"Pray passionately in the Spirit, as you constantly intercede with every form of prayer at all times. Pray the blessings of God upon all His Believers." (Ephesians 6:18, TPT)
The Lord loves diversity. That's why He made us all so different with different ways of viewing life. And because He made us all different, He has the wonderful ability to understand all of us when we pray with all our different needs. Some people pray with a prayer list of names and requests; some pray silently; others pray with shouts and declarations. There are as many different ways to pray as there are people on the earth. To try to press people into one prayer model is not wise.
Other than the Lord's Prayer, the Bible does not give us a preferred model of prayer. Rather, we find dozens of prayer models in the pages of Scripture. There are a hundred different ways that you come to God in prayer through the name and person of Jesus Christ. And there are many types of prayer in the Bible. Here are some of the basic categories of prayer:
Praise, Adoration, and Thanksgiving
Praise is God's address. If you can't find God, praise Him. He'll show up! Try starting your encounter with God in prayer, with extended seasons of praise. It's fine to be loud and rowdy; or you may choose to simply be quiet and reflective. Whatever your preferred method, it's time to praise the Lord! We have to learn the secret power of praise. It is not 'hype' to praise God; it is the way into the realm of glory. Praise is like a pin code or password that allows you access into Heaven. You leave behind the pressures of life and its disappointments and you come gloriously into the heavenly realm!
Adoration is a form of intimate worship. Why don't you tell the Lord right now that you adore Him and look longingly at His beauty? Now close your eyes and speak it out: "Jesus, I adore you." Then thank Him all day long for what He means to you. It's that simple. This kind of prayer will free your heart from anxiety and care. As you become a thankful Believer, peace will enter your heart (Philippians 4:6-7).
Asking in Prayer
The simplest prayer of all is this: "Please, God, do this for me." Our God is a prayer-answering God. He'll not hesitate to answer the cry of those who love Him and ask in faith. (Photo via Unsplash)
Keep God busy answering your prayers. He won't mind. Let Him know what you need and be a holy reminder to the Lord. The more you ask, the more you'll receive. So keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking, and the door of answered prayer will be opened for you (Matthew 7:7-11). Go ahead, run into God's presence and invade the privacy of God! See yourself as a five-year-old that rushes into the Father's presence, oblivious of manners. Your Father can handle it. He's your Abba!
Intercession is asking God to intervene as you plead before God on behalf of others. It's the ministry of every Believer. This is our highest calling. For we all have the priestly ministry of calling on the Father on behalf of others (1 Timothy 2:1-3). It's stretching our hearts out in love to cover others.
This category is your very own private time of heart-filling prayer. It's your alone time with Jesus, calling upon His name, meditating on His Word, and yielding your heart to Him. Watch as your inner being is built up and strengthened to defeat the enemy.
During this time, try to incorporate all the different types of prayer: praise, adoration, thanksgiving, confession, asking, intercession, and warfare. As you pour out your heart to the Father, I promise you that your devotion will only grow stronger and your heart will come alive! Make sweet resolutions to love, follow, and obey Christ as you yield your spirit to Him. He will fill you with His presence. Remember, He tells us how lovely our voice is in prayer! "...Every prayer of the righteous is pleasing to His heart" (Proverbs 15:8).
The family that prays together stays together. Corporate prayer is praying with others. It can be in your home as a family or in your prayer group. Or it can be in larger settings with hundreds or thousands present. Refreshing, enjoyable, life-giving prayer is coming to a church near you! To pray with others is more than valuable; it's crucial (Acts 2:42; 3:1). Every church and ministry must come together regularly for corporate prayer.
God will help you on this journey of prayer. You are connected as one Spirit with Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:17), and He will help you, for you draw from His grace and from His life. The Holy Spirit has pledged to help us in prayer, giving us strength and passion as we lay out the pieces of our heart before Father God. There have been many times when we have given up, but the Holy Spirit super-intercedes for us. Look at how Paul describes the prayer ministry of the Holy Spirit:
"...The Holy Spirit takes hold of us in our human frailty to empower us in our weakness. For example, at times we don't even know how to pray, or know the best things to ask for. But the Holy Spirit rises up within us to super-intercede on our behalf, pleading to God with emotional sighs too deep for words." (Romans 8:26, TPT)
The Basics of Consistent Prayer
1. Spend Time with God
The more time we spend with the Lord Jesus in prayer and in studying His Word, the more His presence will linger with us. It's kind of like when you're fellowshipping with other Believers around the Lord. Sometimes it gets so good you wish you could just stay forever in that atmosphere with your friends. This is what true fellowship with God is like—it's lingering with Him. The Bible says that when we draw near to Him, He draws near to us (James 4:8).
Who wants to miss that opportunity of being near Him and dwelling in His presence? Not me! Remember Joshua. When Moses left the tabernacle, Joshua stayed behind and lingered (Exodus 33:11). This was undoubtedly where Joshua received his power to lead the nation of Israel and the power to win the battles that followed. (Photo via Unsplash)
2. Ask with the Right Motives
It doesn't make sense to pray with selfishness in our hearts, for the Lord sees our hearts and sees our motives. Love is the purest motive of the heart and should be the motivation that empowers every one of our prayers. As you fall hopelessly in love with Him, your goals will get lost in His and you will pray with the right motive (James 4:3; Isaiah 52:11; Psalm 37:4).
How could God give us things He knows would harm us? How could He answer prayers that will distract us from the perfect will of God? You may think something is God's will, but that doesn't make it so. Seek first the Kingdom of God and all the things you ask for will be given to you. The Kingdom of God is the place where God is King, His will is supreme, and He rules in perfect wisdom, giving us what we need (1 John 5:14-15; Matthew 6:33).
3. Never Doubt That the Father Will Answer You
When asking the Father for something, it's totally silly even asking for it if you don't really believe He'll do it. Why waste His time by playing religious games in prayer? Instead, ask Him boldly and in faith. Leave your doubts outside when you enter His sanctuary. He has limitless power to do what you're asking Him to do. Simply believe! Don't be double-minded with doubt in your heart. A single-minded devotion to God will give birth to genuine faith. Your Father is able to do all that you ask or think. It's time to believe for the unbelievable. Don't give up until the answer comes. (Luke 18:1; Isaiah 62:6-7; James 1:5-8; Ephesians 3:20).
4. Release Forgiveness to All
Jesus makes it clear that if we hold unforgiveness, He will withhold from us the things we desire in prayer (Matthew 6:9-15). Release forgiveness and God will release answers to your prayers. You act the most like Jesus when you forgive like Jesus. True forgiveness is refusing to be angry again over the wrongs of another. Unforgiveness breaks your unfettered communication with God and locks you in the past. But forgiveness frees you in your prayer life and will release the Holy Spirit through your prayers.
Pray this today: Lord Jesus, I want You to become my prayer life. I want You to empower me and set me apart for You today. I come with all my heart before You. I long to be one with You in prayer and to reflect Your glory on the earth. I trust in You, and I trust the Holy Spirit to pray through me today. I will walk in the Spirit, and I will pray in the Spirit. My life will be Your love offering today. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
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(Used by Permission via¬†The Passion Translation)
Brian and Candice Simmons
The Passion Translation
Brian and Candice Simmons¬†have been described as true pioneers in ministry. As a spiritual father and mother, their teaching and spiritual gifts have opened doors in many nations to take the message of authentic awakening and revival to many. For the last 40 years they have labored together to present Christ in His fullness wherever God sends them. Dr. Simmons is currently working as the lead translator of The Passion Translation.
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