How to Develop a
Powerful Prayer Life
The Biblical Path to Holiness
and Relationship with God
Dr. Gregory Frizzell
Table of Contents
Introduction …………………………………………………………. 3
Powerful Prayer is for Every Believer – Book – page 1
Chapter One …………………………………………………………. 7
Understanding the Three Foundations of a Powerful Prayer Life – Book – page 13
Chapter Two…………………………………………………………. 17
Understanding the Five Basic Prayer Types – Book – page 29
Chapter Three……………………………………………………….. 24
Beginning Guidelines for a Powerful Prayer Life – Book – page 41
Chapter Four………………………………………………………… 31
Phase One: Approaching God through Daily Praise and Worship – Book – page 49
Chapter Five…………………………………………………………. 35
Phase two: Getting Clean Before God “The Path to Holiness” – Book – page 53
Chapter Six…………………………………………………………... 45
Phase Three: How to Pray Dynamic Prayers of Petition – Book – page 71
Chapter Seven……………………………………………………….. 51
Phase Four: Powerful Intercession – Book – page 81
Chapter Eight……………………………………………………….. 53
Phase Five: Hearing God’s Voice Through Meditation – Book – page 91
A Brief Word about Fasting – Book – page 97
Chapter Nine……………………………………………………….. 58
A Practical Prayer Guide – Book – page 101
Prayer Guide Bookmarks………………………………………….. 65
How to Develop a Powerful Prayer Life
WELCOME to this study guide for my book, How to Develop a Powerful Prayer Life. Prayer is the heart and soul of every successful relationship with God. It is God’s will for every believer to experience a powerful prayer life. The book is designed to show you how to experience the mighty fullness of God through daily prayer. Its purpose is to help every Christian fully understand and experience a dynamic prayer life. Throughout this guide, major points from the book will be used to help you learn essential steps to a God-focused personal prayer life. It is necessary, however, that you read the chapters and use your book, along with this guide in order to fully gain the most from it. The main emphasis will be on time alone with God and what He wants you to gain through effective prayer.
If you are ready to let God lead you into a more effective prayer life, pray this prayer now.
Dear Lord Jesus, Give me both the desire and ability to move out of the shallows and into the glorious depths of relationship with You.
Study Goals . Upon completion of this study you will
|§||gain a clear understanding of prayer from God’s perspective and purpose.|
|§||discover a full biblical understanding of what constitutes a powerful prayer life.|
|§||learn how to let Christ become the very source and power of your prayer life.|
|§||experience new motivation and confidence to develop a dynamic prayer life.|
|§||embrace a practical biblical pattern for developing powerful prayer and a dynamic personal relationship with Christ.|
LEARNING TO VIEW PRAYER FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE
We will never fully understand prayer until we grasp God’s primary purposes for prayer.
|§||Far more than just meeting needs, prayer is God’s primary means of our coming to know Him, worship Him and experience transformation through the indwelling Christ.|
|§||Prayer is not primarily about what we can get out of God, but what He purposes to do in and through us for His own pleasure.|
|§||Prayer is the major way we learn to communicate with God and hear His voice.|
|§||Through prayer, we abide in Him and allow Him to live through us.|
|§||Prayer is how Christ purifies His Bride and builds His Kingdom.|
|§||The great secret of prayer is to align ourselves to God’s purposes rather than seeking to align Him to ours.|
Until you are totally convinced of the importance of a lifestyle of prayer, you are not likely to take steps to achieve one.
WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO GAIN THROUGH EFFECTIVE PRAYER
Carefully consider Eight God-ordained Results of a powerful prayer life.
|1.||Your relationship with Him will become much more real and personal. (Matthew 22:37, John 17:3)|
|2.||You will experience ever-deepening holiness and life transforming discipleship.|
|3.||Your ability to clearly hear God’s voice will rise dramatically (James 1:5; Jeremiah 29:13).|
|4.||The spiritual power of your life and ministry will increase greatly (John 14:12-14; Acts 1:8).|
|5.||You will experience a dramatic increase in answered prayer (John 15:7).|
|6.||You will experience far greater power to withstand trials, temptations, and spiritual attacks (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).|
|7.||As you learn to effectively pray for the lost, you will see many people saved.|
|8.||You will discover how to pray effectively for revival and spiritual awakening in your church, city, and nation (Ezekiel 22:30).|
Look up and study each scripture reference given. See through Scripture what God declares will be the result of a powerful prayer life.
Though there are many other benefits of prayer, these eight are some of the most important.
TESTIMONY OF GOD’S GRACE THROUGH PRAYER
Read through my testimony on page 6. I share it for one reason, to show God’s transforming power through simple relational prayer. God took a quiet, unsure young man and began to change me. He led me to research the lives of powerful preachers and missionaries, and the great revivals and spiritual awakenings of history. He revealed the following truths to me.
|§||There was a distinct common denominator in the lives of all great saints and in every Great Awakening. It was the practice of spending much time in daily prayer and Bible reading!|
|§||God uses even the weakest believers who spend serious time in fervent daily prayer (Read 2 Corinthians 1:26)|
|§||Everything revolves around a close prayer relationship with Jesus Christ.|
I asked God how I could ever become an effective minister. God spoke so clearly that I have never been the same. “If you will spend much time with me in close relationship and prayer, you will never lack for my mighty presence and miraculous power.”
God used John 15:5 and 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 to drive this truth deep into my heart. (Read these scriptures.)
By God’s grace, I committed to make significant daily prayer my top priority. The results:
|§||Prayer became the major pattern of my life.|
|§||Hundreds of miracles have sprung directly from my simple prayer time.|
|§||God has initiated a nationwide ministry solely through prayer.|
No matter how big or little your task, no matter how devastating your problems,
significant daily prayer is the absolute key to a miraculous new walk with Christ!
|&||KEY POINTS: The Biblical Path to Powerful Daily Prayer|
|&||Significant daily prayer is the absolute key for building a dynamic, intimate personal relationship with God.|
|&||Prayer is not primarily about what we can get out of God, but what He purposes to do in and through us for His pleasure.|
|&||Above everything else, God desires a close personal relationship with each of His children. Through prayer, God purposes to establish and deepen your relationship with Him.|
|&||No one’s relationship with Christ will ever rise above the level of his or her praying.|
|&||If your prayer life is inconsistent and weak, so will be your relationship with God!|
|&||It is only through the constant cleansing and filling of God’s Spirit that our prayers have mountain-moving power.|
|&||Prayer is the primary way we put on the whole armor of God. The more consistently one prays, the greater will be his ability to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil.|
|&||When your prayers become biblical and specific, they take on far greater power.|
|&||When you learn to walk in powerful daily prayer, God will transform your entire life.|
|&||Powerful prayer is God’s will for every believer! You can develop a dynamic prayer life!|
NOTE: At the end of the introduction and each chapter in the book, you will find study questions and prayers for daily growth. Please look up and study each scripture reference, answer the study questions and pray the prayers. Above all, spend time talking to God about the things He reveals in each chapter. Remember friend, you will not learn to pray by merely “reading” about prayer. You will learn to pray by “praying” about the things you read.
After you have read the introduction, please turn to page 10, look up the scriptures, answer the study questions, and pray the prayers for daily growth on page 11.
Before you read any further, please pause and ask God to revolutionize your walk with Him.
Understanding the Three Foundations of a Powerful,
Biblically Balanced, God-Focused Prayer Life
A SOLID PRAYER FOUNDATION
No building can be stronger than the foundation upon which it is built. The same is true of our prayer life and relationship with God.
In the title of this chapter we note three words of crucial importance.
|§||Powerful – God intends every believer to have a dynamic prayer life with awesome supernatural results. (Read John 14:12-14)|
What are some powerful forces you have witnessed or learned about? ___________________
What elements describe a powerful force? ______________________________________
How do these forces compare to the power one has in prayer?
|§||Biblically Balanced – No prayer life is powerful unless it is scripture centered and balanced in the various prayer types.|
|§||God-Focused – No prayer life is powerful if primarily focused on personal desires rather than God’s eternal purpose and perspective.|
If you are to experience a powerful prayer life, you must first establish a solid prayer foundation.
Before you begin to study the Three Prayer Foundations, pause and ask God to help you honestly evaluate your daily level of prayer.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest) where do you rate your level of prayer power?
__________________ Why? ____________________________________________
PRAYER TIME MUST BE VIEWED AS THE ESSENCE OF OUR RELATIONSHIP
WITH GOD AND NOT MERELY SOME DUTY OR RITUAL
We must view prayer as a daily love relationship. From God’s perspective, prayer is the expression of that which He desires most—your personal relationship of love, surrender and trust.
|§||Prayer must be viewed as your commitment to spend meaningful time in personal relationship with the living God.|
|§||Above all He wants our heartfelt personal love. (Read Matthew 22:37)|
|§||Sacrifice and service are meaningless if they do not proceed from a genuine love relationship. (Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-3)|
|§||If you truly love God, time with Him is your greatest joy. Remember actions speak louder than words.|
|§||We must relearn the crucial lesson of Luke 10:38-43 (Read). This story of Mary and Martha contains a truth of enormous importance! We need to spend much time with God before we attempt work for God. Jesus is clearly saying that our first priority is to spend much time with Him. It is this love relationship that He desires far above all the serving and tithing in the world.|
|§||This genuine love relationship must be two-way, requiring talking and listening. It requires far more than merely bringing our lists of wants and desires to God.|
In many ways, prayer is your relationship with God. (Read John 17:3)
Prayer is the primary way we:
|§||express our praise and worship.|
|§||experience cleansing, repentance and sanctification.|
|§||share needs and desires.|
|§||intercede and perform ministry.|
|§||hear God through meditative listening.|
Is your prayer time a chore or legalistic requirement or is it a relationship with God?
YOU MUST MAKE AN ABSOLUTE COMMITMENT TO
CONSISTENTLY SPEND SIGNIFICANT TIME ALONE WITH
GOD IN UNINTERRUPTED PRAYER
Why is this foundation so crucial? Until you make the serious commitment to a significant daily prayer time, you will never become powerful in prayer.
When you view the prayer practices of Jesus and New Testament believers, it is clear they regularly spent much time alone in fervent prayer.
|§||The example of Jesus (Read Mark 1:33-35; Luke 6:12; 9:18)|
When you study the lives of people mightily used of God, you find one great common denominator, they spent much time in fervent daily prayer!
|§||The example of the early church (Read Acts 1:12-14; 2: 41-42; 12:1-5; Romans 1:9)|
|§||The example of history’s great saints (George Mueller, John Hyde, Charles Finney, George Whitfield, Evan Roberts|
|§||The command of Jesus (Read John 15:1-8)|
If Jesus and the early church spent much time in prayer, what makes us think we can do less? God’s requirements have not changed and they never will! This is a foundational requirement and a changeless spiritual principle. Friend, until you personally settle this issue and commit to consistent time with God, you will never go to the fullest depths of prayer or spiritual maturity.
What can you do to make your prayer life more powerful? ___________________________
LET US ANALYZE FOUNDATION TWO - PHRASE BY PHRASE
Three Crucial Reasons why your Commitment must be Absolute
First Reason for Absolute Commitment
Satan fears intercession more than anything else and fights prayer like no other area of your life. He does so for the following reasons.-
|§||Prayer is an essential piece of your arsenal of spiritual warfare. It is through prayer that all other weapons are used. (Read 2 Corinthians 10:7)|
What does Paul mean when he says, “You are looking only on the surface of things?
Is it possible for us to look deeper than the surface of things?
|§||Prayer is crucial to putting on the whole armor of God. (Read Ephesians 6:10-17)|
What reasons does Paul give for putting on the whole armor of God?
According to Ephesians 6:10-17 after we put on the armor of God what should we do?
The armor of God is for ___________________________________against Satan, but it is
___________________________________________ God’s power that makes us strong.
|§||Prayer is the primary way we exert spiritual authority and wage effective spiritual warfare. (Read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)|
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, “…they (weapons) have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.” What does the word demolish mean?
Why do you think Paul chose to use the word “demolish”?
What are some strongholds that need to be demolished in your life?
According to Paul how are you able to demolish these strongholds?
What does Paul mean by we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ?
What arguments, pretensions, and thoughts need to be demolished or taken captive in your life?
According to Paul, how can you claim victory over these strongholds in your life?
|§||Prayer is crucial to true evangelism. (Read Acts 2-4)|
What evidence did you see from these chapters in Acts that prayer was important to Peter and
the other early day evangelists?
|§||Prayer is the central element of all great revivals and spiritual awakenings (along with scripture). (Read 2 Chronicles 7:14)|
2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us if God’s people will do four things: 1) _______________________
2) ____________________3) ______________________ 4) ____________________
then God will __________________, ________________, and __________________.
Second Reason for Absolute Commitment
Our flesh always resists the development of a powerful prayer life.
What strong examples of the flesh hindering prayer and spiritual growth do we see in Matthew
26:40-41 and Romans 7:14-18?
What examples of the flesh hinder your prayer and spiritual growth? ___________________
Jesus says, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the body is weak. List some things that you need to watch and pray about to help you overcome the flesh hindering your prayers and spiritual growth.
Third Reason for Absolute Commitment
The world’s system of human strength and promotion is the direct opposite of God’s ways.
Beyond question, God’s ways are opposite of man’s ways. (Read Isaiah 55:8) The world’s pattern is to exalt human programs, strengths and abilities. Yet, as the Scriptures clearly show, God’s pattern is to bring us to a point of utter weakness and total reliance on Himself.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9 we find God’s power is made perfect in our_____________________.
What human programs, strengths and abilities do you see getting in the way of bringing you to
total weakness and total reliance upon God?
Is there something God wants you to truly pray about and not just merely give it lip service?
…TO CONSISTENTLY SPEND SIGNIFICANT TIME …
What does it mean to consistently spend significant time with God? ____________________
I make a general suggestion of spending at least 30 to 45 minutes a day, alone with God in prayer. That is certainly enough time to experience all major types of prayer that will lead you to miraculous new growth and ministry.
…ALONE WITH GOD IN UNINTERRUPTED PRAYER.
Why is it vital to spend uninterrupted time alone with God?
Four Crucial Reasons to Spend Uninterrupted Time Alone with God
|1.||To hear the still small voice (Read 2 Kings 19:12)|
God often speaks in a still, small voice and we must still our hearts and give Him our undivided attention to clearly hear His voice.
|2.||The clear example of Jesus (Read Luke 6:12; 9:18; Mark 1:33-35)|
Time alone with God is the biblical example of Jesus Christ and the lives of powerful Christians throughout history.
|3.||God’s Instruction (Read Matthew 6:6)|
The Scriptures state the importance of a solitary place to see God’s face.
|4.||God both deserves and requires it (Read Jeremiah 29:13)|
When we pray, we commune with the God of the entire universe and He deserves our undivided attention.
Beyond question, a truly powerful prayer life requires consistent time alone with God. However, in no way does this suggest that we shouldn’t pray throughout the entire day. Paul said we are to “pray without ceasing.” (Read 1 Thessalonians 5:17)
We only learn to pray by praying. Although, reading books and attending conferences can be helpful, we must consistently show up for practice in our prayer closet alone with God.
What request did Jesus’ disciples make of him in Luke 11:1?
This is perhaps the greatest request any Christian can make of the Father. Are you ready to make this same request of your heavenly Father? If you say you want to learn to pray, yet you won’t come to practice, the truth is, you had rather do other things than pay the price to grow spiritually. God cannot teach you to pray if you refuse to show up for practice every day. That is why this foundation is so crucial! Until you make the serious commitment to a significant daily prayer time, you will never become powerful in prayer.
Why does God require that we spend significant time alone with Him in “our closets”?
At this point, I want to give you encouragement and hope. Through Christ, you really can do this (Read Philippians 4:13). Please stop settling for a shallow walk with Christ when God saved you to experience all the fullness of His daily presence.
Take time right now to ask God to give you a hunger and thirst for significant, daily time alone with Him.
A POWERFUL PRAYER LIFE REQUIRES THE CONSISTENT
BALANCED PRACTICE OF ALL MAJOR TYPES OF PRAYER
God gave us different types of prayer. Each type of prayer has a very unique role in developing and maintaining your relationship with Christ. To be weak and inconsistent in any one of the basic prayer types is to be weak in your relationship with God.
Name the five basic types of prayer. 1) _________________________________________
2) _________________________________3) _______________________________
4)_________________________________ 5) _______________________________
Which of the five do you practice the most? _____________________________________
Which one do you practice the least? __________________________________________
Which one is the hardest for you to practice? ____________________________________
“If you fail to eat a balanced diet, you will be physically weak. If you fail to have a balanced prayer life, you will be spiritually weak.” If we eat from only one or two food groups, we become physically sick. This same principle applies for a balanced prayer life.
FIVE BASIC TYPES OF PRAYER
|1.||Adoration, Praise, Thanksgiving and Worship|
Psalms 100:1-5; 22:3; 50:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Hebrews 13:15
|2.||Confession and Repentance|
Psalms 6:18; 139:23-24; 24:3-5; 51:6-10; Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9; Matthew 5:23; 6:14
John 15:7; Philippians 4:6-7; Hebrews 4:15-16
Ezekiel 22:30; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:10-17
Psalms 1:2; 63:6; 77:12; 143:5; Jeremiah 29:13; 1 John 5:14-15
What do each of these prayer types mean to you?___________________________________
Which type is the most important in developing a powerful prayer life?___________________
Why would we consistently need to practice all five different prayer types in order to have a balanced prayer life?
If you consistently neglect any of the five types of prayer, your relationship with God will be limited.
|&||KEY POINTS – The Biblical Path to a Powerful Prayer Life|
|&||If you are to experience a powerful prayer life, you must first establish a solid prayer foundation.|
|&||Without strong prayer foundations, your relationship with Christ will be weak and inconsistent.|
|&||Viewing prayer as a daily love relationship with God is the first foundation of a powerful prayer life.|
|&||If you truly love God, time with Him is your greatest joy.|
|&||No believer can develop a truly powerful, biblical prayer life without regularly spending much time alone with God.|
|&||You must make an absolute commitment to consistently spend significant time alone with God in uninterrupted prayer. You must plan for it and guard it.|
|&||Satan will fight to keep you from deepening your prayer power.|
|&||Our physical bodies and earthly passions resist the practice of fervent prayer.|
|&||God is displeased when we put the predominate emphasis on our own human methods and a comparatively small emphasis on prayer.|
|&||We only learn to pray by praying.|
|&||A powerful prayer life must be biblically balanced to consistently include all five basic types of prayer.|
Please turn to pages 26. Review the study questions, look up the scriptures and pray the prayers for daily growth on page 27.
|Understanding the Five Basic Types of Prayer|
|It is essential to understand and practice each basic prayer type on a regular basis. Each type has a unique and vital role in the believer’s relationship with God. As you read about the various prayer types, ask God to reveal how your prayer life needs adjustment.|
|FIRST TYPE OF PRAYER: PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING|
|Praise and thanksgiving are the primary ways we give daily adoration and worship to God.|
|A balanced biblical prayer life absolutely requires consistent time in deep praise and thanksgiving to God.|
|§||We must make adequate space in our prayer time to experience genuine praise and thanksgiving to God.|
|§||Our primary purpose is to praise and worship the Father. What is the supreme commandment in all of Scripture? “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Read Matthew 22:37) Clearly this passage calls for a consistent practice of daily praise and thanksgiving.|
|§||We should daily ask God to grow us in effective praise and worship.|
|§||When we get our praise right, God is even quicker to answer prayer!|
|Look up the following scripture references. Spend time studying each verse, and then write your response to the questions.|
|What commands does the psalmist give for giving thanks?|
|Which of these commands do you include in your prayers?|
|Which of these commands are not usually a part of your prayers?|
|How can we honor God?|
|What will God show us?|
|What does it mean that God is enthroned as the Holy One and the Praise of Israel?|
|Thessalonians 5: 16-18|
|What are Paul’s instructions for us in this scripture verse?|
|How is this possible to attain?|
|What does the author of Hebrews mean when he says, “through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise.”|
|List reasons to praise God and reasons for thanksgiving.|
|SECOND TYPE OF PRAYER: CONFESSION|
|Confession is the primary way we receive God’s forgiveness and maintain a Spirit-filled life.|
|A balanced, biblical prayer life requires significant time in regular confession to God. Only then can God keep us truly filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit.|
|§||Consistent confession and cleansing represent the primary ways we grow and become conformed to the image of Christ. According to Psalm 66:18 , failure to practice regular confession completely blocks the flow of answered prayer. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”|
|§||Confession must be thorough. The psalmist said, “Search me O God and see if there be any wicked way in me” (Read Psalm 139:23-24)|
|Pray with the psalmist through these two verses.|
|What has God revealed to you that needs to be confessed?|
|Are you willing to confess and cleanse yourself? ____________ If not, what is keeping you from doing so?|
|THIRD TYPE OF PRAYER: PETITION|
|Petition is the type of prayer in which we present our individual needs and desires to God.|
|A balanced prayer life is built on personal petitions that are biblically based and born from the heart of God Himself.|
|§||There is certainly nothing selfish about presenting our needs to God. He wants us to come to Him with every need and concern. Jesus’ words in John 16:24 invites us to do that, “Hitherto have you asked nothing in my name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.”|
|§||It is critical that we learn to focus our personal petitions on God’s greatest priorities for our lives, to ask petitions that bring the most eternal good.|
|What petition could you ask of the Lord to bring about eternal good in your family?|
|FOURTH TYPE OF PRAYER: INTERCESSION|
|Intercession is the type of prayer that focuses on the needs of others.|
|A biblically balanced prayer life must include consistent intercession for all the great Kingdom issues.|
|§||To intercede for someone is to spiritually stand in the gap as mentioned in Ezekiel 22:30.|
|§||Intercession is a broad category of prayer that covers anything from praying for the lost to praying for God’s blessing on a great evangelist or pastor.|
|§||God has ordained intercession as the primary way He works to save the lost and empower the church.|
|§||God has called all believers to intercession. (Read 1 Timothy 2:1-2)|
|For whom do you need to continually intercede?|
|What keeps you from praying for this person or persons?|
|Are you willing right now to intercede for this person or persons?|
|Our prayers should focus more on Kingdom concerns, eternal issues that serve to glorify God and extend His Kingdom. How can you make your prayers more Kingdom based?|
|FIFTH TYPE OF PRAYER: MEDITATION|
|Mediation is the act of reflecting on God’s Word and quietly listening for His still small voice.|
|A biblically balanced prayer life includes time to pause and listen for God’s still small voice. He speaks most to those who consistently still their hearts to listen. “You will search for me and you will find me when you search for me with all your heart.” ( Jeremiah 29:13)|
|§||A healthy relationship must be two-way! When we pray we talk to God; when we mediate He talks to us.|
|§||In prayer time, meditation is the period in which you quietly reflect on your Scripture reading and the impressions God has given.|
|§||Through meditating, you learn to hear God’s leading and thus your prayers initiate from His heart and mind.|
|§||“Listening to God” is the fundamental key to an effective prayer life.|
|I strongly suggest that you keep a daily prayer journal. Write down any impressions or scriptures God impresses on your spirit.|
|Is your prayer life a dialogue with God or a monologue? ______________________________|
|Do you truly anticipate God speaking to you? _____________________________________|
|How long after you pray, do you wait for God to speak to you? _________________________|
WHY ALL THE PRAYER TYPES ARE ESSENTIAL!
A balanced, biblical prayer life requires making the daily choice and commitment to allow God to lead you in a full rich relationship with Himself.
|§||The consistent practice of each prayer type is absolutely essential to a powerful well-rounded relationship with God.|
|1.||If you neglect regular time in adoration, praise and thanksgiving, you are neglecting personal worship which is the first and primary thing God desires.|
|2.||If you neglect regular confession and cleansing, God will not hear your prayers.|
|3.||When you neglect intercession, you are neglecting a primary command God has given to all believers.|
|§||Many people do not view prayer as a rich personal relationship with Christ, but more as a means to secure their own perceived needs or wants. In the lives of far too many, prayer consists of a few personal petitions with little or no intercession for larger Kingdom concerns.|
|§||A balanced biblical prayer life does not happen by accident. To grow in prayer, the believer should understand two things.|
|1.||All five prayer types need to be a significant part of their daily prayer life.|
|2.||Believers must make the commitment to seek growth in the various types of prayer.|
Obviously, this requires a consistent time commitment, a daily choice and Spirit-led discipline.
NOTE: Do you, at this point, feel a bit overwhelmed? After studying this chapter, a powerful prayer life might seem beyond your reach. Do not be discouraged. Our God will take care of you right where you are and lovingly guide you to ever deeper levels of prayer. Remember, prayer must not become some logistic formula to be used in a mechanical manner. Your prayer life is a personal relationship with a living God. Though the overall guiding principle is to faithfully spend time in all the different prayer types, you do not have to use the various prayer types in the same order or amount each day. Let God lead you.
Would you now stop and sincerely ask God to help you view your prayer life as a deep personal relationship with Him? Ask Him to forgive you for neglecting your relationship with Him. Make a genuine commitment concerning the amount of time you spend with Him. Be specific, telling Him the time and place. Ask God to help you grow in all of the crucial categories of prayer. Tell God of your commitment to develop a biblically balanced relationship. Claim God’s grace for a glorious new relationship with Him.
Show your seriousness by writing down and sharing your commitment with a friend. Be accountable to someone.
|&||KEY POINTS – The Biblical Path to a Powerful Prayer Life|
|&||Prayer is not us telling God what He is to do. Prayer is our discovering what God wants to do and joining Him as co-laborers through our prayers.|
|&||A full and balanced relationship with Christ requires a balanced practice of all the various prayer types.|
|&||God intends for all of His children to be powerful in their prayers. As you learn to let God guide your petitions, you will see more and more miraculous answers.|
|&||No child of God should feel that miraculous answers are beyond reach.|
|&||No one can walk in God’s fullness with a shallow practice of confession and cleansing.|
|&||Intercession is the least practiced prayer type, but also the most crucial type of prayer for reaching the lost and renewing the church.|
|&||God has called all believers to practice intercession on a regular basis.|
|&||“Listening to God” is the fundamental key to an effective prayer life.|
|&||No believer can afford to be weak or inconsistent in any of the major types of prayer.|
|&||If you are saved, you are not only able but responsible to develop a powerful prayer relationship with Christ.|
|&||Don’t feel overwhelmed. He will take you right where you are and lovingly guide you to ever deeper levels of prayer.|
|&||Remember, your prayer life is a personal relationship with a living God. IT REQUIRES A DAILY CHOICE! WE MUST ALL DECIDE TO SPEND DAILY QUALITY TIME WITH GOD.|
Please turn to pages 36 and 37. Read the three key questions, meditate on them and spend a few minutes responding to them quietly in your own mind. Turn to page 38, look up the scriptures, answer the study questions, and pray the prayers for daily growth on page 39.
Beginning Guidelines for a Powerful Prayer Life
PRACTICAL PRAYER PATTERNS THAT WILL REVOLUTIONIZE
YOUR PRAYING BY HELPING YOU PRAY EFFECTIVELY
Many Scriptures emphasize the importance of learning to pray effective prayers.
|§||Since James 5:16 states that some prayers are effectual, we must conclude that some prayers are not effective.|
|§||In the same spirit, Jesus’ disciples made perhaps their wisest request when they said, “Lord teach us to pray.” ( Read Luke 11:1)|
It is truly sad that many Christians are praying on ineffective levels and don’t even realize it.
TWO PRELIMINARY PRINCIPLES TO REMEMBER
The regular reading of significant amounts of Scripture is absolutely essential to your prayer life.
|§||It is impossible to develop powerful biblical praying without joining your prayers to the promises of God’s Word.|
|1.||Romans 10:17 reveals the importance of God’s Word to our faith. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”|
|2.||Jesus even stated that we live by every word that proceeds from God. (Matthew 4:4)|
|3.||In 1 John 5:14-15 , we see further evidence of the importance of God’s Word in prayer. “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us; And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desire of Him.”|
In Romans 10:17 , we find faith comes from hearing and hearing from the word of God. Matthew 4:4 says we live by every word that proceeds from God. 1 John 5:14-15 says the confidence that we have is if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us and whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desire of Him.
How much time a day do you spend reading God’s Word? ____________________________
If you are not spending time every day reading God’s Word, list the things you do on a daily basis
beginning with your morning routine and ending with when you go to bed.
According to the above scriptures which of these things are more important than spending time in God’s Word?
During your Bible reading time, do you give God time to speak to you? ___________________
What insights has God given to you lately?
|§||When we know God’s Word, we know His will and then we know how to pray and we know the answers are on the way.|
|§||I make two suggestions concerning God’s Word.|
|1.||Spend daily time reading and meditating on God’s Word.|
|§||Read through the entire Bible at least once each year.|
|§||Invest in a practical study Bible.|
|§||After your Bible reading, write down key insights that God speaks to your heart.|
|2.||Invest in one of today’s excellent journaling tools for daily prayer.|
Familiarize yourself with the basic guidelines and biblical principles for powerful prayer.
|§||Only when we follow God’s rules will His mighty power be released.|
|§||Tragically, many Christians cannot even name the basic principles of powerful prayer (much less practice them).|
THREE PRACTICAL GUIDLINES FOR PRAYER
|Be prepared to give God the best time of your day with one hour as your goal.|
|Purpose to experience a “balanced” prayer life.|
|Daily ask God to teach you to pray (Luke 11:1) . Always ask for God’s anointing and leading as you pray.|
What is your best time of day? _______________________________________________
Do you seek a fresh encounter with God as you pray or do you fall into the trap of daily routine?
EIGHT PRINCIPLES OF POWERFUL PRAYER
Become familiar with the Eight Principles of Powerful Power
|Pray with an attitude of authority and confidence through the name of Jesus.|
|§||We are to come in Jesus’ name, confident He forgives, knowing He invited us to pray big prayers— John 14:13-14 , “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it”.|
|§||Be assured of His powerful answers— Hebrews 4:16 , “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”|
Are you asking God for anything big? __________________________________________
Do you have the confidence that your prayers will be answered? ________________________
|Spend quality time allowing God to search you so you are freshly cleansed from every sin or hindrance.|
|§||Proverbs 28:13 , “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” It is vital that your confession and repentance be thorough.|
|§||Do not rush through your confession time in a brief or casual manner.|
Ask God to forgive you of the sins of which He has made you aware. Ask Him to reveal to
you through His Spirit other sins that you may be committing and then confess those sins .
|Specifically ask Him to fill and anoint you with His Spirit (Read Ephesians 5:18) .|
|§||Romans 8:26 , “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit Himself, maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”|
|§||In order to pray in power we must have the fullness of God’s Spirit.|
Pray that God will fill you with His Spirit.
There is a story of a mother who prayed for her estranged son to return home, or at least let her know where he was. Then one day her son was saved, gave up his wayward life and returned home. Little did this mother know that her son did not really need to return home, but what he needed was the Lord. All along she was praying for her son’s return because that is what she wanted. God wanted her son to be saved.
Pray that God will show you what you ought to pray; rather, than what you think you should pray.
|Determine to pray in genuine faith and expectancy.|
|§||Mark 11:22-24 “And Jesus answering saith unto them, ‘Have faith in God. For verily I said unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those|
things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.’”
Only believing prayer has power with God.
|§||Use God’s Word to find the will of God in your praying (Read 1 John 5:14-15, Romans 10:17).|
|§||It is vital to remember that faith must be a “choice” and more than a mere “feeling.”|
List prayers that you have had answered._______________________________________
Were these prayers answered in the way you expected them to be answered? _______________
How have these answers helped grow your faith in God? _____________________________
|Ask God to prevent the influence of Satan in yourself and in the subjects for which you pray.|
|§||Remember, entering a serious time of prayer is like begin a soldier entering the battlefield.|
|§||Be sure your armor is on! Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”|
|§||Prayer is not just how we prepare for spiritual battle, prayer is the battle.|
Satan attacks us at our most vulnerable area. In which area are you the most vulnerable while
trying to stand against the wiles of the devil?
How can you overcome this vulnerability? _______________________________________
|Ask God for the spirit of fervency in your praying.|
|§||“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).|
|§||Periodic fasting can be very helpful toward increasing the fervency and power of your prayers.|
Look up the following words.
Now rewrite James 5:16 using the synonyms or definitions from each of the above words.
Paraphrase what James is telling us in James 5:16. ______________________________
When was the last time you had a reason to fast? ______________What resulted of your fast?
|In your praying be as specific as possible.|
|§||Specific prayer moves mountains! Philippians 4:6 , “Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”|
|§||Ask God to give you very specific requests that are Scripture-based.|
|§||It is vital to learn to pray the very Word of God.|
Fill in the blank spaces using Philippians 4:6.
“Be____________________ for ____________________; but in __________________
thing by _________________________ and ______________________________ with
____________________________________ let your requests be made known unto God.”
Which of the words that you added is the most important to you? ______________________
What are some scripture verses that you pray back to God? ___________________________
|Concerning you key prayer requests, seek to find committed partners who will agree with you in united prayer.|
|§||Matthew 18:19 , “Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.”|
|§||There is special power when believers unite in specific prayers of faith.|
|§||Every great revival and spiritual awakening was born from intense, united prayer.|
List the names of potential prayer partners who will agree with you in united prayer.
Ask them to commit to you as a prayer partner.
|&||KEY POINTS – The Biblical Path to a Powerful Prayer Life|
|&||Above all, remember that a powerful prayer life is the only way to a dynamic, growing relationship with the Father.|
|&||You must believe that your prayers have mountain-moving power because you are coming at His invitation.|
|&||Your prayers are only as powerful as you think they are.|
|&||Genuine prayer is not a ritual or exercise; it is the very heart of a powerful relationship with God.|
|&||Ask God to help you pray in cooperation with all biblical principles of genuine prayer.|
|&||It is vital to learn to pray the very Word of God.|
|&||Use the Bible to find the will of God in your praying.|
|&||The more you adhere to biblical prayer principles the more the indwelling Christ will pray through you. Miracles will surely follow!|
|&||There is special power when believers unite in specific prayer.|
|&||Every great revival and spiritual awakening was born from intense, united prayer.|
|&||IF YOU SHOW UP FOR DAILY PRACTICE, GOD WILL TEACH YOU TO PRAY!|
Please turn to pages 47, look up the scriptures, answer the study questions, and pray the prayers for daily growth on page 48.
Phase One: Approaching God through Daily Praise and Worship
SPEND THE FIRST SEVERAL MINUTES IN GENUINE
PRAISE, THANKSGIVING AND WORSHIP
Use praise, thanksgiving and worship to prepare your heart for dynamic prayer.
|§||In Psalms 100:4 , the writer says “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.”|
What are some areas of your life that you are thankful? _____________________________
What words of praise come to your mind? List them. _______________________________
|§||In this text, God reminds us to come before Him with a sense of awe, praise, and reverence.|
When you pray, what attitude or sense do you feel? ________________________________
Is it one of awe? ____________________________
How do you develop a sense of awe before the Lord? ________________________________
Do you think awe and reverence are the same? Explain your answer.
|§||We also see this in Jesus’ model prayer: “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name” (Read Luke 11:2).|
In the Lord’s prayer, what does it mean “Hallowed be thy name?” ______________________
How do we as humans genuinely praise and worship God? ___________________________
Steps to a Meaningful Time of Praise
|1.||Dedicate adequate time to heartfelt praise and worship.|
|§||Do not rush through your time of praise so you can get to your want list!|
|§||A minimum of several minutes should be given to nothing but praise and worship.|
Is your prayer time mostly devoted to a “wish list” filled with your needs? ________________
Estimate how much time you spend in praise rather than in asking. _____________________
|2.||Spend time thanking God for things He has done in your life.|
|§||Thank God for past, present and promised future blessings.|
|§||Nothing builds faith and prepares you to pray like thanking God for a significant list of answered prayers!|
As the Holy Spirit guides you, make a list of past blessings for which you can thank God.
Make a list of present blessings that God has given you. _____________________________
Now make a list of future blessings that God will bestow upon you.
|3.||Spend time praising God for who He is and what He is like (His characteristics).|
|§||Meditate on each of God’s characteristics and praise Him for what they mean to your life.|
|§||Meditate on the meaning of His biblical names.|
Besides those listed in the book, what other Biblical names can you think of for God?
Which of God’s names do you relate to the most? __________________________________
|§||When we take time to meditate on who God is and all He has done for us, praise becomes natural and spontaneous.|
Who is God to you? Spend some quiet time thinking about God and who His is to you. As you think of words or phrases to describe Him write them down. Give examples of God’s characteristics that has blessed or ministered to you.
Take your time of praise very seriously. The greatest way to secure God’s manifest presence is to give Him genuine praise and worship. Remember, “God inhabits the praises of His people” (Read Psalms 22:3).
|&||KEY POINTS – The Biblical Path to a Powerful Prayer Life|
|&||There is not an exact pattern for prayer, but there are general patterns for prayer that are biblical and serve as basic guidelines.|
|&||Your daily time with God is a relationship and should always contain an element of spontaneity and variation. The goal is to allow the Holy Spirit to direct each time you meet with God.|
|&||God wants your heartfelt praise and worship above everything else.|
|&||If you will give regular time to significant praise, God will revolutionize your relationship with Him !|
|&||If we neglect praise, prayer becomes more like a dry ritual than a warm personal relationship. Learn that you cannot praise only when you “feel” like it. Never forget, the deepest praise and worship is based on a choice, not a feeling|
|&||Like nothing else, praise and worship prepare your heart for dynamic prayer.|
|&||Take your time of praise very seriously!|
|&||Pray for a deeper and purer worship every day of your life.|
Ask God to increase the depth of your praise and worship . When we ask, God continually reveals ways to worship Him in ever-increasing depth.
Please turn to page 52, look up the scriptures, answer the study questions and pray the prayers for daily growth.
Phase Two: Getting Clean Before God “The Path to Holiness”
YOU ARE NOW READY TO ENTER A PERIOD
OF CONFESSION AND CLEANSING.
This is the time God will search your heart and cleanse you from any sin that would hinder your power to pray.
|§||Confession is how we grow and allow God to conform us to the image of Christ (Read: Romans 8:29; 12:1-2).|
How much time do you spend in confession time to make you more Christ-like?
According to Romans 8:29, confession is how we grow to be more like Christ. What does it mean
to you to be conformed to the image of Christ?
What has God told you during confession time to make you more Christ-like?
How has confession helped you grow in the Lord and in your prayer life?
|§||It is very important that you get fully right with God before you start your prayers of petition and intercession. James 5:16 reminds us of a crucial truth. “The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”|
|§||It is impossible to pray powerful, Spirit-led prayers if there is unconfessed sin between you and God. The psalmist said, “Search me O God and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting” (Read Psalms 139:23-24). God calls for a thorough process and not a brief, casual formality.|
The psalmist asked God to search him, to know his heart, to try him, and to know his thoughts. Have you ever been so bold as to ask God to search you, to know your heart, to try you or to know your thoughts? Is there any reason why you cannot ask God right now?
It is very dangerous for believers to “assume” they are on praying ground. According to Jeremiah 17:9 , it is incredibly easy to ignore and minimize our own sins. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
|§||Many people have little prayer power because they fail to practice meaningful confession on a daily basis.|
|§||Tragically, we tend to rush through our confession time so we can quickly focus on what we want God to do for us. No one can be truly cleansed and full of God’s Spirit with such shallow confession!|
|§||Because of a lack of confession, many prayers are dry and powerless.|
Confession also makes our prayers more powerful. According to James 5:16 the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Can you recall a time of intercession when your prayer availed much?
Why do you think your prayer was effective? _____________________________________
Is there someone for whom you need to pray? _____________________________________
Is there any reason you cannot go boldly before God to intercede? _______________________
How would you rate your prayers: dry and powerless or effective and availing much?
CONFESSION AND THE GREAT SHANTUNG REVIVAL
One of the finest examples of thorough confession is the great revival that took place in the Shantung province of China in the early 1900’s. A group of American missionaries was putting out enormous efforts to love and minister to the Chinese people. Yet, there was very little response.
Read about “Confession and the Great Shantung Revival” on page 54. What happened that caused God to pour out His Spirit on the missionaries making them sense a joy and power they had never known?
How did God bring such an awesome spiritual awakening to the whole region?
God’s top priority in the life of every believer is to make him holy and sanctified in body, soul, and spirit (Read Romans 8:29). The daily time of confession is God’s primary way of conforming you to the image of Christ. Scripture-based confession and repentance are God’s primary method for transforming you by the renewing of your mind (Read: Romans 12:1-2; 2 Timothy 3:16). If your confession time is brief, inconsistent and shallow, then so will be your power with God. The missionaries became aware that they had hidden, unconfessed sin in their lives that was blocking their being truly filled with the Holy Spirit. After they each spent time in prayer confessing and forsaking each sin, God poured out His Spirit upon the missionaries and an awesome spiritual awakening filled the entire region.
|§||It happened the same way as very great revival! God’s people were genuinely cleansed through deep confession and then God filled them with mountain-moving power.|
|§||This is God’s changeless pattern for every great revival and spiritual awakening in history. Furthermore, this is the ONLY pattern for GENUINE SPIRITUAL FULLNESS and P0WER in your daily life!|
§ If these totally dedicated missionaries were not truly filled with God’s Spirit and needed thorough confession, how much more do we?
We pray and pray, yet few prayers are answered. Why is this? ________________________
So, how much time represents an adequate period of cleansing and repentance?
To set some rigid requirement for the time of cleansing would be legalism.
|§||Your need for cleansing will naturally vary from day to day.|
|§||You should certainly expect to spend more than a couple of minutes when you ask God to search your life.|
|§||As a practical rule, I have found it extremely important to examine my life by the following five categories.|
FIVE CATEGORIES OF POTENTIAL SIN
I suggest a daily examination of your life in Five Basic Categories.
First Category: Sins of Thoughts and Attitudes
Sin begins in the realm of our spirit thoughts and attitudes. Jesus said, “For out of the heart proceeds evil thoughts …(Matthew 15:19). In 2 Corinthians 10:5 , we are commanded to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
Ask God to reveal any pattern of attitude or thought that is sinful. Immediately confess and forsake these sins of the heart.
Are there any unclean or lustful thoughts that are consumed with earthly pursuits?
Are there any thoughts of anger or bitterness?
Are there any unloving thoughts?
Are there any thoughts of fear and doubt?
Are there any attitudes of pride, of prejudice?
Are there any attitudes of lukewarmness toward God?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, immediately confess them and ask God to help you forsake them.
Second Category: Sins of Speech
God’s Word is clear about the enormous importance of our speech. Matthew 12:36 states, “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” James 3:10 says, “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and curing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”
|§||Be specific in confessing your sins of speech.|
|§||Be sensitive to the fact that God will lead you to apologize to people you have hurt with your word.|
Read over the following list of some of the sins of speech. Let God show you the areas that need work. Write what God says to you. If God gives you others, write them down. Review the list several times and pray that God shows you how you can eliminate your sins of speech.
Course or profane words ___________________________________________________
Unkind or unloving words to or about another ____________________________________
Overly critical speech ______________________________________________________
Exaggerations or untruths __________________________________________________
Speaking when you should be quiet ____________________________________________
Third Category: Sins of Relationship
Perhaps the most common place we lose God’s fullness is in our relationships. Relationship sins generally fall in five major areas.
|1.||People you have hurt or offended.|
Jesus was emphatic about the importance of getting right with those you have offended. In Matthew 5:23-24 he said “Don’t approach God until you first get right with those you have offended!”
|§||Many Christians lack power because they have ignored this foundational command.|
|§||When God reveals people to you, resolve to go to them and ask their forgiveness. Do not think you have failed if they refuse to forgive you? Your responsibility is to do your part in a humble and loving manner. How they respond is their responsibility.|
|§||We must understand that so-called “little” rifts between Christians can easily quench God’s Spirit for the whole church! The Holy Spirit is very sensitive and you must take your relationships seriously.|
Can you think of someone you may have hurt or offended?
What did you do about the situation?
|2.||Bitter or Holding Grudges|
In Matthew 6: 14-15, Jesus made a statement of enormous importance. “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Jesus says we must forgive people “from the heart.” Remember that forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling.
Are you bitter or holding grudges against people who have offended you? _________________
Ask God to search your heart and reveal any patterns of bitterness or unforgiveness against friends, family members, or even against God.
As God searches your heart, make a list of (friends, family members, church members, and God) that you may have bitterness toward or hold a grudge against.
An improper relationship could be anything from adultery and fornication to simply being inappropriately close to someone.
|§||Don’t try to rationalize or defend a relationship you know is improper.|
|§||Improper relationships involve many things besides physical immorality.|
Are you involved in any improper relationships? Ask God to reveal any relationships that are improper or out of balance? Ask God what steps He wants you to take to resolve this relationship?
|4.||Neglecting regular Fellowship and meaningful Service through your Church|
According to Hebrews 10:25, it is a major sin to neglect regular fellowship and worship with the body of Christ. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more, as you see the day approaching.”
|§||God strongly emphasizes in 1 Corinthians 12-14 that all believers are to stay in genuine fellowship and close relationship with a local congregation.|
|§||Today it seems many want to sit and be served but few want to get up and serve.|
|§||In seeking a church, our primary prayer should not be “What can this church do for me, but what can I do for this church?”|
|§||It is a major sin not to be involved in consistent giving and service through a local body of believers.|
|§||Another common form of this sin is the tendency to drift from church to church.|
What are some excuses that you have heard for not attending church regularly?
What does Hebrews 10:25 tell us is one reason for regular attendance?
Why would exhorting one another be an important reason for church attendance?
From the excuses of not attending, do you see concern for exhorting one another?
What is the main concern for those excuses? ______________________________________
Do you neglect regular fellowship and meaningful service through your church?
Ask God to search your life and reveal ways you are neglecting consistent fellowship and substantial service in the local body of Christ.
|5.||Family Relationships consistent with God’s Word|
Improper family and church relationships are common places we lose the filling and power of God’s Spirit. “No one who is wrong with others can be truly right with God.”
Scriptures reveal God’s special words to husbands and fathers.
Ephesians 5:23 states, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church.” From this verse we see that God calls the husband to be the spiritual head of the home.
|§||Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husband, love your wives…The husband is commanded to love his wife.|
|§||1 Peter 3:7 commands the husband to be very caring and sensitive to his wife’s needs.|
|§||Ephesians 6:4 commands the father to relate to his children in loving spiritual guidance.|
|§||The father’s great priority is the spiritual nurture and training of his family.|
Reflect on the statements above and those in the book, then ask yourself if you are taking seriously the responsibility that God gave you as the spiritual head of your home.
Humbly confess your failures and ask God to give you the powerful grace to change. God will bless all that you do toward fulfilling your spiritual responsibility.
Scriptures reveal God’s special words to wives.
Ephesians 5:24,33 states, “Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything…and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
|§||Husband and wife are equal partners in the grace of Christ…her submission is in the loving and willing submission seen with Christ and His Church. Thus, a godly wife exhibits a beautiful spirit of humility, love and honor toward her husband.|
|§||The greatest way to see God change your husband is to bring yourself under God’s pattern for a godly wife.|
Reflect on the statements above and those in the book, then ask yourself if you are doing all you can do to be in line with the pattern God has set for you in Scripture? Is your attitude one of thanksgiving and love or complaining and anger?
Ask God to help you surrender completely to His pattern for your life.
Scripture reveals God’s special words to parents.
Matthew 18:6 states, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
|§||Training up a child in the way he should go is more about daily example than occasionally sharing religious words.|
|§||Parents are modeling values and habits that have effects on their children’s development.|
|§||Parents face the awesome power of example.|
Reflect on the statements above and those in the book and ask God to reveal to you the ways in which you have not lived up to His expectations of you as a parent.
When He does, fully confess them and ask God to change you. In many cases, you will need to ask forgiveness of your children.
Scripture reveals God’s special words to children and youth.
Ephesians 6: 1-3 states, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor your father and mother; which is the first commandment wit promise; that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.”
|§||Old Testament law pronounced severe punishment on children who cursed or dishonored a parent.|
|§||Modern children must relearn the extreme importance of honoring their parents. Today’s foolish and wicked society has completely reversed the principle of honoring one’s parents.|
|§||Disrespect toward parents is a very serious sin before God. You cannot be right with God if you consistently disrespect your parents.|
|§||As adults, we too must ask whether we are honoring our elderly parents. Remember, no one who mistreats or neglects a parent can be fully right with God!|
Are your family relationships consistent with God’s Word? Children or teenagers do you disobey or show disrespect or anger toward your parents? Commit to resolving any problems between you and your parents.
Ask God to reveal any wrong feelings or actions you have toward them and to help you live in divine obedience to them.
Fourth Category: Sins of Commission and Transgression
In a broad sense, these are the sins of doing something wrong or breaking God’s laws.
|§||Examples of such sins are: adultery, fornication, stealing or dishonesty, assaulting someone, going to sinful places, watching adult rated movies, destructive habits (such as smoking, drinking, overeating or eating unhealthy foods), reading unclean literature, putting recreation or material things ahead of God, idolatry, financial dishonesty, cheating employers, etc.|
|§||God’s grace will cover them all! 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”|
Ask God to reveal anything in your life that may be offensive to Him and don’t be afraid to own up to your sins. List what God has told you about your sins of commission and transgressions.
Is there something that is keeping you from confessing any of these sins. Ask God to help you confess and repent from each one of them now.
Fifth Category: Sins of Omission
Sins of omission are the failure to obey Christ’s commands or conform our character to His image.
|§||This sin is mentioned in James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”|
|§||Some examples of sins of omission are: neglecting Bible reading and prayer, failing to witness, failure to tithe, neglecting regular worship, refusing to use your spiritual gifts in a local church, etc.|
Ask God to reveal to you what sins of omission you are committing. Make a list as He reveals them to you. Then confess and repent from each of them.
A Final Word About Confession
Don’t be overwhelmed or discouraged. I am not suggesting you must meticulously go through all of these sins categories every time you pray, but you should at least be aware of key categories and Scriptures.
You may simply want to ask God if there is sin in each category and then quietly reflect for a few moments. Some days you may be led to focus only on one or two categories.
Above all, seek to be spontaneous and sensitive to God’s Spirit. Remember, this is a personal relationship with God, not a formula!
I do warn you of one potential danger. Be careful to avoid confession that does not lead to immediate repentance. When you become aware of a sin, be sure to take action to remove it. True confession must involve repentance, or it is not genuine! Sin must be confessed and forsaken (Read Proverbs 28:13).
Each day after your time of thorough confession, ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit and empower you for Spirit-anointed prayer.
|&||KEY POINTS – The Biblical Path to a Powerful Prayer Life|
|&||We must never forget that God will not hear us if there is unconfessed sin in our life (Psalm 66:18).|
|&||MARK THIS WELL! The depth and power of your prayer life will never be greater than the depth of your daily confession and cleansing.|
|&||The daily time of confession is God’s primary way of conforming you to the image of Christ.|
|&||Scripture-based confession and repentance are God’s primary method for transforming you by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Timothy 3:16).|
|&||God’s top priority in the life of every believer is to make him holy and sanctified in body, soul, and spirit (Romans 8:29). How then could you think you can neglect regular confession and cleansing?|
|&||The sad truth is, most believers have gotten so accustomed to living without God’s fullness, we have actually forgotten what it is like to be biblically filled with the Holy Spirit. It is because we fail to make serious time to allow God to truly cleanse us and fill us on a daily basis!|
|&||No one can stay truly cleansed and full of God’s Spirit without consistent time in thorough confession.|
Please turn to page 69, look up the scriptures, review the study questions, and pray the prayers for daily growth on page 70.
Phase Three: How to Pray Dynamic Prayers of Petition
THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE OF THIS CHAPTER
IS FOR YOU TO LEARN HOW TO PRAY PETITIONS THAT ARE
BIBLICALLY BASED AND CENTERED ON GOD’S WILL
This is the type of prayer that brings your list of needs and wants to God. It is the type that comes the easiest for most people.
|§||There is definitely nothing wrong or selfish about bringing your desires and needs to God. Our Father longs to give His children the desires of their heart. (Psalm 37:4) , “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”|
|§||A major sign of intimacy with God is your freedom to tell Him every desire and need of your heart.|
|§||Modern believers desperately need to learn how to pray petitions that are biblically based and centered on God’s will. That is the primary objective in this chapter.|
|§||With many believers, petitions focus mostly on personal needs such as physical problems, general emotional needs, personal desires, financial or job concerns, school needs, relationship problems, etc.|
|§||Every believer needs to mature to the point where personal petitions also reflect the top priorities of God.|
We desperately need to understand the difference between prayer requests that are temporal and those that are Kingdom-oriented.
|§||Temporal requests primarily relate to earthly needs and concerns (a new car, a better job, a physical healing, etc).|
|§||Kingdom requests are those which focus on issues that are eternal (your personal growth in the fruit of the Holy Spirit, overcoming a temptation, tearing down a spiritual stronghold, increasing your ministry, leading people to Christ, revival in your church, city or nation, etc.).|
Make a List of Prayers in each Category
THREE STEPS TO POWERFUL PRAYERS OF PETITION
Regularly pray through each fruit of the Holy Spirit and ask God to develop the image of the holiness of Christ within you.
|§||God’s top priority for your life is the development of Christ’s character and holiness in your life (Romans 8:29).|
|§||Your personal petitions should relate to the development of His image in your life.|
|§||Galatians 5:22-23 contains one of the most concise and perfect picture in all of Scripture. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”|
|§||You could not possibly pray more in the will of God than to pray each spiritual fruit for your life daily.|
|§||Many believers prayers are so general they have little focus and thus very little power. On the other hand, the fruit of the Holy Spirit are very specific and provide biblical petitions for powerful spiritual growth.|
|§||With each fruit you not only ask God to fill you with that trait, but you also ask God to reveal how you are not living that particular fruit.|
How to Daily Pray the Fruit of the Spirit
As you pray through each spiritual fruit, you will discover this process becomes an opportunity for God to search and cleanse your life.
|§||God will answer these prayers because you are praying His Word and you are praying in the absolute center of His will!|
|§||Another great advantage of praying the fruit of the Holy Spirit is the fact that God uses such character words to immediately convict and correct His children.|
|§||Pray through each fruit, then pause and ask God to show you how you are not living up to that character word.|
|§||If you ask God to search you at the point of each fruit, you will hear His voice and God will perform a deep cleansing work in your life!|
|§||This type of prayer is the very heart of pursuing God’s holiness (Hebrews 12:14).|
|§||You are not required to pray all nine fruits each day. Though it is certainly possible, you may want to focus on only one or two fruit each day.|
Turn to page 72-75 in the book to pray through the sample prayers for each fruit. You will find a bookmark entitled “Sample Prayers for each Fruit of the Spirit” located in the back of this guide that you can keep in your Bible for a handy reference.
Next to each part of the fruit of the Spirit, write what God lays upon your heart to pray.
What has God taught you while you prayed through the fruit of the Spirit?
Regularly pray through the Beatitudes and ask God to conform you to these godly characteristics (Matthew 5:1-10).
|§||With each beatitude you can follow the same prayer pattern that was outlined for the fruit of the Spirit.|
|§||Each character trait becomes both a specific prayer and point of personal examination for your life.|
|§||Praying in the center of God’s will gives incredible confidence because of the promise of 1 John 5: 14-15 “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us; And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.”|
|§||Allow God to lead you in praying through all or some of the Beatitudes on a daily basis.|
Blessed is the poor in spirit…
What does it mean to be poor in spirit?
Look up Romans 22:4; Proverbs 29:23; Luke 18:14.
What do these verses tell us about the low in spirit?
Blessed are those who mourn…
According to Psalm 34:18; 51:17; Isaiah 66:2; 2 Corinthians 7:10; what are other words for those who mourn?
Mourning signifies pain and it is through pain that we learn to trust God. What is God’s promise to those who mourn?
Blessed are the meek…
What does it mean to be meek?
1 Peter 2:2; 2 Chronicles 15:15.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness…
1 Timothy 4:7; 6:11; Luke 4:11; Acts 2:4; 4:8; 4:31; 7:55; 11:24; 13:9; 13:52.
What do these verses have in common?
When we hunger and thirst after righteousness with what will we be filled?
What will be the results of that filling? _________________________________________
Blessed are the merciful…
In Micah 6:8 does the Lord require of you? __________________________________
In James 2:13 of what should we be merciful? ___________________________________
Blessed are the pure in heart…
In Psalm 23:3-4 who may ascend the hills of the Lord? ______________________________
In 1 Timothy 1:5 from where does love come? _____________________________________
What is the promise for the pure in heart? _______________________________________
Blessed are the peacemakers…
In Proverbs 12:20 what is in the heart of those who plot evil? _________________________
What is in the heart of those who promote peace? __________________________________
Can you think of a time when you plotted evil? What feelings did you have?
Think of a time when you promoted peace. Compare those feelings to those of plotting evil.
In Luke 20:36 what is the promise for the children of God? ___________________________
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness…
Jesus was despised and rejected, endured humiliation, mocked, reviled and crucified.
What type of persecution do you suffer because of righteousness?
What is the promise for enduring persecution? ____________________________________
Regularly pray through other character words that are found in Scripture. (Those besides the fruit of the Spirit and the Beatitudes)
|§||Examples of other key biblical character words include: the anointing, power and filling of the Holy Spirit, genuine humility and brokenness, spiritual zeal and diligence, wisdom and discernment, immovability, steadfastness, spiritual soberness, a spiritual passion and fervency, a spirit of genuine worship, purity of motives, a quickened mind, a spirit of revelation and understanding, boldness and spiritual authority, spiritual protection from sin, self, Satan, and the world.|
|§||God will reveal several biblical character words to use in your personal prayer petitions and He will guide you as you adjust your focus from day to day.|
|&||KEY POINTS – The Biblical Path to a Powerful Prayer Life|
|&||Since God’s priorities are on the eternal, shouldn’t our personal petitions reflect this same priority?|
|&||We often treat God more like a Christmas wish catalogue than the sovereign God who desires above all to conform us to the image of Christ!|
|&||Most believers are praying petitions that are much too general.|
|&||Far too many are mostly temporal and have little to do with eternal issues.|
|&||Until prayers become biblical and specific, they have little power with God.|
|&||If you allow God to make your petitions specific and in line with His will, you will experience growth like you cannot imagine (1 John 5:14-15).|
|&||God will guide you into mature praying and the Holy Spirit is an excellent teacher.|
|&||All you have to do is familiarize yourself with these basic prayer principles and give God significant time in daily prayer. He will do the rest!|
Please turn to page 79. Review the study questions, look up the scriptures and pray the prayers for daily growth on page 80.
Phase Four: Powerful Intercession
INTERCESSION IS THE MOST POWERFUL YET LEAST
PRACTICED OF THE BASIC TYPES OF PRAYER
It is the type of prayer that is primarily focused on the needs of others.
|§||As with petition, we should put a greater priority on interceding for eternal issues as opposed to the temporal.|
|§||An excellent description of intercession is found in 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.”|
|§||The prayers of intercessors are God’s foundational strategy for evangelism, missions, discipleship, revival, and spiritual awakening.|
|§||A very shallow level of intercession explains the lack of power in many ministries.|
|§||Many are hindered from intercession because they simply do not know how! We face an urgent need to teach Christians how to intercede biblically.|
|§||As with petition prayers, many believers are caught in a type of intercession that is far too general and unfocused.|
In Ezekiel 22:30 what was the responsibility of the intercessor God was seeking?
In your own words, explain what you have thought intercessory prayer involves.
WHERE DO I FOCUS MY INTERCESSION?
Let your greatest focus be issues with eternal rather than temporal significance. (Foundational Principle)
|§||Though you will certainly intercede about physical and temporal needs, these should not predominate your intercession.|
|§||Turn to page 82 and read through the list of the most important subjects for which all believers should pray regularly (Key Subjects for Consistent Intercession).|
|§||These fifteen subjects provide a general prayer guide for you to follow. Set a pattern in which you pray for certain categories on certain days. God will lead you to shift your focus on certain issues from day to day.|
Key Subjects for Consistent Intercession
Go through the following list and ask God to give you specific names or situations for prayer.
Spiritual and physical needs of family and friends__________________________________
Spiritual needs of work mates, classmates and those we see in daily life___________________
Those who don’t know Christ________________________________________________
Spiritual growth and protection for new Christians_________________________________
Your pastor, staff and key lay leaders___________________________________________
Revival and growth in your church____________________________________________
Missionaries and persecuted believers___________________________________________
Key denominational leaders and agencies (local, state and denominational)_________________
Spiritual leaders and key churches of all denominations______________________________
National leaders (the President, governors, mayors, etc.)______________________________
Local, state, and national government__________________________________________
Sweeping revival and spiritual awakening (local, national and worldwide)_________________
Key mission initiatives and strategies (local, state, national and global)___________________
Key evangelism initiatives and strategies (local, state, national and global)_________________
What have you discovered about biblically powerful intercessory prayer? __________________
Make a list to keep in your Bible or daily prayer journal so that you will always have it to use during your prayer time.
HOW DO I PRAY SPECIFIC PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION?
The more specific and biblical our prayer, the more power we have before God.
Ask Christ to enable you to pray these prayers in the unique manner and wording He gives you. Turn to page 83-86 and pray through the listed prayers. In each of the categories be specific, using the name of the person or place in your prayers.
|§||For the lost and backslidden|
|§||For pastors and spiritual leaders|
|§||Twelve specific prayers for your church|
|§||Ten specific prayers for revival and spiritual awakening|
|§||Seven Specific Prayers for Local and National Elections|
|&||KEY POINTS – The Biblical Path to a Powerful Prayer Life|
|&||As you meet with God, He will guide you in your own prayers and reveal biblical promises to claim before His throne.|
|&||It is especially important to combine your intercession with the biblical promises that God has quickened to your heart.|
|&||Do not be overwhelmed by the potential depth of intercession.|
|&||God has called all His children to some level of consistent intercession.|
|&||God has incredible blessings for all who embrace biblical levels of intercession.|
Please turn to page 88, look up the scripture verses, review the study questions and pray the prayers for daily growth on page 89.
Phase Five: Hearing God’s Voice through Meditation
MEDITATION IS A FORM OF PRAYER BECAUSE IT IS COMMUCATION WITH GOD THROUGH PRAYERFUL LISTENING
PRACTICAL GUIDELINES FOR DAILY MEDITATION
In your daily Bible reading ask God to speak to your heart.
|§||You must approach the Bible as God’s personal word to you on each new day.|
|§||After reading a few verses you should pause and simply ask, “God, what are you saying to me?” In this way, prayer and Bible reading become powerfully inter-connected.|
When you have completed your daily time of Bible reading and prayer, write down key ideas and impressions.
|§||Keep a journal or notebook of your daily time with God. A thorough personal journal is literally a written record of your relationship with God.|
|§||Another great advantage of journaling is that you form the habit of writing down the specific promises God reveals to your heart.|
|§||When you actually record God’s promises, you are much more likely to take them seriously.|
|§||Writing down key thoughts and impressions helps you to get into a serious habit of listening for God’s voice.|
Fill your life with the Word of God.
|§||The more we are exposed to God’s Word, the more He speaks to us and transforms our life.|
|§||Surrounding yourself with God’s Word is one variation of meditation. Psalm 1:2 states, “In His law doth he meditate day and night.”|
|§||Today we are blessed with some innovative ways to be filled with God’s Word. Some examples are:|
|1.||Playing tapes of Scripture reading while you drive.|
|2.||Playing music that is primarily made up of songs with Scripture lyrics.|
|3.||Participating in one of today’s Scripture memorization programs|
|4.||Placing framed Scriptures in strategic parts of your home or office.|
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shall bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the post of thy house, and on thy gates.”
Make a cognitive decision to choose one or more of these innovative ways to be filled with God’s Word. Write down which ones you have decided to incorporate into your life.
When you pray, be sensitive to God’s specific impressions through which He leads you to focus on various issues of concern.
|§||Remember, your prayer time is not some preset formula that you mechanically follow each day.|
|§||Some days God will lead you to spend much time in praise and little in confession.|
|§||On other days, he may greatly burden you to intercede for specific people while focusing little on petition.|
|§||“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26).|
|&||KEY POINTS – The Biblical Path to a Powerful Prayer Life|
|&||Meditation is the intentional act of listening to God.|
|&||Tragically, many people approach Bible reading and prayer without expecting to hear a personal word from God. We must expect to hear from Him.|
|&||The more we know and meditate on God’s Word the easier we will recognize His voice when He speaks.|
|&||When you fill your life with Scripture, God revolutionizes your prayer life and your walk with Him.|
|&||Do not let any of this seem overwhelming or complicated. Even if you are weak in prayer, God will take you right where you are and do a mighty work in your life.|
Please turn to page 95, look up the scriptures, answer the study questions and pray the prayers for daily growth on page 96.
A BRIEF WORD ABOUT FASTING
Spirit-led fasting is one of the most neglected spiritual disciplines of our day.
|§||Perhaps this is a telling symptom of the “general lukewarmness” that characterizes much of American Christianity.|
|§||Many today are in bondage to the flesh and are heavily influenced by fleshly appetites and desires. For this reason, to many the idea of foregoing meals to pray and seek God seems very strange indeed. Brethren, this is a strong indication of just how desperately we need revival.|
The Bible clearly assumes that God’s people will fast in their devotion to the Lord.
|§||The Scriptures leave little doubt that God expects Spirit-led fasting to be a definite part of our relationship with Him.|
|§||The examples are numerous, but two have special relevance:|
|1.||Joel 2:12-13 – “Now, therefore says the Lord, Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, and weeping, and with mourning. So rend your hear, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.”|
|2.||And in Matthew 6:16-18 – “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”|
In your own words, what are the two special examples with relevance for fasting?
What has God spoken to you about fasting?______________________________________
Prayerfully consider how God may lead you in this area. An appropriate question to ask is: “How much are you really hungering for God Himself?” Pause now to ask God to enable you to fast by the leading of the Holy Spirit with the purpose of turning aside from other things in order to more fully focus on Him. Ask Him to show you the type of fast He desires for you.
There are many different types of fasting. Some examples are:
|§||A complete fast for short periods|
|§||Fasting from certain types of food|
|§||Fasting from certain activities or recreation. (Some of the most powerful fasting can be giving up favorite activities to spend intense time alone with God.)|
|&||KEY POINTS – The Biblical Path to a Powerful Prayer Life|
|&||Believer, is it not time for us to get serious about seeking God with all our hearts?|
|&||May God guide us to genuine fasting that is fully willing to deny earthly appetites.|
|&||Let us pray that God will work into our hearts the glorious reality of Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.”|
A Practical Daily Prayer Guide
A PRACTICAL GUIDE AND PATTERN BASED ON BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES FOR USE IN YOUR DAILY PRAYER TIME TO LEAD YOU INTO A
DEEPER RELATIONSHIP PRAYER JOURNEY WITH GOD
Prayer time is a relationship and relationships fluctuate from day to day.
|§||The daily prayer pattern that I have outlined is not some legalistic formula.|
|§||By no means are your required to always follow the exact order of this or any other pattern.|
|§||Some days God may lead you to begin with confession and cleansing and actually end with praise and thanksgiving.|
|§||At other times, God will lead you to spend far more time in intercession for others.|
|§||On still other occasions, you may begin with quiet meditation and listening.|
|§||As you are sensitive to God’s Spirit, He will guide you in a variety of patterns.|
Friend, if you are serious about learning to pray, you will soon experience the most incredible journey of your life! Let us confidently claim God’s glorious promise of Jeremiah 29:13. “And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.”
I encourage you to become a “doer” and not a “hearer” only. Start tomorrow on your incredible journey using the following simple pattern for prayer. As I have stated throughout the book and this prayer guide, it is important that you practice the biblical principles of prayer that you have just studied about.
Let me say a brief word about practice. We have heard for years the old saying that “practice makes perfect,” but we know it is not just any type of practice that guides one to develop skills correctly, but it is “perfect practice.” What I am saying is that for these principles to become an intricate part of your daily prayer life, you must spend significant time to learn them and apply them in your daily prayers. You will continue to pray on the same level you are now unless you commit to learning and developing a deeper, biblical pattern for prayer. Remember, your intent is to spend time in His presence so He can reveal more of His character to you and, you in turn can become more like Him. So don’t put it off another day.
Do not be overwhelmed by the potential depth of your prayer life. God will get you there one step at a time and at your own pace. But in order to learn these principles more rapidly, I ask you to use the following steps. In the book and study guide, under the five prayer types, I list certain categories for prayer. I ask you to now establish a daily plan dividing the subjects from those categories into a seven-day plan.
By dividing the categories in each prayer type into seven parts and praying through only one or two categories per day you will be able to pray through them all in one week. This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of the total categories you need to pray through. Remember, this is merely an example to help you learn the biblical principles of prayer. It is not some pre-set formula that you must mechanically follow each day. At times God will give you unique promptings. Remember, God is to be in control and we must let Him guide our prayer time.
As you read through the following pattern for prayer, be conscious of what materials you will need for your daily prayer time. (your Bible, text, this study guide, prayer journal, lists of God’s names and characteristics, hymns, lists of people and situations which need prayer) List any other materials you will need here.
Write down where you will meet with God each day and at what time you will pray. Allow at least an hour for this first time, if possible.
A SIMPLE PATTERN FOR DAILY PRAYER
Begin with a period of praise and thanksgiving (5-10 minutes)
|1.||Give thanks for past, present, and future blessings.|
|2.||Praise God for who He is (His characteristics and names).|
|3.||Freely worship and adore Him.|
Continue with confession and repentance (at least 5-10 minutes)
|1.||Ask God to search your thoughts and attitudes.|
|2.||Carefully examine your speech.|
|3.||Ask God to thoroughly search your relationships.|
|4.||Confess any sins of commission and be sure to forsake the sins God reveals.|
|5.||Confess any sins of omission and make a definite commitment to obedience.|
Resolve to fully repent of any known sin of thought, word or deed. Ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit. Be sure to utilize a thorough biblical tool designed to search all areas of your life with God’s Word.
Follow with Prayers of Personal Petition (10-15 minutes)
|1.||Pray for the development of character and holiness (Pray through the specific fruit of the Holy Spirit or other character words).|
|2.||Pray for your ministry and service to God (be very specific in your prayers).|
|3.||Pray for physical, emotional spiritual or financial needs.|
Continue with Prayers of Intercession (10-20 minutes)
|1.||Pray for needs of family and friends.|
|2.||Pray for your pastor and church (use specific prayers such as found on pages 84 and following).|
|3.||Pray for specific lost people (use specific prayers such as found on page 83).|
|4.||Pray for missionaries and mission efforts (use guides from the International Mission Board).|
|5.||Pray for revival and spiritual awakening (use guides on page 84)|
In your intercession, seek to be as specific as possible. Also remember the value of focusing on only two or three categories per day. If you thoroughly prayed for every category, you could literally pray for hours. Though some may be led to pray for hours, most people will be led to focus on certain categories on certain days. As always, the guiding principle is close sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.
End with Meditation and Assessment.
|1.||Reflect on key points of your Scripture reading and prayer time.|
|2.||Assess what God has impressed to your heart.|
|3.||Write down key impressions in a daily journal.|
|4.||End your time with thanksgiving for God’s presence.|
|&||KEY POINTS – The Biblical Path to a Powerful Prayer Life|
|&||If you are serious about learning to pray, you will soon experience the most incredible journey of your life! Use this simple prayer pattern to begin your powerful biblical prayer journey.|
|&||In your intercession, seek to be as specific as possible. Focus on only two or three categories per day.|
|&||Daily Bible reading is essential to your prayer life.|
|&||I suggest you do your Bible reading and journaling before you conduct your main prayer time.|
|&||I highly recommend that you follow one of today’s excellent schedules for reading through the entire Bible at least once a year.|
|&||Though an hour is an excellent goal, I am not implying that you must pray a whole hour in order to experience a powerful prayer life. The guiding principle is close sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.|
MAY GOD HELP US SETTLE FOR NOTHING LESS THAN
A POWERFUL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIMSELF.
|«||Beyond question, we live in a most strategic moment of history. Though our nation has never seen such a moral decline, we are also witnessing a rising tide of PRAYER.|
We are now embroiled in a monumental spiritual war for the very souls of our society.
|«||Though the present battle is intense, I write with a glorious sense of hope (Read Philippians 1:6). I am convinced we are going to see worldwide revival and spiritual awakening of unprecedented proportions, even if it takes God’s judgement to humble us!|
|«||Many of God’s children still feel intimidated about their prayer life and many confess that prayer is the weakest area in their lives. God wants us to change that!|
|«||God gave His only Son not just to get you into heaven, but to enable you to walk in miracle power and fruitful service (Read John 15:8).|
|«||God wants His children to experience prayer as a dynamic “relationship with Him.”|
|«||God longs to revolutionize your prayer life and your walk with Him.|
|«||Friend, if you are saved your very birthright is mighty spiritual power and victory.|
And more than that, God wants to use you for His Kingdom.
|«||Believer, it is vital that you now grow up and become a prayer warrior for God. You are a crucial part of His army and He is counting on you!|
|«||God wants to use you in ways you can’t even imagine. But all this ultimately hinges on one thing: the strength of your prayer life (Read John 14:12-14).|
|«||Remember, no one’s relationship with Christ will ever rise above the level of his or her praying.|
|«||I now implore you to become a “doer” and not a “hearer” only (Read James 1:22). In fact, you are now responsible to God for what you have read.|
DEAR FRIEND, IF YOU WILL COMMIT TO SIGNIFICANT
DAILY TIME WITH GOD, NOT EVEN THE SKY IS THE LIMIT TO
WHAT HE WILL DO IN YOUR LIFE
Please turn to page 106 and pray the prayer of commitment .
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