And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ…Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. (Colossians 4:3, 4) (NIV)

The throbbing music that opened the service set a sharp contrast to the dead zone we now entered. Zimbabweans sat under the thatched ceiling, while the last sentence of my sermon fell dead on the church floor. I fumbled for my chair, and no one knew what to do. Finally, a farm worker offered closing words in Shona. 

Lord, I’m sorry, it was a bad message, I prayed. But I lifted my head to see people slipping into a line spanning the front of the sanctuary.

“Brother, these people would like to accept Christ,” the farmer whispered.

I stared in unbelief, then realized that friends at home had been praying.

Regardless of the ineptitude of the messenger, when people pray, ministry happens. Every time I ask churches, prayer teams, and Internet contacts to plead for God’s help, wild, holy fun swirls through the heavenly realms.

To labor without prayer cover is to stand naked before the laughter of demonic hordes. But when dear servants of Jesus pray, I find I’m moving inside a bubble of spiritual potency. Unforeseen challenges still carry the bubble hither and yon, but, wherever it ends up, good things come about. Travel works out, divine appointments happen, boldness infuses my speech, hearts open, and the kingdom expands. Inside the bubble is heaven’s electricity.

Prayers like, “Lord, bless our pastor and all the missionaries,” are not much help. We need intercessors to step into the authority of Jesus and battle against the darkness in and around us.

The quiet warrior who lays prostrate in a hidden room, interceding for those who minister, causes a clash in the heavenly realms. The soldier battles until he knows the victory has gone to our King.

Some go and preach, some stay and pray, and the combination is as beautiful as it is unstoppable.

Prayer: Oh Lord, what an honor to partner in your field with prayer warriors.