Prayer


Why do we pray?

In any relationship, good communication is paramount. God cares about you and deeply loves you. He wants you to reach out and talk to Him through prayer. As with any relationship, communication is very important to the success of your relationship with God. It is impossible to develop intimacy with God without prayer. Don't let the enemy deceive you into thinking that you are not worthy to pray to God due to the amount of sin in your life. Jesus had to die for all people, since all have sinned. Through his shed blood, we can openly approach and speak with God.

  • God commands us to
    Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. John 16:24

Here are some reasons why every person should pray:

    I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. 1 Timothy 2:8

    Pray without ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17

    • Deploy God's abundance
      Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Matt 7:7-8
    • Appeal to God's mercy
      Exodus 32:11-14: Moses' prayer averts disaster from God
    • Follow Christ's example
      But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. Luke 5:16
    • Loose God's plan and bind Satan's plan
      "I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:18-20

    How to pray:

    • In the name of Jesus Christ:

    • Jesus has given Christians the authority of his name. There is no other name higher than Jesus, and Jesus tells us to pray in His name (John 16:23-24). Acts 8:22; Psalm 51:1-2
    • With a repentant heart: With praise: Most of Psalms contains many examples of praise in a prayer context; Praising God is a powerful weapon in spiritual warfare Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 , 1 Timothy 2:1
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    • With confession and thanksgiving: Matthew 17:20; Luke 17:6 – Faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountain!
    • With faith and expectancy: Supplication (Philippians 4:6-7, Colossians 4:12)
    • With humility and earnestness:
    • Persistently: Jesus illustrates this in his parable about the man knocking at his friend’s door late at night. The friend gets up and answers the door because of the man’s persistence (Luke 11:5-10). That is how we are to pray to God! Jesus also emphasizes this concept in the parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8).

    What to pray for:

    • Others' needs (intercession) Romans 8:26-27 , James 5:16-18
    • Healing
      if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

     

    Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16 (see James 5:14-20)
    • Protection against temptation
      Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak. Mark 14:38

      And said to them, Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation. Luke 22:46

    • Wisdom, strength, faith and love
      I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19

    For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Colossians 1:9

    • Revelation and wisdom
      I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength. Ephesians 1:16-19
    • Completion and perfection of faith
      Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. 1 Thessalonians 3:10
    • Purity Hebrews 13:18, 2 Corinthians 13:7-9

    What will hinder prayer?

      • Arrogance
        He does not answer when men cry out because of the arrogance of the wicked. Job 35:12
      • Cherishing sin / Sin
        If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened Psalm 66:18
      • Disobedience / Rebellion / hardening of heart toward God
        Then the LORD said to me, "There is a conspiracy among the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem. They have returned to the sins of their forefathers, who refused to listen to my words. They have followed other gods to serve them. Both the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken the covenant I made with their forefathers. Therefore this is what the LORD says: `I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them. Jeremiah 11:9-11

      One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.
      Proverbs 28:9 NKJV

      • Failure to forgive others
        Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 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 11:24-25

        Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:36-38
        Also see: (Matthew 6:14; Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13)
      • Lack of faith
        But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:6
      • Mistreatment of spouse
        Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. 1 Peter 3:7
      • Out of God's will
        This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14
      • Unconfessed sin
        But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:2
      • Wrong motives
        When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:3

      Spiritual Warfare Prayer

      As the Sword of the Spirit is for hand-to-hand combat, prayer is like strategic artillery in spiritual warfare. Prayer foils the schemes of the enemy (Satan, his angels and evil people) and call forth God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Warfare prayer is best developed and honed through continuous use. Examples of warfare prayers are noted below: