Today, I want to talk about prayers. This issue has been togging on my heart to share. So, here it is:
[ Quoted scriptures are from the King Janes Version of the Holy Bible ]
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14
What is Prayer?
Prayer (or praying) is a form of communication between people and God. It is merely a conversation which can be in the form of a request, call (or shout) for help, thanksgiving, supplication, seeking, or showing gratitude. Knowing when to engage in one form of prayer over the other is key to answered prayers. I deem prayer as a form of humility where I’m telling Father God that I cannot do “this thing” by myself, but with Him “I can do all things…” (Philippians 4:13)
Lord Jesus prayed (Matthew 26:36-44). We also can learn from his manner of prayer. Every religion prays; Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, even the dark kingdoms, etc. The difference is distinguishable in the channel/source of the prayer.
Prayers can be in the individual’s local or heavenly language. The local language as in English, Spanish, Yoruba, Chinese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Hebrew, Swahili, etc, or any other native dialect.The heavenly language is when the individual speaks in tongues.
Speaking in tongues is in the New Testament and can either be a gift or can be desired. Because it is in the New Testament, speaking in tongues is still relevant and powerful today. Please note that speaking in tongues is different from chanting. Because all truths are parallel; some might say that speaking in tongues and chanting are similar. This blog/platform is not to debate that stance.
Which is more effective?
Personally speaking, there is a time and place for each; that is, praying in one’s local language versus praying in tongues.
“Yet in the church, I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.”
1 Corinthians 14:19
I love praying in tongues as it not only strengthens the inner (spirit) man, (1 Corinthians 14:4) but most importantly it bypasses the individual’s mind/intellect and is a direct communication to God. (1 Corinthians 14:2)
Prayer Styles include:
silently or (keeping still in the presence of God)
fervently (James 5:16)
groaning before God
crying/weeping unto God (Hebrews 5:7, Jeremiah 11:14, 48:5, Psalm 141:1, Judges 6:7, etc.)
These forms of prayer are particularly famous with King David in the Bible. We also can adopt them.
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Kneeling is a favorite posture of prayer by a majority of people. Other anomalistic postures include prostrating before God (2 Samuel 12:16b), standing, walking around, sitting, etc.
I know that God answers prayer any which way; irrespective of posture. The posture is not as important as one’s HEART.
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Prayer can be said privately, in a group of two or more, or corporately as in a church setting.
“Not all private prayer is effective, but private prayer is rewarding”Unknown, Grace for Purpose
The private prayer, the one-to-one communication, is the type when you enter into your “closet” aka your designated place of meeting with Father God.
“…, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; …”Matthew 6:6a
I love this video from Grace for Purpose YouTube page. Please listen to it as it will bless you and your day.
Group prayer. “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there will I be.” Group prayer is when you join with a spouse or friend(s) to pray; bringing an issue before God and coming into an agreement over the issue.
Corporate prayer. It has often been said that prayer is the foundation of the church. Many churches designate about an hour for special prayers where church members (often with the prayer group leading if the church has such a group. If not church elders or leaders lead the prayer/prayer points by coming together to pray for the church, its members, church’s needs, cities, nations, and/or for other specific needs.
What is the best time to pray?
Jesus woke up early to pray (Mark 1:35). The above Grace for Purpose video also collaborates this. As such, I prefer the morning as the best time to pray.
Most people often start their days getting physically-charged by exercising and/or going to the gym. Others do yoga for the mental-/emotional-charge. I prefer starting my day with prayer to be spiritually-charged as it takes care of all three – physical, mental, and emotional. Besides, one might get a revelation for the day! One unique word direct from God (aka revelation) to your spirit man, can take care of something(s) that could have taken you years to resolve!
Having said that, if you start your day with prayer, it is only wise to end your day also with a prayer. But, prayer in between your work (business or college) days is equally beneficial.
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The Holy Bible talks of other prayer times such as the morning watch (1 Samuel 11:11), middle watch (Judges 7:19, Luke 12:38), third watch, and fourth watch (Matthew 14:25, Mark 6:48). The watches in this usage are specific three-hour blocks of time in a 24-hour clock.
According to The Global Watch, “The Hebrew watch was divided into three watches, the first, middle and morning watch. As the Roman influence and supremacy was established, the number of watches increased to four and were described in numerical order
- 1st (6pm – 9pm);
- 2nd (9pm – 12am);
- 3rd (12am – 3am); and
- 4th (3am – 6am).”
I do not suppose that God cares about the time one prays because He has specific assignments for each person. While some are early risers/worms, some are night owls. Some people work regular hours, while some work night or grave shifts. The hours and duration that you designate for meeting with Father God will accordingly be uniquely you.
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I will recommend prayer before a business meeting; pray for your business outcomes, and even your customers and suppliers. It is wisdom to commit every business decision to God even before starting it. I also recommend that one prays while at work, during your lunch break, while running your errands, in the gym, etc. Pray particularly for your home, spouses, children, family, your doctors, lawyers, accountants, your children’s friends, and their families, your children’s teachers; practically pray for everyone and everything that concerns you.
Did I hear your sigh that this is a lot of praying? It seems so, but all the above could be done in about 15 minutes. Once you get started, the fifteen minutes would seem insufficient that you’ll desire to increase your time with Father God as you deem fit. Incremental times of 15 minutes are great till you get to where you feel you’ve given your best time. One-liner prayers, such as Help me! or Heal me! are equally as effective. Your prayer does not always have to be lengthy or repetitive because Father God is not so interested in how long (quantity of time), but the quality of your time is more important to Him. The quality of time with Papa God should be free from distractions. Give Him your best time; be it 15, 30, or 60 minutes.
It is also best to designate a praying spot and block out the praying time. Once designated, be diligently prompt and consistent as He will always meet you there.
Please note that though some people might have a gift of praying, realize that none was born a prayer warrior. Every prayer warrior began somewhere. I remember when I always wished that I would not be called upon to pray at home-groups.
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I will be amiss if I do not mention that prayer without corresponding action is futile. Once you’ve brought your issues (or concerns) before Father God, you need to get up and take the necessary step(s) for action. After you’ve prayed, believe that Father God has heard you and be expectant (Mark 11:24). Father’s answer to your prayer often falls into either a:
“Yes” – you receive exactly what you asked for;
“No” – you do not receive exactly what you prayed for, but you get something that Father God knows you either need or is better for you.
“Wait” – this has to do with the timing of your request and means that your request will be answered later.
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Generally speaking, prayer ought to be soothing and should never agitate the person, the person’s spirit, nor a situation. Any prayer agitating anyone’s spirit is often not a godly prayer.
I hope you learned a new thing or two. Please comment below to share. May you be richly rewarded publicly what you have spent your private time doing in the Name of Jesus.
Caveat: this blog on prayer is not exhaustive. There’s much more that can be written on the topic. But I hope this helps on your journey to praying and spending time with Father God.