Prayer Basics 101
I enjoy praying, and believe that we are all called to pray, maybe some more than others, but pray we must. This is a study about prayer.
Over the years, I've gathered Scriptures that I use a LOT during prayer, because we're to take His Word to Him in prayer, and respeak it to Him. Standing on God's Word in prayer is the ticket for all of us. God will not listen to my whinning and emotions, but He will listen to His Word. Isaiah 55:11 tells us: So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper [in the thing] for which I sent it.
After reading an article recently that coincided with what I already know and organized a few of my own thoughts, I wanted to share it here today. Not all of what I'm posting here is original with me, but things that I've learned from others over the years and have used myself. They are, however, the truth of God's Word.
I'm listing only a few Scriptures here, but most importantly I wanted to interate the TYPES OF PRAYER and FIVE BASIC PRINCIPLES of prayer.
Every activity in life has basic rules that must be followed before success can be achieved. For example, if you would not use the rules that govern the game of baseball, you would not use the rules that govern the game of football. You can't get to the first base, let alone make a home run without a bat. You'll just stand at home plate watching the ball whiz by and strike out every time.
The same principle is true when it comes to prayer. There are basic rules that must be followed in oder to have a winning prayer life. Without them, you will continually strike out and never achieve God's will for your life.
Prayer has been defined as "communication with God." Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus demonstrated the importance of staying in constant communication with His Father. Because prayer was His lifestyle, Jesus always knew where He was going and what He would and do when He got there. Through His example, we know that the very first rule about prayer is that we need to do it!
Hebrews 5:7 (Amplified Version) tells us:
7In the days of His flesh Jesus offered up definite, special petitions for that which He not only wanted but needed and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was always able to save Him out from death, and He was heard because of His reverence toward God [His godly fear, His piety, in that He shrank from the horrors of separation from the bright presence of the Father].
Notice, the Word does not say that Jesus' prayer was heard because He was the Son of God. It says that His prayer was heard because of His reverence toward God. How do we approach God?
Jesus said: John 5:19 - Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. John 8:28,29 ....I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him."
It's not that God won't, it's that we don't. Why? Because the devil convinces us that God won't answer our prayers, so we don't even bother to pray. How many victories were never won because we failed to go to God for help in the time of need? Realize today that it is not that God won't, but rather that we don't.
We know the importance of prayer, the next thing you should know is that there are different types of prayer with rules that govern each one.
PRAYER OF FAITH- is the prayer of petition or the prayer to change things. It is always based on God's revealed Word and never contains the word "IF." A few examples of this can be found in Matthew 21:21, 22 and Mark 11:22-24
THE PRAYER OF CONSECRATION- Which is the type of prayer that Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, "Saying, Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done." Luke 22:42
Unfortunately, people think that every type of prayer should begin or end by asking for God's will to be done. When Jesus prayed for the sick, He didn't end it with "if it by Thy will" as so many do today. He often told the sick things like, "Your faith has made you whole." God's Word tells us it is always His will to heal the sick, save the lost, and deliver the oppressed.
If we look at the ministry years Jesus spent on earth, that's ALL He did. Healed EVERYONE that came to him for healing, set the captive free, delivered people from bondage. Look at Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. That's what He did.
Over in I John 3:8 we're told that Jesus was made manifest to destroy the work of the devil. That's what we've been commissioned to do also. Mark 16 speaks of THE GREAT COMMISSION.
Acts 10:38 says how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
PRAYER OF COMMITMENT- Found in I Peter 5:7
PRAYER OF WORSHIP- Found in Acts 13:1-4; Luke 24:52, 53
PRAYER OF AGREEMENT- Found in Matthew 18:18-20
UNITED PRAYER- Found in Acts 4:23-31
INTERCESSORY PRAYER- - Found inRomans 8:26-27, Ephesians 6:18
Although there are many types of prayer, it is vital to always pray in faith and expect results every time.
I have known there to be about 5 basic elements to prayer. If there are more, I WANT TO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE!!!! But to start out with, here are the ones that I've been reminded of, recently.
7If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. WHAT A PROMISE!!! Ask whatever you will and Jesus said it shall be done for you. It all hinges upon that two-letter word "if".....
IF you live in Christ (abide vitally united to Him).
IF His Words remain in you.
IF His Words continue to live in your heart.
IF you ask for whatever it is that is on your heart.
IF is a little word, but pulls a big punch.
While Jesus walked on earth, He walked in this powerful truth day-by-day and He wanted us to have the same advantage. Because He stayed vitally united to His Father in prayer, He could ask whatever He willed and it was done.
Remember the leper that came to Jesus wanting to be healed? He said "Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean" Matthew 8:2 Some people know that God can, but don't know if He will. Others believe that it's God's will to heal, but they don't believe He can heal them. This man had the will and can in the right perspective and got his miracle that day. Jesus touched him and said "I will; be thou clean" verse 3. Immediately the leprosy left and he was made clean.
In Psalm 91 we are told of an impenetrable fortress of protection that is available to us, but there's a condition that must be met before the protection promise can go to work in our lives.
Psalm 91:1 Amplified version, says: HE WHO dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].
The Strongs Concordance says this about "shadow" = "shade". It's a cool place to abide in. No sweat. No matter what weapons the devil may be forming aginst us, they will not prosper. Psalm 91:16 says, "With long life will I satisfy him, and show him My salvation." When we stick with the Lord, we have it made in the shade.
Isaiah 54:17 tells us: No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me," Says the LORD.
John Wesley had this to say about prayer. "it seems God is liimited by our prayer life - that He can do nothing for humanity unless someone asks Him."
It's not easy to think that the Creator is limited by the creation, but it is true. God just will not intervene in our lives ithout being asked or invited. A perfect example of this is the Israelites that refused to possess their Promised Land. Psalm 78:41 says, "Yes, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel." When we refuse to ask God for the things we need, regardless of our reasons, we limit God in the earth.
God will not be shocked with our requests. He saw them all even before the foundations of the earth, He's never surprised. He knows what we have need of before we even ask. But His will is still that we ask.
Jesus said: So I say to you, Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you. If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! "Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. Luke 11:9 Amplified Version, Matthew 7:11, 18:19
Psalm 145:18-19 tells us: The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.
When we cry out to God, He instantly identifies us. Not only does He hear us, the Bible says He is always near by to those that call Him in truth and will fulfill the desire of them that fear Him. So, go ahead and ask. It's His idea.
One of MY favorite promises for answered prayer is I John 5:14-15 . I LOVE the way it is translated in the Amplified Bible:
14And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us.
15And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him.
His Word IS His Will.
Jesus gave us an example of how to pray....Luke 11:2 - So He said to them, "When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
There's no lack in heaven.
There's no sickness and disease in heaven.
There's no confusion in heaven.
There's no death and destruction in heaven.
He TOLD US to pray that His will be done ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.
John 14:9 we're told: Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
He said if we see Him, we see the Father. This gives us a good picture of the character of God.
Assurance in prayer comes from knowing the character of God. If you have studied His Word and you know His will concerning the thing you are asking about, there's no reason to be timid or fearful because God's Word says, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need? Hebrews 4:16.
His Word IS HIS WILL. His last will and testiment to us, on this earth.
When we ask in reverence to Him as our Source, we can rejoice for the answer because we know our Father has heard our request. When we abide in Him and He abides in us, we can be assured that He will always hear and listen to us, and grant us anything that we ask. You just know it would happen just that way because you know Him that well.
Every born-again believer has the potential to tear down strongholds of the enemy and build up the Kingdom of God with their prayers. I am not talking about a haphazard prayer life that occasionally reminds God about your problems. I am talking about perpetual, consistent, and even consistant communication with God. Communication that keeps the airways open, so to speak, so that the Holy Spirit is able to reveal the plans of the enemy to you, and show YOU how to neutralize his forces and send him running for cover.
No wonder the devil works overtime to stop our prayer life. He knows that it's all over for him the moment we discover the authority given to us by Jesus Christ in Luke 10:19 : Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
In John 14:14 Jesus gave us the authority to use His name. "If you shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it."
In John 16:23, 24 Jesus tells us: And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.
Until now you have asked nothing in My name, Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
That is what happened in Acts 3:6 to the paralyzed man that sat at the gate of the city. While asking for alms, Peter said, "....silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk." The power of the Name of Jesus instantly healed that man. He was so excited that he took of running and leaping and praising God.
Philippians 2:10-11 says: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
While using the Name of Jesus, everything that is named has to bow to it. Cancer is a name. All manner of sickness and disease, is a name. Depression is a name. Lack is a name. Fear is a name...and they all must bow to the Name of Jesus. Get it?
The devil really messed up when he put a name on your problem.
Paul prayed a prayer in Ephesians 1:19-22; 2:6
and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, ....and has raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
We are seated with Christ and have full authority to use His name to bust the devil's head back into the dust. Get busy! Pray!
These prayer basics will lead us out of infancy in prayer and into rivers of Spirit-led prayer. John 7:38 tells us, "He that believes on Me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." Remember that heart-led prayers, not head-led prayers, are the type that flow with the Holy Spirit.
Once God knows He can rely on you to pray in reverence and with authority, He may place specific assignments on your heart. It could be an entire nation or the little girl next door, but in His sight they are equally important and vital to His plan. Think of it: God has asked you to be involved in helping Him in the earth!
James 5:16 tells us: "...the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availes much."
Prayer always begins with God. If prayer is your lifestyle, God will find a way to get His assignments to you. If we are found faithful, God will move us into deeper things.
NEVER underestimate the power of prayer. It is so awesome that it will heal the sick, save the lost, and set the captives free. Prayers spoken in fiath parted the Red Sea, raised the dead, and fed the multitudes. Regardless of the need, prayer will always reveal God's plan for your victory.
Don't let past failures keep you away from God's throne of grace. Discover the awesome power that is available in prayer and never pass up the opportunity to pray!!!
Father, HELP US!!! Help us to pray, Help us to be faithful to PRAY and to remember that prayer always makes a difference. ALWAYS! Strengthen us, teach our hands to war in the spirit. Help us to know and remember that prayer is always a win-win situation. Your Word never fails. In Jesus' Name.