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A.S.K. – The Key to Prayer Chapter 5C How Should We Pray Our Posture in Prayer

Throughout the Bible, we see various forms of posture used in prayer. This chapter will look at some examples of four positions we can take before God with our prayers. All are acceptable, and I am hoping you will be able to see how each is used for specific types of prayer. This chapter enriched my prayer life because I can now understand that value of bowing, kneeling, falling on my face, or standing before the Lord with my requests. At times, I use all of these methods to communicate with God. Let’s get started!

I want to take a moment here to explain that I believe worship and praise is also a form of prayer, because it is communicating with God just as making requests is. Worship and praise are the ways we thank God and show Him our devotion. After all, in these moments we are talking to God, lifting up our voices to let Him know our thoughts and feelings. That is His favorite type of communication from us! He loves to hear our requests as well, but more than anything, He loves to hear us praise Him. These various positions in prayer also include an attitude and posture of worship and praise.

Perhaps you never looked at praise and worship that way. I know I didn’t for a long time. I hope you will now see it as a sensitive and joyous time of prayer, very different from what we normally think prayer is. Having this mindset can really invigorate our prayer life – our communication with God.

BOWING

Bowing before God puts us in an attitude of reverence before the Lord. We should always approach Him with awe and wonder. Sometimes I feel we have brought God down too low, not understanding or acknowledging just how mighty and powerful He is. We’ve lost the awe and fear that was so apparent in Old Testament times, especially during the time of Moses. God was so real then, leading them with fire by night and a cloud by day. Can you imagine that?

Putting God back in His rightful position in our lives should be a priority with all of us. Bowing before Him as our King and Lord is a good start.

Abraham wanted to find a suitable wife for his son Isaac so he sent a servant back to his homeland to find that wife. The servant prayed that God would send the woman to him with specific words that she would say. When the servant came to a well, Rebekkah fulfilled the words that the servant had prayed to hear. After she did, Gen 24:26 says “2Then the man bowed down and worshiped the LORD” He was humbled and in awe that God would hear and answer His prayer, so he bowed down in thanksgiving to God.

Exodus 4:31 King James Version (KJV)
31 And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.
Moses had been gone for 40 years, and he returns to tell the people that God had heard their cries and was going to deliver them. Can you imagine their excitement and their awe for God? Their immediate reaction was to bow before the Lord to worship Him in thanksgiving for His mercy. Wouldn’t you be amazed if God delivered you after 400 years of bondage through someone you thought was dead and gone? How amazing is our God?

In Exodus 12:27 the people bowed and worshipped when the Passover was announced. In Exodus 34:8, Moses bowed his head and worshipped when God met him on Mt Sanai to give the Ten Commandments.

We are told in Phil 2:10-11 that one day,
“at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
I would prefer to bow now and acknowledge Him in reverence and awe. He is an amazing God! And in that day, I will bow before Him once again, rejoicing that He has saved me and had mercy on me.

KNEELING

Kneeling before the Lord is a posture of humility. We humble ourselves before Him because He has given us such undeserved mercy. His grace has washed over us like a soothing river, bringing with it His peace, His joy, His hope and all the blessings He bestows on us. When we kneel before Him in prayer, it is an acknowledgement that He alone can supply our needs.

1 Kings 8:54 King James Version (KJV)
54 And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.
Solomon had just completed building the temple, and was at the altar bringing his prayers and supplications to the Lord for not only the temple, but for the whole nation. He was kneeling at the altar, knowing only God could bring an answer to this prayer. I can just picture Solomon in my mind, knelt before he altar with his hands raised to heaven! Can you see him? What a glorious posture to take before God. We see this again in 2 Chr 6:13.

Ezra 9:5 King James Version (KJV)
5 And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God,
The people had committed sin by intermarrying with the people around them instead of marrying Israelite spouses. Ezra had rent his clothes and was distraught, but he came out of that and came before the Lord, kneeling and lifting his hands to God. He prayed a prayer of supplication to God for the nation and the people. A heartfelt prayer of repentance is fitting when we kneel before our creator.

Luke 22:41 King James Version (KJV)
41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
Jesus kneels and prayer sin the Garden, a prayer of supplication to God that the cup might pass from Him. Also a prayer of humility, that God’s will must be done, not His.

We also see kneeling in prayer in Daniel 6:10 when Daniel prayed despite the Kings’ edict. In Acts 7:60, Stephen kneels down and asks God to forgive those who stoned him. Kneeling in prayer is taking a posture of humility when we come before him with our supplications. He has a ready ear to hear our cry.

FALLING ON OUR FACE BEFORE GOD

Falling down before the Lord is a sign of surrender, as you probably guess. It is a position of giving your all to Him and letting Him have His way. When we fall before Him, it is a combination of kneeling and bowing, which signifies humility and reverence. This goes one step further, though. We are as low as we can go, and acknowledge that He is the only one who can lift us up. It is total dependence on God.

Deuteronomy 9:18 King James Version (KJV)
18 And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins which ye sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
You certainly can see the desperation Moses felt during this time before the Lord. This is the only record in the Bible, outside of Jesus in the wilderness, where someone went this length of time without water or bread. He was giving all he had to God to ask for His mercy because of the sins of he people. Have you ever fallen down before God for a long period of time? I can remember times when I lay before the Lord for an hour or two, but 40 days?

When Korah rose up against Moses, we see that Moses fell down before the Lord twice during that ordeal (Num 16:4 & 22). This was a difficult time for Moses, and he had to depend totally on God to bring him through it.

Joshua 5:14 King James Version (KJV)
14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant?

Joshua and all of Israel were getting ready to attack Jericho. Joshua was alone looking over Jericho and when he looked up, he saw a man with his sword drawn. Joshua asked if he man was for him or against him. You can see the response above. What would be your reaction if an angel of the Lord appeared before you? I would fall on my face in total surrender. What else would there be to do?

In the Revelation, Jesus appears before John and John falls flat on his face, as if he was dead (Rev 1:17). The magnificence of Christ was too much for him to bear. The glory of he Lord is a powerful thing. I think we forget that.

Numbers 20:6, Lev 9:24 and 1 Kings 18:39 all show us instances where a large group of people fell before the Lord because they were confronted by His glory. There are many times I have been in services where we ask God to send down His glory, and I just wonder to myself if we really understand what would happen if He did. We would not be able to stand in such an atmosphere. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when the atmosphere in a service is overpowering. The Holy Spirit can move in such a place, and feeling His presence is awesome, to say the least. But to feel the full weight of His glory coming into a service would have us all on our faces before him.

STANDING

There are very few instances of people actually standing and praying to God, but what we see tells us that this position has some redeeming qualities. It is a position of boldness, unlike the other three that show reverence, submission and humility. We will look at two examples before we close this chapter.

Mark 11:25 King James Version (KJV)
25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Forgiveness takes boldness, mixed with humility. Have you ever had to forgive someone who doesn’t know you have something against them? First you have to summon the boldness to approach them and tell them you have been holding something against them. Then in humility. you have to ask their forgiveness for your feelings. We must forgive from deep down inside, in an attitude or prayer. God doesn’t forgive us and remember – He removes our sin as far as the east is from the west. When we forgive, we should do the same.

Luke 18:11 King James Version (KJV)
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
The boldness of the Pharisee is apparent. This is not a good position prayer. This is a proud position, and we should never take such a position with God. Of course it is OK to pray standing up – we can take any position in prayer. Just make sure you do it with all the reverence, humility and surrender you can muster up. You are not petitioning your boss at work, or a police officer or someone with earthly authority. You are petitioning the Creator of all things, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This honor should never be taken lightly.

One more note. I love to lift my hands to God in times of worship. I would guess some of you do, and some don’t. The bible mentions raising the hands in worship many times. David, Moses, Solomon, Jeremiah, Paul and others all mention lifting hands to the Lord. To many it is a sign of surrender to God, to others it is a sign of giving oneself to Him. I often have these feelings when I lift my hands.

Most of the time, I get a picture of a young child lifting up his hands to his father, looking up at his face with adoration, wanting to be picked up and held. This is what I envision when I lift my hands to God – Heavenly Father, pick me up and hold me! I love you!

We are about done with this section on how to pray. Next, we will be looking at the most well-known prayer to all of us – the Lord’s Prayer. Join us!

A.S.K. – The Key to Prayer Chapter 5B How Should We Pray – Spirit or Flesh, Humbly or Boldly

1 Corinthians 14:14-15
14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

NOTE: I understand that many who read this blog may not believe in the gift of tongues as I do, but I am going to cover this from my perspective and hopefully you will see why we of Pentecostal circles put so much stock in this gift of the Spirit (1 Cor 12:8-11).  I pray you’ll bear with me with an open mind.

Paul states that he will use both of these methods to pray – with the understanding and with the spirit.  Praying with the understanding means I am praying with my own words about a situation that I am knowledgeable about.  Praying with the spirit means that I am praying about something that I don’t have the details about.  Let me explain further.

Johnny comes up to me and asks me to pray with him about a medical test he is going to have done tomorrow.  He tells me he is a little worried because if the test comes back a certain way, he may have to have further tests to determine what’s next.  He does not want to give me any further details at this time.

In this case, I can pray with my understanding because there is a specific purpose for the prayer.  I know he is going for a test, and that he wants the right result so he will not have to face future tests.  I pray words that go along with that request.  I take his hand and lead him in prayer, and he is grateful for my prayers.

The next day, as he is going in for the test, I will pray at my home for him, but this time, I will add a different element and pray with my understanding on those things I know about, but allow the spirit to lead me in prayer about the specifics, since I do not know the specifics of the test or what they are looking for.  Here is the way Romans 8:26-27 puts it:

26 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. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

I am not sure what I should exactly pray for. Now, don’t get me wrong, the spirit leads when I pray with my understanding also, but that prayer can only go as far as my knowledge will take it.  The Spirit knows every detail of what Johnny is going through, what they are looking for, what the symptoms are, and how to bring about a good solution.  When I allow the Spirit to speak through me with “groanings that cannot be uttered”, I am praying God’s perfect will for that person, because it is the Spirit that is speaking.  The groanings, in our belief, are called tongues – our prayer language so to say.  They come out when we open our mouth, and we lose our tongue to speak a heavenly language in prayer.

The big difference between the two is that praying with out understanding is reactionary.  We react to the situation we have been made aware of and pray accordingly.  Praying with tongues is taking action.  We are looking ahead and taking action on something we have not been made aware of.  Utilizing both of these methods gives Johnny all I have in prayer, and that will bring about an answer every time.  Ephesians 6:18 says this:

18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

 Always bringing prayer before God.  We discussed this in Chapter 4 on when we should pray.  Prayer is the last item listed as part of our spiritual armor.  It protects us from principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph 6:12).  This is spiritual warfare, and our prayer language is the most powerful weapon we have in this battle.  I rely on it!

Prayer and supplication.  The prayer is public, private, in church, or for family.  Supplication is seeking in earnest prayer, beseeching God, pleading with Him.  These need to be brought before God with persistence, not just one time.  We have an obligation to pray with all we have once we have been asked.  It is what holds our brothers and sisters up in their time of need.  Let us pray with both the Spirit and with our understanding to get the best results.

Pray Humbly or Boldly.

 Both of these are very acceptable and necessary.  We should always come to God with humility, recognizing Him as far superior than us.  But there are times that we need to come boldly before the throne of God.  It is knowing when that is the key here.

First, let’s look at the humility side.  Micah 6:8 is one of the verses in the Bible that none of us should ever ignore:

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

 The word “requires” here means that God asks for it, or demands it.  It is a word that makes this as close to a commandment as could be.  Seek Justice, love mercy and walk humbly before your God.  There is no room for pride before God, no room for unmerciful acts, no room for injustice.  To effectively come to God, we need to do all we can to comply with this wonderful verse.  It should be a driving force behind our lives.

I have tried walking proudly with God, and He allowed me to do so, but in the end, he had to bring me down to my knees and realize that was not the way to please Him.  To please God, humility needs to reign in my life, and especially in my prayer life.  I am in no position to demand anything from God!  He has provided so much for me already that I cannot begin to make a list.  He is so merciful and yet He still tells me “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy” (Exodus 33:19).  He has no obligation to grant my requests, and yet He does so often.  We must walk in that same mercy.  H desires for us to show that mercy to those around us

You might say to me, “It says in His word that if we ask, He will do it, and God always keeps His promises!”.  I would ask you – are you walking fully in every commandment and instruction in righteousness?  Are you perfect as He asks you to be (Matt 5:48)? Are you holy as He is holy? (1 Peter 1:16).  If not, and I doubt any of us are, He could strike us dead now if He wanted to and be fully justified!  But He is merciful.  If He decides to tell me to wait on that prayer request, I, in all humility, should accept that response without question or hesitation.

Matt 6:3 tells us this:
 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

We should never boast about our giving.  We should just do it and forget about it.  Then he goes on to say we should pray in the closet, not where everyone can see us. This takes us out of the place where we boast about the prayers we have had answered – that just stirs up pride.  When we pray in secret, the Father will reward us for our obedience, and reward us openly – I believe that means He will grant our requests.

Romans 12:3:
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Humility – always!  We all have the measure of faith.  Some of us just place it in different places.  We discussed this earlier in our study.  Our faith is built up by reading the word and by going through trials ourselves.  Humility makes us realize we need more faith to be more effective, so we continue to seek growth in the kingdom.

Strive for humility in your prayer life.  This is the preferred attitude of prayer.  We are closer to God when we are humble before Him.  Practice humility with all you have.

But then there is boldness needed at times.  Hebrews 4:16 tells us this:

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.

This verse is often used to justify demanding things of God.  But notice the wording here very carefully. We can come boldly, but it is a throne of grace, not a treasure house of riches for us.  Grace that was provide on the cross.  Grace that was given freely to us all already.  What are we looking for?  Mercy!  What does God say about Mercy – He will have mercy on whom he will have mercy.  It is His choice!  Not ours.

And the last part really brings it home.  Yes, we can come boldly to God with our request, but the request should not be for anything but grace in a time of need.  It is not to make us rich, or build up our business.  We come boldly, with all humility, looking for mercy and hoping for grace to be bestowed on us in our current situation.  It is not about demanding anything.

Eph 3:12 says this:
12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

We are only allowed this boldness and this access by our faith in Christ.  Because of Him, we can approach God with confidence because He has secured our access to the throne.  But when should we use this boldness we have been granted?

John 14:13-14
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

In effect, Jesus grants us power of attorney here.  If we ask in His name, He will do it.  That is why we can be bold.  Because He has granted us that permission.  He is our mediator (1 Tim 2:5)

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

 When we pray for the lost, we can pray with boldness, because we know that God is not willing that any should perish.

Matt 9:38
38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

 When we pray for God to send laborers for the harvest, we can pray boldly, because God has prepared the harvest for us, and wants the harvest to come in.  Take special note that we do not pray for the laborers  We pray that God will send the laborers to do the work.

Acts 2:17
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

God has promised an outpouring of His Spirt, that we will have dreamers and visionaries.  We can pray boldly for these days to come, and that a great revival will sweep the land.

Rom 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

We can pray boldly that God will transform our minds, but we must truly desire it with all our hearts, and we must enable the process by being in the word on a regular basis.  He desires for us to prove what the good, acceptable and perfect will of God is.

In all this boldness, we must remember that our boldness must be flanked with humility.  God honors humility in us, so when we come before Him with the access and confidence Christ has given us, and we approach Him with our bold requests, we also understand that His mercy and grace are what grants those requests.  If we forget that humility, we can easily start to think it is our prayers and our demands that are accomplishing these prayers being answered.  That is very dangerous ground, my friend!

Here I thought this post would be shorter.  I guess I got going a little long winded.  Thanks for staying with me!  In our next chapter, we will look at how we pray as far as posture goes – what should our position be before God when we pray?  Join us as we continue our prayer journey.

A.S.K. – The Key to Prayer Chapter 5A How Should We Pray Silent, Aloud or Written

Everyone knows how to pray, right? It’s just talking to God, expressing our needs and the needs of others, correct? I mean, it’s not rocket science, is it?

No, it is not. But the bible has so many examples of different ways to pray. Are we silent, or do we pray out loud? Do we pray in the spirit or in the flesh, or do we write out our prayers? Do we stand, or sit, or bow? Do we come to God in humility, or do we come boldly before the throne of God? Is there a pattern of prayer that I can use? We will be exploring all of these “How’s” in the coming posts. Since I don’t enjoy reading excessively long posts, I am going to try and get this into 3 posts and see how it goes. So, let’s begin!

PART 1 – Silent, Out Loud or written prayer.

SILENT PRAYER

Silent prayer is probably the most common. I pray silently when I am by myself and praying for those people on my prayer list most of the time (you do have a prayer list, right?). There are times that I pray aloud when by myself, but most of the time I use silence. Perhaps that is something I should change – maybe if I prayed aloud I would be more likely to keep the routine, as this is an area that I falter in too often. The daily time of prayer. I think I will try that.

There are also silent prayers given for those who come to mind during the day, or requests that come our way. We bring them to God in meetings, in church, or in the privacy of our home. Whenever they pop up, we take action on them. There are a few verses about silent prayer in the Word:

Genesis 24:45 – And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the well, and drew [water]: and I said unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee

Jacob prayed silently for the wife Abraham had sent Him to find, and we see His prayer answered.

1 Samuel 1:12 – And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth.

Hannah prayed silently in the temple for a son, and Eli wondered why her mouth moved but no words proceeded. The result of her prayer was birth of the prophet Samuel.

Matthew 6:6 – But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Jesus tells us to not be public about our prayers, but to pray in the closet to God, and the Father will reward us with the answer. There are times we should not tell people we are praying for them because we may take pride in that statement if the answer comes. We may think we are the cause of that answer, but we are not. God is. We help it along, but we should do it in secret. At other times, people need to know we are praying for them. Use proper judgment to determine which time is which.

Another aspect of silent prayer is meditation. This is coming to God in our thought life, and it is all over the bible as a way to communicate with God and let Him know our thoughts are either on Him, or on His word, or on those things that are pleasing to Him. I could list hundreds of verses that talk about meditation on the things of God, but I will not. I will say it is all through Psalm 119 – a glorious Psalm that we should all read often. A few other ones that I am fond of include:

Philippians 4:8:
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things

This verse has a lot of power behind it, and can shape our lives and our witness in remarkable ways. We should all do our best to live by this verse every moment of every day, because what we put into our minds is what will come out, hence

Matt 15:16-20
16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? 17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 these are the things which defile a man:

You can see why Philippians 4:8 is so important for our silent prayer, meditation and thoughts when you see what Jesus says here.

2 Cor 10:5
5 casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

These are things we must do through pray and meditation. When these thoughts come into our mind, and they will, we must get rid of them and bring our thoughts into the “obedience of Christ”. How do we do that? Reading Psalm 119 is a good way to start

I am going to stop with those two, because I believe they are the most integral to our silent prayer life along with Psalm 119 ( can you see I put a lot of emphasis on this Psalm?). Let’s go on to the next one.

Praying out Loud

Praying out loud is something we typically do in church or in fellowship with someone else. It can also be used in our private prayer time, and is probably seen as the most effective type of prayer. Praying aloud uses two of our senses, as we not only use our ears to hear, which I believe we do with silent prayer, but we also use our mouths to speak. Our words have a lot of power. Read James 3 and you will see what importance the tongue has and how powerful it can be. When we pray aloud, we speak God’s word into the air, and it never leaves the atmosphere. Never downplay how powerful your words are to someone else.

Matt 21:21
21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.

Speak to those mountains in your life. Speak with all faith and all authority given to you by Jesus. He says if you believe and do not doubt, it will be done. Read this story about the power of this kind of prayer:

A small congregation in the foothills of the Great Smokies built a new sanctuary on a piece of land willed to them by a church member.
Ten days before the new church was to open, the local building inspector informed the pastor that the parking lot was inadequate for the size of the building.
Until the church doubled the size of the parking lot, they would not be able to use the new sanctuary. Unfortunately, the church with its undersized lot had used every inch of their land except for the mountain against which it had been built.
In order to build more parking spaces, they would have to move the mountain out of the back yard.
Undaunted, the pastor announced the next Sunday morning that he would meet that evening with all members who had “mountain moving faith.” They would hold a prayer session asking God to remove the mountain from the back yard and to somehow provide enough money to have it paved and painted before the scheduled opening dedication service the following week.
At the appointed time, 24 of the congregation’s 300 members assembled for prayer. They prayed for nearly three hours. At ten o’clock the pastor said the final “Amen”.
“We’ll open next Sunday as scheduled,” he assured everyone. “God has never let us down before, and I believe He will be faithful this time too.”
The next morning as he was working in his study there came a loud knock at his door. When he called “come in”, a rough looking construction foreman appeared, removing his hard hat as he entered.
“Excuse me, Reverend. I’m from Acme Construction Company over in the next county. We’re building a huge shopping mall. We need some fill dirt. Would you be willing to sell us a chunk of that mountain behind the church? We’ll pay you for the dirt we remove and pave all the exposed area free of charge, if we can have it right away. We can’t do anything else until we get the dirt in and allow it to settle properly.”
The little church was dedicated the next Sunday as originally planned and there were far more members with “mountain moving faith” on opening Sunday than there had been the previous week!

Oh, that we would all have that kind of faith! Not only for physical, real mountains, but for the looming mountains and obstacles that seem to block our path at every turn. God can move them, and with applied faith, nothing wavering, we can too – by speaking to that mountain!

Isaiah 58:9
Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer;
thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.

Call out to Him! Cry out to Him! He will answer! He will hear! The prophet sums up the power of spoken prayer in these simple words. Why would we want to hold back?

James 5:14-15
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up

The prayer of faith, the prayer spoken by the elders as they anoint with oil – this is prayer that is spoken out loud over the person, building their faith and the faith of all around. Powerful prayer that will deliver the sick and raise him up.

Isaiah 65:21
And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer;
and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

This shows us that God does know our thoughts – before they speak I will answer. But while we speak, he will hear. He wants us to speak out our needs, to let Him know we understand what we have need of. He knows – do we really know what we need? Are we praying in the Father’s will, or our own? He desires to hear us!

I Peter 3:12
12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers:

His ears are open, attentive and listening to our spoken prayers. They are music to His ears. He loves to hear us call on Him. Speak out your prayers and be heard by Almighty God!

You get the picture! There are so many verses I could go to, but this is getting long, and I have one more piece to this part of the how to pray.

Written prayers

Some people like to write out all their prayers. They put them in a journal. I have never journaled. I admire people who can sit down and write out their prayer requests. It is an amazing gift and it can serve as a reminder of prayers that are answered because you have it all written down. I think it is a great way to go about praying.

This method actually employs four of our senses, and that is why it is the most powerful form of prayer for us. We speak it in our minds, see it with our eyes, hear it with our ears as it is put on the paper, and we feel the pen putting the words down. If you use a pen that uses strawberry ink, you can even smell the words as they go down Utilizing all those senses puts it deeper into our memory – any behavioral analyst will tell you that. Any communication specialist will tell you that the more senses you get your audience to use, the better they will remember your speech.

It is hard to find reference to praying by writing in the scripture, but the scripture is full of written prayer. The Psalms are a good place to start, of course. They are filled with prayers. I have mentioned three times already the best Psalm of prayer. The prophets wrote out prayers. There are many prayers written in the Chronicles. Examples are everywhere, and I am not going to reference any here to save space. Look for yourselves and if this is a discipline you might want to embark on. I often have prayers in the poems God gives me, so it is an area I use on occasion.

This is just the beginning of our study on how to pray. In the next lesson, which I promise will be shorter (this came out to about double the length I like), we will look at whether we should pray in the Spirit or in the Flesh, and whether we should pray Humbly or Boldly. Stay tuned!

A.S.K. – The Key to Prayer Chapter 4 When Should We Pray

I know what you are going to say. We should pray anytime the Holy Spirit moves us to pray, and you would be right. We will be talking about that. But there are several scriptures that show us the importance of having a regular prayer time and not just relying on the Spirit to prompt us. I am going to admit here that this is one of my weak points as a follower of Christ, and I am praying and hoping this teaching will spur me on to a better regular practice of prayer.

I would guess we all have people in our lives that we regularly pray for- like friends, family, church attendees, people who have been mentioned to you through the week, etc. These prayers should be prayed at a set aside time during the day when we bring our requests to the Lord. We have already laid out the principles of prayer, so you are armed and dangerous to the enemy. When you take these requests to the Lord is your decision though, and an act of your will.

The morning is my preferred time. I find that if I wait until later in the day, I get caught up in my daily activities and the time passes by me. Before I lift my head from my pillow, I pray for those in my life that I want blessed every day. This has always worked best for me

Mark 1:35 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
Here, we see that Jesus used this time for prayer. He arose before anyone else and got by Himself. One of the main reasons I believe He did this is that during the day, He was always crowded around with people – either the twelve disciples of the throngs of people who came for healing and teaching. If He tried to wait until later to pray, it would be very difficult to get away, although He was able to on occasion. I believe this was a regular routine with Jesus, not just a one-time thing.

Psalm 5:3 and Psalm 119:147 also tell us that the morning is a good time to bring our requests before God.  There are many scriptures that discuss praising the Lord in the morning as well.  I believe this is the best time for both of these practices.  Don’t let the day steal away your time and push these things out of your schedule.

Mark 6:46-47 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
46 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. 47 And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land
We see here Jesus asking the people to depart. He had just fed 5,000 people with 5 loaves and two fishes miraculously. I am sure the people were reluctant to leave, but they did. He then told the disciples to get into the ship and go to the other side, as He stayed behind to pray. It was probably late afternoon or early evening when He started to pray, and He prayed into the night.

I have a good friend who sets aside time around 3:00 every day to pray. He is as regular as anyone I know at keeping this time. I applaud him for being able to block out this time to go to the Lord. I would guess Jesus did not get this opportunity too often, and enjoyed it when He did. Afternoon prayer times are difficult because of the demands of life that kidnap our schedules.

1 Samuel 15:11
“I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not carried out My commands ” And Samuel was distressed and cried out to the LORD all night.

This verse tells us right up front why Samuel went to God all night.  Saul had messed up one again, and now Samuel would have to find a replacement and go against the King.  Not an easy thing, even for a prophet!  So He spent the night in prayer and shortly after this He anointed David King in Saul’s place.

Luke 6:12Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

After He healed a man in the synagogue, Jesus departed and prayed all night. Have you ever been to an all-night prayer meeting? I haven’t in years, but I remember them as being powerful when I did go. However, this was a prayer meeting of one. Jesus prayed all night! I would most likely fall asleep. It takes tremendous dedication to stay up all night praying. I would say that I could probably find enough to pray for, but each prayer would have to be extensive, and with purpose.

I’m not sure exactly what He prayed about all night, but if we read on we see the next day He called the disciples to His side and then ministered healing to the masses before preaching to them. He had a full day coming up and I think He knew it. He stayed up all night praying and then all-day ministering! God must have given Him supernatural strength to accomplish this. I would not suggest this unless you have a directive from God to do so. He will tell you when all night prayer is to be given.

Psalm 63:6, Psalm 119:62, Psalm 119:148 all talk about praying in the night.  When I wake up in the middle of the night, I take time to pray as well.  Often, I can feel the prompting of the holy Spirit at these times.  It is often a time when he also gives me poetry and songs of praise.

Then there are those scriptures that teach us to pray before trouble comes in, not when it comes in. It is so important we are “prayed-up” before trials enter our lives. We will be able to handle them so much better. I am not going to put the whole portion of scripture here, but will give you some examples of this principle.

Gen 32:9-12 – Jacob prays that God will give him favor before going to meet Esau
Judges 11:30-31 – Jepthah prayers for victory before the battle
Judges 16:28 – Samson prays that God will be with him before the pillars are brought down
2 Chr 14:11 – Asa prays for victory before the battle
2 Chr 20:6-12 – Jehosaphat prays for victory before the battle

And of course, there is Matt 26:39-44, Mark 14:36-42 and Luke 22:39-46, where Jesus prays for God’s will to be done, needing strength for what He as about to face on the cross. The ultimate prayer before a trial!

Then, of course, there are these verses:

Acts 6:4 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

Acts 12:5 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

Romans 12:12 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
12 rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
17 Pray without ceasing.

Ephesians 6:18 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Philippians 4:6 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

“Continually in prayer”,” Prayer … without ceasing”, “Continuing instant in prayer”, “Pray without ceasing”, “Praying always”, “in every thing by prayer”. The message is clear -we should always be in an attitude of prayer. We have discussed at length that prayer is simply a conversation with God – it does not have to be fancy or embellished.

We should always be ready to pray. We can come to God anytime and His ears are open to our cry.  Things will come up in our lives, others will be brought to our attention that need prayer – maybe a call, or a text, or a Facebook post, or someone on WordPress who needs our prayers. We should always be ready to go to the Lord in prayer. The time we set aside is for those requests that are constant. All other time is time we need to be ready to pray.
The next chapter will talk extensively about how we pray, so that will fill in where this leaves off. It will be broken down into two or three posts – depends on how lengthy I get. This part of the study is much more interesting than it at first look sounds. I was amazed at how much the bible says about how we should pray. I hope you’ll join us!

A.S.K. – The Key to Prayer Chapter 3E – We Must Accept the Response

So far, we have learned how to ask by using the A.S.K. Principle, how we can be heard and understood, that we should expect a response and how we must listen for a response. The last step in communication is accepting the response. Notice I am not saying agree with the response. Just accept the response as the words the responder (in this case God) is sending back to us. There is a big difference, and this is very important.

We may not agree with the response someone gives us. I get into conversations with my wife sometimes, where she is trying to point out that pride has risen up in me once more, and I am defending my position because of it. I gave her permission years ago to let me know when I am walking in pride, and I also have been very good at accepting her response, and recognizing the pride once she has told me about it. Most of the time, I agree with her response as well, but this time I didn’t. I did not think I was stuck in pride, and I told her as much. Calmly and reasonably, I told her why, and she accepted that. But this time neither of us agreed with the response of the other. We let it go at that.

The same can be true of responses we get from God. He may tell us to wait – it is rare we will agree with that response, but we still have to accept it or we will find ourselves arguing with God! It’s very rare we will win that argument. Moses won a couple arguments with God, but I can’t think of anyone else who did. I’m much better off to accept the response than to try and argue to get a different.

Our communication with God can be on a multitude of subjects, and it would take forever to cover them all here. We pray about all kinds of things each day, and God will answer those on an individual basis with specific detail. God can answer many requests with Yes, or No or Wait. These are the three most common answers. We usually don’t like the wait and abhor the no, but each time it is imperative to stand back and look over the situation, remembering that God does all things for our good (Rom 8:28). If He says no, there is a good reason behind it. If He says wait, perhaps He is allowing our faith to be built as we develop patience (James 1:3). Patience does amazing things for us, and needs to grow in all of our lives. We will talk more about that in just a bit.

Quite often, our answers are already in the word, and He will respond through His word. So today, as part of this lesson, I am going to give you some scripture that may just answer the prayer you have on your heart. Some I may comment on, others I will leave for you to enjoy. This is just a small sampling of the promises God has made to you and I. There are so many more!

If you desire success or prosperity:
Joshua 1:8
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

3 John 2
2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth

Psalm 1:1-3
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper
The first two verses show us a way to success or prosperity. Both put a directive with that prosperity, though. Our souls must prosper, which requires meditating on His word regularly, and not departing from His ways. Are there people who prosper without doing this? Absolutely, but they are not you. We must not look at what others are doing, and what others have been granted by God, and think we are entitled to it as well. We are all different, and God brings different things into our lives. Don’t look at what someone else has and be seduced by it. Remember when Peter and Jesus were talking, and Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him three times? After that. Jesus told Peter to feed Jesus’ sheep, and Peter asked “What about John”. Jesus answered “What is that to you?” Not everything is for everyone.

Psalm 1:1-3 has three things that will make us like that tree that is doing so well. Don’t take ungodly council, don’t hang out with sinners all the time, and don’t be someone who is always complaining. Then he comes back to the importance of meditating in the word. The word has our answers if you will just take the time to read them!

If you need healing and good health:

3 John 2
2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth

Exodus 15:26
And (God) said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

Prov 4:20-22
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
Once again, we see a promise tied to being in the word and meditating on the things of God. Perhaps this is why there are so many sick among us? We have neglected His word and have forgotten these promises come with requirements. They are not freely given. I know Jesus died, and the stripes on His back are all I need for my healing – that is what I hear all the time. I agree to a point, but if that is true, why would God say to be in His word, or that our soul needs to prosper for good health to be applied? Perhaps if we would be in the word more, we would not have so many occasions to need His healing! Have you ever thought of it that way?

If you need wisdom to make a decision:

Prov 3:5-5
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Prov 9:10
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
James 1:5-7
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Those of you who have been following me for a while know that Proverbs 3:5-6 is my life verse. I stand by it, meditate on it and apply it to everything in my life. I believe that is why I can honestly say I do not have bad days. I do not have days that seem unfulfilling. I do not have days that I do not feel God near to me. It is because I acknowledge His hand in everything in my life – the hills and the valleys, the good times and the bad. I acknowledge Him and I know it is for my good, whatever I am going through. There is never a time I do not believe that. As a result, His hand guides me and He gives me wisdom in every circumstance. I fear Him in the sense that I am in awe of Him all the time. In awe of His mercy and His grace and His love.
When you ask for wisdom, do not doubt for a minute that He will give it to you – it is found in His word. He will guide you to the truth about any situation. His wisdom comes in softly, and once again is found in His word. Read and meditate on Psalm 119. You will see just how much His word is important to you!
If you need peace:
Phil 4:6-7
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Psalm 29:11
The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace
Why do we run around with no peace in our hearts or lives when Jesus says He left His peace here for all of us to enjoy? The Lord blesses His people with peace! Why are our lives in such turmoil all the time? Don’t we know that His peace is right here, resting in His hands for us to enjoy when we need it? The problem is that we have our minds on our problems, and not on Jesus, who is our peace. We have to set our minds and thoughts in a different place. We have to set our minds where Paul tells us to in Phil 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Think on these things, not your troubles, cares or worries. Think on these things! Philippians 4:4-8 is a powerful portion of scripture that I urge you to meditate on for a long time if you are not familiar with it. Knowing these verses and putting them into practice will change your whole outlook on life. If you live a life filled with turmoil, worry, doubt, fear, complaining and arguing, do this today! After meditating on these verses for a week or so, you will see a change come your way. I guarantee it, because It’s God’s word.

If you need more patience:
James 1:2-5
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

I have heard it said, and you probably have to, that we should never pray for patience because trials will come. I will say this – trials will come no matter what you pray for, and then you will be wishing you had more patience. We talked extensively about patience and waiting on God in Chapter 2E – Knocking. When I studied out these verses in James and asked the Lord for wisdom, I came to this conclusion.
We count it joy when troubles come because through those trials, our faith is tried and tested. That trying and testing of our faith makes our faith stronger, and in the process we learn to be patient waiting for God to bring a solution to the trials, which we know He will. Patience will bring us to the point that we are perfected, and are ready to do the task God has for us next.
Trials will not only bring us patience, but should bring us joy as well. The growth that comes into our life through trials could not be replaced with anything else. They are truly a blessing! We know that when we have that patience, Isaiah 40:31 becomes a reality:
31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
I hope you are getting the idea. I could go on for 100’s more pages, because there are that many promises God has given us in His word. What I wanted to show you is that many times, your answer is right there if you just get into the word. We wait and wait, thinking God is not going to answer, or that He doesn’t hear us, when all the while He has provided the answer a long time ago – we just haven’t taken the time to find it.

Spend time with God daily. Get into the word. When you have a need, look up scriptures that provide you insight into your answer. Then believe without any doubt that this word is for you. Accept the answer God has given. Apply Proverbs 3:5-6 to your daily life. You will find that the answer is always right there, waiting for you, and that your prayers are always answered – Always.

Now that we have talked about what prayer is and how prayers to God are properly communicated, we are going to go into some other basics of our prayer life. Next, we will discuss when to pray! Stay tuned!