As a Christian, Prayer is the most important area to empower you to live a victorious life together with study the Word of God. Prayer is a conversation and dialogue with God. I used to have one way conversations with God until I learnt from Benny Hinn that God wants to have a conversation with me and what a shock it was when I quietened down He spoke back to me. In prayer you commune, fellowship with God where you speak to Him and He to you.
Perhaps lack of teaching has been the biggest flaw in understanding that (1) God listens and knows everything (2) He is looking for someone to talk to and fellowship with that is one of the reasons He created Adam (3) Without prayer it is impossible to live a life of Victory as a Christian.
I was constantly confused with all the formulas for prayer as if there was some Divine way of praying. The don’t cry, just speak the word, pray in tongues, keep quiet and or silent and turn around hundred times and holler had my head rolling in different places and then there was follow the Jesus prayer in Luke 11. As I grew in my faith, I learnt God wants me to approach him in conversation as I do with my father. This is the illustration He gave me:
When I prepare to go to Kenya, I call my dad to announce I am coming home. (Our Father) My Father gets all excited starts getting my room clean, making sure all the food I like and has plans on what we are going to do. As I prepare to go home I pack my case and carry gifts to give my dad. (Preparation to Praise and acknowledge and reverence).
When I get closer to home, as Nairobi gets in sight, I almost feel a deep sense of overwhelming love for my home, my country of my ancestors and start crying with thankfulness as I cannot wait to get off the plane. Usually my dad is standing directly opposite (the King and Esther) the exit terminal and I hug my dad and he hugs me back. I can almost see us giving each other the once over silently noting the changes. He helps me with my bags and as we drive home, I look around in amazement at the changes in my dad and the environment. When I get home, my breakfast is always ready and we sit down and catch up on local, national and family news. There is nothing of substance. I tell my dad what is going on and he silently listens (beginning of conversation). As if orchestrated by the hand of God I then take a shower lie down to rest and a few hours later I come down to talk to my dad. (cleansing and restoration from journey). He has then mulled over my news good or bad question, insecurities blah blah. My dad is not one who speaks much but he will give me a quick overview of what he thinks then he says we will talk about things whilst I am at home. This session is about me (continuous prayer and fellowship).
(Worship) I then ask my dad how he is doing, we share his struggles, his thoughts on life what has been going on and I sometimes feel bad as I feel like I have not been there for my dad. I then tell him how much I value him, I am grateful to him and encourage him. This is his session. He gets up and saunters off has a lie down and our conversation goes on for the next 3-4 weeks am there. (Waiting)
In this illustration the minute I said “Daddy, I am coming home”, I have acknowledged him as my father. I have told him my plans and he sets things in motion. It is interesting that my dad picks my luggage (In prayer God picks up your garbage and baggage) I don’t. We chat about this or that and that is what we call the “give me, help me, I am in trouble, I am hurting, I am happy, I have achieved” part of prayer. He feeds me first to make sure my natural body has strength. Our initial discussion is almost a praise moment acknowledging that my dad has the answers to all my problems and questions. I then go bath cleansing myself for what I have come to do. Most interestingly because my father knows me I don’t have to explain some of the language and terms I use he knows. When I am rested and back that is when I get the advise, the praise, the what to do what not to do. He then tells me He needs to mull on stuff and will get back to me.
The next session is a conversation to find out how my dad is doing now my dad is finite and therefore I can help him with some stuff but God is Infinite He does not need help but He loves to know you care when you ask Him how he is doing and He will tell you about His son and His Work and in these conversations, all of God is involved, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Hope that makes sense!
I have issues of calling God “daddy” because it minimises His Might and that is just me, however I was able to understand the reverence and fear of God in a Catholic Charismatic meeting in Euston which I attended with a friend. I came out blown by the quiet stillness and reverence of God and loved it as the oneness was more tangible to me that in a hollering Pentecostal church. If you want to learn God can teach you anywhere. You must always remember you are uniquely made and God has created your own style of praying to him and He is not shocked whether you holler at him, speak quietly to Him but He knows all things.
I have come to the conclusion prayer is a three step process as is the tabernacle The outer court that symbolises the flesh,(body); This is where you talk to God about what is going on where you need help and occasionally remember to say He is Mighty and God, but this is about you. God is watching you and listening. (Let no one tell you God does not listen in outer court He is everywhere but to commune with Him you have to move in further).
- The Holy place symbolising the soul (intellect, will and emotions) your personality; This is where you find yourself singing songs of praise these are usually initiated by you and joined by the Holy Spirit, you may find yourself crying as you get cleansed. Remember God is Holy and nothing that is defiled can enter His Presence. This is also where the Holy Spirit engages and prays with you in tongues; There is no specific time limit on this area but if you let the Holy Spirit lead you, He will draw you to Jesus who will then take your Spirit and take you into the Holy of Holies; and
- Holy of Holies. The spirit (where we commune with God, Jesus and where the Holy Spirit resides). This is the quiet place. This is where Jesus picks you up and He and the Holy Spirit help you to pray in spirit and in Truth (Jesus is the Truth) so you pray in Him to glorify the Father. My experience in this area, Jesus gets engaged to glorify the Father and actually due to his Might you are held up by Jesus and here the Father speaks you cannot speak due to being overwhelmed Psalm 42:7. If you do it is Him who gives you the ability to speak. You become the instrument of Worship to the Father through Jesus. “The Father seeks those who will worship him in Spirit and in Truth.”
Amen does not finish the prayer, when you say Amen you are in agreement with God because in Hebrew it means “It is so” and you can continue praying (talking) to Him throughout the day.
Looking at the Lord’s Prayer, what Jesus illustrates a 3 step process. Luke 11:9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Outer court – Asking putting our requests before God in his attributes and requesting forgiveness
Seeking – I believe this is where our soul (intellect, will and emotions) try to understand God from the three dimensions of the soul. You may cry, you may sing,
Knock – This is the Spirit realm, where we commune with God
John 4:24 God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.” God being Spirit means we cannot commune anywhere else with Him. God is Holy and cannot be defiled in the first two realms but it does not mean He is not listening.
God loves variety and as we are uniquely made. He communicates with us individually and very differently so that we can hear him. The way you speak and learn and speak to God is solely controlled by the Holy Spirit combined with your personality. Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. God does not change your personality and one always remains a free morale spirit to come in and go out of prayer.
Review Luke 11: The Lord’s illustrative prayer. It is my believe John 17 is the true prayer Jesus prayed.
|1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” 2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come”.||The seven attributes of God in this prayer|
|2He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.||Acknowledge and exalt the sovereignty of the Father Jehovah Elohim (creator) and Adonai (Almighty), Yahweh (Covenant Keeping God|
|3 Give us each day our daily bread.||Jehovah Jireh Provider, Jehovah El-Shaddai (The God of more than enough)|
|4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.||Jehovah Tsidekenu and M’Kaddesh, Redeemer and Sanctifier|
|And lead us not into temptation.’ ” but deliver us from evil, for thine is the Kingdom, that Will be done”||Jehovah Shamah and Jehova Nisi (Our very present help in need) and (our Banner)|
|(there is an argument that some of this is added and I personally know and believe God does not lead us into temptation but He delivers us from sin) Apply these names in the recordings of Matthew, John and Mark.|
5 Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6 because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’
7 “Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
What is commonly called the Lord’s prayer was
- An example of how we are to pray exalting the attributes and character of the father. You cannot receive the gift until you acknowledge the giver.
- In verse 11 Jesus introduces the Holy Spirit, I believe it is the first mention of the Holy Spirit by Jesus and reviewing His statement “how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Jesus’ prayer is actually John 17, where he prays for Himself, as he faces the cross, His disciples and believers present and in future.
The book of Romans introduces the Holy Spirit and Prayer. The Best Prayer Partner Romans: 8
26 So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.
27 And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will.