Maria Foslien, Living Word Family Church, Naples, FL
January 23, 2017
I John 5:14-15 “Now this is the confidence we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know He hears us, whatever we ask, we know we have the petitions we have asked of Him.” (NKJV)
As we begin to look at prayer from a biblical perspective, we, first and foremost, must pray according to HIS will! Unfortunately, many Christians are unskilled ‘prayers’; their prayer lives consist of phrases such as, “Lord, I need such-and-such,” or “help so-and-so.” While this simple prayer is better than no prayer at all, it is not very effective especially if we have been a Christian for any length of time. Throughout the Bible, the Lord has always been very gracious and loving as He looks to the heart of men and women in their actions and prayers. If you are a new believer, do not worry that your prayers may go unanswered or unheard because you are doing it incorrectly. Instead, focus on seeking God and coming to Him with an open heart, and He will meet you where you are at in life.
But, this does not mean we should not learn to pray powerfully, effectively, and correctly. God could do so much more here on the earth if we, the body of Christ, would give Him the legal right by asking in accordance with His Word. Now, prayer cannot take the place of obedience, and obedience cannot take the place of prayer as both are important in the life of a Christian. But, when we combine the two together, we open the door for God to move in our lives and on this earth in a powerful way.
The Bible teaches us nine types of prayers that we will begin to look at today:
1. Prayer of Faith – to change things.
Matthew 21:22 “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (NKJV)
This prayer is always based on God’s revealed will in His Word and never has an “if” in it. Imagine if you went to the Lord and were praying for Him to provide for your family finances in a tough time. Faith would be praying, saying, and thanking the Lord for providing for your family no matter what the circumstances look like. Faith would not be saying “Lord, thank you for providing for my family, but I really do not know if you can do this because there is no way we are ever getting out of this debt.”
2. Prayer of Consecration – the consecration and dedication of our lives to God’s use.
Luke 22:42 “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (NKJV)
In this prayer, we can pray, “If it be Your will.” concerning decisions to make in our life. However, we must remember that we do not use this prayer in asking about or for what the Word of God already details. A simple example, the Bible clearly outlines many sins that should not be committed – including stealing from others. You would never, or at least should never, pray ‘If it be Your will’ for me to steal something from another because I need it more.
3. Prayer of Commitment – casting your cares upon the Lord.
I Peter 5:7 Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. (AMP)
In this prayer, you can give your burdens and worries to Him with the assurance that your heavenly Father cares and watches over you. The thrust of this prayer is that we take time, a specific time, to give God every worry and every concern about a specific problem, and then leave it in God’s hands. However, if we catch ourselves trying to ‘take back the worry’, then we need to pray and give it back to Him. Situations in life can weigh heavily on us all, but we can give it to the Lord and lean on His help in good and bad times.
4. Prayer of Agreement – joining faith with another, by agreeing in prayer, for a specific purpose.
Matthew 18:18-20 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (NKJV)
This scripture explains exactly why we have people available to pray with you after services. When we come together in prayer as believers and stand on the Word of God, we are praying in agreement with each other and God for a specific result believing that it will happen, whatever ‘it’ may be. This is also an example of prayer that is not done purely in private. While much of our prayer times will likely be done alone, wherever it may be, the Word of God clearly lays out the importance and power of agreeing in prayer with one another.
There are other types of prayer, but we will look at them another time. The other types of prayer are:
5. Prayer of Worship
6. Prayer in the Spirit
7. United Prayer
8. Prayer of Supplication
9. Prayer of Intercession
What is the best kind of prayer? The one needed at the moment according to God’s Word! This year, let’s be purposeful and intentional at becoming more skilled and dedicated in prayer.