Friday, March 14, 2008

Six Types of Prayers

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. God is good and FAITHFUL to us. Even when we feel like He isn't listening or concerned, we go by what we KNOW through God's Word. He promised us that He would never leave us or forsake us. I hope you are having a great day in the Lord. Make up your mind that nothing or no one will keep you from enjoying this beautiful day. I just got back into my office from taking my son to school. As I dropped him off, someone coming down the road obviously thought that I was going to pull out in front of them, and they laid on the horn and gave me a vulgar hand gesture with their middle finger. I will be honest with you and tell you that I felt RAGE come over me. Everything within me wanted to get out of the car and ask the guy what his problem was. But before I got up this morning, I asked the Holy Spirit to lead me, guide me, nudge me, because I wanted to walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the craving desire of the flesh. So I allowed the Holy Spirit to influence me…at least partially. I have to admit to you that I did honk my horn at him in great frustration, and then regretted it. Have you ever done something that you regret? It was ANOTHER learning experience for me. I seem to get them daily during our fast. God is teaching us, trying us, and going to bring us forth as GOLD tried in the fire with our character shaped and molded into what He wants it to be.

After I sat down at my computer and began to re-think my "honking" experience this morning, I was thinking about the importance of DAILY prayer, and the different types of prayer. Author Bob Gass wrote an article about different types of prayers that ministered to me. I would like to share some of that with you today on this blog.

Let's examine six types of prayer:

(1) The prayer of agreement! Listen: "If two of you… agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by My Father" (Matthew 18:19 NIV). When you're up against something too big to handle alone, find a prayer partner and come into agreement with them. This isn't for people who generally live in strife then decide to agree because they're desperate. God honors the prayers of those who pay the price to live together in harmony.

(2) The prayer of petition! Be confident in asking God to meet your needs. Jesus said, "Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." (Mark 11:24 NIV). If we'd stop trying to impress God we'd be a lot better off. Length, loudness or eloquence isn't the issue; it's the sincerity of our heart, our confidence before God, and the knowledge that it's according to His will - that gets results!

(3) The prayer of thanksgiving! When our petitions outweigh our praises it says something about our character. Self-centered people ask but rarely appreciate. God won't release us into the fullness of all He's planned for us until we become thankful for what we've already received. Petition avails much, praise avails much more!
"In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (Philippians 4:6 NIV). Powerful living comes through thanksgiving. We can "pray without ceasing" by being thankful all day long, praising God for His favor, mercy, loving kindness, grace, longsuffering and goodness.

(4) The prayer of intercession. Listen to God's Word: "I looked for a man… who would… stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land" (Ezekiel 22:30 NIV).
To intercede means: "to stand in the gap" for someone else. If there's a breach in that person's relationship with God due to a particular sin, you have the privilege of placing yourself in that breach and praying for them. "The gap" is the distance between what is - and what can be.

(5) The prayer of commitment.
"Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him" (I Peter 5:7 AMP). As long as you keep trying to control events your stress levels will just keep mounting. But when you learn to hand things over to God, you'll wonder why you spent even a single day worrying.

(6) The prayer of consecration. On the Damascus Road, Paul prayed: "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6). That's like signing your name to a blank check. It's saying, "Here I am, do with me as you please. I hope I like what You choose, but even if I don't I'll do it anyway; Your will be done, not mine." Now you're deciding to voluntarily follow God, rather than struggling to get Him to follow you. As a result, God will do the work that needs to be done in us, so that He can do the work that He desires to do through us.

I love you guys and hope to see you this weekend in our services. Sunday morning (8:15 & 10:30 am) I plan to preach a message entitled, "The TEMPTATION of MISTRUST" The past two weeks, God has been speaking into my heart about the temptation that all of us have. The temptation? That we can't TRUST God. This is a temptation that started in heaven with the beautiful angel Lucifer and continues to our day. I hope you will be here as I pour out of my heart this message that has been BRANDED into my spirit.

My hope and prayer for you today is that you have a PRAYER-filled, FAITH-filled weekend! Blessings!

Pastor Rusty

This weekend's "THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR" Bible Reading:

Friday (March 14, 2008): I Kings 12:1 – I Kings 16:34

Saturday (March 15, 2008): I Kings 17:1 – I Kings 19:21

Sunday (March 16, 2008): I Kings 20:1 – I Kings 22:53

This week's Memory Verse to "hide in our heart": Luke 17:6
Luke 17:6 If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.