Prayer is one of the single greatest gifts God has given to man. There’s nothing else that comes close. The power of prayer cannot be underestimated. Prayer is one of the most powerful forces in the world. Have you ever been a part of a prayer or prayer meeting where the Holy Ghost came so wonderfully in the midst that the entire atmosphere changed? The presence of God became such a consolation that His presence confirmed to everyone that He would answer the prayer you were praying. There is a reason why these things happen the way they do.
In 2019, people know very little concerning old fashioned prayer. Today’s common church goer is content with mumbling prayers or using popular repetitious prayers. These methods of prayer are powerless and will accomplish nothing.
Jesus taught us that men should pray everywhere and faint not! However, many people have become so frustrated with their prayer life and do just that; faint in prayer. Prayer has been belittled so much in churches today. We belittle prayer by how quickly we end our corporate prayer time during church services. It’s almost as if we cannot bear to pray more than a few minutes. I personally believe this is evidence that our prayer life is shallow at home. Respectfully, I think a great reason why we are not able to spend quality time in prayer is because we spend all carnal energy praying and once that energy is gone, we must either stop praying or sit awkwardly in silence.
Do you pray for a few moments until you run out of things to say to the Lord, or do you press until you break free from the flesh? There’s one thing for certain, there’s nothing more uncomfortable than carnal praying. Another certainty is there is nothing more wonderful than praying with the Holy Spirit. We must learn how to pray so that prayer becomes something we look forward to instead of a dreaded and uncomfortable staple of the Christian discipline.
Have you ever considered that you’re sabotaging your prayer life? Are you diffusing the atomic power of prayer in your own life?
We believe that there are hindrances to prayer. The single greatest reason why a person’s prayer life is frustrating and prayers are unanswered is because fellowship with God is broken. You simply will not have a successful prayer life until your fellowship with the Lord is restored. We will elaborate on this in a few moments.
As a Christian, we must learn how to spend quality time with the Lord in prayer.
It takes entering into the Holy Spirit in order to be effective in prayer. We’ve read all throughout scripture, the effects that have taken place in the world by prayer. Prayer is one of the most powerful things that every Christian has. As a matter of fact, prayer is one of the most powerful things there is in the world! If prayer changes things on the earth; and we all know and have seen that it does, then we need to study prayer and learn all we can about prayer from God’s Holy Word.
The Importance of Prayer
The very thought of prayer reveals a submission to the Lord. The existence of prayer shows that you realize your inability to change circumstances in this life. If you do not pray regularly, what message does that send to yourself and to God? A man or woman who does not pray is implying to the world that they have no need for help from the Lord. We all need the Lord greatly in our lives. Prayer is one of the ways our inner man gains spiritual strength. We gain spiritual strength through prayer, worship, reading/studying Gods word, and fellowship with other Christians. Life, with all of its uncertainty and ability to vex every child of God, has a way of adversely effecting us by tearing us down and tries to bring us into its bondage and woe. However, prayer is the means by which we can “Cast our Cares on Him; for He cares for us!” Prayer is precious in the eyes of God. God longs to hear from you and me.
There are many men and women of God who were used of God in great and mighty ways. The secret was their commitment and dedication to prayer.
1. Daniel was a man of prayer. Prayer was the one thing that got Daniel thrown in the den of Lions to begin with.
2. Hannah is probably one of the best examples of an intercessor. I Samuel 1.
3. Elijah was a righteous man. His prayers caused the rain to stop. He prayed and the fire of God fell. He prayed again and God sent rain to Israel once again.
4. Elisha was also a man who prayed earnestly. His communion with God through prayer caused him to be directed away from those who sought his life.
5. Moses was a man who continually communed with God. He was continually going up to the mountain of God to be in God’s presence and to find direction on how to lead God’s people.
6. Anna who served God with fastings and prayers night and day. Luke 2:36-38
7. Jesus is the best example of how we should model our prayer life. Verse after verse we find where Jesus went “oft times to pray.” The Mount of Olives was a “prayer ground” for Jesus.
There are many others in the Bible who are great examples of people of prayer, but the importance of this is to learn how to pray. We have already experienced the reality of having God answer our prayers, but there is definitely a necessity to understand what causes God to hear or not hear and answer our prayers.
The Accomplishments of Prayer
If we expect to accomplish anything for God in the world, whether it’s seeing our lost people saved, healed or delivered, we need to learn how to pray effectively.
• Our communication with the Father.
• One of our sources of spiritual strength.
• One of the ways we enter into communion/presence with God.
• Not just a selfish “want list” or a “laundry list.”
Things that prayer has done throughout scripture:
• Brought deliverance to an entire nation. Exodus 3:7
• Closed the windows of Heaven causing the rain to stop. James 5:17
• Opened the windows of Heaven causing the rain to return… James 5:18
• Turned to flight, the enemies of Israel. Hebrews 11
• Brought direction for the Apostles Acts 13:1-3
And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. Luke 11:1
I believe the same thing applies today. We need to learn how to pray. We need to be taught how to pray effectively.
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. Matthew 6:5-8
The Hindrances to Prayer
• Sin – John 9:31 Isaiah 1:15, 59:2, Psalm 66:18, Proverbs 28:9
• Unbelief – James 1:5-7, Hebrews 11:6
• Praying out of the will of God – I John 5:14
• Praying selfishly – James 4:3
• Broken fellowship with your spouse – I Peter 3:7
The Position of Prayer
The single greatest truth about praying is you must be in a spiritual condition to pray. If your life is not in fellowship with God, then you are sabotaging your own prayer life. Notice verse after verse that fellowship with God is required to have answer to prayer.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16.
Effectual Successful in producing a desired or intended result; effective, with faith.
Fervent Having or displaying a passionate intensity. Sincere, heartfelt, hot glowing, burning.
Righteous Right with God. Just. Aligned with God’s word and ways.
Relationship comes before benefits.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. John 15:7
And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. 1 John 3:22-24
And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 1 John 3:19-21
And this is the confidence that we have in him that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. 1 John 5:14-15
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:7-12
The majority of the time, the reason why we don’t have answers to our prayers is because our fellowship with God is broken. Once our fellowship is broken, the only prayer God has promised to answer is the prayer of repentance. 2 Chronicles 7:14, Luke 18:13, 1 John 1:9.
According to the verses above, there are four main things that are conditions to answers to prayer:
1. Walking in obedience John 15:7, 1 John 3:19-24
2. Praying in faith Matthew 21:22, Mark 11:24
3. Praying according to God’s will 1 John 5:14-15
4. Asking in the name of Jesus John 14:13-14, 15:16, 16:23-28, Acts 3:6, 4:10
God so wants to answer prayer for us. It’s a matter of honor and glory on the part of Jesus: …that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Thy Closet…The Place Where We Change!
Enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret… Matthew 6:6 Have you ever considered much what Jesus was referring to when He said enter into thy closet? Everyone of us have closets in our homes. Closets are a place where clothes are hung awaiting a person to put them on. The closet has come to represent the place where we CHANGE! Yes, a person can enter their closet, shut the door, and change clothes, but Jesus said to enter into our closet to pray.
There are some things interesting about the closet. Once you shut the door, you have shut out everything else in the world. In this place, there are no distractions. There is nothing to hinder. So many times we want to pray while we are doing something else. Jesus said when ye pray, enter into thy closet. Now, I’ll be the first to say that God does not expect you to not pray unless you’re in your prayer closet, but He does expect us to find a place to pray. We must understand that when we pray the way God wants us to pray, then all other distractions are laid aside.
The Closet Atmosphere
Once we find ourselves in a solitary place to pray, we can start to pour our hearts out to the Lord.
There are at least four types of prayer:
1. Praying to obtain promises
2. Intercessory prayer
3. Communing with God
4. Praying in the Holy Ghost
Once we get in a spiritual position to pray, remove all the hindrances to prayer, then we can see the accomplishments of prayer.
Prayer of Abraham Genesis 18:16-33
Prayer of Hezekiah 2 Kings 19:14-19
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Luke 18:1-8