Prayer, the fabric of life in Christ; I believe that every Christian failure is a prayer failure! I believe that prayer is christianity lived out! I am not saying that it is always a lack of Prayer but it might have to do with how and what we pray that needs to change.
Prayer is, at its simplest, conversation with God. It is a dialogue or communication of the spirit and soul with our Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit. At it’s best it is communion, a place of close dynamic fellowship or intimacy with God!
For most people prayer is petition and or worship and yes that is a part of prayer but I know it is only a place of beginning. Prayer should be so much more and different than that.
Our conversation with God reveals our relationship with God, (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). By our words with Him and how we talk about Him we show how well we know Him. Whether He is a casual acquaintance or someone we trust and walk with intimately is revealed by our conversations.
I walk with Father, not because of His promises, but because He is God!
I pray to first know His will then to do His will. I pray because I want to receive from Him for His kingdom and purpose, not to hear myself speak.
I pray to find answers therefore, I must listen more than I speak!
His answers are more important than the abundance of my words. I do not need to convince Him of anything. I need to respond to Him. He wants salvations, disciples, and His Kingdom to come. He wants to destroy the works of the enemy and for deliverances and healing to be manifest. I do not need to try to manipulate Him with my words or through scripture Quotations to try to get Him to do what He declares is His will! If I listen, I will hear His will. To pray strategically I need to surrender, and abandon myself to Him then speak back to Him His will declared to me on every matter!
These scriptures speak to us about Jesus the son of man’s walk on the earth and then who we are in Him. I am not writing them all out as if you want to see what He says, you can look them up;
Jn. 20:21 — 5:19-20 &30, 6:38, 8:28-29, 10:4-6 27, 12:49-50, 14:10, 16:13, 17:18-23, 20:21-23, Rom. 8:14-17, Gal. 3:26-4:7, 2 Pet. 1:2-4, 1Jn. 3:2-4,
I am not trying to bring a paper out with a lot of theology about prayer. I do want us to look honestly at our prayers and conversations with Father and Jesus… I would have us hear and see how to live in a place where prayer changes things and prayer is changed!
The prayer meetings I attend generally are filled with a lot of words and scripture. I find myself doing the same type of praying at these gatherings. Yet I hate it. It sounds like the Pharisee prayer that the Lord told us not to pray. At these times I live in “hope”, not faith. Faith prayers, strategic prayer, originates with Father and bring His presence, thus they accomplish His desire. I do not live in the OT but the NT. I am not a servant in position but a son! I should not be ignorant of my Father’s heart or mind. He lives in me! I can pray according to His will. because I can ask Him his will and He will answer! Jesus tells us repeatedly that He only speaks or prays what Father tells Him to. If we know that His prayers are the Father’s words and will spoken by Him on earth and we are “sent like Him”, why do we not pray like Him?
I am amazed many times at prayer warriors who are always quoting OT scriptures and praying from that place instead of our NT position. The NT scriptures they use from an OT position of being servants thus there seems to be lots of repetition and pleading.
Luke 18:1-8 (NKJV)
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ” 6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
There are two things here that I think are important that many leave out as they try to convince God to do “their” will in prayer.
#1 “though He bears long with them” He says, like the unjust judge, He will answer our insistent prayers – even though He tries to tell them (bears long with them) He does not want to do what they are asking.
#2 “nevertheless…will He really find faith on the earth” this last line in left out of the “quoting of this Scripture passage”. Again The Lord is telling us He will answer our insistent prayers — but will He “really” find anyone who will trust Him when He comes back? In other words will He find people who will not keep trying to have God do things their way but will show trust in Him, – listen and obey?
If we read the whole passage, we must concede that possibly “ought always pray” found in verse 1 means something different than hounding God continually to do “our” desire.
One more passage in the NT used without a full revelation is;
Mt. 16:13-19 (NKJV) 13
When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Here we take verse 19 and believe that we can command God, by our binding and Loosing on earth, to do the same in Heaven… I think that is a bit dangerous and this is not what the context reveals if you read it all. This scripture in verses 13-14 reveals that the people thought that Jesus was one of the prophets because of the works and miracles He did amongst them. Jesus next narrows the question to the disciples and Peter responds with, “You are the Christ…”. Jesus answer was not, “Wow Simon it is great that you know I am the Son of God” but instead He was excited because Simon Peter had to have heard from His Father in heaven. Neither man nor Jesus’s walk and miracles as a man could have shown Peter that Jesus was the Son of God. Only by “revelation” or hearing from Father could Simon Peter know this! So then in 18 Jesus says “on this rock I will build my church… What is Jesus talking about? What was He excited about? What is stated is that He is excited about Peter hearing from Father and thus knowing He is The Son of God. So the Rock of revelation” in this passage and what He will build His church on that the gates of hell cannot prevail against is —the church that HEARS FROM FATHER AND KNOWS JESUS IS LORD!
To prevail against the enemy takes more than just knowing Jesus is the Son of God; you must also be hearing from the Father! Then we get to 19 and the binding and loosing part which is a continuation of 18 – AND connects them together. So the church that can bind and loose on earth and it will be bound in heaven is the church that FIRST “hears from the Father” and then in response to hearing binds or looses- so of course it is bound in heaven because FIRST we hear then we speak what we heard just like Peter did.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV Strong’s),
pray without ceasing.
This scripture is a re-iteration of Lu.18:1 about prayer being in every act of living. To have prayer be a part of “everything” we do, our idea of prayer will need to change. It might have more to do with listening than always speaking. Remember prayer is conversation and communication which suggests two beings engaged in this act of communion together. Listening and speaking and maybe at times just walking together without words sharing life together could be prayer.
Matthew 6:5-13 (NKJV)
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
This passage is in response to the disciples wanting to know how to pray. Jesus starts his response with how not to pray. Remember that all of this passage lays out principles of prayer. These are not exact words to be spoken.
I think that if we did not pray to be heard, seen or acknowledged by those around us our prayers would be much shorter. In fact I know that when I am alone my prayers are shorter and more responsive to the voice of the Spirit. “The secret place” is not about being alone as much as it is about humility and trust. Prayer is between you and Father. If I need to pray in front of others I might need to ask myself why. Jesus repeats – do not be like those who need to be seen and heard.
In verses 9-13 Jesus lays out the “do” principles to follow;
9 – recognize and remember who you are addressing. Acknowledge Father with reverence, speak from your heart!
10 – this is one we pass over lightly as we do not recognize the whole statement principle. This principle is more than a mandate, there is a larger principle here. YOUR kingdom and will be done insinuates that we need to listen and hear His will for His Kingdom before we utter or pray anything further.
11 – we cannot know “what bread to pray for” until we have heard in V.10. It might be physical bread or spiritual bread or finances or anointing or ?
12 – again v. 10 because if we do not hear we will spend a lot of words covering every conceivable sin we might have committed. Instead of what Father sees needs to be confessed or dealt with.
13 – this negative first part implies that we must be lead by Holy Spirit to avoid temptation and the evil one. It suggests we must hear as we can’t see Him… this scripture shows the importance of hearing correctly, the need for “knowing” Father. WHY? Because it is GOD’s Kingdom, power and Glory we are to walk in. Which tells us we must live in response – v.10. Thy Kingdom,…Thy will …
Matthew 21:13 (NKJV Strong’s)
And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”
This scripture leads me a lot. I am always asking Father not to let me make prayer into something that does not honor Him and HIS will . Jesus is our example of being a House of Prayer and I give you a few scriptures from the Gospel of John again to read; 5:19-20 & 30, 6:38, 8:28-29, 10:4-6 & 27, 12:49-50, 14:10
Jesus did nothing but what father directed him to do nor did He speak anything but what Father spoke to Him ! THEREFORE, His prayer must have been responsive in nature And we are sent just like Him. Jn. 14:12, 20:21.
Prayer changes things and Father wants to change prayer !