Praying, the communication between us and God. This subject is misunderstood on so many levels. Some people believe if they repeat something long enough that God will listen, and to some extent they are right. The reason I say some extent, is because if it is in God’s will He might answer it the way you would like. If it is not His will your answer will probably be no. I have heard it said that God answers prayer in three answers, yes, no, and wait. In Scripture it is taught that we should keep on praying diligently and do not quit. I have personally prayed about things for years before I have seen any results. I have also prayed and seen immediate results. I have prayed and had God answer my prayers, but not in the manner that I would have liked Him too. There was a time in my own personal prayer life that God quit answering my prayers and I did not understand, but the Lord revealed to me that He wanted more intimacy with me and I was not being that intimate in my prayer life. He explained it to me like this, He said I am His child and how would you like it if your child did not talk to you about all of the details of their day? That when you wanted to know what was going on in their life, that they just gave you the cold shoulder. When He put it to me in those terms, I realized that I had not been praying the way that I should be. I have an older daughter and through the years we have had a very close relationship. She has been pretty honest with me and has always known that I will not judge her if she makes a wrong decision. She knows that I have her back if anything goes wrong and she also knows that I love her with all of my heart, we have an awesome relationship. Well, I was convicted, because I knew that my prayer life was lacking, so I asked the Lord to show me how to pray. Of course He gives you Scripture to show you, so He, pointed me to the LORD’s prayer and to Jesus’ prayer to the Father. The first one (The LORD’s prayer/Matthew 6:5-15) is a template for prayer. This section of Scripture gives you a how to guide on prayer. Jesus’ prayer in John chapter 17 shows you how to pray in detail. To dig into the intimacy that the LORD wants from His children. Pray to God like He is your friend, your dad, your protector, your provider, your healer, your shelter, most of all recognize that He is God Almighty!!!!!!!!! Yes, you have a relationship with the Creator of the Universe, think about that, He has chosen to reveal Himself to you!!! If for some reason you do not have this relationship, please go to the home page and read Relationship with Jesus. This will explain how to have this relationship in detail with the Father.
In this study I am going to point out some different aspects to prayer that the LORD has revealed to us for our own benefit. This is not an exhaustive study on this subject at all, there is a lot to study about in the Word of God (The Holy Bible) about this subject. There are many prayers in the Bible throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament, many of the Psalms are actually prayers made to God. This study is just a little bit of detail on a very vast subject in Scripture. It is intended to help you better understand how to communicate with God and to have an effective prayer life. Prayer is our best weapon against evil and in our society today, they are trying to do away with prayer. The best thing about prayer is that you can do it anywhere and at any time. You can do when you are in prison, when you are in the shower, when you are driving (Do not close your eyes), when you are actually speaking to someone (If you need to), I do this when I see that the communication is either not getting comprehended or presented correctly. This is the beauty of prayer. People cannot stop your prayer life, you do not need to speak out loud to have an effective prayer life. God hears you regardless!!!
There are some things that I want to address that will hinder your prayer life before we get started. Unconfessed sin will totally hinder your prayer life. Being harsh with your wife will hinder your prayer life. Unforgiveness will hinder your prayer life. In the Lord’s prayer it tells us that if we want our sins forgiven that we need forgive those who have sinned against us. In Mark 11:26 it says “But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” You notice it says first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against. We need to do what the Lord has asked us to do.
Now let’s address prayer, we are told to go away by ourselves, shut the door behind us and pray to the Father in secret (Matthew 6:6). What the Lord is telling us to do is get alone with Him and express ourselves to Him. The reason that we get away by ourselves and shut the door is because He is telling us to be alone in a quiet place if possible, so that we can hear His still small voice (1 Kings 19:12). God speaks to us in different ways. He speaks to us through Scripture (The Holy Bible), through people (2 or 3 people who do not even know each other telling you the same thing), through signs, and of course through His small still voice. The reason that most people do not recognize it is because they are so distracted with all of the chaos around them. The cell phones, people, noise, work, children, obligations, sports, television, etc. People have a hard time hearing the voice of God. The Bible says to be quick to listen and slow to speak, and if people would learn to do this, they can over time discipline themselves to discern the differences in the voices that they hear. I tell people that there are three different voices that we hear in our spirit, God, the Evil One, and of course ourselves. The problem, ourselves wants to agree with the Evil One a lot of the times, because of our sinful nature. We know that it is the LORD when it lines up with Scripture (God’s will), we do not even necessarily want to do it and good comes out of it when we do it. If you are being prompted to do something that is not the will of God, it is either you or the influence of the Evil One. A lot of people beat themselves up on this one, because they continue to fall for the schemes of the Devil and they start believing the lies that he keeps telling them about themselves, that they are no good and that they will always do the wrong thing and that they are not worthy of coming before God, because of their sin. It is all a lie right from the pit of Hell!!! We were never worthy, that is why Jesus had to die for our sins, the ones from the past, the ones in the present, and the ones in the future. Try to focus on this first lesson on prayer, getting alone with God. The Evil One is going to try and send a thousand messages at you and try to distract you, but just pray in Jesus’ name for the peace in the storm, make your request known to God and if you cannot hear the voice of the LORD, then just sit back and watch for the answer to the prayer. When you see results, you know that He heard you.
One of the things that I want to address about prayer, is that when you pray for someone and you start seeing their whole life start falling apart around them and you do not understand why, keep praying!!! I am a mechanic by trade and I tell people that if you want to rebuild an engine and do it right you have to first tear it down so that you can rebuild it properly. You throw certain parts away and install new ones into it after you do all of the machining, when you do machining it removes unwanted metal and brings it to fresh metal again, then you surface the fresh metal the way that you want it and start reassembling it, this is kind of what the LORD does to us when we are being overhauled. He has to tear us down before He can start overhauling us. Do not get discouraged, God knows what He is doing in that person’s life.
In 2 Thessalonians 1:11 Paul prays for the Thessalonians that God would make them worthy of the life in which He called them. That by God’s power, He would fulfill all of their good intentions and faithful deeds, that they desired to do. Paul prayed for the Ephesians for spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that they would grow in their knowledge of God, he also prayed that they would be flooded with God’s light in their hearts and understand the wonderful future that God has promised and called them to. Paul also prayed that they would understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe in Him. According to Scripture we can move mountains through prayer. People would say that this is impossible, but I say that the mountains that the LORD is talking about are those mountains in people’s lives that continue to confront them on a daily basis, drug addiction, alcoholism, greed, selfishness, sexual perversion, and the list goes on and on. And I can tell you that I have personally been delivered of my own mountains, God has removed them!!! Paul further prays for the Ephesians that God will give them a mighty inner strength through His Holy Spirit, and that Christ would be more and more at home in their hearts as they trusted Him. Paul understood intercessory prayer. Intercessory prayer is praying for others. Paul was always doing this and this is one major reason that Paul had such success in his personal ministry.
Jesus’ prayer (John chapter 17), in this prayer to our Father in heaven, Jesus fully recognizes that everything that was in His possession came from the Father and Jesus thanked Him for it. He had a spirit of gratitude. He eludes to how personal that their relationship is and that is what He desires for His disciples, to have true intimacy with each other. He prays protection over them from the Evil One. He prays that the LORD would make them pure and holy by teaching them the words of truth (The Holy Bible). He conveys that His mission was not to take them out of this world, but to send them out into it to relay His message (The Gospel). Jesus speaks about how His disciples are His glory. Jesus speaks about how He desires that His love will shine through His disciples, are we doing that?
In 1 Peter 4:7 we are told to be earnest and disciplined in our prayers. In James chapter 5 we are told to confess our sins to each other and pray for each other. Use wisdom in this, know the brother or sister that you are confessing to, make sure that they are the kind of person to keep a secret, just because they are a pastor does not necessarily mean they do not gossip. I have heard testimonies of people not using wisdom, then paying the consequences later. I tell people a good rule of thumb is to tell God all of the details and tell others the general issues, not details. In James chapter 5 we see testimony of answered prayer from a righteous man who was earnest in his prayer. One thing that I believe people do, is that they do not sometimes believe that their prayers will be answered and if this is so, they can count on them not being answered. Being earnest in your prayers, means that you so desire them to come to fruition that you are putting all you have into your petition before God to get it done. Now in Mark chapter 11 you see that it says that if you believe in your heart and pray in Jesus’ name that you will have it. But just because you believe God is going to answer your prayer, does not mean that He is going to answer it specifically how you prayed for it. He might, but He might not, and just because we know that He can, does not mean that it is necessarily His will to answer it in the way that you desire. Paul had a thorn in his flesh that he prayed about to the LORD and the LORD told Paul that His grace was sufficient for him. He did not honor that prayer for whatever reason. He did give Paul a little bit of understanding when He told Paul that His power would be shown through Paul’s weakness. There are things that happen in this life that we do not understand and we might not even agree with, but the one thing that I do know is that God is just and true and that He loves me, so I trust Him with my life. The closer I come to God throughout the years, the more I trust Him, even if I do not understand. Sometimes He gives me understanding, sometimes He doesn’t for many years. But I still trust Him!!!
The final thing that I want to bring to your attention in this study is that we are told to pray for our enemies. This is not a natural thing to do, we want justice or even vengeance, but we definitely do not want to pray for them. As it says in Matthew 5:44-45 “Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.” The one thing that I have found all throughout Scripture is to put it to the test, do what it says, and sit back and analyze the results. On this subject, I have to say that it was one of the hardest to put into practice, but when I did, the results were just as God said it would be. Things got better and just as it says in the book of Proverbs, if you are right with God, that your enemies will be at peace with you. You will be amazed that by praying for those who persecute you, you will actually find that it brings peace into your life also. In the book of Romans they were told to pray for the authorities so that they would have peace, it is the same concept, you want peace, pray for those who are against you and see what happens. Well, I hope that this study blesses your life and I hope that it benefits your prayer life. I would like to suggest a movie to see called “The War Room”, this movie was one of the best movies I have seen that addresses proper prayer with the LORD, it shows what I have explained being put into action. May God Bless You and keep you and may your prayer life come to life, in Jesus’ name, Amen!!!
2 Thessalonians 1:11
And so we keep on praying for you, that our God will make you worthy of the life to which he called you. And we pray that God, by his power, will fulfill all your good intentions and faithful deeds.
I have never stopped thanking God for you, I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future he has promised to those he called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his people.
I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.
When I think of the wisdom and scope of God’s plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. For you have given him authority over everyone in all the earth. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. And this is the way to have eternal life – to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. I brought glory to you here on earth by doing everything you told me to do. And now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.
“I have told these men about you. They were in the world, but then you gave them to me. Actually, they were always yours, and you gave them to me; and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, for I have passed on to them the words you gave me; and they accepted them and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me.
“My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. And all of them, since they are mine, belong to you; and you have given them back to me, so they are my glory! Now I am departing the world; I am leaving them behind and coming to you. Holy Father, keep them and care for them – all those you have given me – so that they will be united just as we are. During my time here, I have kept them safe. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.
“And now I am coming to you, I have told them many things while I was with them so they would be filled with my joy. I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They are not part of this world any more than I am. Make them pure and holy by teaching them your words of truth. As you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself entirely to you so they also might be entirely yours.
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony. My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father – that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me.
“I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are – I in them and you in me, all being perfected into one. Then the world will know that you sent me and will understand that you loved them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you’ve given me to be with me, so they can see my glory. You gave me the glory because you loved me even before the world began!
“O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. And I have revealed you to them and will keep on revealing you. I will do this so that your love for me may be in them and I in them.”
Are any among you suffering? They should keep on praying about it. And those who have reason to be thankful should continually sing praises to the Lord.
Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. And their prayers offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for the next three and a half years! Then he prayed for rain, and down it poured. The grass turned green, and the crops began to grow again.
1 Peter 4:7
The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.
“Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks. You parents – if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too. If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
“And now about prayer. When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.
“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! Pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
may your name be honored.
May your Kingdom come soon,
May your will be done here on earth,
just as it is in heaven.
Give us our food for today,
and forgive us our sins,
just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Pray for the happiness of those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.
The LORD hates the sacrifices of the wicked, but he delights in the prayers of the upright.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper.
The next morning as they passed by the fig tree he had cursed, the disciples noticed it was withered from the roots. Peter remembered what Jesus had said to the tree on the previous day and exclaimed, “Look, Teacher! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God, I assure you that you can say to this mountain, ‘May God lift you up and throw you into the sea, and your command will be obeyed. All that’s required is that you really believe and do not doubt in your heart. Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you will have it. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”