The diciples came to Jesus with many questions and wishes during the years they were walking with Him. But there was one wish that really became one of the strongest:
- ”Lord, teach us how to pray!”
This should also be one of OUR greatest wishes in our christian life! We need to learn how to pray. And the Bible tells us that prayer brings the forces of heaven in action, so that visual and physical results take place here on earth!
Maybe it is time to ask oneself some questions:
- ”What kind of results do I get from my prayerlife?”
- ”Do I miss things that God has for my prayerlife?”
- ”Does God listen to my prayers?”
- ”Even if He listen, does my prayers really please Him?”
The Bible encourages us to pray much – according to Gods Word.
BUT WE MUST LEARN TO PRAY THE
Let us therefore, with an open mind and heart, enter the Word of God – to see what God is saying about our prayerlife…
1. THERE ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF PRAYER
(1. Timothy 2,1-4)
The Bible shows us that there are several different kinds of prayer. In this section we find:
From other scriptures in the Bible we also find:
- Prayer of Faith
- Praise and Worship
- United Prayer in the Church
- private prayer in the secret place
- prayer with the spirit (prayer in tongues)
- prayer with the understanding
- prayer in the Name of Jesus
- Prayer of Salvation
- Prayer of Surrender
From this we must understand that we can not use all these different prayers as one!
Unfortunately, many christians have done that, and it has kept them away from great things
that God wanted to release in their prayerlife!
2. PRAYER IS CONDUCTED BY SPIRITUAL LAWS
It is actually so that DIFFERENT SPIRITUAL LAWS CONDUCTS DIFFERENT KINDS OF PRAYER!!
Let me try to explain this with an example: You know there are many kinds of ball-games, like footbal, handbal, tennis, basketbal, volleybal, rugby, waterpolo etc.
But we also know that it would cause a lot of problems if you took the rules from one ballgame, trying to use it in another ballgame. If you use the handbalrules in a footbalmatch – you sure get in big trouble! You would get very frustrated, wondering what is wrong. ”Why doesn`t it work for me?” Well the problem is that YOU DIDN`T KNOW THE RIGHT RULES FOR THE MATCH!!
Let us take a couple of examples from the Bible:
In Getsemane Jesus is praying a ”Prayer of Surrender” to God, and He say the words: ”…not as I will, but as you will.”
With that many christians believe that we must always pray with these words ”Thy will be done”. BUT THAT IS NOT TRUE! This way of praying is for the times in life when you don`t know about the future and Gods plan for tomorrow, but you surely want to surrender all your life and future plans to God. Or if you, like Jesus, try to ask God for something that you don`t find any promise for in Gods Word, then you will pray like this.
The Bible shows us that when we pray ”the Prayer of Faith”, we must pray in FAITH – with no doubting!
We must KNOW what is Gods will when we we pray the Prayer of Faith. Faith is full conviction, and you will never have that if you are in doubt according to Gods will.
(1. John 5,14-15)
So we see that ”Prayer of Surrender” and ”Prayer of Faith” are two different kinds of prayer, and they are conducted by different spiritual laws and principles.
2) Praying for the salvation of the world
Another example is the difference between intercession and the Prayer of Faith. We know that the Bible says that God desires all men to be saved.
(1. Timothy 2,4)
But we surely understand that we could never pray like this: ”Father we just thank you that you let all the people in this world receive the miracle of salvation in this moment. You just let Jesus move into the heart of every sinner in this world right now. And we believe and thank You for the salvation of every person on earth. In Jesus name, Amen!”
Why can`t we pray like that? Because God has given every human beeing a free will to come to the Lord or not. And God would never do anything against his own Word or break His own spiritual laws. So if you pray like this, you try to use the spiritual laws according to the Prayer of Faith on another field – intercession. This is exactly the same principle as the ball-games we were talking about…
It is very important to see that PRAYER IS A LIFESTYLE!! It is a part of you, something that follows you wherever you go! In fact, prayer is called ”the breathing of the believer”.
Let us therefore take a look at the contents of this lifestyle and the different kinds of prayer…
3. THE PRAYER OF FAITH
1) Ask, and you will receive
This is the main point with the Prayer of Faith. You ask for the receiving!
This is the prayer we PERSONALLY pray, to receive something from God PERSONALLY!
In other words: If YOU pray, then YOU are the one who receives. If I pray, then I am the one who receives! Because THE ONE who ask is THE ONE who receives! The Prayer of Faith is therefore a personally prayer. But you can use it in prayer for other people when they agree with your prayer. But the main rule is that this is the kind of prayer YOU use when YOU have needs in YOUR life! Praying for other people is called intercession, and that is conducted by other spiritual principles…
2) Pray in Faith
It is true that he who ask, he receives. But we see something more in this verse. The condition is that you pray IN FAITH! And it lays in the words that this is the Prayer of Faith.
The one who pray this prayer, must pray in faith – with no doubting!
This rule is not only for the prayer for visdom, but it is a principle concerning every kind of prayer that seek an answer
B: How do you get this faith?
How du you get faith , so you can pray without any doubting?
.If we abide in Jesus, and His words abide in us – THEN we can ask for what we desire, and we will receive it! The word ”faith” is not used in this verse, but anyway it says that we will have all what we ask for. And we see it very clearly, that the CONDUCTION is that His Word abide in us.
Now, what is the conclusion from this? When Gods Word fills us concerning the things we ask for in our prayers, this Word produces FAITH! The secret is therefore not to ”perform faith”, but simply to get filled with more and more of Gods Word! THE WORD OF GOD PRODUCES FAITH!! Therefore; Eat the Word and let it fill you with faith!
Faith comes by hearing the Word. The more you hear the preaching of the Word, the more seed of faith is planted into your heart! It is important to know that THE WORD OF GOD IS ALSO THE REVEALED WILL OF GOD! And faith starts where the will of God is known. You can`t have faith without knowing if the things you have faith for are after Gods will. You can not pray with faith if you are not sure if it is something that God also want.
To have ”full conviction concerning things unseen” you must be totally convicted about GODS WILL concerning the situation. Because the prayer of faith can not incluce any ”if” or
”maybe”. Therefore the Word will create a certainty of faith inside us!
(1. John 5,14-15) – norwegian translation of 1978
This is a conviction that we ALREADY HAVE what we asked for in our prayer. And the promisses in the Bible really gives us the right to become that bold! But you will never have the courage to enter God prescence with such a boldness unless you are sure about His will!
But how can we really be sure that we knows Gods will? Only through His Word! Gods Word and promisses are equal with Gods will!
(2. Corinthians 1,20)
There is no room for thumbling and doubt about Gods will, cause EVERY PROMISE IN THE BIBLE HAS BEEN GIVEN TO US IN JESUS CHRIST!! Throug the reconciliation every promise in the Bible has become our inheritance!
The verse in 1. John 5,14-15 shows us another secret. And this is an important revelation about the prayer of faith. WE ALREADY HAVE WHAT WE HAVE ASKED FOR IN OUR PRAYER!! This means that WE GET IT WHILE WE PRAY, AND NOT WHEN IT HAPPENS PHYSICALLY!! You got your prayer-answer in the moment you were praying. You can`t see it, but it is yours – and you have it! How? You have in in the invisible spiritual world – and it will become visuable if you believe that!!
Many christians make mistakes here in this point. They use to say: ”I can`t believe that I have something before I can see it.” Others would say that they have to feel it or experience it first, then they can believe it. But those people wont get what they wish our pray for, because FAITH IS NOW!!
C. Faith is now!
(Mark 11,24) – norwegian translation of 1978
”Believe that you already have it, and you will receive it.” Here is the very secret about faith. If we can believe that faith speaks about things unseen like it is seen” , then we will understand why God could call Abraham ”the father to many people” already while he had no child.
You can talk about things that doesn`t exhist like it do exhist. For example you can say: ”By Jesus stripes I am healed. He beared all my sickness and deceases on the cross – and this healing is mine even though I feel pain in my body.” If you talk like this, you begin to act like Abraham did. You talk like God said – even though you can`t see or feel anything yet.
- This is the way Abraham became father to may people (Romans 4,16-22)
- This is the way God created heaven and earth (Genesis 1)
- This is the way Gideon became a great warrior thoug he felt so weak (Judges 6,11-16)
They spoke about things that did not physically exhist as it already exhist – and that made it appear physically!!
In fact it is not so strange that we can talk about ”talk about things that doesn`t exhist like it exhist. The truth is that is IS ALREADY THERE – in the spiritual world!!
- Salvation is already paid for every human (John 3,17) (2. Corinthians 5,19)
- Jesus took all sickness in the world upon himself (Isiah 53,5) (Matthew 8,17)
- The bapthism in the Holy Spirit is for everybody (Acts 2,38-39) (Matthew 3,11)
- We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places (Ephesians 1,3)
- All the promisses of God belongs to us – through Christ Jesus (2. Corinthians 1,20)
ALL THESE THINGS ARE REAL IN THE INVISIBLE SPIRITUAL WORLD. They are real through the promisses in Gods Word. But it is up to you to make it appear – by your faith!!’
Faith is reaching out for the invisible, grip it and and keep it until it becomes a visuable experience. YOU ONLY NEED TO PRAY THE PRAYER OF FAITH ONCE, AND THEN YOU JUST KEEP THANKING HIM THAT YOU ALREADY HAVE WHAT YOU HAVE ASKED FOR!!
D. The prayer of faith works in the name of Jesus
Our faith will increase when we understand the meaning of prayer in the name of Jesus. Jesus has given us the right and the authority to pray in his own name! To ask in another persons name means that we ask with the same rights as that person were asking/praying! And this is the authority Jesus has given us in prayer: We can ask in His own name, which means that we enter God throne ON BEHALF OF JESUS HIMSELF just like HE was making that prayer!!
Jesus is our mighty high priest in heaven. He is the priest of our confessions and prayers. He will make sure that we get our rights when we enter Gods throne in prayer. We can compare this with a lawyer in the court.
E. Limits to the prayer of faith
If you could use the prayer of faith to meet every need, you would not need any other kind of prayer. Therefore we must understand that there are some limits. There are certain situations in life where you can not use the prayer of faith! The prayer of faith is basicly for believers that agree in prayer. They are connected together in faith.
You also use the prayer of faith when you pray for your own needs. He who ask, shall receive. If you </font> ask, then you receive!
A. The definition of the word intercession
(1. Timothty 2,1-4)
* Intercession = To stand before God in prayer on behalf of someone else.
When we pray for unbelievers or for our nation, we call that prayer intercession.
Intercessions are basicly used to pray for people who don`t have any contact with God.
We pray ON BEHALF of them, because they would not be able to pray self. The Bible use the word ”to stand in the gap” for someone else. This means there are no contact between those people and God. There is a ”gap” that we try to fill with our prayers.
B. God is looking for a people who are willing to pray
Here we see a strong example of what intercession can do. If God had found only one single man who went into intercession for the nation, THE PRAYER OF THIS RIGHTEOUS MAN WOULD STOP THE JUDGEMENT FROM COMING OVER THE PEOPLE!! Since God could not find anyone who would stand in the gap to protect the nation, he could not hold back the judgement.
When we read this, we understand that the Lord really wanted to spare the people, since He was searching among the people for someone who would pray. This also tells us another mighty truth: GOD NEEDS THE PRAYERS OF THE BELIEVERS TO GET THINGS DONE HERE ON EARTH!!!
Wow, that is quite a hard statement – you might say! This can make it seem like our prayers are more important than God himself! Well, if that is the conclution – you are very wrong!
But I will show you the real meaning of this powerfull statement above.
First of all, the Bible tells us that the devil is ”the god of this age”. Through the fall of man, Satan got the controll and dominion over the earth. It is an eternal law that ”the on you obey becomes your master”. Since human obeyed the devil in the garden of Eden, he became the master and ruler over earth and humanity.
(2. Corinthians 4,4)
Even Jesus knew that Satan had the dominion over all the kingdoms of this earth. And the devil tried to use this in his trial and temptation against Jesus in the wilderness. But our saviour did of course not give the devil any room .
Therefore we have to understand that it is not the will of God who rules this earth. No – it is the will and the deeds of the devil who dominates this cold, greedy and violent world we are living in!
Jesus showed us this we He would learn us how to pray.
He told us to pray that Gods will must be done here on earth LIKE IT IS IN HEAVEN!!
Ask yourself some questions about this: How is Gods will in heaven?
- Is there any suffering in heaven?
- Is there any war and violence in heaven?
- Are there sickness and deaceses in heaven?
- Are there lonely people who are full of fear in heaven?
- Is there lack of food and clothes in heaven?
- Do little children get killed in heaven?
Think about it. How is it really in heaven? Well, the Bible tells us that there is joy, happiness, health, life, love, peace and kindness in heaven. Everything is in perfect harmony there.
AND WE MUST UNDERSTAND THAT GOD WANT IT TO BE THE SAME WAY DOWN HERE!!! But Jesus say that we must PRAY so that it can happen here on earth!!
This learns us that OUR PRAYERS RELEASE THE WILL OF GOD ON EARTH!!!
God grieves over this world and its inhabitans. It is NOT good in the eyes of God that people starve, suffer and have pain. Cause GOD IS A GOOD GOD!!
Would YOU punish your own children with sickness, pain, hunger and suffering – just to chastise their pride?
Many christians think that ”whatever happens will happen anyway”. But this is not right according to the Bible. With that attitude one could rather lay down every meeting, stop praying and stay home instead – doing nothing at all!! We can`t change anything anyway, cause whatever happens will happen…
But this is exactly the opposite off what God has told us in His Word! The Bible says that ”to him who ask, it will be given…”
Many christians have some kind of imagination that God has a meaning with everything that happens – no matter what. But this is not christian faith at all, it is pure fatalism!!
The Bible says that prayer can change anything!!
C. Prayer that avails much
The Bible says that the prayer of the righteous avails much.
One single righteous christian who pray in intercession, can prevent catastrophes from happen!! God is searching for men and women who are willing to stand in the gap, to protect the nation in prayer.
We can also see from this verse that the Lord is looking for someone who can pray for things that lays on Gods own heart! Therefore we must train our spiritual senses to recognize teh voice of The Holy Spirit, when He is out searching for somebody who can pray for certain things that lays on Gods heart.
There are a lot of strong testimonies telling about how people have been led to pray for someone in special situations. Afterward they may find out that the person who got prayed for was in a desperate situation at that moment – and that God performed miracles because of that prayer. God IS searching for someone who can pray, and when He find someone – He will back up that prayer with His power. Through our prayers in intercession, God will ”hear the prayer from heaven, forgive the people and heal their land…”
(3. Chronicles 7,14)
We are ”spiritual watchmen” in intercession, who build walls of protection and blessings through our intercessions. These walls are protecting people against the evil work of the devil.
Intercession is work, fight and warfare on behalf of people who God loves and want to show His glory to!
D. The Holy spirit is our guide in intercession
When you pray ”the prayer of faith”, you can pray a short prayer and then relax in the faith and conviction that God has heard the prayer and that the answer is on the way.
But in intercessions there are other spirtual laws. Here it is very important to be led of the Holy Spirit while you pray, so that the Spirit can help you pray the right way – so you can get a ”break through” in your prayer!
The Holy Spirit is called ”parakletos” in the greek text (which the new testament is translated from). This word ”parakletos” means helper, counselor, guide, adviser and spokesman. He will help us and ”lift burdens” together with us in our intercessions. He knows the need, and will help us to ”pray through” til the burden lifts and disappears. You must therefore be open for The Holy Spirit while you pray, because He will help you in prayer.
E. Intercessions for nations, cities and the leaders of the nation
(1. Timothy 2,1-4)
By prayer for the leaders of the nation, we can affect the politicial and moral situation in the nation. Intercession can f.ex. change the laws and bring peace where there is rumours. And if the believers keep on praying intercessions with patience, this will also open the door to the gospel so that revival can come to the nation. It is therefore very important that we pray for the leaders of the nation.
There is no doubt that the big changes in the farmer kommunistic Eastern-Europe has comed as an answer to intercession. Over the whole world christians have been praying during many years for Eastern-Europe. And in much shorter time than anyone could dream about, we have seen one communist regime after another fall down – and the nations are now wide open for the gospel of Jesus Christ!! Now these nations are crying out to God, and we see thousands upon thousands getting saved!!
We can look at Abraham while he was in intercession for Sodom and Gomorra, as an example of the power of intercession.
Ten righteous men would have spared Sodom. Why? Because Abraham – one single righteous man – were praying and crying out to God. Think about what power such intercessions is in the spiritual world!
Another example is Daniel when he went into intercession for the nation.
This is a classic example of how we should pray for a nation and its people. Daniel
became ”one” with the people he was praying for. He confeesed their sin ON BEHALF OF THEM!! He was arguing with God by refering to His promisses and appealing to His goodness. This is one of the main stream according to intercession. You can NEGOTIATE WITH GOD through prayer!!
F. Intercession for unbelievers
When we pray for unbelievers, we should not only pray that they must be saved. We also need to pray and ask for LABORERS!! The harvest truly is plentiful. We must pray for more laborers that can bring out a strong and clear testimony of Jesus. You must also pray that the laborers/messangers must be more bold in their work for the Lord. And remember: You are a believer and a laborer, so this prayer includes you too!
5. THE ”ONE ACCORD” PRAYERS IN THE CHURCH
One area of prayer and intercession that we need to know much more about, is the church-prayer. When the church are ”raising their voice to God with one accord…”
When we are praying as a unity with one accord, f.ex. in a prayer meeting in the church, we release the power of God, forces of angels etc. in a stronger way than when one single believer prays. Is is therefore very important to stand together and help each-other in prayer and intercessions.
It seems like when believers are praying together they release the power of God in a stronger way than we even prayed for!
We read that the church in Jerusalem were praying in intercession for Peter while he was in prison. But we can understand that they did not have faith in what really became the prayer-answer! They had been praying that God must protect Peter in the prison, and maybe that it must not take too long time untill he comes out. But from their reaction we can see that they really did not believe that he should be free and suddenly come and stay among them!
In other words, we can say that the church got even more than they were praying for! They received a prayer answer that was much higher than their own faith. When Peter knocked on the door, they rather believed that it was his angel than Peter himself! (And this should also tell us something about their relationship and understanding acoording to angels…).
When we pray public prayers among other christians, it is important that we are concrete and pray only words according to the situation. We should not repeat long prayers and wishes, like we do in our private prayers.
6. THE PRIVATE PRAYER
A. Initiation and surrenderance
When Jesus was praying in the garden of Getsemane, he was in a heavy prayerfight, where he surrendered himself totaly to His Fathers plan and will.
We also need to pray like Jesus did here sometimes. There are situations in life when we need to ”put ourselves to Zero”. This means that we humble ourselves and say: ”Lord, here I am to do your will, not mine. Show me what is on your heart and what you want to do with my life. Show me your plan and your way for me…” In this kind of prayer, it is right to say : ”let your will be done” , because this is not the prayer of faith! In this kind of prayer you don`t have to know Gods will concerning the things you pray for. You just surrender yourself totally to Gods plan and will. Then you pray that Je must reveal this to you.
This kind of prayer are special important when you are facing important choices in your life. When you have to make important decisions, and you want to do what the Lord want you to.
But you must not be predisposed. Be open for any answer God might give you, and then you pray over it and compares your ”answer” with Gods own Word – the Bible. Cause God would never tell you to do something that goes against His own word!
B. To cast all our burdens and worries upon the Lord
God want us to live in security in the midst of a world of confusion and fear. We must therefore train ourselves to cast all our worries, sorrows and burdens upon the Lord in prayer.
(1. Peter 5,7)
Let the Lord be your tower of protection, your God in whom you can put your trust.
A. Worshipping is the highest level of prayer
Worshipping is the highest and strongest level of prayer. It is absolutely the highest level in our prayerlife. Because here we can enter the prescence of God and get a taste of the eternal heavenly world.
Worshipping is TO LOVE AND ADORE GOD FOR WHO HE IS!! In worshipping you give love – and receives love. You have heartcontact with God in the Spirit, and you becomes ONE SPIRIT WITH THE LORD JESUS!!
(1. Corinthians 6,17)
Worshipping is an intime relationship of love, between you and Jesus!
When we come to heaven one day, there will be no need of neither the gifts of the spirit, the prayer of faith, intercessions or applications. There we will be in the prescence of God all the time, and we will experience the best love, peace, joy, happiness and harmony. The only thing who will remain, and who also will increase in the prescence of God – will be our praise and worship to God the Almighty and His son Jesus!!
B. We must worship from our spirit
Another imortant truth is that we must learn to worship from the spirit. God is looking for worshippers who will worship Him in the spirit and truth.
We know that a human beeing has a spirit, a soul and a body. But it is just through our SPIRIT we can enter the prescence of God in true worshipping. Spirit contact spirit. God is spirit, and we are also spiritual beeings. Therefore only things that are made by the spirit has any spiritual value before the Lord.
Worshipping is the best way of making communication with God, because this is Gods ”wavelengt”. The more you worship in the spirit, the easier it will be for the Lord to speak to you and guide you. You must therefore live your daily life in worshipping!
Worshipping is to love, and adore God for whom He IS. Therefore the worshipping goes even deeper than the praise. The worshipping is full of deference, devotion and holy admiration. In worshipping we og into the prescence of God in such a special way that we often can be totally quiet in his prescence. And then we touch the heart and being of God!
C. You get new strengt by worshipping the Lord
Boys and young men are very strong, active and energic. But even they have their limit.
BUT THOSE WHO WAIT FOR THE LORD GET RECEIVE NEW STRENGT!!
In worshipping you enter the throne of God. There you remain waiting for Him to speak to you and give you new power and strengt. It is very important to stay in the prescence of God
To listen and hear what He speak to us, and to receive wisdom, power and annointing from Him. And this is what we are doing while we ”wait for theLord”.
God is your source of power and strengt. You should therefore make yourself dependent of living in His prescence. You should not work and get worn out in your own strengt!
(1. Samuel 2,9)
Start living a life in worshipping and it will give you surplus every day of your life!!
* There is a big difference between an eagle and a crow… Be like an eagle…