How to Wield the Double-Edged Sword of Influence

Shaping Nations in Prayer

Is it not awesome to know that popularity and the fickle opinions of people do not matter? God is the author of your destiny, and He will give you, as He did David, the special insight into temporary circumstances to know how to pray. He will show you what is going on in the unseen realm if you are willing to draw near to Him as David did. This applies not only to individuals but also to nations. In the end, newspaper headlines only track temporary trends. The real question is whether or not the church will draw close enough to God in prayer to rise to her rightful place of influence on the earth.

Just as with King David, God has a plan for our personal and national destinies that will prevail through us if we will stand the trial of faithful prayer. Isn't it a great encouragement to know that your heart and destiny are in God's grip? He will shape the destiny of loved ones, families, cities and even nations through your intimacy with Him in prayer.

As I have taught this message across the nation, people have asked me, "Is favor the same as influence?" The answer is that they are related, but they are not the same. Favor provides opportunities for us to use influence, but it does not guarantee we will steward or cultivate that influence the right way. Lots of people gain favor but have nothing to show for it in terms of lasting impact. They may shape trends or start fads, but they have no legacy when their "15 minutes of fame" are up. The purpose of this book is to teach you how to cultivate the influence you have and harness it to change nations for the glory of God.

Favor may open doors, but influence changes nations.

Let the journey begin!

We must remember that influence works two ways. At the same time God is calling you to influence nations, He is cautioning you to evaluate what is influencing you. As a Christian, you are called to change negative influences through prayer and action (see Rom. 12:1–2). This book will equip you to do just that. You will see the influence you have in the unseen realm through prayer and gain a greater desire for God's love and intimacy. You will be equipped to recognize and remove negative influences in your life. Once you understand the principles in this book, like King David you will be able to triumph over the enemy's schemes against your destiny. You will also learn how to cultivate the character necessary to steward godly influence properly. Yes, character counts in intercession, and you will not have influence without it (see Jas. 5:16-18).

We will also address the rotting culture around us by confronting the huge moral issues of our day. We will examine the effects of demonic influence and how to reverse them and transform the nation. As you read each chapter, I will share stories of how people just like you are applying these principles and making a lasting impact in their families, workplaces, cities and governments.

God is calling you to another realm of favor and influence to make an impact for the Kingdom of light through prayer and action. This book is not about how to win more friends or build a better network of associates. When we are under the influence of Jesus Christ and seek His Kingdom, however, everything else is added (see Matt. 6:33). Let the journey begin!

Exercising influence through prayer

Father, thank You for Your unfailing love and for untangling us from Satan's grip. Truly our destiny is influenced by Your hand in our lives. Lord, thwart the counsel of the evil one in my life. Break the enemy's deception in our nation, and turn us in the right direction.

As I read this book and reflect on Your Word, give me wisdom and revelation so that I can understand how to be a godly influence for You. Teach me how to pray. In Jesus' name, Amen.

William L. Ford IIIdirector of the Marketplace Leadership major at Christ For The Nations Institute, also speaks on intercession, unity and revival. He is co-author with Dutch Sheets of Created for Influence, from which this article is excerpted, and History Makers.

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