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No Prayer, No Power

AG World Prayer Center Director Joe Oden discusses America's need for revival and the danger of becoming a prayerless nation.

Stories flooding the news and circulating on social media leave many searching for a way out of the moral hole in which America has found itself. Even within the body of Christ, many try to correct the cultural climate with better formulas, strategies, and plans by which to grow the church numerically.

However, according to Joe Oden, National Prayer and Evangelism director for the Assemblies of God and director of the Assemblies of God World Prayer Center, the answer doesn’t lie in good apologetics, a better atmosphere, or more eloquently articulated sermons.

“What America needs,” says Oden, “is a sovereign move of God that brings conviction to the heart of man. And that only comes through prayer.”

Oden knows firsthand the power of prayer. After being court-ordered to attend church as part of a sentence for his life-controlling addiction to drugs, Oden found Jesus and was supernaturally set free from his addiction.

“Once I had been hit by the power of God, I knew I needed to pray that God would do the same for others,” he recalls.

Since then, Oden has made it his life’s mission to see others delivered, set free, and touched by the presence of the Holy Spirit.

“I didn’t have much of a theology background, but I knew I had been supernaturally set free from my addiction and I knew that prayer would do the same for others,” he says.

Sitting against a chain link fence, praying for those bound in the throes of addiction and criminal activity, Joe Oden’s commitment to reaching the nation with the power of Spirit-filled prayer was born.

In his ministry, Oden has observed the decline of prayer in America. In his observation, prayer does not seem to be the priority that it once was. However, he believes that “the winds are beginning to blow and leaders and laity alike from throughout the nation are being awakened once again to the call of prayer that this hour so desperately needs.”

“There will be no revival, no awakening, no outpouring of the Holy Spirit until we return to the practice of steadfast prayer.”

Oden points out that in the days of the early church, prayer preceded miracles, and the life of the apostle Peter highlights this pattern all throughout the book of Acts. One can observe that the day of Pentecost, the miracle of the lame man in Acts 3, Peter’s shadow healing the sick in Acts 5, and the Gentile baptism of the Holy Spirit in Acts 10 are all connected to Peter’s devotion to prayer. Even before Jesus began His earthly ministry, He committed himself to 40 days of prayer and fasting, he states.

“We’re powerless because we’re prayerless,” Oden remarks, whose dream in his role as the director of the World Prayer Center is to create a furnace of prayer that will fan a fire felt around the nation.

One upcoming initiative Oden and his team are believing God will use to push back the darkness in America is happening in October of this year. A five-day prayer event, Awake America, will be held in cooperation with the POTOMAC Ministry Network in Washington DC. He believes events such as this can break down spiritual strongholds and spark revival in the nation.

“Every revival can be traced back to a moment of prayer and we are believing God to do that again,” Oden shares.

Ashley B. Grant

Ashley B. Grant has a master's degree in Human Services Marriage and Family Counseling from Liberty University and is a credentialed Christian counselor through the American Association of Christian Counselors. Grant also holds certifications in crisis pregnancy counseling and advanced life coaching. Ashley is a fourth generation Assemblies of God preacher’s kid and has one daughter and three sons.