3 Highlights On Prayer
I had went on a missions trip to Israel in the summer of 1996 which changed my life. There were deep times of solitude and prayer that I had experienced while I was there. Of course the being a tourist to the city, I wanted to bring back a souvenir from my trip. I found a great, large, silk prayer shawl that Jewish people use to cover their heads while they pray. It was silk, all white with hebrew lettering on it and tassles at the end that represented all the laws and commandments that God gave to the children of Israel. To this day, this is something that is used to pray as tradition if you are Jewish.
I wanted to pray like Jesus prayed, so I would take this prayer shawl and spread it over my head and close the door in the prayer room at Judson college. I thought I was “deep in prayer!” One day a mentor of mine saw me praying through the prayer room window with my “special anointed prayer shawl” and he came in and snatched it off of my head while I was praying. He had to explain to me that I didn’t need a prayer shawl to make my prayers special to God, but all I needed was to come to Him just as I am. The use of objects, rosary beads, prayer shawls and other things we use to help us pray ultimately have no more power than the coming to Jesus by the blood he shed for us.
Having a strong prayer life is vital to the walk of the believer. Prayer is more about listening than it is about speaking to God. We have to get past the point in our lives where we only come to God when we are hurting, in trouble or want something. Prayer should be a consistent, communion with the Lord that hides us within the shadow of his wing and surrounds us with the warmness of his presence. If we remember to pray and abide in Him, we will find life becomes a little more focused, we are more prepared to face life and stay ahead of the game.
Prayer will not guarantee a easy street life. But, when we pray we are able to face the day with the support of heaven we need. There are many different aspects of prayer, intercession and petitioning prayer. I’d like to highlight this verse and 3 points to prayer we should remember:
Ephesians 6:18-19 “With all types of prayer and petition pray in every season in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and [pray] on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of mymouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel.”
1. Prayer is offered in ALL TYPES. As I mentioned, we should remember that there are all types of prayers that can be offered to God. We can offer prayers of intercession, where we stand on behalf of someone who cannot or will not pray on their own. Prayers of petition can be given for our daily bread, provision or things we want God to do for us or need from our Father. Prayers of worship and adoration just tell of the goodness of God and declare his wonderful nature of who He is. The key here is that there are many types of prayers to pray and all are necessary in the life of the believer in Christ.
2. Pray with perseverance. Many times when we don’t see the results we are looking for in prayer we give up. Often times, this is right when our blessing is around the corner. We must not give up too soon, we must wrestle in prayer sometimes. We must be persistent, knowing that its in prayer that we engage spiritual battles in heavenly places. Don’t get tired in prayer. Wake yourself up to continue to be persistent in your prayer life.
3. Praying must be done “in the Spirit”. This quote is not exclusive to praying in tongues, although it could be interpreted that way. Even more, praying in the Spirit can also be interpreted as “with” the Spirit. That our prayer life is led and guided by the Spirit. We pray for that which the Holy Spirit of God wants us to pray for. This also means that the power in prayer doesn’t come from our yelling, hype or religious tone of voice. No, the power found in prayer can only come from the source of the Spirit of God. There is a time to pray in tongues, there is also a time to pray with understanding.
Without a strong prayer life unfortunately we don’t have much of a chance at obtaining the blessings of Christ in this life. We will find ourselves constantly struggling and trying to just “make it”. God has desired better for you. To live the blessed life, abundant in the life and presence of God which can only be found by spending time with him in solitude and prayer. Turn off the t.v., grab your Bible and go find a spot to get alone with God and let Him speak over your life today.