ALL KINDS OF PRAYER
Last week, when we were talking about the armor of God, which we are to be armed with, and we got to the last one, that talks about prayer, the Lord spoke to me and told me what we were to get into this week. I usually don’t have a ‘for-sure topic’ for the next week until I’m done with the current week. This was different.
So - we’re going to dive into this realm. First we’re going to read Ephesians 6:18 (that we read last week) from the New King James and then from the Amplified.
NKJ - Ephesians 6:18 - “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” AMP - “Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season, in the Spirit, with [all manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).”
Now - that is a very detailed instruction about prayer. Did you get it that it said, “all manner of prayer and entreaty?” That makes it very clear that there are many ways to pray. So - I want to share with you what I have learned about prayer - and I do have to say that the more I have learned, the more I have experienced a relationship with the Lord that is more personal, more powerful, more productive, and more exciting than I ever had before.
First, let me say that prayer is not begging and pleading with God to do something for you. Prayer is not having to be in a specific physical position, saying specific things. So let me say this - I want you to think about the absolutely best relationship with another human being that you’ve ever had - a spouse, a sister or brother, a parent, a special friend - someone whom you could just talk to about anything. That’s pretty much what my marriage was like - there wasn’t anything I couldn’t talk to him about. THAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP IS WHAT GOD HIMSELF DESIRES TO HAVE WITH EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US.
Now, as I have been thinking about this subject over this last week, I have pondered and pondered about the absolute miraculous way that the CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE - GOD HIMSELF - DESIRES TO HAVE THAT SAME PERSONAL, INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH EVERY ONE OF US WHO HAVE BEEN BORN AGAIN. WE ARE EACH UNIQUE TO HIM AND HE WANTS TO BE THE BEST FRIEND TO EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US. IT’S UP TO US TO SEE HIM THAT WAY - TO THE POINT THAT PRAYER IS NOT SOME RELIGIOUS ROUTINE - BUT TALKING TO HIM, OUR BEST FRIEND!
So - for me, personally, I talk to Him many times every day. It’s not about always asking Him for something that I want or need. It’s about telling Him how grateful I am to be in His family, how much I love Him, thanking Him for such a beautiful world, for people in my life, for food to eat, for water, and on and on and on. I have learned that He delights in us doing that.
Think about a little 4 or 5 year old child, looking up and saying, “Thank you Daddy (or Mommy) for giving me a good breakfast this morning!” Wouldn’t Mommy or Daddy be thrilled to hear something like that? That’s the way God is when we, His children, thank Him. PRAYER IS COMMUNION OR COMMUNICATION WITH THE LORD. It has been terribly misunderstood by the Body of Christ. He doesn’t want us viewing Him as the Heavenly Santa Claus that we have to ask, and beg, and talk just right to. He wants daily communication with every single one of us. He already knows us inside and out. He desires for us to REALLY GET TO KNOW HIM - YES BY READING HIS WORD - BUT ALSO BY COMMUNICATING WITH HIM.
Now - listen to this verse - Psalm 100:4 - “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” Now, we’ve probably all sung or at least heard that song. Somebody asked one time, “How do you bless the Lord? He’s the one that blesses us.” WELL, I have learned that it actually blesses the Lord when we start talking to Him, without a religious attitude and come into His presence by thanking Him and praising Him. The Lord has shown me that when His daughter, or His son starts talking to Him with a grateful attitude (rather than a religious one), He’s up there saying, “Yeah, that’s my girl!!!” Or saying, “Wow, my son’s getting it!!!”
What it boils down to, brothers and sisters, is that we should think of prayer in such a way that it is just part of our lives to be in communication with Him often throughout the day. It can be 5 minutes sometimes - it can be an hour other times. AND IT ISN’T ALWAYS ABOUT ASKING FOR A NEED TO BE MET. BY THE WAY, ASKING FOR A NEED TO BE MET IS APPROPRIATE AND THEN THANKING HIM (BEFORE YOU SEE IT) AFTER THAT - NOT ASKING AGAIN AND AGAIN.
Now - back there in that verse in Ephesians 6:18, it says, “Praying always with ALL prayer and supplication, in the Spirit……” All prayer is referring to various kinds of prayer. There are prayers of praise, thanksgiving, intercession, agreement, dedication, and then it talks about supplication. Now - when it uses the word, “supplication,” it is talking about emphasizing a specific need and the entreaty to God for that need, which is often referring to intercession for the saints.
Now, what I have discovered is that each day of my life, I pretty much have all those kinds of prayer in my daily life. So - let’s talk about what each of those really are. First - PRAISE - I look at it as ADORATION FOR THE KING OF THE UNIVERSE - THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE - THE ONE WHO GAVE THE BEST HE HAD TO TAKE ALL MY BAD SO HE COULD GIVE ME ALL HIS GOOD. When I think of Jesus on that cross, being stabbed, having nails pounded into His hands and feet, having horrible thorns pounded into His Head, Blood running out of His Body, of all the pain and agony that was producing - and then His very special words being spoken, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do!” YOU TALK ABOUT LOVE!!!! FOR YOU AND FOR ME!!!! HOW CAN I NOT PRAISE HIM EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE WHILE I AM HERE ON EARTH AND FOREVER IN ETERNITY WITH HIM!!!!!!! HE DESERVES THE PRAISE.
Next - THANKSGIVING! A long time ago, when I began to get ahold of many of these truths, the thing that had the most effect on me BEING THANKFUL CONTINUALLY, is that I began to think what it is like for many human beings who live in various parts of the world, with not a clue as to the way I live. They live in grass huts, they don’t have stores to drive to, they don’t have any of the daily lives that we have. I began to ponder on the everyday lives of those people. I heard many stories from missionaries about what it was like in so many isolated places in the world. Boy, as I pondered on that, it caused a thankfulness to rise up in me and I found myself daily thanking Him for all the wonderful blessings in my life - - - even so many little things that we just take for granted because it’s all we’ve ever known. I’ve thanked Him for having bathrooms, for having mirrors, refrigerators, make-up, cars, comfy chairs, and on and on and on. Over the years of doing that, it led me to write two fiction books about an isolated people group in the world - “From Darkness to Light,” and “Living in the Light.” They’re both in the bookstore.
I’ve discovered that self-centeredness has become just a normal way of living in today’s culture and we don’t even realize it. I have a habit pattern in my life of thanking Him for all kinds of things in my life…..and especially for the country I was born in, my parents, my husband, who is now in heaven, my children, whom I have a close relationship with…….and on and on. I have learned that the Lord loves for us to really realize how much we have to be thankful for.
Next - INTERCESSION!! This is PRAYING FOR OTHERS! People you know and people you don’t know! For most of us, close family members and friends are the ones we intercede for the most. Now I’ve prayed for others since I was born again, at 13 years of age. But it wasn’t until I was in my late 30’s, when I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and began to pray in tongues (or in the Spirit) that I really became an intercessor!
Romans 8:26-27 became alive to me. “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts, knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
Now these verses have been misunderstood, and misinterpreted, and have been confusing for lots of people. Here’s what I have learned and it has changed my life concerning intercessory prayer. First - the people we love and want to pray for are all unique individuals like each of us are. Deep inside themselves, there are all kinds of things going on (just like what goes on in each of us) and, really, only they and God are the only ones who are aware of them. This verse (26) is saying that we don’t even know how to pray for these precious ones because we can’t READ THEIR HEARTS. God is the only one who knows. Therefore, I tell the Lord, ‘So and So’ is the one I want to pray for - so I’m going to pray in tongues, and I know Holy Spirit that You will help me to pray the perfect will of God for this person.” Then I begin to pray in tongues. Sometimes, it’s just a little while - sometimes it’s longer.
I want to deal with one little word in that verse, before we go on - and that’s the word, “groanings.” I’ve prayed and studied about this and I really believe that the “groanings” He is referring to are exercised by the Holy Spirit unto the Father regarding the person or situation we are praying in tongues about. The groanings cannot be uttered because it is too deep to understand - BUT THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE FATHER UNDERSTAND!
Now - I cannot tell you how many times (it’s in the hundreds or maybe thousands) that I have seen things change in different ways. Also, while I am praying in tongues, often the Lord will “enlighten the eyes of my understanding,” That’s a quote from this portion of Scripture - Ephesians 1:17-18 - “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” Oh, how I love that Scripture!
It is the most marvelous experience to have been praying for someone (or something) in the Spirit, (or tongues) and, THEN, ALL OF A SUDDEN, TO HAVE YOUR SPIRITUAL EYES UNDERSTAND AND SEE WHAT THE LORD REVEALS TO YOU CONCERNING WHAT YOU ARE PRAYING ABOUT.
For me, it is one of the most wonderful blessings of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Of course, that always raises up praise and thanksgiving in me for this wonderful God who is SO INDIVIDUAL WITH EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US! Isn’t it just amazing that no matter how many trillions and trillions of people are on this earth, He know every detail of our lives, and He LOVES, LOVES, LOVES US.
Next - THE PRAYER OF AGREEMENT! When we have brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ, whom we know well, and we know how and what they believe, and, in a sense, we know we’re ‘on the same page with,’ and they are praying about something - we can get in to spiritual agreement with them. We can be with them physically praying together - or we can be apart, but we know we are in harmony with them. We can say something like, “Father, I want to say with my mouth what I believe in my heart, regarding ‘So and So’ and their prayers concerning (??????) - I want You to know that I am in agreement with them. I am using my faith along with theirs and I am standing with my brother (or sister) and I will continue to STAND.” Then, I usually tell the Lord that I’m going to pray in tongues regarding this situation. THE PRAYER OF AGREEMENT IS POWERFUL.
Next - THE PRAYER OF DEDICATION - This can be in many different realms. On a personal level, we can actually dedicate ourselves to the Lord. The pastor preached recently about surrendering ourselves to the Lord, and we’ve talked about it in some previous teachings. It is extremely important. So - just in case we all need to be reminded - Romans 12:1 says - “I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
I’m not going to talk about this a lot, because I have in other sessions - BUT - let me say this. I have known people through the years who are asking and asking God what He wants them to do - this - or that - etc. But, they haven’t really presented themselves to the Lord - or surrendered to the Lord - or DEDICATED themselves to the Lord - mainly because they-re afraid that God will want them to do something they don’t want to do. We either give in totally to God, or we keep on trying to figure it all out ourselves.
Now there’s another kind of dedication - and that’s DEDICATING OUR CHILDREN, WHILE THEY ARE BABIES, TO THE LORD. It’s a wonderful thing to do.
Actually, we really need to be living our lives dedicated or surrendered to the Lord.
Next - SUPPLICATION! This word means ‘emphasizing a specific need and the entreaty to God for that need’. Now, in all actuality, most of the prayer of the Body of Christ is in this category. As I said in the beginning, most Christians consider prayer as begging and pleading with God about a specific thing. God is not an ‘angry old God up there in heaven who is in a bad mood and you have to try to convince Him by begging him to help you’. Neither is He a ‘Busy, Busy King of the Universe who doesn’t have much time for you’. He’s not holding out on you! He’s not playing hide and seek on you. Most of the time, when Christians feel like God just isn’t listening to them or willing to help them, it’s because they really don’t have a clue about how God does things, and about the part that they play in this whole thing. Sometimes, it’s our lack of knowledge about all of this which is our biggest hindrance.
So-o-o-o-o, in as simple way as possible, I want to explain what I have learned about SUPPLICATION. All through our lives here on this earth, there are things that we really want and need God’s power to enter into and change things around, or provide what is needed, or bring people or things back from a big division, or bring healing to a devastated physical body, and on and on and on. Now remember, God gave authority on this earth to mankind. God does not whoosh down from heaven and change things. He gave us power, and, as we spend time communicating with Him, very often He shows us what we need to see about a situation, or He enlightens us in ways that we hadn’t even thought of. It’s all about us opening up the whole situation to Him and being guided by Him. AND EVERY SITUATION IS UNIQUE. IT IS NOT BEGGING HIM TO DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!! IT IS TALKING TO HIM ABOUT A SPECIFIC SITUATION. FOR ME, BEING ABLE TO SPEND TIME PRAYING IN TONGUES ABOUT A SITUATION IS A WONDERFUL GIFT FROM THE LORD. SO OFTEN, I GET ENLIGHTENMENT WHILE I’M PRAYING. THEN I FIND MYSELF SPEAKING TO THE PROBLEM IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
Each situation is unique so there isn’t a one size fits all solution. I’ve shared many stories with you and I don’t want to share them too much so that you’re sitting there thinking, “Yeah - I’ve heard that story before.” However, one thing I’ve noticed is that all these various times that the Lord has miraculously brought a solution into a desperate situation, most of the time, it’s been when I was just praying by myself - not with others. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with praying with others - but, for me, it’s just been me and Jesus. I think that it has a lot to do with just personal communication with HIM.
Now - I want to bring another Scripture to our attention - it’s Hebrews 11:1 - again, it’s one of my favorite verses. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I’ve spent lots of time in my life, reading this verse in every translation - and pondering and pondering on it - so, in a nutshell - I want to share with you what the Lord has shown me.
Imagination and Hope are very much linked together. Imagining what the end result (that you’re bringing before God) IS HOPE. And - then - FAITH IS BELIEVING DEEP WITHIN YOUR HEART WHAT YOU ARE PUTTING BEFORE THE LORD IS A DONE DEAL BECAUSE HE MADE PROMISES IN HIS WORD, IN MANY PLACES - AND ALL HIS PROMISES ARE YES AND AMEN. That verse is 2 Corinthians 1:20 - “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”
Therefore, I believe in my heart and I say with my mouth that God has made promises and all I have to do is believe them - therefore - I am operating in FAITH! That FAITH gives substance to that HOPE (seeing it before it is in the physical world). This truth that I am sharing with you is unknown by a huge percentage of people who are praying. HOPE AND FAITH, WHEN UNDERSTOOD AND ACTIVATED IN ONE’S LIFE, CHANGES EVERYTHING. IT SURE DID FOR ME.
I suggest that you read Hebrews 11:1 over and over again. I remember when I began to get ahold of what that actually meant. Actually, to put it in a nutshell, it means that I have to imagine the end result of what I am talking to God about, and I have to be so convinced in my heart that He keeps His promises (and I read them, by the way) - that it brings FAITH UP WITHIN ME. THEREFORE, THAT FAITH GIVES POWER (OR SUBSTANCE) TO THAT IMAGINATION (OR HOPE) - AND I KNOW THAT I KNOW THAT I KNOW THAT IT’S A DONE DEAL. I CAN START THANKING HIM FOR IT BEFORE I SEE IT!!!
Now, one other thing that’s very important, is that, since God gave authority to mankind here on this earth. Therefore, when it comes to certain things like healing in our bodies, we have to take that authority and speak it out of our mouths. YOU MEAN I’M SUPPOSED TO SPEAK TO MY BODY?????? YES!!! I have to believe those promises in the Word so much so that I talk to the problem in my body, in the name of Jesus, and tell it what it has to do.
So much of our success in praying about anything depends on our awareness of His promises and believing and receiving before we ever see it in the physical realm. When we really get ahold of it, we are allowing FAITH TO GIVE SUBSTANCE TO THINGS HOPED FOR.
Well - that’s these very important truths about prayer kinda’ put into a nutshell. I could teach on it for hours but that’s not going to happen!!!!!!
Read over those Scriptures!
Scriptures for this lesson
2 Corinthians 1:20