Have you ever put a quarter in a vending machine and nothing happens? There is a malfunction of some kind, and you get nothing. Bummer! There is a very important place where we don’t want a malfunction. We really do want the quarter to drop from our head to our heart, so we can put into action what God is speaking to our hearts. We call that revelation or insight. Sometimes you do things just because you know it is good for you to do. We call that head knowledge or just being smart! Then there are sometimes you know on the inside that God has something for you to do, and you don’t want to miss the opportunity to be obedient. We call that heart knowledge – when knowledge becomes revelation or insight. I also call that knowing in your knower! As people who believe in Jesus, we have a direct line of communication with our Father God, and he wants to speak to you. Prayer is that connection – we communicate to God through prayer. Prayer really is just talking to God. The Bible says that God will give revelation to our sons and daughters, and that is who we are! God wants to pour out His Spirit on you and let what He is speaking to your heart become real in your life. Make sure you connect daily with God. He likes to hear from you, and He wants you to listen to Him.
We all want to know the secret to powerful prayer. What really is the best kind of prayer the best answer I know for that question is…the one that is needed at the moment. God has given us the keys to the kingdom and has shown us how we can pray to change circumstances on the earth. It is important that we know that prayer is our responsibility, and at the same time, it is a privilege. The God of the universe wants us to communicate meaningfully with us. How amazing. Living a life with God at the center makes prayer as natural as breathing. A need arises, talk to God. Something praiseworthy happens, thank God. It isn’t the last resort, it is what we do first. We abide in Him, and we will bear much fruit. Our prayer life will be fruitful when His Words abide in us.
As we conclude this week talking about this inexhaustible topic of prayer, I want to encourage you more than ever, line your prayers up with the Word of God. Know what God says on a topic and pray according to the will of God. Pray with all the different kinds of prayer. Be specific when you pray, and expect things to change. Prayer changes things, but it also changes people. Choosing to be a person of prayer will change you. Let’s pray effectively, to accomplish what God wants to have done on the earth!
II Tim 1:6 tells us to fan the flame and stir ourselves up! Hold fast and follow the pattern of wholesome and sound teaching. Guard and Keep the precious and excellent truth which has been entrusted to you to be an effective prayer. Make a commitment today to make prayer more of a priority in your life!
It is easy to be distracted, and lose focus. God wants us to be attentive and listen. We are to listen and be familiar with His voice. You get to know someone’s voice by being around them, and listening. It says in John 10:4,5 that I know His voice, I won’t follow the voice of a stranger. Listening is more than hearing with your natural ears. The Bible tells us over and over, he/she that hath an ear, let Him hear. Mark 7:16 If any man has ears to hear, let him be listening and let him perceive and comprehend by hearing is how it is stated in the Amplified Bible. God knows how to speak to you! He spoke through a donkey in Num 22, so surely He can handle speaking to and through you! Be attentive, and pay attention! He’ll bring the Word to your remembrance – John 14:26. The important part of remembering it is having it in your heart to begin with. That is why we are to hide His Word in our hearts. Get the Word in! Jesus will take what is God’s and reveal it to you! John 16:14-15. If we’ll be teachable and attentive to His Words, He will teach us if we will listen! I John 2:27. It is proof that we are God’s sons and daughters when we are led by His Spirit. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. Rom 8:14
Pay attention to God in your prayer life by stopping, looking and listening. He needs our spirit to be quiet and concentrating on Him, and our ears and eyes attentive to what He wants us to see and hear. If we want our prayer to be effective, we must stay vitally connected to the vine, and whatever you ask will be yours. John 15:5-7 What a promise!
I don’t want to miss anything that God has for me! I want my eyes wide open. Today we’re going to talk about how important it is for us to be watchful, or to look and see what God is doing. In John 5:19-20,30, Jesus said that He did what He saw His father do. God discloses, or shows Jesus everything that God Himself does. He isn’t hiding from us! He wants us to see, so keep your eyes open. There are clues for you to find, just by having your eyes open.
The Holy Spirit wants to lead and guide us and will lead and guide us to the truth if we are willing to stop, look and listen. (John 16:12-13) God can impress images on your heart – pray those things that He shows you. He can put a word in your heart and give you insight that you wouldn’t know by your natural mind. During a time of prayer today, I was impressed to call a friend of mine who today needed God’s intervention. I wouldn’t have known that other than by the Spirit of God.
It is important that we don’t try to make something happen or try to impress others with how spiritual we are. It’s not about us, it’s about Jesus! Relax and let the Spirit of God do His work in you! The gifts of the spirit and the leading of the Holy Spirit are for us today as it says in I Cor 12. They are given to believers. The Spirit divides them to every person as he wills or desires. Be alert and have a heart of expectation – and be ready with your eyes open! Be a watcher! Every time I hear or sing the song, Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord, I remember the scriptures that God wants to show us great and mighty things. I want my eyes open! Let’s pray effectively and see God do great things on the earth.
One of the best ways to pray is to be Spirit led while praying. Instead of just following a list, or going through a set pattern, it is good to stop, look and listen to the Holy Spirit and let Him direct your prayers. Today we’re going to look at the importance of stopping, taking time and just giving ourselves a moment to be still in God’s presence. When we quiet our heart, we can be prepared to hear effectively. If we want our strength renewed, the Bible says in Is 40:31 for us to wait on God and we won’t be weary and we won’t faint! Is 30:15-18 – says that in quietness and confidence we will find our strength, and there is a blessing for all who earnestly wait for Him. Is 64:4 says that eyes have not seen, and ears have not heard what God has prepared for those who wait on God. Is 49:23 says we will not be ashamed when we wait on God. Busyness and activity can keep us from hearing from God. We can look at Mary and Martha and see a visible example of this. Martha’s timing was off. She was busy when she should have been still. It was time to lay aside busyness and concentrate on what was most important at the moment. Don’t miss your visitation with God because of busyness! A friend of mine say this, busyness isn’t of the devil, it is the devil. Don’t let the enemy or activity steal your time with God. Two final scriptures today are found in Ps 37:7 where it says to rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. And probably one of my favorites when it comes to stopping to listen is found in Ps 46:10 where we are told to be still. God wants us to know that He is God. He sees the big picture, He knows all the details, and we can rest in Him. How encouraging is that!
Have you ever noticed how many different kinds of prayer are listed in the Bible? With this week’s emphasis on prayer, I’m going to give you a quick overview of the top 8 kinds of prayer.
1) Casting Your Cares Prayer: Don’t Worry, be Happy! I Peter 5:7 Don’t worry about your life Matt 6:25-34. Rom 4:21 God is able to keep His Word and do what He promised. It’s not refusing to think about them, it is giving them to God, and then replacing them with faith in God’s Word. They key is cast and leave in God’s care!
2) Consecration – Choosing God’s will over my own – Jesus exemplified this in the Garden, Paul ran with endurance the course before him, choosing God’s will over his own Gal 2:20 .
3) United Prayer – Lifting up your voice to God in one accord – Acts 4:24 Dramatic changes in a church, in people groups, and countries, with the result of an open heaven where there is no opposition in the spirit realm.
4) The Prayer of Praise, Worship and Thanksgiving – Heb 13:15 Power is released as we worship God and God deserves our worship! He is worthy! It is a great way to be plugged into power. Worship is the language of faith- you believe, you pray, you worship, you receive. Paul and Silas sang praises and praised the power down! –Doors are opened, and bands are loosed in worship.
5) The Prayer of Faith – Mark 11:22-24 There is a praying part, and a saying part. Get God’s Word on it (know what you believe), then begin by asking the Father in Jesus Name, speak directly to the Father. Thanksgiving follows, because you believe you receive as you pray.
6) The Prayer of Agreement – Matt 18:19-20 When two or three agree there is a symphony created with our prayers – Every pray-er must be following the same conductor. Ecc 4:9-12 A three fold cord is not easily broken. Power is multiplied
7) The Prayer of Supplication – heartfelt fervency – earnest, sincere, desperation for God to move. Phil 4:6, by prayer and supplication, not a casual request, a great desire. Supplication is asking fervently for what you earnestly desire.
8) The Prayer of Intercession – Ez 22:30 Someone to stand in the gap, loving someone else enough to interecede until they get what they need.
Each prayer has it’s place and it is good for us to know which prayer to pray in each circumstance. How encouraging to know that effectual, fervent prayer produces great results.