunteered from the church but lived in Florida part of the year had continued praying as well.
Previously evangelists involved in a great spiritual revival that swept through upstate New York were told not even to bother with the city, to bypass it completely.
There was a bastian of strongholds that had been present and had lasted many years over the area.
Finally, the day came when the praying couple realized that it would be the very last day they would have to pray for their community, there were only 5 names left on the list.
Had they remembered everyone?
Were all of the A to Z lists prayed for?
Had they perhaps missed a letter of the alphabet with more names yet to pray for?
After thoroughly checking, they realized that they had finally finished praying for all of the names on the list.
Every last member of the community had been prayed for!
What happened after they had finished praying?
What did God do to glorify himself and answer their prayers when they had finished what seemed like a daunting task?
Well, not only did God answer the prayers of those who were prayed for, but God is still answering prayers for that city, it’s people and those who stayed the course.
It wasn’t until the very last names in that city list were prayed for, thanks to the volunteer prayer warriors of 22 from that small church.
What happened after almost 6 months of praying was nothing short of miraculous!
Things happened that only God could orchestrate, because He did answer the prayers of His people, as He said He would.
Miracle upon miracle.
Some miracles made known, the multitude of which may never be known as His Spirit continues to move over the entire city and surrounding communities.
- A man and his wife received a $50,000 law suit settlement against the world’s largest retailer (they had actually fired their lawyer and handled the case on their own, being led by the Holy Spirit.)
- Several received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior one Saturday morning, led by a worship team leader of the church’s ministry outreach (the Saturday morning meeting was the very last meeting they were holding for the season, when all the parents and children were in attendance).
- Not one, but two major employers, Lowe’s and Walgreen’s built retail stores and provided employment for the people.
- The city was named a finalist in the nationwide All-American City competition.
- Many, many physical healings that can only be attributed to God.
- The community had scores of people from the city and surrounding community, hungry for God, start going to church again.
Which leads us to ask, if you’ve followed along this far, would you like to do something very important for God and be eternally blessed right now?
Do you want God to show His glory and answer your prayers for others?
God is patiently waiting to hear YOUR prayers for others in your community, for your friends, neighbors, people you know and people you don’t know even know.
If you simply TALK TO GOD ABOUT PEOPLE BEFORE YOU TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT GOD, you can and will be assured of His blessing and total success!
God doesn’t fail to answer His people’s prayers for others.
What you do for others, God will do for you.
Why not start your very own PRAYER EVANGELISM in your own neighborhood, community, town or city or street or church or family for that matter anywhere you feel led to start, and BE BLESSED NOW!
God’s waiting for you to take the first step.
And you don’t even have to get out of your pajamas, memorize a scripture or say one word to anyone to be a blessing to God, to do something for Him.
Simply open yourself up to the Holy Spirit and let him direct your prayers.
Of course, it certainly wouldn’t hurt if you did talk to others about His glory, but nevertheless, He is always there, waiting to hear directly from YOU, as you stand in the gap and pray for others you may or may not know.
What are we waiting for?
You can do something important for God and be a blessing to Him and others by simply asking Him to send His Spirit to minister to others and draw them ever closer to Him.
You can do it.
Be a complete blessing to Him and be blessed right now!
The choice is yours.
He’s anxiously waiting to hear from YOU!
To discover more about how to start or enhance your own PRAYER EVANGELISM for your community, simply click on the 7 Simple Steps To Start Your Own Powerful PRAYER OUTREACH Page on this blog and BE BLESSED NOW! , or
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