What do your prayers look like? How do you pray? What you have before is a lesson on prayer, to help shape your prayers and encourage you to pray. All this with the single aim to help you revive your life through the way you pray. And in doing so – (and in the case of Restart Church) – revive your Community (as we aim to revive the spiritual heart of our Community in Evergreen, Montana.)
Jesus reminds us that at all times we are to pray and not lose heart. He places on display for us the very soul of the Most High God regarding the Almighty’s view of prayer when Christ states:
- Will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly – Luke 18:7-8a
Types of Prayer
Before we begin our journey on how the Bible instructs us to pray – to pray for revival in ourselves and in our Communities – I offer this handy tool on the types of prayer. The figure below has been especially helpful to me in my prayer life. It comes in the form of an acrostic: Cat-Pi.
- C – onfession
- A – doration
- T – hanksgiving
- P – etition
- I – ntercession
Best to start with confession of sin, to face your stuff and get your heart in the right place – to ask the Lord Christ’s blood to refresh and restore (once again) your heart and your conscience. Next take time to think about God – to adore Him; to meditate on His faultlessness, His grandeur: (Meditate on passages like 1 Chronicles 29:11-13 to help get tuned in). Next we just need to slow down and work through the manifold ways He has blessed us – to think about and audiblize our humble thanks to God; even for the tough circumstances. Next, we get down to what most of us start and end with – our requests; our petitions. Lastly we close out with requests for others. I trust this like tool might be helpful for you.
But now we turn to the point of our lesson – to demonstrate from the Word of God the impulses and motivations we should imitate in our prayers – the how of praying. I offer these ten considerations for you to work through and (hopefully) implement to bring revival to your personal life and to the lives of those about you:
- Awareness of Hell
To Pray with Brokeness
We must learn to pray in a way that features our total inability to move without God. We must demonstrate with our tears and humility our clear understanding of our position in the cosmos as well as His:
- The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit – Psalm 34:18 KJV
- Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him – Psalm 126:5-6
To Pray with an Awareness of Hell
How can we fail to find mercy when we consider the coming truth of eternity in the lake of fire? The Mercy of God towards all Believers who are delivered from it’s clutches. And the Mercy you and I must demonstrate towards others for their dire future appointment with this awful place.
- And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever – Revelation 20:10
- And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire – Revelation 20:15 KJV
To Pray with Persistence
This is a key prayer muscle often neglected by Believers. We have to keep at prayer – to come again and again into the Presence of God holding our prayers up to Him. God loves when we do.
- Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay to help them? – Luke 18:7 HCSB
- 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 Lord’s people – Ephesians 6:15
To Pray with Fasting
Fasting is not something those on the Jesus Path routinely turn to. And yet fasting – to go without – is an important feature to how we pray. Going without sets an edge to our normal routine reminding us of why we are going without. That is to say, it focuses you and I on the object of our prayers – in this case spiritual revival for ourselves and our Community. Fasting is something Jesus expects of us. And as we see in this quote from Esther – something of a price to pay.
- And Jesus said to them, the attendants of the Bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the Bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the Bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast – Matthew 9:15
- Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way – Esther 4:16
To Pray with Authority
I think we often forget it is Whom we are dealing with when we pray. Such that we leave behind us the power and authority of the Most High God when we apply to Him to intervene. We forget that we are the means by which His Spirit is metered out to the world – that you and I are a conduit from which flows His intentions. We must learn to pray with the Authority of God. We have what it takes to “bind the strong man” – the devil and his crowd – to release the power of God upon dire circumstance.
- In Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority – Colossians 2:10 NIV
- But no one can enter the strong man’s house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house – Mark 3:27
To Pray with Pleading
How do your prayers sound? Are they bland and unfeeling? The Bible instructs us to entreat the Lord as a lawyer might a judge. That we are to state and restate our case before Him. Then too, is the example of how our Lord and Savior Jesus prayed – the intensity, the asking of mercies, the agony…
- Produce your cause, saith the Lord; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob – Isaiah 41:21 KJV
- And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground – Luke 22:44
To Pray with Faith
The Gospels relate the story of a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years (the daily consequence of this is hardly imaginable). She had heard about Jesus (a lesson here for you and I – she heard… what if no one would have told her?). So is her faith large enough – is her belief so looming and confident that she walks right up to Christ? No, not at all. She comes up from behind and seeks to touch His garment. Once she does her affliction is immediately healed. But Jesus says something interesting when He bids her good bye: He tells her “be healed of your affliction” The fact is she already was; the Word tells us that. But see, her real affliction was failing to have big belief. You can bet this woman shared her story with big belief. To pray with faith is to pray bigger than we hope. It is not a crawl up behind and reach to brush the Divine with a fingertip thing. It is to stand tall and proclaim your belief that God can do for His children. Here’s the passage, check it out.
To Pray with Generosity
People most generally do not see others, are not treated by others, nor do they treat others with generosity. Giving is not the strong suite of most humans. We must give when it is within our power to do so. And note the tone of our first passage below. Look to understand the ownership of the “good”. The good you do for others belongs to them. When you pray about how to share with others, when you consider the sacrifice of time and resources remember this verse instructs that you are only giving what is not yours; but theirs… The second verse speaks to the power when you and I join together in generosity – how the recipients will come to view our actions.
- When it is in your power, don’t withhold good from the one it belongs to – Proverbs 3:27 HCSB
- They will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others – 2 Corinthians 9:13
To Pray with Unity
Here is a wonderful component to how we should pray. That if you and I want revival in our personal spirituality, or whether we have been led to pray revival in our Communities – we must not forget the power we have in the company we keep. The first reference below addresses the Presence of Christ as we join together. Note there is nothing we must do to have Him there. No special praise or prayer – He come unbidden. He is there. My second reference is there to remind you and I that there is a special power available once we join together!
- For where two or three are gathered together in my Name, there am I in the midst of them – Matthew 18:20
- I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people – Ephesians 3:17b-18a
To Pray with Presence
And this last instruction I offer you is to pray with presence – Your presence. To give shoe leather to the things you are praying about. To – as Moses was instructed below – get up early and climb up to the top of the mountain. You and I must climb up over the obstacles our daily living impose upon the nurturing of our spirituality. We must struggle and get winded. We must make ourselves available to the spiritual needs within ourselves and within those who live in our Communities. For you – make time, sacrifice time to get alone with your Bible. Get present before the Word. For others – make time, sacrifice time to get with others, to serve, to become available to their needs. Get present before others.
- So be ready by morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to Me on the top of the mountain – Exodus 34:2
- Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship – Romans 12:1
It is my prayer that these 10 insights might be of value to you as you look to revive the spiritual focus and power of your own living. And as you – like Restart Church – seek the revival, the resurrection, of the well being of your Community. Please stop to work through these “hows“. It is my prayer they will invigorate and encourage you. The Lord Bless You as You Go.