Do You Need Motivation to Pray?

If I asked you to name the disturbing events haunting you at night, you might list: 

Church division
Christians attacking one another
Senseless murder
Hate crimes
Corrupt politicians
Children walking away from the faith
Fractured relationships
Diseases without a cure
Abandonment of God’s design for gender and sexuality
Death of the unborn
Catastrophic natural disasters . . .

Any one of these realities can cause anxiety and sleepless nights. Despair often leads to hopelessness. The inner cry of our depleted souls is, “How long, oh Lord, before you deliver us?” Rather than sit in a pile of ashes in misery, there is something we can do. There is something we must do. 

Change the World through Prayer

While we are powerless to reverse the devastation around us, we are not without hope. It’s true: we cannot change our pastor, our husband, our boss, or our child. Yet, until Jesus returns in unimaginable glory and power to establish His eternal kingdom, we can pray. More accurately stated, we are commanded to pray.

You and I have been drafted into the Lord’s army. The way we engage in warfare is by raising the sword of the Spirit, buckling our knees, and inviting others to cry out before the King of Heaven with us. It’s been said we change the world through prayer. But we cannot change the world around us if we’re not motivated to pray. Could this describe you?

You’re the only one in your family or church who “gets” prayer. 

Right now you’re ready to give up on prayer. 

You feel intimidated to lead others to pray as you should.

Stand in the Gap

Under the Holy Spirit’s conviction, the founder of Life Action, Del Fehsenfeld, Jr, challenged his ministry staff to step up and stand in the gap in prayer. His riveting three-minute message came from Ezekiel 22:30 KJV

I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

God asked for one. Only one. Scripture records the tragedy: there was not one solitary person who answered the call.

I wonder how often God tarries because His people are unwilling to come to Him in prayer. In great movements of God over history, the powerful working of His Spirit can be traced back to a man or woman kneeling in prayer. Consider the sacrifice of these prayer warriors who were desperate to see the Lord revive His people:

  • Businessman Jeremiah Lanphier initiated daily noon prayer meetings at the North Dutch Reformed Church on Fulton Street in New York City which sparked the Great Prayer Revival of 1857.1
  • Evan Roberts, one of the key leaders of the Welsh Revival, met with God in prayer each morning from 1 a.m. until 4 a.m. for three months before revival broke loose.2
  • Before the Lewis revival in Scotland in 1949, Peggy and Christine Smith, two elderly sisters prayed all night twice a week believing God’s promise in Isaiah 44:3 that He would “pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground.”3
  • At Asbury College in 1970, student Jeannine Brabon began half-hour prayer meetings and organized an all-night prayer session on campus. She sensed the “glory of God” would visit their college. It happened. The Asbury revival stoked the flaming embers of the Jesus Movement.4

Jeremiah Lanphier, Evan Roberts, Peggy and Christine Smith, and Jeannine Brabon, answered God’s summons to pray in their day. Will you join them? Ask God to use you to ignite a passion for prayer in your sphere of influence. The need is undeniably urgent. Nothing can save us except the merciful and mighty hand of God. Will you stand in the gap?

1Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, host, “The 1857 Prayer Revival,” Revive Our Hearts, podcast, April 2023,

2Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, host, “The 1904 Welsh Revival,” Revive Our Hearts, podcast, November 2004,

 3Nancy Leigh DeMoss, “Portrait of a Woman Used by God,” in Becoming God’s True Woman, ed. Nancy Leigh DeMoss (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2008), 74.

 4OneCryVideos, “Special Report #3 with Jeannine Brabon,” YouTube, March 14, 2023,

About the Author

Leslie Bennett

Leslie Bennett has led Women’s Ministry in two local churches, and serves on the Revive Our Hearts ministry team. She connects with women’s leaders around the world in the Revive Our Hearts Leader Facebook Group and as host of online training events. A teacher at heart, she is devoted to training and discipling the next generation to treasure Christ above all. Leslie and her husband Mac live in S.C. where she loves spending time with family, and admiring Lowcountry sunsets.