In my previous blog, we have already discussed and understood the following things about prayer.
We have defined prayer as a form of communication towards God, we have also studied the Lord’s Prayer and have a better understanding on how we can pray. We have also talked about the importance and reasons why we should pray and have answered the question if God answers all prayers.
In today’s blog, we will look and study the different forms that prayer takes and look into its application.
Prayers in its different forms
There are different forms of prayer and for each type of prayer, the application is more or less the same… Let us first begin with the list of the forms that prayer can take, a lot of which are inter-linked and connected with each other.
1) Praying in the language of understanding
2) Praying in the Spirit (praying/speaking in tongues)
3) Spirit led prayers/for the purpose of ministry
a) For spiritual warfare
b) Intercessory prayer
We will begin first to look at the first point – praying in the language of understanding. What this basically means, is the prayer in the known languages such as English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, German etc… This is the most common form of prayer all across the globe. Every child of God engages in such form of prayers, it is also the easiest form since any Child of God, regardless of age is able to do it. The prayer can be as simple as “God, please help me!”
Prayer and its application
1) Praying in the language of understanding
The use of praying in the language of understanding is applicable for all situations such as praying for a solution to your problems to the use for the purpose of ministry. Most of the time when we engage in ministry, especially when you are praying for someone on the spot, we pray using the language of understanding more than the use of tongues (which I will discuss about later on). The use of the language of understanding effectively communicates a language/message that is most commonly practiced and understood by its community.
2) Praying in the spirit (praying/speaking in tongues)
The Bible talks a lot about praying / speaking in tongues. The first incident recorded for us, is in the second chapter of the book of Acts from verses 1 to 8. “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?”
The speaking of tongue is a heavenly language, one that is God-given and Holy Spirit empowered and it is not one that can obtained by learning. It is a gift that is received by faith and given by the grace of God. Most of the people receive this gift through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Of course, there are also some who are not able to receive it, for some reasons we don’t know. But we choose to believe in the grace and the sovereignty of our Lord that He does give spiritual gift to all His children, but everyone receives different amount and different types for different purposes.
The use of the speaking/praying in tongue is usually for self-edification. 1 Corinthians 2:2-4 says, “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.”
Speaking/praying in tongue is most effective especially when you seem to have difficulty expressing your situation to God and find the appropriate words to use in prayer. Romans 8:26 -27 tell us, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” Ephesians 6:18 also has this to say, “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.”
3) Spirit led prayers for the purpose of ministry
Spirit led prayers are slightly different from speaking/praying in tongues. It is usually done in the known language but the words are inspired and given by the Holy Spirit. This is especially powerful and effective for the purpose of ministry. The one praying usually do not have a full picture or understanding of the situation of what the people that he/she is praying is in or going through. As she/he begins to open his/her mouth to pray, the words are given by the Holy Spirit to help minister to the person being prayed for. I will give you an example to explain this more clearly. A person who has just been rejected came to you for prayer. You only know that the person has been rejected but you do not that the person has been abused verbally in the process, because she/he did not say it. But as you begin to pray, the Holy Spirit prompts you to pray that God will heal her/him of the verbal abuse that she/he has experienced and perhaps ask the person to confess forgiveness.
As I mentioned earlier, spirit led prayers are especially effective for the purpose of ministry and I gave two other examples of ministry that this is effective for:
a) Spiritual warfare
b) Intercessory prayer
3a) Spirit led prayer for the purpose of spiritual warfare
Spiritual warfare is something that all Christians are actively engaged it whether a not we are aware of it. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”. Since we are fighting against spirit, doesn’t it make sense to counter it with the Holy Spirit through His leading in prayer? The Spirit of God will lead and prompt us to pray according to his will, in my earlier points I quoted Rom 8:27, “And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” Of course the proceeding verses of Ephesian 6 from 13 to 17 tells us to put on the armour of God, “Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” The tool is eventually the Word of God, but when combined with the leading of the Spirit through prayer, it is double the effectiveness!
Finally, we have come to our last point.
3b) Spirit led prayers for the purpose of intercessory prayer
All of us are called to pray for one another, but there are some who have been given the special calling and burden or task by God to pray for a special or specific person or group of person. These are whom we call them as intercessors. The main task of intercessors is to pray on behalf of the person or group which the Lord has given them. Most intercessors do not personally know the person whom they are praying for, especially if one’s call is to pray for a particular government body or personnel, you wouldn’t exactly know what the specific things are that will require your prayer attention. This is when we need to depend on the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in our prayers and that is why it is called spirit led prayers, we pray based on what we feel the Holy Spirit has prompted us to pray. It is God inspired.
In conclusion, prayer is the basic and most vital tool of our communication towards our Father. It draws us towards Him enabling the following to be fulfilled –
1) God answering/meeting our needs
2) For the purpose of understanding the will of our Father
3) For the establishment of God’s will and purpose and
4) For the purpose of ministry and the work of God.
God bless you!
Serving with you in His Kingdom with love;
Princess Michelle –
Beloved Daughter of the Most High King