Proceeding Into Prayer
Teri Spears & Thetus Tenney
Prayer consists of multiple parts…
Praise Him for who He is:
– He is faithful, just, loving, excellent and so much more.
– God’s presence dwells in praise.
…inhabitest the praises of Israel (Psalm 22:3).
– God is pleased with our praise.
Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful (Psalm 147:1).
Thank Him for what He has done and is doing.
– Saves, protects, guides, delivers, provides and so much more.
– Before we present needs to God, it is appropriate to thank Him for all He has already done.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving… (Psalm 95:2).
Repent to cleanse our heart and mind
– Confess and repent for attitudes, actions, failures, negligence, short comings, and more.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness… (I John 1:9).
If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him; if iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away…then thou shalt be secure, because there is hope… (Job 11:13-18).
Repentance revives hope; repentance brings forgiveness. Be careful of perpetual condemnation. The Holy Spirit never nags. Satan cripples our faith with self-inflicted condemnation. True repentance means God has forgiven and forgotten despite our human difficulty in forgetting.
There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus… (Romans 8:1).
Submit to His will
– Thy will be done… (Luke 11:2). Do not argue with God.
– Pray not to convince God of our will, but to submit to His will.
Pray the Word
His Word is creative. His Word never returns void. His Word is the foundation for faith. His Word is truth. His Word is everlasting.
…my word…shall not return void, but it shall accomplish… (Isaiah 55:11)
…faith cometh…by the word… (Romans 8:17).
…for the word of the Lord endureth forever… (I Peter 1:25).
What we say about any situation is not as important as what His Word says!
– Personalize the Word
– Reference the Word for every need. Read and speak the Word in prayer.
– Find a promise and insert names, situations, places, things. Pray specifically.
– Prayer is such a personal relationship. Paul often addressed his prayers with “Father.. .”
Jesus said to pray to the Father.
When ye pray, say, our Father… (Luke 11:2).
– Respond to the Word
After we have personalized the promises, allow time for the Word to take root through meditating, listening, praising. Meditation of the Word is the best faith builder. We should suspend a promise in our mind to recall whenever worry or concern troubles us about ourselves, others, or situations.
See by faith promises completed according to His word.
He shall supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory. (Philippians 4:19).
– Pray the Psalms
Life’s complexities are mirrored in the Psalms. For virtually all of life’s situations we can find a Psalm. Praying the Psalms will enhance our communication with God. They are powerful expressions of heartfelt emotions. We should not hide our emotions from God. He knows and still He cares! No surprise! He loves us just as we are.
One of the blessings of praying the Psalms is that often, in the beginning of a particular Psalm, we will find negative emotion. Then as the Psalmist remembers God’s love, he transforms the Psalm to praise. The cry of anger and depression in the opening verses of Psalms 77 turns to confidence and faith by the phrase …but I will remember… in verse 10.
• Pray Psalms 100 for praise.
• Pray Psalms 6 for mercy.
• Pray Psalms 20 when in trouble.
• Pray Psalms 27 when fearful.
• Pray Psalms 43 when depressed.
• Pray Psalms 51 for repentance.
• Pray Psalms 66 to rejoice.
• Pray Psalms 91 for security.
• Pray Psalms 100 to praise.
Petition For Needs
…the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of Him (I Samuel 1:27).
…whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him (I John 5:15).
Petitions are specific requests. We bring them humbly before God asking Him to grant our particular need. His word assures us…
…Ye have not, because ye ask not (James 4:2).
God loves details. We can petition Him for small things. He is the God of the atom, electrons, and the butterfly. But He is also God of the mountains, seas, and stars. With Him all things are possible.
Ask and it shall be given… (Luke 11:9).
…ask in faith, nothing wavering (James 1:6).
…ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you (John 15:7).
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss… (James 4:3).
These scriptures remind us our petitions should be properly motivated, not born of selfishness, but for the Glory of God. They should be asked in faith and in the name of Jesus. (See John 14:13).
… ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full (John 16:24).
Pray for Others
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men (I Timothy 2:1).
– Everyone by name:
For kings, and for all that are in authority that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty (I Timothy 2:2).
Remember the request of Jesus…
Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest. (Matthew 9:38).
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem… (Psalm 122:6).
Prayers of Blessings
– Blessings are a very scriptural part of prayer.
– After petitioning the Lord for needs, remember to call for His blessings.
The Lord bless (name), and keep (name), the Lord make His face to shine upon (name) and be gracious unto (name). The Lord lift up his countenance upon (name), and give (name) peace (Numbers 6:24-25).
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all. Amen (II Corinthians 13:14).
Listen to the Voice of God
– Prayer is a two-way conversation.
– If we do all the talking, the relationship will be shallow. Quiet times of meditation and listening are an important part of prayer.
I will hear what God, the Lord, will speak… (Psalms 85:8).
Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth… (I Samuel 3:9).
– Sometimes God speaks to us during the clamor of life, but prayer can also be the silence of sitting in His presence with an open heart and open ear.
– His voice can be heard…
• In the inner impression of our heart.
• In the illumination of the scriptures as we read.
• In remembrance of a particular scripture or occasionally in an audible voice.
Expect to hear as God speaks.
Worship Him for He is Worthy
– Worship is inspired by the awesome and majestic presence and glory of God. We thank Him for what He does; we praise Him for who He is; we worship Him because He is worthy. Worship combines humility with adoration.
Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name, worship the Lord in the beauty of His holiness (Psalms 29:2).O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For He is our God… (Psalm 95:6,7).
Life Style Praying
Pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17).
What a challenge!
What a relief!
Who ever has time to pray without ceasing?
Anyone who will consciously make a choice to do so.
Most all of us have more to do than we can get done. Consequently, we discipline ourselves to a set time for our personal prayer and Bible study. Yet this seldom allows time enough to pray for everything we need and want to pray for.
Lifestyle praying is the solution!
It is a wonderful relief from feeling guilty for not having enough time to pray as much as we want to.
Lifestyle praying is truly “praying without ceasing.”
Lifestyle praying is…
– Praying as we do the dishes.
– Praying as we vacuum.
– Praying as we make the beds.
– Praying as we mow the yard.
– Praying on the job.
– Praying as we wait for an appointment.
– Praying as we drive.
– Praying as we shower.
– Praying as we wait on traffic lights.
Use “post-it” notes as reminders in the kitchen, car, office, or wherever to keep you on track while praying. A scripture promise added to the note is a constant source of faith.
Prayer should become a highly developed spiritual skill, not just a monologue of requests.
It should be two way communication, true communion between you and God.
The above article, “Proceeding Into Prayer” is written by Teri Spears & Thetus Tenney. The article was excerpted from pages 19-37 of the authors’ book Prayer.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.