Friday, February 26, 2010

Six types of prayer


Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.


How can anyone pray at all times? One way is to make quick, brief prayers your habitual response to every situation you meet throughout the day. Another way is to order your life around God's desires and teachings so that your very life becomes a prayer. You don't have to isolate yourself from other people and from daily work in order to pray constantly. You can make prayer your life and your life a prayer while living in a world that needs God's powerful influence. We also should pray for all believers in Christ; so pray for the Christians you know and for the church around the world.


Author Bob Gass lists six types of prayer. Let's examine them together:

(1) The prayer of agreement.
"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 favour, mercy, loving kindness, grace, longsuffering and goodness.

(4) The prayer of intercession.
"I looked for a man… who would… stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land" (Ezekiel 22:30NIV). 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" (1 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.


"Lord, help me to pray without ceasing today. Help me to pray as Your Spirit leads me. Broaden my horizon in my prayer life. I will work today to implement each of these types of prayers into my daily prayer life. In Jesus name, amen!"