"This kind can come out only by prayer'" (Mark 9:29)
These are the words spoken by Jesus, when his disciples asked him why they couldn't drive out the evil spirit from a boy. Surely, Jesus disciples understood the importance of prayer and the power of prayer. Jesus himself is a great example for us, how much we need to rely on
God through our prayers.
Prayer is absolutely essential for every disciple
1 Thessalonians 5:17
As young disciples of Jesus, we need to be clear in our minds that spiritual battles are won in prayers and the fight for the world will ultimately be won on our knees.
Basically, prayer is a communication with God which includes listening to his word, worshipping, adoring, and petitioning Him, as well as confessing sins and interceding for others.
1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."
2 He said to them, "When you pray, say: "'Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread.
4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.'"
Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray. Let's look into different aspects of prayer in details.
What to Pray?
To praise is oral adoration of God. It is acknowledging God as God and accepting his significance and his power. Praise is unselfish prayer.
- Praise him for
(i) his names-Rock, Fortress, Alpha & Omega, Shield, Guide, Light, King of Kings, Lord of Lords etc.
(ii) His qualities : Righteous, holy, gracious, powerful perceiving, bold, gentle etc.
(iii) His creation : Sun, moon, stars, animals, trees, mountains etc.
Useful scriptures :
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel.
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name.
Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.
To confess is to admit guilt. It is heart felt recognition of who we are and to show to God that we take our sin seriously. When we confess, God forgives our sins & sees us as perfect
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Useful Scriptures :
1 Corinthians 6:19
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Psalm 51 [Whole chapter]
Intercession is prayer for others. Your prayers can reach around the world. Pray for sick, family, disciples, lost souls.
Now return the man's wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all yours will die."
1 Timothy 2:1-4
1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone--
2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior,
4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
9 God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you
10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
A petition is a personal request. God wants to know what you want. Pray for your school, college. Work, dating / marriage, health, schedule, character to change. Pray Specifically.
12 Then he prayed, "O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.
13 See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water.
14 May it be that when I say to a girl, 'Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,' and she says, 'Drink, and I'll water your camels too'--let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master."
15 Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, who was the wife of Abraham's brother Nahor.
16 The girl was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever lain with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again.
17 The servant hurried to meet her and said, "Please give me a little water from your jar."
18 "Drink, my lord," she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink.
19 After she had given him a drink, she said, "I'll draw water for your camels too, until they have finished drinking."
20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;
8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.
1 Chronicles 4:9-10
9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain."
10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
Give us today our daily bread.
9 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
5. Thanks Giving
Thanks giving is acknowledging what he has done for us.
Give thanks for
(i) spiritual blessings fruit, growth, love, forgiveness
(ii) Material blessings : House, Clothes, food
(iii) Physical Blessings : Health
(iv) External Blessings : To other individuals, to the church as a whole etc.
You can do much more than mentioned above in prayer - singing, praying through scriptures praying with others and learning from them.
If every disciple prayed for only six minutes on all five areas above. He could move the heavens for thirty minutes.
Here is a small passage about prayer.
I got up early one morning and rushed right into the day,
I had so much to accomplish, that I didn't have time to pray.
Problems just tumbled about me, and heavier came each task.
Why doesn't God help me ?"
I wondered He answered, "You didn't ask"
I wanted to see joy and beauty, but the day toiled on, gray and bleak,
I wondered why God didn't show me.
He said, "But you didn't seek".
I tried to come into God's presence,
I used all my keys at the lock, God gently and lovingly Chided,
"My child, you didn't knock".
I woke up early this morning and paused before entering the day,
I had so much to accomplish, that I had to take time to PRAY.