Prayer Diary

A move of God amidst persecution  

Acts chapters 16 and 17

During this, his second missionary journey to establish new churches, Paul had a new partner with him in Silas. He had parted company with Barnabas, his fellow apostle on his first church planting journey, over a difference of opinion regarding John Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. Mark had accompanied them on their first journey but had turned round and returned home when things started to get too hot. Paul was not willing to take him again as was very aware of the potential troubles ahead for the apostle. So the ever-encouraging Barnabas took Mark to the relatively safe mission field of Cyprus, while Paul and Silas pressed onwards into new territory to evangelise.

Probably both of the apostles were right in their own way. Barnabas mentored and raised up the young Mark to the point where Mark would later become much bolder and be the assistant to the apostle Peter, and write down all of Peter’s preaching in the gospel that now bears Mark’s name. Paul, on the other hand, was able to go to tough places where he would face severe trials and persecution, together with Silas, who was equally strong enough to endure and overcome.

And so, guided by a vision from the Lord, Paul crosses the Aegean Sea, from Asia into Europe ending up in the important Roman colony of Philippi in Greece. This was a significant development for the spread of the gospel and the church. God was about to do significant things and our spiritual enemy knew it. Here is a clear example of the spiritual battle that those who are earnest about serving God may find themselves in. God opened up the heart of the wealthy business woman Lydia, so that she and her company were saved. When a demonised fortune-telling slave girl was set free , literally all the power of hell was let loose on Paul and Silas resulting in them being beaten up severely and imprisoned.

And in the midst of the trials, God worked in power as the earthquake broke open the prison doors resulting in a fearful jailor and all his household getting saved and baptised. Satan had overstepped himself on this occasion and Paul and Silas were able to turn the tables. By beating up Paul and Silas who both carried dual citizenship – Jewish and importantly in this case Roman, they had broken Roman law and would be subject to severe penalties if Paul pressed charges against them. This caused their fearful persecutors to apologise for their harsh treatment and ask them politely to leave.

When we understand we are in a real spiritual battle, when God is moving powerfully in our lives, we must expect opposition and trials. Satan does not have to worry about christians who are no threat to him and his kingdom of darkness, but rather those who are serious about their walk with God. But we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love him.

 

1st – Acts 16:1-2 Spoken well of

  1. Lord, cause us to so live as ambassadors for Christ that we will be respected for our faith in Christ even by those who are not christians
  2. Help us to remember, Lord, that you know our every thought, word and deed and may each one be acceptable to you
  3. Lord, may our actions and attitudes always speak louder than our words and may they reflect Christlikeness
  4. May we not just be ‘Sunday’ christians, O Lord, but ones who live for you each hour of every day
  5. Cause us to remember that wherever we are and whatever we do we are people are watching us so that may we not let you down O God

2nd – Acts 16:3-4 Praying for church leaders

  1. Lord, raise up those in our churches and in our nation who have a clear and powerful apostolic call and anointing to break new ground for Christ in this land
  2. We pray that you would raise up from amongst us and the churches of this land more prophets who will boldly speak the words of God in season and without fear
  3. Lord, raise up more true pastors who will encourage and equip the saints for works of service
  4. Release more evangelists through our churches and into this nation, O Lord

5.   Endow with wisdom, faith, courage and perseverance, all elders and others in church leadership, O God     

3rd – Acts 16:3-4 Praying for church leaders (2)

  1. Lord, make fruitful and bless all our discipleship leaders, men, women and youth, as they invest into the lives of your people
  2. Give wisdom to all those who lead and teach our children’s ministries and help them impart values that will remain for life, O Lord
  3. Always give a timely word in season to all those who lead and teach in our youth ministries, we ask
  4. Give wisdom and great satisfaction in all they do to all those in the church who lead or head up different ministries and renew their zeal, O Lord
  5. Lord, for all the potential leaders in our church who have not yet stepped into their positions, confirm your call on their lives and give the courage to take up their mantle

4th – Acts 16:5 Church growth

  1. Cause the church to grow daily in numbers
  2. Deepen our faith level, O Lord, that causes us to see your spiritual gifts operating daily through all the church members
  3. We pray that we would see all the discipleship groups growing through personal evangelism
  4. We pray for all the evangelism that takes place on the streets to see more and more people saved, healed and added to the church as a result
  5. As we pray for all our Sunday and mid-week church services, send revival, church growth and a multiplication of signs and wonders in our midst

5th – Acts 16:6-9 The plight of the unsaved

  1. Lead us to those people, Holy Spirit, whose hearts are ready to receive the gospel but who need someone to share the good news with them
  2. Show us, Holy Spirit, who you would have us speak to today about Christ
  3. We bring all our intercessors before you O Lord and ask that you would give them divine strategies as to how to pray for the unsaved
  4. Raise up from our midst more missionaries to go to those places you are calling them to preach the gospel
  5. We pray for all those countries our missionaries are working in and pray you would give them divine strategies to win the lost to Christ

6th – Acts 16:10 Dreams and visions

  1. Speak to us strategically in dreams and visions, O Lord
  2. When you speak to us in dreams and visions, O God, give us the wisdom and revelation to interpret them correctly
  3. Pour out upon your people a new anointing for revelations and visions from God that will bring significant consequences for the plans of the Kingdom of God
  4. Reveal to us the plans of the enemy also O Lord, so that we can always be aware of what the powers of darkness intend to do and so thwart them
  5. Stir up within each one of us any prophetic word that you may have given us some time ago and which we have neglected, so we can pray it into being

7th – Acts 16:11-13 The place of prayer 

  1. Holy Spirit prompt us continually to ensure we are never too busy that we neglect our daily time of meditation and prayer
  2. As we deal with the events of life each day, Holy Spirit, train us to be continually consulting you in all we do, so we may make the right decisions
  3. Teach us to listen as well as to speak so that our times of prayer are a continual dialogue between you and us
  4. Stir up the passion within us so that prayer at every level in the church is becoming ever more powerful and effective
  5. Draw more and more people to the prayer meetings, which are the heartbeat of the church, and as we seek you more in prayer cause significant changes

8th – Acts 16:14 A heart opened by God

  1. May our own hearts be fully open to you, O Lord, enabling you to speak clearly to us and give us a willing heart to respond to all you desire from us
  2. Lord, in all the areas of our lives that we have held back from you, break our resistance and cause us to be fully surrendered to you
  3. As we surrender our all to you, help us to let you be, not only our Saviour, but to have complete lordship over every part of our lives
  4. As we speak to people who do not yet know Jesus as Saviour, open their hearts as we tell the good news about Christ and may we see them respond
  5. Lord, cause each of us now to surrender all

9th – Acts 16:15 Baptism in water and an open house

  1. Lord, for all believers in the church who have not yet been baptised in water, prompt them to be obedient to your command
  2. Cause the number of people we see giving their lives to Christ to increase continually and as a consequence see more and more baptismal services
  3. For all those who share their testimonies at our baptismal services, help them to relate their new experience with Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit
  4. At each baptismal service cause many unsaved relatives and friends to attend, hear the gospel and give their lives to Christ
  5. Lord, may our homes be places where your presence is so evident, that we will see people giving their lives to you there

10th – Acts 16:16 The occult

  1. Help all christians, especially new believers, to understand the dangers of the occult and steer clear of every aspect of it
  2. Give your people a clear understanding of the devices and strategies of the powers of darkness so that we can be continually defeating them
  3. We pray for the gift of discerning of spirits to be common in the church so that we are never outwitted or deceived by the enemies of our souls
  4. Give us insight to know when Satan appears as an angel of light, so that we are not deceived
  5. For those in the church who do not understand the extent and significance of the work of the powers of darkness, give them revelation and understanding, so they are not overcome

11th – Acts 16:17-18  Deliverance

  1. We pray for all those in the church who are being troubled by spirits and bring them to the place where they can find complete freedom in Christ
  2. Expose and reveal every evil spirit that is at work against the church, O Lord, so we can destroy their works
  3. We take authority over and bind every spirit of unbelief and every religious spirit that hinders people from knowing the truth of salvation in Christ
  4. We take authority over and bind every unclean spirit of sexual immorality in all its forms seeking to operate in the church and we break their powers
  5. We take authority over and bind every spirit of witchcraft that seeks to oppose our work for Christ and we break their powers in Jesus’ Name

12th – Acts 16:19-21 Persecution

  1. Lord, as we pray for each one in the church who is suffering persecution for following Christ, whether at home or at work, strengthen and help them
  2. When we are persecuted for Christ’s sake, cause the joy of the Lord to well up within us
  3. In all our dealings with those who would oppose or persecute us for being christians, may we always experience you working all things together for good
  4. We pray you would give our Parliament wisdom not pass laws that limit the freedom to preach the gospel or to openly declare our faith in Christ
  5. Lord, help us understand that you may allow persecution to shake apathy in the church and drive us closer to you and help us to learn

13th – Acts 16:22-24 Suffering for Christ

  1. Cause all believers around the world who face the prospect of death simply for following Christ, to know your very real presence in each hour of need
  2. We pray you would strengthen all those in Muslim countries who suffer for following Christ and cause their persecutors to come to know Christ
  3. Help all those christians in Hindu countries who are persecuted for following Christ and may their persecutors be changed by the love of Christ
  4. Give grace in their hour of need to all christians who are persecuted in countries ruled by military dictatorships and bring freedom to their nations
  5. For all christians living in communist countries who are persecuted for their faith in Christ, help the underground churches to continue to flourish

14th – Acts 16:25 The power of praise and worship

  1. Help us to understand the power of praise and worship, so that we do so even if we do not feel like it
  2. Cause our circumstances to change as we praise you in faith no matter what the circumstances, O Lord
  3. Teach us that joy, which is the fruit of the Spirit, is based in our unchanging relationship with God, not in our changing outward circumstances
  4. We pray for all our musicians in the church, asking you would cause them to play with the anointing of the Holy Spirit at all times
  5. We pray that all our worship leaders and singers may always be led by the Spirit into prophetic worship

15th – Acts 16:26 The manifest power of God

  1. May we see your power released amongst us to an ever increasing degree, O God
  2. We pray for all manner of miracles to be released amongst us as we carefully and prayerful follow all your ways
  3. cause many miracles to be seen in the lives of individuals of totally changed lives as they forsake their old ways and embrace the new life in Christ
  4. We thank you for the healings we see now and may they become a common occurrence as every member of the church becomes confident to pray for the sick
  5. As the doors of the prison flew open, may we see many who are imprisoned in sin and the ways of the world find a radical freedom in Christ

16th – Acts 16:27-30 What must I do to be saved?

  1. Lead us to those individuals who are genuinely seeking the truth so that we can give them the gospel of Christ for their salvation
  2. Help all our discipleship groups to bring salvation to their friends and neighbours
  3. For all those who go on the streets to share the gospel, give them the joy on each occasion of leading people to Christ and seeing them added to the church
  4. Cause your presence, Holy Spirit, to be so evident in each of our Sunday meetings that people will always be convicted of sin and be saved
  5. For all those attending church meetings who are religious but have never given their lives to Christ, cause them, Holy Spirit, to see their need of salvation

17th – Acts 16:31 Salvation in Jesus

  1. Help us understand and so deeply value the salvation we have in Christ and may such understanding motivate us to serve you with all our bring
  2. Give us boldness as we speak out for Christ and keep us from feeling intimidated, we pray
  3. Give us the words to speak in season at all times, O Lord
  4. Save all our immediate family members who do not know you, O God
  5. Save all our wider family members and give us divine opportunities to lead them to Christ

18th – Acts 16:32-33 Speaking the Word of the Lord

  1. Give each of us within the church a passion to study your Word, O Lord
  2. We pray for wisdom to be able to use the Word of God in both our everyday experiences and  also when we are sharing our faith
  3. Bring to our remembrance the things we have read and learned from your Word, on each occasion we need them, as we talk to people and as we need to make daily decisions
  4. Change lives through the Word of God in all the teaching classes for new believers, mature believers and all other courses and studies in the church
  5. Cause much fruit in the lives of all who hear the preaching and teaching in Sunday services and with youth and children

19th – Acts 16:34 The joy of salvation

  1. For any among us who have lost the great joy of salvation in Christ, touch them afresh today an renew that joy
  2. Holy Spirit, cause joy to well up within us no matter what our outward circumstances may be
  3. May that joy of the Lord continually be our strength even in times of testing and trial
  4. May your unquenchable joy in our lives serve as a powerful testimony to those we meet daily, who are currently without Christ and therefore without hope
  5. Give us the joy of leading someone to Christ today, O Lord

20th – Acts 16:35-40 Divine favour with authorities

  1. Give us divine favour in our places of work with those over us, so that we may prosper in our employment
  2. Give promotions and appointments to places of influence in our workplaces, O Lord
  3. Prosper all in the church who have their own businesses and give them favour with their clients and customers, prospering the work of their hands
  4. Give your churches divine favour with all the different local authorities so that the work of the gospel will prosper
  5. Give the church divine favour with our Parliament so that your Kingdom may extend and there may be peace in our land

21st – Acts 17:1-3 Reasoning from the scriptures

  1. Give us minds that not only understand your Word, O Lord, but also have an ability to explain it clearly to others
  2. When explaining your Word give us the wisdom to be able to reason with others in a way that is understandable for the background they are coming from
  3. Raise up teachers of your Word who can bring clarity of meaning to all who hear
  4. Give us wisdom to be able to reason with atheists and others who do not accept the Bible as the Word of God
  5. Give us wisdom to be able to reason from the scriptures with those of other faiths

22nd- Acts 17:4 People in significant positions saved

  1. Save many members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, we pray
  2. We pray that you would place many christians in local councils so that their influence would be felt in our local areas
  3. Place your people in our local police forces and cause many to be saved there also, especially those in senior positions
  4. Cause current high-profile celebrities in the media to experience such a discontent with what the world can offer that many publically turn to Christ
  5. So work amongst the Royal family, Holy Spirit, that many will give their lives to Christ

23rd – Acts 17:5-9 People who can turn the world upside down!

  1. Make us radical followers of Christ, O Lord
  2. May we wait on you continually so that in all we do, we do it full of the Holy Spirit and power
  3. Help your church rise up in the power of the Holy Spirit throughout the length and breadth of this nation and turn it around
  4. Help us to influence the world around us, not us be influenced by it
  5. Make the rising generation one that ushers in a radical revolutionary lifestyle of following Christ in all the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit

24th – Acts 17:10-12  Examining the scriptures

  1. Give us an increasing love for your Word, O God
  2. For any of us who have a Bible in the house but rarely read it, let today be a day of change as we commit ourselves to daily reading your Word
  3. As we read the scriptures, Holy Spirit, give us understanding
  4. Help us not only to read your Word but to live it out as radical followers of Christ
  5. Help us to explain the Word of God to others in the discipleship groups, in the children’s and youth ministries and on every other occasion

25th – Acts 17:13-15  Handling opposition  

  1. Give us the wisdom to know when you want us to speak and when you want us to remain silent
  2. Give us wisdom to know the difference between, when resistance to the Gospel is outright opposition, and so to be silent, or when it is a person in the process of being convicted and so we need to continue
  3. Guard your church from those who gain entry and seek to bring opposition from within
  4. Help and save all those who are religious but who do not know God and so oppose the genuine move of the Holy Spirit
  5. Defeat the agendas of all those in positions of power and authority in our land who oppose the truth of God’s Word and who seek to impose their secular agenda on us

26th – Acts 17:16-21 Overcoming idolatry

  1. If there is anything in our lives that we treasure more than you, reveal it to us and convict us, so that we may not be hindered in our spiritual lives
  2. For all those in our nation whose empty lives cause them to direct their worship towards famous celebrities, show them the better way of worshipping Jesus
  3. Deliver from deception all those who attend churches where the worship of idols is practised
  4. Reveal the one true Saviour to all the Hindus we live and work amongst
  5. For those we know whose worship is directed to wealth, have mercy on them and help them to find that which truly satisfies the yearnings of the soul

27th – Acts 17:22-23 Those to whom God is unknown

  1. Cause us to be bringers of Good News to the lives of all those we interact with each week who do not know Christ
  2. Give us the right words to bring understanding of the truth about Christ to all those we regularly meet who say they are atheists or agnostics
  3. Cause all those we regularly meet who are looking for a spiritual experience but in the wrong places, but nevertheless are genuine seekers, to find you, O God
  4. Rescue before it is too late, all those in our neighbourhood who are engaged in any practice that is related to the occult
  5. Help all those to find faith in Christ this week who attend church services but have no personal relationship with God

28th – Acts 17:24-25 True temples of the living God

  1. As temples of the Holy Spirit, guard us from abusing our bodies in any way, we pray
  2. As the collective temple of the Holy Spirit, may our church services be a place where you can freely move in power among us and be lifted up, Lord Jesus
  3. May your power be demonstrated more and more in our midst, Holy Spirit, as we seek to bring glory to Christ through our individual lives and through our collective worship and service
  4. Holy Spirit, may we be so faithful to the cause of glorifying Jesus that you can trust us with your miraculous gifts that we now ask you to distribute amongst us
  5. Build your church through us we pray, Lord Jesus

29th – Acts 17:26-27  All nations from one man

  1. Holy Spirit, cause many to come to Christ in all the countries in the continent of Africa that you, Holy Spirit
  2. Bring a great revival to all the nations in the continent of Asia, from Japan to Turkey, we pray
  3. Bring back life to the spiritually dead continent of Europe, O Lord, and sweep through each land in rival power
  4. From Canada to Argentina, move across all the countries of the Americas and Caribbean in a great move of God
  5. In Australia and the island countries bring a visitation from the Holy Spirit that turns multitudes to a living faith in Christ

30th – Acts 17:28-30 In him we live and move and have our being

  1. Cause us to desire to draw ever nearer to you, O God, and may we know a new intimacy as you draw near to us
  2. Help us not to neglect our personal times of devotions with you, O Lord, but rather to develop those times more deeply
  3. Teach us how to involve you in every part of our daily lives and decisions, O Lord, learning how to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in all the things we do
  4. Guard our thoughts and the intents of our hearts, O God
  5. Whatever circumstance we go through, may we become a little more like Jesus today

31st – Acts 17:31-34 The day of Judgment

  1. May we not forget, Lord Jesus, that as believers we will one day stand before you to give an account of our faithfulness on earth and may we not be found wanting
  2. Time is short and the harvest is great, so help us to use our time on earth wisely and productively for you
  3. As we spend time with you in prayer, bring to our minds those people you want us to intercede for regarding their salvation because they are ready to be saved
  4. Have mercy on all those we interact with on a daily basis and who are unsaved, so that they do not stand before you in the judgment of their sins
  5. Even so, come Lord Jesus!