What Is Prayer?
Since we covered why it is important to pray. Lets get into what prayer is and is not in order to pray effectively, and be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit how to pray. What is prayer? It is simply talking to the Lord and have a listening ear to hear Him, both in the physical and the spiritual realms. From His Word and hear His audible voice and His voice of conviction.
Prayer is not acting all holy and dignified all of a sudden, folding of the hands and speak aimlessly into the air with a reverential voice. But prayer is first and foremost, getting alone and real with God, talking to the Lord as two people do when they get together in fellowship. Prayer is fellowship with God. A two way conversation between the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and His children. Not only talking to Him but also having a listening ear to hear Him.
You can pray to Him anywhere at anytime of the day 24/7, because we know God our Father never sleeps. And is always watching, all knowing, all powerful, Omnipresent God. Prayer is also seeking after God either in the prayer closet or cooperate praying and seeking His face and not His hands only. What does this mean? Often times we come before Him asking Him to do something for us and/or for others. That’s seeking His hands. But to seek His face, is to seek after Him, desiring to have an intimate relationship/fellowship/communion with the Lord in the spiritual realm, worshiping, adoring and praising The One true God of all the universe and beyond. Singing songs and hymns and spiritual songs, calling down His presence. Getting lost in the presence of our Lord Jesus, where time cease to exists for a moment.
Woe preacher! Why are we talking about worship? I thought we were studying prayer? Worship and prayer goes and in hand just like God’s Word and prayer, they cannot be separated. In fact prayer is one part of worship. And worship is a life style, not limited to raising of the hands and singing to the Lord “kumbaya.” But is also doing the little things such as and not limited to: opening a door for someone or greeting someone you don’t know, is worshiping God. Going to a Holy Spirit filled, full Bible-believing Church faithfully is worshiping God. Ministering to someone is worshiping God. Doing what His Word tells us to do is worshiping God and the list goes on and on in doing good to others regardless if they deserve it or not, is worshiping God. And prayer is also one important part of worshiping God.
There are 4 basic types of prayer that the Lord has shown me. If the Lord has shown you more than these, don’t be afraid to enlighten, Amen!
1). Prayer Closet Prayer: Is getting alone with God, seeking His face and then interceding for others as the Lord Jesus taught:
Matthew 6:6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
2). Intercession Prayer: Intercession prayer is praying or petitioning to God on behalf of another person. This also includes lying on the of hands (Mark 16:18). Intercession can be done in corporate praying.
3). Corporate Prayer: Is when believers and followers of Lord Jesus gathers together in one mind and in one accord (in the unity of the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:23-31), interceding and petitioning to God our Father openly for all to hear. And be in agreement as the Holy Spirit directs and guides this kind of prayer according God’s will and Word. This is the most powerful prayer we can partake in by the direction of the Holy Spirit. He gives us utterance what we ought to pray for (Romans 8:26-28) either in an earthly language as well as the Heavenly prayer language of angels (1 Corinthians 13:1) in His orderly fashion (1 Corinthians 14).
In fact all prayers in the true Spiritual realm when entered, where God dwells, follows the model of prayer the Lord Jesus taught (Matthew 6:5-15), lead by His Holy Spirit is orderly. Because the God of Abraham; Isaac; and Jacob is the God of order, not chaos and disorder (1 Corinthians 14:26-40). The Lord seems to answer prayers quickly, being in unity and in agreement as I have experienced first hand over the years. Because I personally believe He is well pleased when we do what His Word says and when we take Him at His Word of what He taught about prayer, Amen. Jesus teaches us:
Matthew 18:19-20 Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
4). Wailing Prayer: In this type of praying led by the Holy Spirit, are prayers of tears which words cannot express or articulate. And is brought suddenly upon a believer by the Holy Spirit in waves of overwhelming sorrow and/or joy. And is usually accompanied by the gift of speaking in tongues, which is the mysterious heavenly language that only God can understand, in which the Holy Spirit can only enable His children to speak in. This kind of prayer is the purest form of praying that is not hindered by words; lip service, and is solely driven by the Spirit of God. Wailing prayer is the purest form of prayer language that the devil cannot understand.
Romans 8:26 For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
Jesus also teaches us the prime example of what prayer is not: Matthew 6:5-8 And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
Prayer is the workings of God through The Holy Spirit whom helps us to pray. I don’t know about you, but often times I don’t know what I ought to prayer for. So He’ll gives me the words in the earthly language and/or in the earthly language what I ought to pray both in my prayer closet praying as well as corporately.
Another words, when we don’t know what to ask or what to say, The Holy Spirit helps us put into words what we ought to ask or pray to the Father about. He also makes our intercession effective before the throne of God. He leads and guides us into prayer and Holy utterance. A major reason comes to mind why the Holy Spirit enables us to pray in tongues, is because the devil knows every language on earth, except for the heavenly prayer language of mystery. Also in the Book of Revelation it tells us, prayer is like incense that goes up to God, in the Holy Temple in Heaven,
Revelation 8:1-5 When He (meaning Lord Jesus) opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels (Holy angels) who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar (Revelation 15:5-8.) He was given much incense, (Exodus 30:34-40) that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake.
Which is revealing to us, when we pray in that heavenly language of mystery, certain prayers are stored up for that day of the Great Tribulation Period when the incense is mix with the prayers of the saint, could very well be praying for salvation and judgment in that great and terrible of day of God’s wrath, coming upon this earth in the near future. Also in that mystery language we could be truly praising and worshipping God Most High without any hindrance of words, Amen. This is why I believe the gift of speaking in diverse tongues is important, not the principle thing, but is important as the Holy Spirit has shown us. And this heavenly prayer language is from God,
1 Corinthian 12:1-10 Now concerning spiritual gifts,brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
Prayer is not an exercise of devotion to God in the flesh, but in His Spirit. The Holy Spirit leads us to the throne room of God The Father in the spiritual realm. Prayer done in the flesh are in vain. But those who live according to the Holy Spirit, are the prayers He hears.
Approaching God in Prayer
Now before we go any further, we must establish this truth: No one can pray to the Father unless you know His Son (John 14:6). This is also teaching us how to approach God in worshiping, praising and adoring Him. There is a correct way to approach God our Father. And His Son Lord Jesus is teaching us the way to approach Him correctly (Matthew 6:9-13). Just as God our Father taught the Jews in the Old testament the correct way to approach Him.
In the Old Testament, the High Priest (whom God has appointed and chosen to come before Him) comes from the outer court to the inner court of the tabernacle, symbolizing the forsaking of the ways of the world and stepping into the path of purity, into the Holy call of God. Then the High Priest had to strip naked and wash in the wash basin which symbolizes baptism of repentance. Then after being washed, he put’s on the Priestly garment and slaughter’s the animal of sacrifice, sprinkling it’s blood onto the alter and then places the slaughtered animal onto the alter of fire as a sin offering before the Lord Most High for the forgiveness of sins, both him and the congregation.
After all that, he can now enter into the Holy Place where you have the Menorah which represents the Holy Spirit, and the show Bread which represents Jesus Christ (Yeshua Ha’ Mashiach). The High Priest then had to burn the Holy incense that cleanses (which also symbolizes the prayers of the saints) in order to go into The Most Holy Place beyond the veil of Christ where God dwelt on the Mercy seat, which is the Ark of The Covenant.
Today God has made an easier way for us to enter into His presence. For those who are the children of God through Jesus Christ. We no longer have to sacrifice animals to be cleansed and be forgiven for sins, since The Lord Jesus Christ is our sacrifice on our behalf to God for the remission of sins once and for all (Hebrews 7-10). In His death He also ripped the veil in two in the Holy Temple that separated The Holy Place from the Most Holy Place (Matthew 27:45-53). What that means is, God has called all who are His children and not just Priests only, through Jesus Christ to come freely unto the Father because we are washed in the blood of Jesus Christ His only begotten Son that which makes us righteous in His sight (Romans 3:21-26). And then tells us to come boldly unto God our Father (Hebrews 4:14-16).
But in Psalm 100 it also teaches us how to approach God Most High correctly which coincides directly with what the Lord Jesus is teaching in His model of prayer, Matthew 6:9-10 Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
Psalm 100 Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.
So to enter His presence in prayer either in our prayer closet or praying corporately, we are to shout to Lord with praises of real joy from our hearts with singing and not with lip service. For He see’s the heart and He knows whether our heart is near or far from Him. Enter in with thanksgiving, however long it takes to call down His presence. As we continue to study Jesus’ teachings on prayer we continue to read:
Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
In this Passage of Scripture, Jesus is teaching us how to pray or petition to God our Father, praying specifically. “Give us” who? The person praying and the person you are praying for. “This day” when? Today. “Our daily bread” What? What ever the need is.
Verse :12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors
This is dealing with utmost importance of repentance (1 John 1:9). Asking God to forgive you of your sins and to forgive others their sins when they have sinned against you. Meaning to not hold a grudge against anybody. Because in Verse 14, He stresses again the importance to forgive as it is written:
“For if you forgive men (humanity) their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men (humanity) their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
So He is warning us that we can lose salvation, miss heaven completely because of un-forgiveness. This is a big deal, if it were not, Jesus would not have mentioned it twice in this portion of Scripture and would’ve said, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” He could have left it at that, for that explains much. But no, He continues to explain the other side to the coin of truth as well, to make sure we understand the consequences of unforgiveness. Which is being un-merciful, the very opposite of who God is. And this life call from God Himself to the process of sanctification, is to proceed step by step throughout our time on earth day by day to be more like Jesus Christ, merciful and forgiving,
Matthew 5:7-9 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
And all of us, when we will stand face to face with God on the day of judgment, we need all His mercies we can get. For not one sin will enter the Kingdom of heaven. And if we do not forgive others their wrongs against us, God will not forgive our sins. And if He does not forgive our sins we will miss Heaven. Not one sin or sinner will enter Heaven
Revelation 21:27 There shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
And also another clear warning to all of us: 1 Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
Un-forgiveness boils down to pride and pride goes before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). And pride originated from satan and satan will be thrown into the Lake of Fire by God Most High Himself (Revelation 20:10). And all who are proud, haughty, sinful, evil, rebellious against God Most High will go down with satan into the Lake of Fire also (Revelation 14:9-11). That’s why the Lord Jesus Christ taught next:
Matthew 6:13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.
After confessing our sins, the Lord Jesus is teaching us to ask God our Father to deliver us from the works of satan, his subtle deceptions, by the help of the Holy Spirit teaching us God’s truth from His Word as we read it and study it faithfully, Amen. And lastly in the same verse:
“For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
This verse is teaching us how to close in prayer, by acknowledging who God is and thanking Him before He answers our requests (Mark 11:22-24). And then we end prayer in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. As it is written:
John 14:13-14 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
In our next study we’ll be dealing with the key ingredients for effective prayer in, “Praying Effectually.” Until Next time, God bless you, your family and your friends.