Prayer and Fasting
This story first appeared in Evangel magazine.
A young woman sat on a pew during a revival service in Indonesia and listened intently as an altar call began. The Holy Spirit was at work in her heart. She was pregnant with her second child after losing her first as an infant. She prayed and promised God that she would dedicate the child she was carrying to the service of the Lord. At first, she prayed that the baby would become a great preacher. Then, she changed her request realizing that becoming a great preacher or famous singer was not all that mattered. In that moment, she simply prayed that her child would live a life worthy of the Lord, like in Colossians 1:10. As she prayed, the evangelist approached her and said to her, “The Lord said, ‘The child you carry in your stomach will become my mighty servant.’”
She would later birth a son and name him Niko Njotorahardjo. Njotorahardjo’s mother would carry this prophetic promise in her heart for nearly six decades before sharing it with her son. This prayer unfolded in his life from day one and his ministry has globally guided others to the power of prayer and the Gospel.
Njotorahardjo began his ministry as a worship leader and had no intentions of becoming a preacher. It was not until he had two instances of prophetic prayer that he realized God may be calling him deeper into ministry. One was at a revival service where the evangelist laid hands on him, and in prayer, shared that God would use Njotorahardjo to bring about restoration of the Tabernacle of David, establishing a powerful prayer movement. This was soon confirmed by another prophecy that he would be used as an instrument to bring people and congregations into the Lord’s presence.
These three times of prophetic prayer over his life have fueled him in his calling. In 1988, Njotorahardjo started his church, Gereja Bethel Indonesia. He was coming from a ministry that urged ministers to plant churches around Indonesia. He followed this vision and 400 people attended the first service. In these early days of the church, Pastor Niko instilled the same three things in his church every week: prayer, praise, and worship. Many churches in Jakarta complained, claiming there was not enough preaching in the service. They mocked that Njotorahardjo was instilling the foundation of prayer and praise. Yet, people came and continued to attend. Through the prayer, praise, and worship, people were encountering the presence of God. That was his only desire: to bring people into the presence of God.
Throughout the growth in numbers, the building of a convention center, and the installment of multiple locations, prayer has stayed the DNA of the church body.
“These are really praying people, praising people, and worshipping people,” he said.
Each month, all of the leaders — totaling nearly 10,000 in number — gather to intercede. This has been happening since the inception of the church. Every “activist,” the term they use for every staff member and volunteer, intentionally prays for the church, the country, and the world. A vision is cast, they intercede, prophesy, and give testimonies to how prayers have been answered. Along with this, the activists corporately fast every Saturday until noon.
Njotorahardjo takes this time of prophetic prayer very seriously and it guides how the church is led.
The church has built nearly 20 prayer towers that operate 24/7. They are spread across Indonesia, along with one located in Washington, D.C. on a street where many lobbyists affecting the government can be found. At any given moment, prayers are being spoken over the global body of Christ through these prayer centers.
The results of these prayers have had a mighty global impact. The simple prayer his mother prayed has developed into a world-changing movement and Njotorahardjo has followed the prophecy to restore the atmosphere of the Tabernacle of David.
He believes that a mighty prayer movement happens as groups of believers pray, praise, and worship together in unity day and night. As corporate bodies focus on the presence of God, the anointing, and praying in the Spirit, the Great Commission can be fulfilled.
“[There’s] a presence of God that you get when prayer, praise, and worship happen together in unity. You’re in the presence of God and you’re receiving this anointing. The same anointing that was on Jesus is also now on us. A supernatural anointing to do supernatural things,” he said.
Njotorahardjo emphasizes his belief that it is important to pray in the Spirit. This is something that he believes is under attack right now. He says the Spirit is the component that sets prayer apart.
“If we really want to make a difference, we don’t need to be ashamed,” he said.
Njotorahardjo has continued to be impacted by prophetic prayer in his ministry life. At an Empower-21 Asia conference in 2018, after years of praying and hearing from God about a “Third Pentecost,” God confirmed to Njotorahardjo that a Third Pentecost was coming and showed him what it would look like.
“This Third Pentecost is an empowerment of the Holy Spirit to finish the Great Commission—it is the greatest and the final harvest,” he said.
Along with his prayer ministries, Pastor Niko also hosts healing-movement crusades. Many people come to know Christ for the first time through these crusades as Njotorahardjo teaches that Jesus is a compassionate and caring healer. He has hosted over 300 crusades.
God gave him this healing ministry vision while their church was in the process of building their convention center. God told him to gather sick, poor, and hurting people because God wanted to heal them. People from different religious backgrounds come and experience the Gospel.
“All of this is bathed in prayer and fasting,” he said.
Looking ahead, Njotorahardjo hopes to continue to walk in his calling and urge people to a life of prayer and fasting across the globe.