The Bible teaches several kinds of prayer and the different rules governing them:
There are numerous misconceptions in the body of Christ about prayer. Many Christians seem to think, for example, that intercession is the only kind of prayer. Sometimes people say, “God called me to be an intercessor.” No, He did not – He called you to pray all kinds of prayer. Intercession is just one kind.
Some may say, “Oh, but intercession is the most important kind of prayer!” That is not true either. The most important kind of prayer is the kind that the Holy Ghost leads you to pray – the appropriate prayer for the particular situation.
Studying different kinds of prayer helps because it will broaden your understanding and strengthen your faith when you pray. But always remember studying prayer I very different from praying.
These kinds of prayers work together like the fingers of your hand! That is why you can’t be clinical about it just because we categorize for study purposes.
You just have to flow with the Spirit. eg: If the Holy Spirit moves on you to pray and you feel as though you want to weep, don’t try to figure out whether you’re supplicating or interceding. Just weep!
Long before anyone heard the words “supplication” and “intercession”, people were praying those prayers.
1. The Prayer of Faith
Mark 11:22-24, “So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.
“For assuredly, I say to you, Whoever says to this mountain, ‘ be removed and be cast into the sea, ‘ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
Every prayer we pray requires faith order to be effective
The prayer that we call the Prayer of Faith, however, requires us not just to trust that God hears and receives our prayer, but that He will respond in a specific way.
To pray the Prayer of Faith, we must know without a doubt what the will of God is about the particular thing we are addressing in prayer.
We must be certain that He will give it to us that we can ask once, thank Him for His answer and – regardless of what we see or feel – believe with certainty that He has granted our request.
If we study Jesus’ teaching about this kind of prayer in Mark 11:22-24 we see that there are 2 parts in it. There is praying part and there is a saying part.
Often people will read verse 23 about speaking to the mountain and they will want to jump right into the “saying” part without any spiritual preparation.
They will start speaking to situations in their lives ordering them to be removed or changed. When their words do not seem to have the intended effect, they get discouraged and give up.
What they do not realize is that they should have done some preparation first.
They should have spent some time fellowshipping with the Lord about their situation…
Read the Word, sought the will of the Lord and communed with the Holy Spirit until they’d received clear direction from Him about how to pray and what to say.
The first word that we need to notice in verse 24 is pray.
Prayer is a communication directed toward God. One of the greatest keys to success in prayer is being consciously aware that you are speaking to God when you pray!
A lot of time we find ourselves just shooting out our requests as hard and fast as we can with no consciousness of God. We throw religious clichés into the air hoping that it will do some good.
Other times we find our minds wandering while saying words with our mouth but our minds and hearts are off somewhere else – as a result our prayers are weak and ineffective. If I will take the time to focus my attention directly on Him, if I will make myself become conscious that I am coming to Him and He is listening to me, it will change the way that I pray.
It is a simple truth but it has a powerful effect
The second word that we must notice in V24 is word desire.
The full meaning of this word in Greek means more than just wanting something,
It means expressing that desire by making a request – asking. Several versions use the word “ask” instead of desire.
Strongs definition: desire – aiteo – to ask, call for, crave, desire, require
So one could more literally translate verse 24 to read this way:
“What things soever ye desire [enough to ask], when ye pray”
Asking is Asking!
Asking is not commanding.
Let us get the progression straight.
Asking is where we begin.
Why is asking so important?
Asking 5 times
Matthew 6:8, Jesus says, “ Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before you ask Him”
If God already knows what we need why do we have to ask Him for it? Why doesn’t He just give it to us?
The answer is simple:
Out faith is what connects us to God and asking is an expression of faith!
James 4:2 says, “Ye have not because ye ask not.”
Sometimes we ask God for things too quickly. We think, “Oh, I know what the Bible says about that!” And without so much as looking up one scripture, we start petitioning God for things.
You don’t want to find out that you are not in faith after your prayer is already rolling. Listen to the tone of your heart on the matter, and if you are not fully confident you’ll receive what you ask for then spend some time with the promises of God.
When you take the time to get firmly established in your faith, you won’t be moved by what the situation looks like. Granted it takes a little time to get you to that place of faith, but it is time well spent.
If you are tempted to skip it, remember this – once you have prayed, the devil will come and try to steal your faith. He always does.
He will try to make you look like a fool for believing God. He will set up circumstances to make your faith look like a farce. He will use physical evidence to undermine your confidence in God’s Word.
The next time that you get a bad report, don’t jump up and start shouting at the mountain. Don’t even pray real hard
Just Chill Out!
Usually in situations like that, your first response comes not out your spirit but of your soul.
You may be hollering the right words. “I curse that thing! I curse it! I believe that it has gone!” but the panic indicates that you do not believe at all. Relax for a while so that you can switch from your soul to your spirit. Draw near to God and begin meditating on His Word in a situation like that.
When you are operating off a full tank of faith, you can speak to the mountain and it will move.
Who can use this Prayer of Faith?
You can ALWAYS pray this prayer for yourself. This prayer works great when you need to pray for the situations in your own life.
However your Prayer of Faith will not always work for others.
Usually when a person is a baby Christian and is unschooled in the Word of God, the prayer of faith will work for him.
However sometimes more mature believers still want to be babies and let someone else carry them and do their believing for them. That will not work. God expects people who know how to use their own faith to use it and believe God for themselves.
2. The Prayer of Consecration
The Prayer of Consecration may be one of the shortest prayers uttered, but it often requires the longest journey of the heart. It is about dying to our own will and our own ways in order to surrender to God’s will and God’s ways.
That is what it takes to honestly pray this kind of prayer.
The best scriptural example of Prayer of Consecration is found in:
Matthew 26:36-46 NKJV
This prayer with all its intensity did not just spontaneously spring up in Jesus’ heart at this one crucial time in His life.
Although the “Garden of Gethsemane experience” was the ultimate test of His willingness to die to His own will Jesus lived His entire life with this attitude of surrender to God.
In John 5:30 NKJV He said, “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father Who sent Me.” in John 6:35 He said, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
This was Jesus’ own testimony. Choosing God’s will over His own was the most important thing in His life.
Jesus did not develop the Gethsemane attitude of consecration over night. Many smallsteps of surrender paved the way for that final decision, and you will have to take a lot of small steps in your life, too.
You will have daily opportunities for consecration when somebody wrongs you and God tells you to bless them instead of giving them a piece of your mind. You will take small steps forward on days when you want to go home and relax after a hard day and instead you go to church and pray.
There will also be bigsteps of consecration along the way. When you are offered a chance to fulfill your dream but God directs you another way, for instance, what will you do?
If you have practiced the Prayer of Consecration, you will make the right decision. You will turn down that good opportunity and wait for God opportunity instead.
There will be occasions when you have a dream in your heart that God Himself put there, but the direction He is leading stead of At times you may have to die to those dreams to stay on course. (Remember when God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac?)
But if you do it God will surely resurrect that dream at the right time and in the right way.
Every time that you make a decision that hurts – perhaps you decide against a relationship, a business or some other opportunity – you are making a long term investment towards God’s plan for your life.
The more it costs you now to follow God’s plan, the less likely you will be to let something cheap pull you off course later.
Consecration, though sometimes painful, is not a negative thing. It will endear the will of God to your life.
So this is not a prayer that you can pray once in your life. It has to be prayed continually. It has to be the rudder that directs your life.
James 4:13-15 NKJV admonishes us to consecrate every day to the will of God.
“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’”
Don’t just exercise your will in big things. Practice the Prayer of Consecration daily.
Always remember: When Jesus said in the garden “Father, if You are willing…” and this scripture in James “if the Lord wills…” are only used in the Prayer of Consecration.
Some people think that they should conclude every prayer with “If it be Thy will”. They claim that this is the way Jesus prayed. However Jesus prayed this way only on one occasion.
By contrast when He stood at Lazarus’ tomb He did not say, “If it be Thy will”. He commanded Lazarus to come forth.
When it comes to changing things or asking to get something from God, we do not pray: “If it be Thy will”, because we already have God’s Word concerning it. We already know that it is His will that our needs are met.
We don’t go through this consecration process to lose our will. God does not want you to be without a will otherwise He would not have created you with one.
Truthfully, by the time you finish your course, you will be very strong-willed.
But your will always will be used to fulfill God’s will.
3. The Prayer of Commitment / Casting your cares upon Him
1 Peter 5:6,7 “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you. Casting the whole of your care – all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all – on Him for He cares for you affectionately, and He cares about you watchfully.”
The reason we must learn this kind of prayer first is simple. If you don’t know how to pray this prayer, many of your other prayers will be rendered ineffective. That is because every effective prayer you will ever pray must be based on your faith in the Word of God. Jesus warned us in Matthew 13:22 that the worries and cares of this world will choke the Word that you’ve put in your heart.
Jesus also tells us in Matthew 6:25-34 not to worry about tomorrow. Worry will not add one cubit to your stature. In this passage of scripture we are told % times not to worry. Not only is worry absolutely unless, it does harm your prayer life and physical well-being.
Before you can cast your cares completely on God, you must be fully persuaded that He wants to take them in order to help you.
You can gain this reassurance by going to the Bible to remind yourself of His faithfulness and ability to help.
Meditate on scriptures like Hebrews 13:5 Amp:
“For He (God) Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without any support. [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless, nor forsake nor let [you] down [relax my hold on you] – Assuredly not!”
Think about Romans 4:21 Amp that says,
“God is able and mighty to keep His Word and to do what He has promised.”
Consider Psalm 34:19 that says,“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him of them all.”
It’s important that you meditate on such scriptures before casting your cares because you don’t want this prayer to be just form. You want it to be from your heart. It does not bother God that we need to have constant reassurance that He is qualified to take or burdens. He wants us to have that reassurance constantly.
When someone comes to you in distress and needs prayer it is not enough to say to them, “Don’t worry! Cast your cares on the Lord!” them do it.
Give them some promises from the Word of God that will inspire faith in them. Sometimes it takes people a little time to grasp the fact that God really will help them. As you feed on the Word with them You will be able to tell when they are focusing on God instead of their problem. At that point have them begin to pray and they will be able to truly cast their cares upon the Lord.
Philippians 4:6-8 NKJV gives us practical insight into how we pray this prayer of casting your care.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, Brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.”
The word ‘supplication’ means more than just to ask someone for something. It implies that you are pouring your heart out about something that you need.
1)Tell the Lord exactly what cares you are asking Him to take, and tell Him everything that has been bothering you about them. Unload on Him.
Stop trying to sound all nice and spiritual and you just have a conversation with God and tell Him everything that has been worrying you.
2)Once you have done that, make a definite request with specific scriptures that you have been meditating on. Ask Him for His help, His wisdom, the solution etc.
3)After you have settled things with God by making a definite request then thank Him!
No, you have not seen results in the natural realm yet but your faith is not based on what you see; it is based on what you believe.
You should be believing 1 John 5:14-15 NKJV “Now this is the confidence that we have Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
This is reason to give thanks!
4)After thanking God for helping you take care of your situation you will fine a supernatural peace begin to settle over you. Prayer, Supplication and Thanksgiving, that is the way to peace. There are no shortcuts.
5)Once we find that peace, we maintain it by obeying the fourth part of the passage in Philippians 4. We fix our mind on what the Word of God says is true about our situation.
It is important that you understand that this is not a matter of suppressing your fears by refusing to think about them.
No, you have gotten rid of those fears by casting them over on God and replacing them with faith. You are simply refusing to allow fear to come back by continuing to keep your mind and heart full of the Word of God.
As you do, you will continue to pray powerful prayers, prayers unhindered by worry and care. Prayers that get results!
4. The Prayer of Praise and Worship
Acts13:1-4, “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saulfor the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cypress.”
- For too long we have gone to church, not to necessarily minister to theLord,but to pray and seek God on our own behalf.
- The Christians – in the above verse – however, came together and ‘…ministered to the Lord, and fasted.”
- This is the true prayer of worship.
- God made man so He would have someone to have fellowship with. He made man for His own pleasure.
- We are born of God. He is our Father. No earthly parent ever enjoyed the fellowship of his children more than God enjoys the fellowship of His sons and daughters.
The Power of Praise
- This is the kind of atmosphere God can move in – “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, THE HOLY GHOST SAID…”
- With hearts full of love and praise, yielded to the Lord, the Holy Spirit can manifest Himself and make known God’s will and leading for His children’s lives.
A Song at Midnight
Acts 16:22-25, “And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded them to beat them. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailer to keep safely; Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks and at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.”
- Verse 25 “…Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God…”
- What did they have to be so happy about that they felt like singing?
- They had been preaching the Gospel. They were brought before the rulers, charged and beaten and then cast into prison with their feet place in stocks.
- Their backs were sore and bleeding. Every part of their bodies ached.
- Depression, discouragement, despair hounded them.
- They “sang praises unto God!”
- Paul and Silas were in trouble. They were in pain. They were in jail. It was a bleak situation. They had to have been discouraged.
- Paul and Silas were in jail, but they didn’t let the jail get in them.
- We can find help for our midnight hour – our time of testing – when the storms of life threaten to sweep us overboard.
Verse 25 “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God:
AND THE PRISONERS HEARD THEM.”
- They weren’t quiet about it. They were praising God out loud right there in jail.
Verse 26 “And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened and every one’s hands were loosed.”
- Not only did the prisoners hear them, but God also heard them!
- Deliverance came while they were praising God.
A Song in Battle
2 Chronicles 20:15, 17-19, 22
15 And he said, hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem and thou,
kind Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s…
17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see
the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, not be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.
18 And Jehosaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the Lord, worshipping the Lord.
19 And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, Stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high….
21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord for his mercy endureth forever.
22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.
- Jehosaphat knew his army was no match for those countries banded against him.
- He called a prayer meeting and the people fasted and prayed.
- THE SPIRIT OF God moved upon a young man in the congregation and he stood and prophesied. “Fear not for the battle is the Lord’s”.
- They went to battle, not with swords and spears but with songs of praise!
- V21. They marched and chanted, “Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.”
- In their midnight hour, instead of cowering fear, the children of Israel sand praises to God just as Paul and Silas did in jail.
- Verse 22 “And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten”.
- Their praises brought about a manifestation of God’s power!
Praise, a characteristic of the Early Church
Luke 24:50-53, “And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.”
- After the disciples watched Jesus return to heaven, they went back to Jerusalem with hearts filled with praise and thanksgiving to God.
Acts 2:46,47 “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
- They continued DAILY with one accord…eating their meat with gladness….
- Praising God…”
- This wasn’t a spasmodic occurrence – something that happened one in a great while.
- The Bible uses the words “continually” and “daily”.
- For most Christians, if we were writing their experience we would use the words ‘ occasionally’ or even ‘semi-annually’.
- But the Bible records that the early Christians “were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.”
- If we want to see the same manifestation of power Early Church had, we are going to have to see the same manifestations of praise they had.
5. The Power of Agreement
Matthew 18:19, 20 “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. For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Keys to the Prayer of Agreement
The Bible says if two of you agree on earth.The first thing is that you must be in agreement.
Real agreement does not mean just mental assent. It is much deeper that that.
It is a heart connection where two or more people truly believe the same thing.
Another key word in this “ask”. Notice that is does not say that if two of you agree on earth, your prayers will be answered. It says that if you agree, anything that they ask, it will be done for them.
Too often we hear the Prayer of Agreement used this way. “Would you please agree with me for my new job?”“I agree!” the other person promises. God was not even asked to be a part of it.
God does not have a different definition for asking than we do. There is no secret formula to asking. Asking means to make a request, to seek to obtain by making one’s wants known.
Making the Connection
The Prayer of Agreement will not produce results unless there is a heart connection of genuine agreement between both parties.
That kind of connection is not made quickly or flippantly.
If it is, it will be, at best, ineffective, and, at worst, it will be downright destructive.
Praying before you are faith-filled will frustrate your prayer life.
If someone wants you to agree with them on a matter: What scripture are they standing on?
If you pray prematurely, you are just clamoring. Spend the time that it takes to build a scriptural platform for the request.
Before you can pray the Prayer of Agreement, you must determine that you have the biblical right to make the request. Faith does not come by prayer. It comes by hearing the Word of God.
What brings results is that we agree on God’s promises to provide what we need to escape those predicaments.
Confidence before God
Often a reason people don’t have confidence before God is that they have sinned and their conscience condemns them.
Locate the level of faith in the Prayer of Agreement. For instance, you may have the faith for someone to receive divine healing without surgery, but they may be believing for successful surgery.
There is no trick to locating someone’s level of faith. Ask, “What is it that you can believe for without any trouble?” It is not a good idea for someone to try and stretch their faith out of measure. They will not get their prayer answered, and it will hurt their faith.
Go ahead and get them to start using their faith that they have, and they will see results. That way their faith is bolstered.
Always remember, this prayer involves very distinct, understood agreement. It is a definite request.
It does involve groaning and travail and it does not have to be a long prayer.
Decide what you can receive through the promises of the Holy Spirit then go confidently to God and ask.
The power of God will be released on your behalf.
6. Praying in Tongues
The spirit-baptized believer does not have to stop speaking in tongues after his initial experience. He can and should continue to use tongues in his private prayer and worship to God.
Ephesians 5:18,19 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”
Paul wrote these verses to the born-again, Spirit filled believers in the Church at Ephesus:
He told them to “be filled with the Spirit.” He told them to be drunk on the Spirit, not on wine.
The Greek says, “be being filled”;
MAINTAIN A CONSTANT EXPERIENCE
Keep drinking of the Spirit.
V19 “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”
- Here Paul gives the Ephesians the characteristic of the Spirit-filled life.
- A psalm is a spiritual poem or song or an ode, given by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit on the spur of the moment. It can come by tongues and interpretation or by prophecy.
John 7:37-39 “in the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, if any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”
- Water is a type of the Holy Spirit. Jesus stood at the last day of the feast and told the people to drink of the Spirit.
- He was encouraging us to stay filled with the Spirit.
- By doing so, we overcome the devil and the sins of this world, and we live a life that is pleasing to Christ.
- “… Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Gal 5:16
What is the use of speaking with tongues?
- It keeps your praying in line with God’s Will.
- There are some who have spoken in tongues but see no reason to continue to speak in tongues in their daily prayer life.
- God thought that speaking in tongues is very important, because He devoted an entire chapter in the Bible – 1 Corinthians 14 – to this subject.
- We know how important prayer is, but we won’t find an entire chapter on prayer. Tithes and offerings are very important, yet we will not find an entire chapter devoted to the subject. Water baptism is also important but there is not an entire chapter devoted to that either.
- God did not put unnecessary things in His Word, or unimportant subjects. Therefore, the teachings on the subject of speaking in tongues are vital and necessary to every successful Christian.
Speaking Secrets to God
1 Corinthians 14:2,4,18
2: “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue not unto men, but unto God; for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.”
4:” He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself…”
18: “ I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all.”
- In verse 2, “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue not unto men, but unto God;” Paul was not referring to ministering in tongues in a public assembly; He was talking about a Spirit-filled believer speaking in tongues in his private prayer life.
- “…Howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.” Moffatt’s translation of this verse says, “… He is talking of divine secrets in the Spirit.” God has devised a way whereby we may speak to Him supernaturally! In the Spirit, we speak divine secrets to God!
1 Corinthians 14:4 “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself…”
- This means that he builds himself up spiritually.
Jude 1:20 “ But ye beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.”
- Praying in the Holy Spirit will not give you faith; it builds you up “ on your most holy faith.” It is a means of spiritual edification. You build yourself up on your most holy faith, and your faith begins to operate.
New Dimensions in Praise
Acts 10:46 “For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God…”
- Speaking with tongues is a way in which we can magnify God. All descriptive adjectives become exhausted in our natural vocabulary.
- Our spirit wants to pray apart from our understanding – “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.” 1 Cor 14:14
- We are supposed to communicate with god on a new dimension.
- My spirit is no longer bound by earthly vocabularies; it can soar beyond the limitations of human speech.
- My spirit is enabled by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to say what it wants to say.
- The Holy Spirit is here to help us with our praying.
- Praying in the Holy Spirit is communicating with God supernaturally.
7. United Prayer
In Acts 3 Peter and John see a man begging alms. And Peter says:
Acts 3:6 “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.”
- This caused a stir among the priests and elders. They cast peter and John into prison but released them the next day.
- Peter and John were commanded not to preach or teach in the name of Jesus anymore.
Acts 4:23-32, “And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou are God, which hast made heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in them; Who by the mouth of thy servant David said, “Why did the heathen rage and the people imagine vain things?” The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, who thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and the people of Israel were gathered together, for to do whosoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings; and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thy hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.”
From Prison to Prayer Group
“And being let go, they went to their own company…”
- A good place to be when in trouble is with your ‘own company’ – people of like faith! Who know how to pray!
- The Bible says, “…they lifted up their voice to God with one accord.”
- They knew the power of united prayer.
- They lifted their voices as a group in prayer!
Results of United Prayer
Acts 4:31 “And now when they had prayed the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and they spake the word of God with boldness.”
V29 And now Lord behold their threatenings; and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.
- They didn’t ask the Lord to remove the persecution or to strike down their enemies.
- They had not asked the Lord to make their way easy.
- Instead they had prayed that in the midst of persecution they might preach the Word with boldness. And the Lord answered their prayer.
V31 “… the place was shaken where they were assembled together…”
- There is power in united prayer!
- Their prayer was for something specific. They were praying for the need that faced them. And they all prayed at once.
- Paul and Silas are also an example of united prayer. Again, the place was shaken as a result of united prayer!
- The jailer and his entire family accepted Christ as Saviour and all were baptized.
The Key to Effective United Prayer
V32 “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.”
Such power can be generated through that kind of unity so that in this instance it even shook the building!
It also changed the circumstances completely!
8. Intercessory Prayer
Primarily for Unbelievers
Briefly defined, intercession is standing in the gap in prayer between a person and God. It is prayer to hold back judgment.
If someone has dinned and provoked judgment upon them and they do not turn and repent, the only hope for judgment to be averted is for someone to stand in the gap for them and make intercession.
Micah 7:8 “Who is a God like unto thee that pardoneth iniquity and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger forever, because he delighteth in mercy.”
Ezekiel 22:30 “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none.”
God’s will was that someone would stand in the gap so the land would not be destroyed.
While His justice demanded judgment, His love wanted forgiveness. If God could have found a human to ask Him to spare this people, He could have. It would have allowed Him to show mercy. Because He found no one, however, He had to destroy them.
2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
There were two occasions when Moses had to stand in the gap or make intercession for the children of Israel, who had provoked God by their idolatry and sin: Numbers 14:11-19; Exodus 32:7-14
Moses’ prayers of intercession withheld judgment from the children of Israel.
Ps 106:23 “Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses, his chosen, stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.”
Job 9:32,33 “For God is not a mere man, as I am, that I should answer Him that we should come together in court. There is no umpire between us, who might lay his hand upon us both [would that there were]!”
Job needed one who would be able to lay his hand on him and a hand on God. He needed one to stand between him and God and plead his case.
Isaiah 59:16 “And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.”
God saw that there was no intercessor. God sent Jesus, our Intercessor.
Jesus came to bridge the gap between god and man. Man needed someone to stand in the gap so he could get back to God. Man needed an Intercessor. Jesus’ sacrifice established Him as the only fully trustworthy Intercessor for mankind. He is the only Intercessor for the people of this planet. See 1 Timothy 2:5
The prayer of intercession is an extension of the ministry of Jesus through His Body, the Church, whereby we mediate between God and humanity for the purpose of reconciling the world to him.
9. Prayer of Supplication
The nature of supplication is much more heartfelt than a casual request. The word supplication means a humble, earnest entreaty or request. If a request were not made in a heartfelt, fervent and earnest manner, it would not be supplication.
For whom can supplication be made?
First, we pray the Prayer of Supplication for ourselves concerning both natural and spiritual needs.
Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
Second, we pray the Prayer of Supplication for God’s people – for believers or all saints.
Ephesians 6:18 “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
Thirdly, we are to pray the Prayer of Supplication for all men and for those who are in authority. That would include unbelievers as well.
1 Timothy 2:1,2 “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”
In order to pray fervently there is to be a great desire in our hearts. Where do we get this kind of burning desire?
“Why hasn’t God given me that kind of desire?” you may ask…
He has – but you have not noticed it. You see it does not begin as a great, burning burden of prayer. It begins as a flicker. Then, as you fan it by giving attention to it in the Word and in prayer, it grows.
If you make the mistake of ignoring or suppressing that initial desire, it will fade away. So don’t do that! That tiny seed of desire is your cue from the Holy Spirit about the direction He wants you to take in your prayers.
When it comes to your heart, grab hold of it and lift it up to God. The request may sound small and weak at first but speak it out anyway. Don’t let it sit on the inside of you.
Once you take the first step, God will take the second.
Each desire is like a little spark of divine life. If you will cultivate it, lift it up to the Lord, it will grow and mature.