Proverbs 31:15. “She rises while yet it is night and gets spiritual food for her household…”
Jesus said, “I have food (nourishment) to eat of which you know nothing and have no idea.” He then explained to the disciples, “My food is to do the will (pleasure) of Him Who sent Me and to accomplish and completely finish His work.” John 4:32-34. (Amp)
We take our pattern for our life, from our Lord Jesus, if He really is our Master. How did Jesus know what was the Father’s will on a daily basis?
He spent hours in His presence. Matthew 14:22-23; Mark 1:35.
Meaning of Prayer
To petition, to entreat, to bow down, to ask, to wait, to interrogate, to wish, to call for. To talk to God in Jesus’ name by the direction of the Holy Spirit.
New Testament prayer is:-
Relationship and intimacy with our Father. A communion so deep, that our will and His will become entwined as the same, John 14:19-20. Eternal (true) life, is to know the true God and His Son Jesus, John 17:3. If you make Jesus your Lord you have access to the throne of Almighty God, Hebrews 4:16. He has every solution to every problem you’ll ever have and He is just waiting for you to come to Him, so He can give you the answer, Mark 11:24. It may take some private time alone with Him but He will never disappoint you.
Who Should Pray?
Every disciple of Jesus Christ should pray.
- ‘Don’t be weary in prayer; keep at it; watch for God’s answers, and remember to be thankful when they come,’ Colossians 4:2.
- ‘And now about prayer; when you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who pretend piety by praying publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. Truly, that is all the reward they will ever get,’ Matthew 6:5.
- ‘Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for His answers,’ Philippians 4:6.
- ‘The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore be earnest, thoughtful men of prayer,’ 1 Peter 4:7.
- ‘Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For the spirit indeed is willing, but how weak the body is!’ Matthew 26:41
- ‘So I want men everywhere to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from sin and anger and resentment,’ 1 Timothy 2:8.
How to Pray
According to Jesus, our prayers should be simple and uncomplicated, Matthew 6:7. He gave the greatest key to prayer in Matthew 26:39 when He prayed “… not as I will, but as you will”. It is not us asking for what we want, but allowing God to tell us what is on His heart, and what He has purposed to give us. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 suggests that we should “…pray continually…..” to be in constant communion with God.
The Holy Spirit has been given to us to help in all our needs, including our prayer-life, John 14:16.
As we develop that intimate relationship with Him and begin to walk in the Spirit, the things of God just flow out of the well of living water that we have in us, John 4:14.
As we have been learning over the past weeks, everything we do, say and think must be based on the Word. If it doesn’t line-up with what God has already said, – forget it!!! He has not gone back on His Word so far – and He is not about to start now! Hebrews 13:8.
So, prayer that is based on the Word is not only advisable, it’s essential. You cannot separate God from His Word. God is the Word, John 1:1-18.
The sword of the Holy Spirit is the Word (Ephesians 6:17), so He will tell us what to do with it.
So we should pray:- a) Simply b) Not hypocritically c) To the Father d) Always – continually and therefore…e) Everywhere f) In the Name of Jesus.
Jesus knew His Father’s will because He had grown to know the Father, through spending so much intimate time with Him. Their relationship was such that Jesus refused to do or say anything that was not from Him, John 8:26.
Jesus’ ministry consisted of three years of supernatural, miraculous, Spirit-led living, yet He had spent about thirty years preparing for it!! We read about Him praying all night and performing miracles all day, Luke 6:12-13; Matthew 26:39; John 6:15-21.
Prayer takes many forms, like all communication.
Praise – Psalm 52:9: 68:3
Worship – Psalm 100:2
Waiting – Psalm 46:10
Confession – Psalm 139:23,24.
Word praying – Luke 4:4,8,12; Romans 8:27; Jeremiah 29:19:
Listening to God – Colossians 4:2; Ecclesiastes 5:1-3
Intercession – 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Petition – Matthew 7:7; Genesis 25:21
Thanksgiving – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Meditation – Joshua 1:8
In the Spirit – Roman 8:26; Ephesians 6:18
Agreement – Matthew 18:19
Binding and Loosing – Matthew 16:19; 18:18
Prayer of Faith – James 5:15.
Private prayer – Matthew 14:23: Matthew 6:6.
Overcoming prayer – Matthew 26:40-41: Philippians 4:6-7: Exodus 32:9-14.
With fasting – Luke 2:37: 4:1-2; Acts 13:2-3
There are as many reasons for praying as there are needs. As born again children of the Most High God we have children’s rights (John 14:21, 23) but we need to spend time with the Father to see His plans and perspective on all situations in our life.
We were created for fellowship with the Father and that is what He wants, a love relationship with His children, Revelation 3:20. Prayer is the best way to develop this relationship. If we want to grow in a love relationship with a human being we need to spend time together, share our hearts, and just be together. How much more our relationship with God? So we can pray:-
For Peace of Jerusalem – Psalm 122:6
For Healing – James 5:15
For Missionaries – 2 Corinthians 1:11; Colossians 4:2-4
For Forgiveness – Hosea 14:2; Mark 11:25
For Power – Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 3:16
For our Enemies – Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:28
For Nearness to God – Deuteronomy 4:7
For Healing of our Land – 2 Chronicles 7:14; 1 Timothy 2:1-4
For Royalty – Ezra 6:10; 1 Timothy 2:2
For Prosperity of the City – Jeremiah 29:7
For Strength in Trouble – Matthew 26:38-42; John 12:27; Psalm 91:15
For Strength against Temptation – Matthew 26:41; Luke 22:40
For Everything – Luke 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Colossians 4:2
For Unsaved – John 17:20
For Knowledge of the Love of God – Ephesians 3:17-19
For Life Worthy of God – Colossians 1:10
For Revival – Habakkuk 3:2
There will be phases (seasons) of types of prayer.
We can feel a stirring in our “insides” and get an “uneasy feeling” until we ask our Father what He wants. He may show us a person to pray for, that we may or may not know. He may give us a picture of a family member so as to speak into their lives. He may put a ministry on our hearts. Sometimes, through the Holy Spirit, God will ask us to worship Him (maybe for the first hour of the day) for weeks. We may just want to devour the Word, every moment we can get, and each verse will come alive to us. Other seasons could be, a yearning to sing the Word, sing praises to God, or sing in a Heavenly language that has come from our heart – not our head.
Whatever we ‘want’ to do in our time with God, has probably come from Him initially, anyway! A good way to check if it’s God or our flesh, is to ask ourselves, “Would Jesus do this?”
We must always keep in mind the truth that “without faith it’s impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6) and do everything believing that in the Spirit realm something is happening as we pray; praise or worship our Father.
When He prompts us like this, He will always lead us into how to get the victory.
Being led by the Spirit in prayer will be enlarged in the next study
How to pray for other Christians:
1. Be thankful for their faith and changed lives. – Colossians 1:3-5.
2. Ask God to help them know what He wants them to do – Colossians 1:9.
3. Ask God to give them spiritual understanding. – Colossians 1:9.
4. Ask God to help them live for Him. – Colossians 1:10.
5. Ask God to give them more knowledge of Him. – Colossians 1:10.
6. Ask God to give them strength for endurance. – Colossians 1:11.
7. Ask God to fill them with joy, strength, and thankfulness. – Colossians 1:11
Other Word prayers to pray for yourself and others: Ephesians 1:16-19; 3:16-21; 6:19,20. Philippians 1:3-5; 9-11
Opposition to our praying will arise in three areas:-
Self – The self-life (we sometimes call it “the old nature”) Romans 7:18-25
Sin – Separates us from God and breaks the communion. (Answer – 1 John 1:7-9)
Satan – He will always oppose our praying. Ephesians 6:12. Matthew 26:36-46. This shows the opposition against Jesus’ life work.
Why not ask Father now, for a passion for His presence and His Word? As we seek Him, we will find Him, Matthew 7:7-8. As we come to know The Truth, It will make us free! John 8:32. So, why not just get intimate with God right now, expect Him to speak to you, and listen with your “spiritual ears” – He is waiting for your call!!!
“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27
Home Challenges for the Joyful Woman No:12
- What did you enjoy most about the previous study about the tongue?
- Are you applying what you have learnt, and how are you growing as a Christian? Describe how.
Read the notes on “Intimacy, your life in God.”
- Take two points, from the first page, that you feel you are doing and look up any verses. Can you learn something new from these verses?
- Look at two points from the notes that you are not doing, see how you can put them into your prayer time. Note them down here so you can look back and remind yourself of all that God has done for you.
- Is there anything that you feel God wants you to pray for from the list of ‘Why Pray?’
- What plan have you got after this study to spend time talking and listening to God? Be specific and committed. What verse has spoken to you most and why?
Read the verse Proverbs 31:27 (Amp) “She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent and self-pity) she will not eat.”
- Write down what this verse is saying to you in your spirit. What are you going to change, so that you can obey the leading of the Holy Spirit?
- List five Characteristics of the Holy Spirit, according to John 14:16-27.
- Think about when you became a Christian. Was the Holy Spirit involved? If so how?
- Read Romans 8:5-11. From this passage describe two benefits of walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.
- What is the work of the Holy Spirit according to John 16:5-15?
- What do you find hardest in the flesh to overcome? Stop now and ask the Holy Spirit to help you.
- Read Matthew 7:15-20. What does it mean ‘by their fruits you shall know them?’ Can you name two fruits of the Spirit in your life? Galatians 5:22-23 will help.
- Give a short testimony of a situation of walking in the Spirit, and how you knew it was God who was leading you.
- Sum up in one short sentence what has come out of this study for you.
Memory Verse:- “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children. and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5: 1-2.
- Answer True or False to the following questions. If you can give verses from the Bible to back up your answer that will help you.