From time to time, I wonder why we bother to pray. The Holy Spirit seems to pave a way for us, the Lord already knows all about our lives, so why do we need to remind Him? And frankly, I don’t know enough to even know what to pray for or how to pray for it. Fortunately, my Best Friend (the Holy Spirit) dangles a truth before my eyes that keeps me on the straight and narrow. John Wesley said it best: “It seems God is limited by our prayer life. He can do nothing for humanity unless someone asks Him.” So, yes, He already knows everything, but He depends on us to ask for what is needed. How do we know what is needed? We “seek first the Kingdom of God.”
True prayer is going to God and asking Him what He would like us to ask for! Amazing! Also, what a responsibility! That almost seems to indicate that the world is in the mess it’s in because God’s people have not spent enough time in prayer. How much time do you spend listening to God and then praying for what He sees the earth needs, or you, or your church, or your nation, or your family, or individuals you don’t even know . . . ? Don’t ask me the same question because I don’t even give prayer 10% of my day.
Think about that. If we give God 10% of our money, shouldn’t we also give Him 10% of our time? Martin Luther gave the first three hours of his day to the Lord in prayer and when asked if he didn’t think that to be a bit excessive, he replied that he had so much to do that he couldn’t afford to spend less time in prayer. If he did, he would never get everything done.
Prayer is a tremendous responsibility. God gave Adam full dominion over everything God had made. Adam passed that dominion over to Satan and lost his authority on earth. Consequently, all people lost that authority. When men aligned themselves with Satan they took advantage of that dominion and became tyrants. Then Jesus came, defeated Satan, and took back the dominion God had given Adam. Jesus returned that authority back to His followers, His believers, His born-again ones.
Now, we are responsible for everything God has made. How do we mere citizens of heaven take care of everything God has made? We pray and ask God how to take care of His creation, and then we ask God to perform the specifics He just gave us. This way of living gives us such a delightful manner of partnering with God. That’s what gives Him pleasure: our walking with Him hand in hand.
The Bible gives us all manner of prayers because one kind doesn’t always apply to other kinds. It is up to us to retrieve those forms of prayer from the Word of God and put them into action. It’s not that prayer has to formal and stiff, it’s that certain situations require a certain approach. Some of the kinds of prayer are as follows:
United Prayer, in which believers join together to pray in unity. Many revivals have been birthed in this manner.
23 And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.
24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: "Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them,
25 “ho by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things?
26 “‘The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the LORD and against His Christ.’
27 “For truly against Your Holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together
28 “to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.
29 “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word,
30 “by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your Holy Servant Jesus.”
31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:23–31).
Praying in the Spirit, which means praying in tongues. I’m always grateful for my ability to pray in tongues because my logical mind runs out of things to say, and yet I can feel the prayer is not complete. I turn my prayer time into praying in tongues, and then when I have accomplished God’s will in prayer, I know I am finished praying. It’s quite a satisfying feeling!
14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding (1 Corinthians 14:14, 15).
The Prayer of Agreement is a powerful way to obtain on earth what God has in store in heaven. Make sure your partner is in full agreement with the cause.
18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:18–20).
The Prayer of Worship puts us prostrate before the Lord in honor, in love, in expression of adoration.
52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God (Luke 24:52, 53).
1 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. 4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus (Acts 13:1–4).
The Prayer of Commitment in which we cast our cares on Him, transfers our fears, our anguish, our troubles over to Him and He transfers His peace, His assurance over to us.
Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
The Prayer of Faith which is a prayer to change things. First find what you want in the Bible and base your prayer on the Word of God. Then believe that you have received what you’ve asked for.
“And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (Matthew 21:22).
“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24).
The Prayer of Consecration is when we consecrate ourselves to God’s work giving Him the authority to use us as He sees fit. This is the only prayer in which we use the words “If it be Your will,” to end the prayer. The only reason such lacking in faith words would be used in prayer is because we may not know what His will is for our lives. All other prayer is based on the knowledge of God’s will since it is clearly written in His Word.
Saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”(Luke 22:42).
Let me clarify one point. Not all prayer is made after we find out what we want; otherwise, it would not be that prayer is supplication. Supplication means we are making a humble and earnest request for ourselves, something we personally need or want.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (Philippians 4:6).
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— (Ephesians 6:18).
1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence (1 Timothy 2:1, 2).
As we can see, there are three categories of people to make supplication for, requests that are on our hearts.
One of the biggest supplications I make is for my unsaved loved ones. I have found by trial and error, they are NOT going to listen to me, but someone has to share the Gospel, the Good News, with them for them to accept Jesus as their Lord. So here is my supplication for them:
37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 “Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:37, 38).
This is a prayer I can pray with great urgency and fervor! Can’t you? They may not listen to me, but there is someone who will get through to them and God knows exactly who that person or that situation will be! Glory! Hallelujah! My loved ones will be with me for eternity because God sent laborers!