Martin Luther wrote, “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”
If that statement is true, then America is in danger of losing her breath, for she is obviously lacking in prayer. America is in trouble. And perhaps the lack of corporate prayer contributes to our troubles.
But what if God’s people actually joined together and fulfilled the mandate of 2 Chron. 7:14? Will the nation change if Christians corporately humble themselves, pray as one body, seek God’s face, and turn from sinful ways?
Bryan Fischer of American Family Radio believes much change would come through powerful corporate prayer. He spoke recently with AFA Journal about pray.afa.net, an online prayer website. Fischer explained that the key to praying prayers God hears and answers lies not only in how we pray but also what we pray.
“The Bible tells us in 1 John 5:14 that God hears every prayer prayed according to His will,” stated Fischer. “So, God assures us if we pray according to His will, then He will hear that prayer, receive that prayer, respond to that prayer, and act on that prayer.”
Fischer practices what he preaches. In 1983, he began a structured Bible reading cycle. Then, in 2000, while pastoring in Boise, Idaho, Fischer created an online resource for men in his congregation to connect through Scripture and prayer. Using his paced reading plan, Fischer and congregants covered the whole counsel of God’s Word in a three-year period.
“I began writing prayers based on my daily passages of Scriptures,” Fischer said. “I just started crafting prayers incorporating the very words of those Scriptures.”
The results of their corporate prayers were astounding. Their entire church experienced a greater sense of unity and purpose, and specific prayers were answered.
Fischer was not altogether surprised. “The Bible is the revealed will of God, beginning to end,” he said. “If you craft prayers formed from the Bible, then every prayer is prayed according to the will of God. Therefore, we know God will hear those prayers and respond to those prayers.”
Fischer brought his scriptural prayer philosophy to AFR in 2009 when he moved to AFR’s flagship station to host Focal Point, a daily two-hour show on AFR Talk (1:00-3:00 p.m. CT). Each day, he opens the show with that same cycle of reading, teaching, and praying from the Bible. Listeners began to respond, and Bryan was given the green light to share his Scripture and prayer format online at pray.afa.net.
Each day’s prayer is short but powerful. Fischer encourages users to personalize each prayer as narrowly or broadly as desired. He encourages others to use the website as a tool to help establish a personal daily prayer discipline.
He reminds online prayer partners that the power in these corporate prayers comes strictly from God. Fischer also steadfastly insists world change will occur when Christians come together as one body, praying God’s Word back to Him.
Fischer cited passages in Revelation 8 speaking of the prayers of all God’s people poured out on the golden altar as incense before God. At one point, the angel is given so much incense (so many prayers) that he is instructed to hurl them back to earth. The effect is immediate and intense.
In essence, the many prayers in that example moved Almighty God. That image of many prayers poured out before God is the heart of pray.afa.net. It is also the heart of Fischer’s mission and ministry.
pray.afa.net is a guide for “praying the Bible.”
Editor’s Note: This originally appeared in the AFA Journal Dec. 2017 here under the title “The pattern of biblical prayer.”