I Prayed have prayed
Father God, we thank You for mentors and ministries who faithfully lead others to pray. We ask that You would teach us how to pray.
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Even Dutch Sheets, one of our esteemed guests from our 50th anniversary event, once had to learn how to pray. Teach us how to pray, God!

From Give Him 15. Last Friday (11/10/2023), I had the great honor of participating in Intercessors For America’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. No ministry has done more to generate prayer for America than this great ministry. As I pondered IFA’s role in my life, one of my fondest memories was my early years of learning to pray at Christ For the Nations Institute (CFNI) in 1977.

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Each student was required to participate in an outreach or serving ministry on a weekly basis. My initial choice was Intercessory Prayer, not because I was an intercessor or knew much about the subject. Truth be known, I could barely pronounce it. But I wanted to learn more about prayer, so I enrolled. Our prayer guide each week was a bulletin provided by a ministry I had never heard of. Yep, Intercessors For America. One sheet of paper, front and back, with timely issues and government leaders listed for prayer. Thus began my prayer journey.

I’ll say more about my message at the IFA anniversary celebration in a moment. But first, I want to honor another link in the chain of my introduction to prayer at CFNI (Christ For the Nations Institute). I’ve always felt one of the best ways to learn something new or improve at it, was by watching and emulating someone better than me. Of the 1200 students at CFNI, I chose Immanuel Ike, a student from Africa, complete with tribal markings – three scars on each cheek. I believe Ike, as we called him, was Nigerian. When Ike prayed, the room shook. I think he was fire incarnate.

During the last six weeks of the school year, students were encouraged to gather for prayer in the main auditorium, an hour before chapel. This wasn’t united, corporate prayer; it was a time for us to seek God individually in an atmosphere fueled by 2-300 hungry, passionate people also pursuing Him. We were encouraged to come up on the large platform, and/or scatter throughout the auditorium – on our feet, knees, faces, or walking – it didn’t matter the position. I chose the platform, kneeling at one of the chairs right behind the piano…because that’s where Ike was.

I prayed for an hour each morning, with one eye closed, one open, watching and listening to Ike. When he bound, I bound; when Ike loosed, I loosed. Soon after beginning, he would grab the side of his chair and begin rocking back and forth. I, too, held on and rocked. Ike would start in English, shift into his African dialect, then “machine gun” his prayers in tongues – I think. Maybe it was his African dialect on steroids. All I know is that Ike had now lost all connection to earth and its earthlings; we no longer existed. Tears. Groans. Pleadings. Decrees. Worship. Ike was in heaven’s throne room, then traveling the planet with Holy Spirit, tearing down strongholds and birthing Kingdom realities.

And I was riding his coattails!


What is it they say? Often, more is caught than taught. My prayers were mostly, “Lord, give me at least some of what this man carries.” I think I received a small degree of Ike’s mantle. “Wherever you are today, Ike, thank you.”

My heart and world also expanded through the influence of other guest ministries that came through CFNI every week. Literally. That was the plan: every week, a different ministry/person taught all students in a united session at 11AM, Monday through Friday. They, Ike, and prayer ministries like IFA taught me to move beyond my own needs, not praying only to generate money for school bills, rent, clothes, etc. They challenged me to transcend caring only for my own ministry and future success. For the first time in my life, I found myself praying for nations and travailing for souls. I called out the names of Senators, Representatives, Judges, laws, bills, and court cases. I began to realize I was called to more than personal success, something bigger than a congregation or a traveling ministry of my own. I was invited into the realm of an eternal Kingdom with a worldwide cause.

Somehow, my heart grew and expanded. I take no credit. It was the influence of others, of great teaching, of exposure to different ministries and organizations every week; it was an atmosphere of passionate worship, prayer, and faith – every day. And Ike, of course. I’ve never looked back.

The cheetah survives on the African plains by running down its prey. The big cat can sprint seventy miles per hour. But the cheetah cannot sustain that pace for long. Within its long, sleek body is a disproportionately small heart, which causes the cheetah to tire quickly. Unless the cheetah catches its prey in the first flurry, it must abandon the chase.

Far too often, Christians seem to have the cheetah’s approach to prayer. We start fast and with great energy. We are robust and have unmeasured faith. But lacking the heart for a sustained effort, we falter before we finish the job. We don’t need more speed or emotion; we need more staying power, which only comes from a bigger prayer heart.

Last Friday, I thanked IFA for their large prayer heart. Fifty years of prayer for America, and they’re only getting stronger! Incredible. And I thanked them for helping me pray more effectively…for 46 of my years.

I concluded my message by mentioning Rees Howells, an intercessor with a large prayer heart. In 1924, Howells launched the Bible College of Wales, which always had an emphasis on prayer. During WW2, however, Holy Spirit burdened Rees’ heart to intercede at even greater levels for the Allies, and for the deliverance of the world from Hitler’s Third Reich. Every day, anywhere from 5-10 hours, sometimes more, Rees and the students labored in prayer over the war. He challenged the students to not allow the soldiers at the Front to labor more than them. Rees Howells and his 100 students no doubt played a huge role in saving the world from Hitler’s demonic assault. (You can read more about the life of Rees Howells in the book Rees Howells, Intercessor.)

God is looking for intercessors now who will accept the call to save the world from today’s demonic leaders. Like Hitler, they are possessed by powers of darkness and want to rule the earth. If we join forces with big-hearted prayer ministries like IFA, we can prevail. I know many of you who follow Give Him 15 also have hearts that will never quit praying.

Thank you! Lock arms with others at this time and determine that we will not quit, we will not falter, and we will not fail until we see the earth in full-fledged revival. We have put our hand to the plow, and we will not look back. Victory is ours through Christ, and we will see it come to pass.

Pray with me:

Father, it is appropriate that we honor ministries like Intercessors For America and people like Rees Howells and my friend Ike. All of our successes are built, in part, on the work of others. We ask for Your blessings on them in abundance. For those still here with us, multiply their effectiveness, anointing, and provision. For others, like Rees Howells, well, tell them we said thanks.

Today, we ask You for bigger prayer hearts. We want hearts so expansive that they embrace Your worldwide Kingdom efforts, and run prayer’s race without growing weary. We pledge to persevere in prayer for a worldwide harvest. We will continue to lay hold by faith of a restored America. We will never stop representing You as Your Ekklesia, enforcing Your victory on earth.

We do that now over the Middle East. We pull down the thrones of iniquity over that region in Yeshua’s name. This is the hour of deliverance for millions there. This is the season of their entrance into the King’s family, their day of salvation. We declare over them that the veil is lifting, and the spirit of revelation is invading the territory. We loose them from their darkness and deception, their oppression and bondage. Signs and wonders are manifesting; powerful evangelists are being raised up and anointed with the level of power Stephen, Phillip, Paul, Peter, and others demonstrated in the book of Acts. We decree revival there now. And we do all this in the name that guarantees victory, Jesus.

Our decree:

We decree that Christ’s large prayer heart is being imparted to His Ekklesia. We will not faint.

What did you think of this article? Share your prayers and scriptures below.

(Used with permission. From Give Him 15. Photo Credit: Give Him 15)

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December 9, 2023

The best article on prayer I’ve ever read. Thank you, Dutch Sheets, for writing it, and thank you,
IFA, for including it in the newsletter.
I will re-read it many times to be taught and inspired to pray for the Lord’s will to prevail!

December 2, 2023

This article was Bullseye! So truthful! So needed! Such a goal to attain, with the help from Holy Spirit!

marsha fetzer
December 1, 2023

I always enjoy and I’m always personally touched my Dutch Sheets articles. They encourage me on to continue to grow, to pray and to persevere in my walk with Jesus.

Deb Catlin
November 30, 2023

Thank You Father for giving us the Heart and Mind of Christ, for drawing our attention to Your Truth and for blessing and strengthening us with Your Holy Spirit.

We thank You for the people you have given us to pray for and that even when we don’t know how to pray, The Paraclete, speaks, proclaims, prepares and provides a safe landing – bulls eye on the heart, mind, soul and spirit of the intended, just at the right time.

So be it.. To God be the glory..
In the name of Yeshua…

Dr. Bridget A. Bonczyk
November 30, 2023

So enjoyed the humor of Dutch Sheets on the 50th Anniversary when he shared with the audience, “There’s the Holy Spirit, God, Jesus and then there’s Jack Hayford.” Yes, you made me smile. Thank you, Father God, for Jack Hayford. That’s why you have the joy of the Lord, which is your strength, Mr. Sheets. You are human, just like the rest of us. Blessings over you and your family for such a time as this.

Melvina J Van Eerden
November 30, 2023

Father God, I give thanks to You for raising up the IFA, Dutch Sheets Ministries and Give Him 15 as they are teaching me and so many others the importance of prayer AND how we should pray! Keep blessing us Lord and we will give You, Lord all the honor and Glory!!! In Jesus mighty Name, Amen

November 30, 2023

Thank you for the encouragement! May the LORD fill us with himself, and all for his glory!

Mary Beth
November 30, 2023

What a privilege to be called as an intercessor, and sense the heart of YHVH through His indwelling Holy Spirit. Thank You, LORD, for all of those including Dutch Sheets, who have paved my path of prayer through their example, and instruction.

Helen Yarbrough
November 30, 2023

Lord, help me to increase my heart for your kingdom on a daily basis, to prevail until that fire of the Holy Spirit leads me.

November 30, 2023

This is powerful and spot on. However, God hears the prayer of a broken and contrite heart. It’s not the lofty words, but the humble prayer and fervant prayer of the righteous. God rejects the proud.

Catherine Meyer
November 30, 2023

Heavenly Father we ask that You raise up righteous leaders who understand the times and who walk in the Holy Spirit’s direction.
We ask that these men and women would seek first Your Kingdom and Your Righteousness. Help these leaders to enquire of the Lord first just as King David did when fighting against the enemies of God. Amen and Amen
1 Chronicles 12:32 (NKJV) of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their command;
1 Samuel 30:8 (NKJV) So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.”
2 Samuel 5:18 (NKJV) The Philistines also went and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim.
19 (NKJV) So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?” And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.”
2 Samuel 5:22-24 (NKJV) Then the Philistines went up once again and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim.
Therefore David inquired of the Lord, and He said, “You shall not go up; circle around behind them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees.
And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.”

November 30, 2023

Who has taught us to pray? I have learned from Derek Prince and IFA, from Dutch Sheets and Give Him 15, from Joy Dawson and many related to YWAM, from mission professors Christy and Betty Wilson, from Pastors Dick and Shan Dreyer, from Brian Pickering and the Australian Prayer Network, and so many more. And books like the one about Rees Howells and many others, all adding up to inexcusable frailty in prayer compared to my examples and teachers. Oh Lord, thank you for these! Teach us TO pray. Give each of us great hearts for prayer that will not give up, are persistent and available to you. In Jesus’ name.

    Rich Swingle
    November 30, 2023

    My grandmother, who studied Derek Prince, my youth pastor Ron Mulkey, my professor of evangelism at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, J. Christy Wilson (who’d been a missionary in Afghanistan), Rees Howells biography The Intercessor, and a book he wrote in 1939 given to me at the Bible College of Wales titled God Confronts the Dictators: Doom of the Nazis Predicted, my bride Joyce Swingle, our church’s prayer team The Light Company, Judy McDonough and all the intercessors on Headline Prayer Live, Dave and Kris Kubal, and I’m sure I missed several. What a helpful exercise!

    Lord, help us to be an example to those You are raising up as intercessors even now!

Ann Shaw
November 26, 2023

Abba Father, I confess and repent of my slacking energy to pray in earnest for the revival that you desire to bring to America. Awaken us to earnest prayer.
In Jesus’s name Amen

Teresa Dailey
November 19, 2023

Awesome word from Dutch. Love this man. He is such a wonderful example to so many. Passing in the torch of Christ to so many. Ty Dutch and IFA. So sorry I couldn’t attend but thankful I could assist financially. Blessings on you all.

Barbara Crouse
November 18, 2023

Thank you Dutch. Our God is in control! May we all be faithful prayer warriors!

Linda Rice
November 18, 2023

I’m very done with those who only pray for temporal, individual needs. And I’m saying it.

    November 30, 2023

    I HEAR you. There is SO much, much, much more to prayer!!
    However, we must be patient with those only able to digest milk… they need to be taught and nurtured into the meat of praying. Perhaps that’s your calling – to teach, nurture, and lead by example up and coming prayer warriors!!
    I release your anointing to mentor inexperienced pray-ers!!
    Go, God!!

Carolyn Winger
November 18, 2023

Very encouraging and meaningful. Reminds me not to give up, but to keep going forward and praying. The Lord never fails.

Enjoy Dutch’s post Give Him 15.

Thank you for this article.

Tony Goforth
November 18, 2023

All I can say is amazing, and what a spiritual mutt I really am

November 18, 2023

Also an alumni of CFNI I would study everything Derik Prince published. We would participate in his services whenever he came to town.
I soon learned the importance of intercessory prayer.
Maybe you don’t have a voice that will influence nations. You DO have a voice that will influence the creator of the universe!!! So spend as much time on your knees as possible my friends. Begin each day with IFA and Dutch’s give him 15.
God sees you before his throne! And when we are united as ONE Satans strongholds are shattered as he is fleeing in fear of the power of GOD. Hallelujah!!

November 18, 2023

Press on dear Children of God, and pray and do the work God has called you to do. For the time is near to cry out and fulfill the Great Commission!
In Jesus name, Amen

Jan Ravenscroft
November 18, 2023

I was there at Christ for the Nations in 1977 and I too praise the Lord for all the exposure to prayer and worship for America and the nations!!

Cynthia Yore
November 18, 2023

I have learned a lot from Dutch Sheets and his books. I also have been a part of IFA because of an older woman who mentored me in prayer for a number of years, Her name was Hazel and she is in heaven now and I thank God for all of those who gave me a hunger for prayer and for God sending them into my life.


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