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PoP

Prayer is the practice of the presence of God.  Prayer is simply talking to God.

For true Christians, prayer [Gk: "proseuche"] is communion with God. Through prayer we actually experience relationship with God. The quality of our prayer life then determines the quality of our relationship with God. Prayer is talking with God. Prayer is listening to God. Prayer is enjoying the presence of God. It can take many forms – for example: worship, confession, thanksgiving, praise, petition (asking for things), waiting (silent, listening and sensing of God) and warfare (command).

Prayer is not simply saying words. It is not repeating formulas. God is looking for heartfelt relationship. We are told by Jesus not to make meaningless repetitions of words when we pray. (Mathew 6:7). Tongues may be meaningless to our understanding, but it is not to God.  In a future lesson we will give more attention to this subject.

Usually Satan will try to suggest to you that your prayers were not heard. He will encourage you to look to the problems again and get your eyes off God. He will try to get you to talk as if you are not sure if your prayer is answered. If he succeeds in getting you to express doubt it is likely that your mouth confession will cancel the effect of your prayer. Therefore guard your mind and heart, resist the temptation to talk negatively about the situations with others, especially with those with whom you are praying.

Take firm control of your thought life. Think on positive things (Philippians 4:6-9). By praising God and confessing the relevant truths of the Word, cast down every thought that is contrary to your prayer. These thoughts many times are nothing but the suggestions of the devil, who is working to negate our faith.

Keep speaking the what the Word says on the issue at stake. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23; 2 Corinthians 4:13).

There are different forms of prayer. The Holy Spirit wants to lead us into a balance of all these kinds of prayer.

  • Worship: [Heb. shachah {shaw-khaw'} = bow down, prostrate oneself]. The true worshiper God seeks worships in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23). God wants truth in the inner parts (Psalm 51:6). In true worship, there is a total bowing down of the heart to God. In worship we express love and admiration to God which is a response to the revelation of who God is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. Worship is voluntary submission to the love, the will and the law of God. Any hypocrisy disqualifies us for true worship. In worship we hear the voice of God.

  • Confession: In confession of sin, we tell God with our mouth our sin. We should specifically tell God what we did, or acknowledge what we failed to do that we should have done. This is necessary to restore communion with God and is a preparation for further fellowship. In confession of the Word, we tell God with our mouths what He has said in His Word. We express faith and confidence in God and God’s Word verbally, and it releases the blessing of God to us. Very rarely do we rise above the level of our verbal confession before God.

  • Thanksgiving: This is thanking God for what He has done for us. We can thank Him both for blessings seen and those as yet unseen. It is a key to faith and it is natural and right that we give thanks always to the One from whom all good things come. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

  • Praise: This is declaring good things about God, both about his character (who he is) and also His actions. To say “God is good” is to praise God. There are many styles of praise. Some are noisy and exuberant, others are calm. Praise is well-expressed through music, singing, words, shouting, clapping, dancing, shouting and giving to God.

  • Petition: This is asking God for the things we desire. Jesus said, “Ask and you shall receive.” (Matthew 7:7). We are commanded to ask.

  • Intercession: The ministry of intercession involves all the other types of prayer. However, the emphasis of the prayer ministry in intercession is the needs of others, and the advancement of God’s interests in the world. It is not focused on praying for things for oneself, but for others.

  • Waiting: (Habakkuk 2:1). This is a form of prayer in which the soul is silent and waits for God to move it or speak something by His Spirit. God promises to renew the strength of those who wait on Him (Isaiah 40:31; Psalm 27:14). We are to wait patiently on God. Through this we express to God in a practical way – not my will but Yours be done. If we are always talking in prayer we will not be able to hear what God is saying.

  • Warfare: (Psalm 149:6-9). This is prayer directed against the powers of darkness. Our praises to God are also a weapon directed against the powers of darkness (demons, fallen angels who are at work in the affairs of the world and the church). We pronounce against them the written judgment by reading the Scriptures of judgment against them (Psalm 149:9), we command them to be bound or to leave their positions of influence or authority in the name of Jesus. (Matthew 16:19; Mark 16:17). In “praying for the sick” we should pray prayers of command ordering the bodies of people to be healed in Jesus’ name. This is a form of spiritual warfare since it is part of destroying the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8; Acts 10:38).

  • Praying in Tongues: (1 Corinthians 14: 2,15; Jude 20) This is a method of prayer available to those baptized in the Holy Spirit through which they can pray the will of God through words given by the Spirit. Since the mind (the understanding) is not directly involved the mind has a chance to rest and wait on God and receive revelation while this praying in tongues is taking place.

God says to continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2). Men ought always to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1). Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Watch therefore and pray always (Luke 21:36).

Prayer is where our dedication to God is tested. This is where our destiny is really determined. This is a command with constant application. Either we maintain communion with God or we don’t. Either we depend on God and wait on Him or we don’t. Either we allow ourselves to be led by Him or we don’t.

 


Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

NIV Listen

 1 Kings 18:4 (NKJ)
For so it was, while Jezebel massacred the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah had taken one hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty to a cave, and had fed them with bread and water.)
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