More about Prayer
with thanks to Bronwen
Prayer should be at the start of everything:
We often don’t or can’t see all of what God has planned for the future, we should pray first then plan, it is much easier then having to change it afterwards because God said something different!
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective James 5 v 16 If we don’t confess our sins before we pray then they will be a barrier between us and God, if we want our prayers to be effective then we must remove this barrier. If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and will purify us from all unrighteousness 1 John 1 v 9
Praying in one accord
For where two or three come together in My name, there I am with them Matthew 18 v 20
We need to be of one accord – praying together along with each other as they are praying. Often when someone is praying everyone else is thinking ‘what am I going to say when they are finished’ or ‘how am I going to say that’ etc. – instead of praying alongside the person praying aloud. We need to share each other’s burdens, joys and petitions. When everyone in a group is praying in one accord with the person who is praying aloud, the number of prayers ascending to heaven are multiplied by the number who are praying silently – how much more power there is in prayer when the participants are really praying in one accord!
The six S’s
1. Subject by Subject One subject at a time, one person at a time, (praying together, along with each other). Introduce the subject, pray, let others pray, next subject etc. The subjects eventually will need no introduction. Allow spontaneity – the direction of the Holy Spirit.
2. Short Prayers Each prayer should be one or two sentences. Too long prayers can put other people off praying and also – When you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6 vv 7-8
3. Simple Prayers Prayer is just conversation with God – we don’t need long or theological words.
4. Specific Prayer Requests Write down what they were and date them, also the answers dated. God answers prayer sometimes taking longer or in different ways to what we expect. It is good to do, both for the encouragement of the group and to praise God.
5. Silent Periods Let them be. Don’t try to fill them, they are needed as time to listen. Prayer is a two – way conversation.
6. Small Groups Small groups are easier for people to be part of. Divide into groups of 4 or 5, 2 or 3 are good too. Small groups are valuable. See Matthew 18 v 20 again, Jesus is there with us. Further help: Pray in God’s Will We need to be willing to do what God’s will is, not to have just our ideas and insist on doing those but to be ready to do what God’s will is – to go though doors that He opens. Pray requests not answers. This is the assurance we have in approaching God, that if we ask for anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of Him. 1 John 5v 14-15
Commitment in Prayer We need to be committed to everything that is part of God’s will -sometimes it is hard and does involve suffering. So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to go good. Peter 4v19
Remember: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8v28 Even: Consider it pure joy, my brothers when you face trails of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1vv2-4 We can trust God that whatever happens He knows more about it and ourselves than we do and He never makes a mistake. So therefore – Do not be anxious about anything, but in prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. Philippians 4v6
Private Praying Group prayer is very important but private prayer is vital – it should be like an iceberg – one ninth visible group prayer eight ninths out of sight private prayer. A special place to go at a special time is good but so is any time any place – just draw near to God. Jesus often went off alone to pray and He is God so if He why not us?
When? Pray continually. 1 Thess 5v17 Just as when you are sat with someone you love, you do not need to be constantly talking or need to every now and then clear your throat and give an introduction and talk very formally – the line of communication just needs to be open. Before anything happens in the morning, before talking to anybody – talk to God first, not necessarily the time for your ‘quiet time’ because that should be whenever suits your body and daily routine best, but to say ‘Good Morning’ and ask what should be done that day.* Also be praying throughout that day – if you meet someone you have difficulty with quickly ask Him to give you the attitude He wants you to have towards that person. Carry each other’s burdens – do people know that you will pray for them when they need it and they just have to ask at any time? Do you have someone you can ask to pray, someone who cares and will never divulge your secrets? If you are woken in the night ask God who He wants you to pray for. Our line of communication with God should be continually open.
Come near to God
Come near to god and He will come near to you. James 4 v 8 We need to spend time before praying to shut out the world and silently come near to God – seek Him. We need to make sure we are communicating with Him and it is God that we are listening to.
Results of Prayer
Unity amongst the people praying despite any miles between them. Answers – specific answers to specific requests.Requests change – people change. People who pray automatically evangelize. Forgiveness We cannot pray unless all our sins have been dealt with first. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
This includes unforgiveness: For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6 vv14-15 also: And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. Mark 11v25 Unforgiveness in a prayer group will tear it apart.**
* There is an inference to legalism here which is not intended. This is not a rule, it is advice, what time of day works for one person may not for another.
** This ends on what may appear a negative note, but it is a positive warning. The converse is : Always make a sincere and positive effort to forgive one another in your prayer group and to forgive others outside of the prayer group. We are always pleased to hear from readers, if you have been helped by this article please give us feedback by email, or add a comment.