We shout to the Lord in our Sunday worship services. We raise our hands and praise God for all that He has done for us. What do we do between Church services? What do we do at home? What do we do when no one is looking? What do we do in our daily walk with God? Let’s look into the scriptures and see how we can get a daily refreshing in the Spirit and build a closer walk with God. Let’s look at prayer.
Jesus said that we should worship God in spirit and truth.
John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Prayer is for our spiritual renewing. Jesus gave us some guidelines concerning prayer.
Matthew 6:5-15 5 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. 6 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. 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. 9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Jesus begins this prayer with praise.
Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Praise is followed by submission to God’s will.
Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Jesus follows this with petition.
Matthew 6:11-13 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Notice this prayer is very specific. Jesus did not pray haphazardly, or just in general. He was very specific about each point in the prayer. Prayer is talking to God. Sometimes we need to ask things of God. We always pray for jobs, homes, family members, etc. Ask God to help you in everything you do and be specific in your needs. Jesus tells us to ask what we need in faith.
Matthew 7:7-11 7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 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?
Jesus did not give us this example for us to simply repeat it (although I do recommend memorizing it). He gave us this prayer as a good pattern to follow.
We should always keep a prayerful mind and attitude.
Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19 Quench not the Spirit.
Prayer should be a spiritual refreshing. Paul explained how speaking in tongues in personal prayer is for self edification. Paul called this ‘praying in the spirit’.
1 Corinthians 14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
1 Corinthians 14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself;
1 Corinthians 14:14-15 14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
Jude continues this teaching.
Jude 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
There are several different types of prayer. Intercessory prayer is when we stand in the gap for someone else (Holman, p. 170).
Ezekiel 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
Intercessors pray for the needs of others. Intercessory prayer is unselfish prayer. It is prayer that is needed now more than ever.
Anything can be accomplished through prayer.
2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
James 5:17-18 17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
James 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Through prayer we can have healing, we can have blessings, we can have miracles, and we can have a closer walk with God.
Prayer is our weapon against sin (Holman, p. 235). We receive strength to overcome sin by walking in the Spirit.
Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Through prayer, God leads us into righteousness.
Psalm 23:1-6 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Through prayer we make ourselves ready to meet our Lord Jesus when he returns for the saints.
Matthew 25:1-13 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
The five foolish virgins let their oil run out. They let their spirituality grow cold by neglecting God. They grew cold and grieved the Spirit.
Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Prayerlessness is a sin. Prayerlessness causes us to grow away from God and closer to sin and the cares of this world. Through prayerlessness we have no power to fight against the trials that Satan and his demons throw at us on a daily basis. Daily prayer is a necessity for our walk with God.
We must build a daily prayer life. We must make the time every day to pray. Through prayer we grow closer to God. Through prayer we gain strength to fight against sin and overcome temptation. Through prayer we grow in the Spirit. Through prayer we gain blessings, healings, miracles, and personal renewal. Through prayer we have the strength to remain holy. Prayer is our weapon against sin. We can’t afford not to pray.
Holman, Denzil (1988). Conquest through prayer.
Hazelwood: Word Aflame Press