Impacting your World Through Prayer

The Ministry of Prayer

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“Much time spent with God is the secret of all successful praying”- EM Bounds

There is a ministry and an activity which needs to be developed and maintained in the life of every believer and is very dear to God…that is the ministry of Prayer.

Anna the prophetess understood this ministry and dedicated her life to it… “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, and she was a widow of about four score and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fasting and prayers night and day” (Luke 2:36-37). The apostles understood the importance of prayer when they appointed others over the practical affairs of the church and gave themselves continually to its practice (Acts 6:4). The Psalmist was committed to a life of prayer. “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up (Psalm 5:3). “Evening, and morning, and at noon will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice” (Psalm 55:17). “I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried; I hoped in thy word (Psalm 119:147). Cornelius was a devout man who feared God and prayed always (Acts 10:2). The Apostle Paul prayed night and day (1Thess 3:10). Daniel prayed three times a day (Dan 6:10). Paul and Silas prayed at midnight in the most difficult situation and were set free (Acts 16:25). At times Jesus would forego sleep in order to pray all night (Luke 6:12). It was the practice of Jesus to minister to the Father in prayer before ministering to others. “And in the morning, rising up a great while before the day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed” (Mark 1:35).

In 1983 I was given a book on prayer which influenced me and created a passion in my heart to enter into the “experience” of prayer. I was inspired to learn more and to search the scriptures in regards to this most important subject. The book, Power in Prayer, by E M. Bounds (1), is a classic and a treasure. In it he outlines great men of God throughout history who understood and practised the ministry of prayer and achieved great exploits for the Lord as a result. Charles Simeon who made it his practice to pray from 4am-to 8am each day. John Fletcher stained the walls of his prayer closet with the “breath” of his prayers. Luther shared that failure to pray for two hours before the start of his day would give the devil victory the rest of the day; he said, “He that has prayed well has studied well”. Payson wore groves in the floor where he would bend his knees to pray. The apostle James was said to have knees like a camel, the result of his continual kneeling in order to pray. His understanding that prayer avails much came from this important ministry to the Lord.

Every believer is called to the ministry of prayer and to continually commune with God.  Enoch “walked with God” (Gen 5:24). The word, “walked” (2) means to be “continually” with God.  Hebrews 11:5-6 says that Enoch “pleased God”. This means that God was satisfied with Enoch and found in him something that brought him pleasure ,even fulfilling a desire in God’s heart.…”But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him”. 

God is thrilled when we diligently seek Him and rewards us openly. The “open” reward is when we see the answers to our prayers unfold within our lives.

Prayer is most refreshing and satisfying  and setting aside time each day for its practice is a wonderful way to commune with God.   The benefits of prayer are realized when we exercise our faith and simply open our mouth to share with God what is on our heart. You are important to God and his ears are open to what you have to share with him.

What are some of the benefits to prayer?

 Prayer opens the windows of heaven over our lives. “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven” (Mat 6:9).

Prayer is “calling upon God” (Gen 4:26). The good news is you will never get sent to voice mail or get a busy signal or get dropped in a dead zone!

 Prayer is a source of deep spiritual joy (Isa 56:7)

Prayer is an act of devotion and worship to God (Psalm 5:3)

Prayer brings strong encouragement in the night seasons (Psalm 42:8),

Prayer calms your nerves, soothes your anxieties, and brings help when you are afraid (Psalm 64:1)

Prayer brings refuge and relieves the pain of hurtful words when people speak against you (Psalm 109:4)

The practice of prayer can add years to your life (Isaiah 38:5)

Through prayer God shows us great and mighty things (Jer 33:3)

Prayer is seeking God (Daniel 9:13) (and in seeking him we find him! Mat 7:7)

Prayer is a means to receive heavenly revelation (Dan 9:21)

Prayer opens the door of deliverance and ejects you from trouble and trials (Jonah 2:7)

Prayer helps you to keep close to the Lord and maintain a heart of worship (Mat 21:13)

Prayer is designed by God as a means to get His answers into our lives (Mat 21:22)

Prayer becomes more intense and God focussed when combined with fasting (Mark 9:29),

Prayer is serving God (Luke 2:37)

Prayer is a mark of discipleship (Luke 5:33)

Prayer aids in decision making (Luke 6:12-13),

Prayer helps us to overcome in testing and temptation (Luke 22:44)

Prayer builds unity in the home, workplace, and church (Acts 1:14)

Prayer’s benefits are realized when practised continually (Acts 6:4)

Others receive benefit through your prayers (Acts 12:5)

Prayer can be made any place, anywhere, any time, and unceasingly (Rom 1:9)

Prayer brings an answer to life’s hurts and is offered to God in times of difficulty tribulation (Rom 12:12)

Prayer is an expression of gratitude to God (Eph 1:16)

Prayer draws from your deepest nature, the depths of your spirit (Eph 6:18)

Prayer is joyfully making your requests to God (Phil 1:4)

Prayer is a means to receive greater deposits of the Spirit of God (Phil 1:19)

Prayer establishes the will of God for your life (Col 4:12)

Prayer is a way to influence the well-being of men everywhere and a powerful way to serve those who hold positions of authority (1Timothy 2:1)

Prayer is a means of healing (James 5:15)

Prayer avails much (James 5:16)

Prayer is good for your marriage (1Peter 3:7)

Prayer goes into the ears of God (1Peter 3:12)

Prayer helps you to develop self-control (1Peter 4:7)

Your prayers are NEVER wasted…they are stored up in heaven (Rev 5:5)

Prayer ascends up to God (Rev 8:4)

Prayer impacts earthly activity (Rev 8:5)

Prayer is the practice of the church on earth until the return of Jesus (Rev 22:17)

Pointers to an exciting prayer life

  1. Delight yourself in the Lord- be soft and pliable. Spend time in worship and the Word, and prayer…keep the doors of your heart open…Receive the Father’s heart (…as he is, so are we in this world – 1John 5:17)
    1. Confess all known sin…this keeps your heart tender and open to God and brings strong confidence (1John 1:9)
    2. “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:4)
  2. Identify what you truly desire. Mark 10:51…a blind man is brought to Jesus and Jesus asks…what do you want? The blind man said, to receive my sight…Jesus said…Go your way…YOUR FAITH HAS MADE YOU WHOLE.
    1. Use a pen. Be clear. It helps to put your thoughts on paper. When you get your thoughts on paper your mind becomes uncluttered and you will feel empowered by his peace. Once you have prayed you can always put it through the shredder! This will encourage honesty in your heart because it is for your benefit and for God’s eyes only.
    2. One way to become specific and clear is to answer questions such as “ Some things that are troubling me right now are”…or … “Areas I really need God’s answers are…”
      1. To help you in this exercise try googling “mind mapping” for ideas as to how this can enhance your prayer life and assist you in becoming specific in your prayers
    3. Use your “imagination”- when you pray have the “image-in-you ” of receiving from God
      1. What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive …and ye shall have (Mark 11:24).
      2. Elijah declared the mind of the LORD and THEN went about praying to bring it to pass. He pressed through the contradiction until a cloud formed as a result of his praying what the LORD had imparted to his heart. He saw and heard the sound of the abundance of rain BEFORE there was a cloud in the sky and a drop had fallen (1Kings 18:41-45).
    4. Pray your Vision
      1. Hab 2:1- “I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say to me”. (This is taking your place in prayer)… “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables , that he may run that readeth it” (what God shows you though prayer must be saturated by continual prayer)
    5. Take ACTION…in some way…and continue the above steps until it MANIFESTS
      1. “If any of you lack wisdom…let him ask of God” (James 1:5)
        1. If you are not sure WHAT to do, pray and God will give you the NEXT step
      2. Faith without works is dead (James 2:20)
        1. Prayer inspires, refreshes, comforts, motivates, confirms, reveals, empowers…and ACTION brings things to pass.
          1. The widow woman experienced the joy of significant supply when she “acted” upon her faith and GAVE the little that was in her hand- (1Kings 17)
          2. Jesus performed a miracle of provision when he was given five loaves and two fishes…the ACTION of giving something which seemed so small and insignificant created a watershed of supply which fed a multitude so abundantly that everybody was full and there was leftovers
        2. Manifestation- Though it tarries…wait for it…it will surely come to pass. You will see with your eyes what you are dreaming in your heart.
          1. Prayer moves you into the heavenly realm which knows no limitation, lack, impossibility. You will be moved forward in your heart desires and brought into that which causes your joy to be full. Understand that seasons of delay (remember Elijah) will pass into the fullness of manifestation.
        3. ENJOY IT. …Heb 11:6…He is a REWARDER of those who diligently seek HIM.
          1. Live in a state of gratefulness and thanksgiving for all the Lord has done!. Remember to return and give thanks! (Luke 17:15-16)

It is my sincere prayer that something within this blog has blessed you. I invite your comments and would be happy if you shared a thought from your own prayer journey which has impacted your world.

May God richly bless you as you seek Him

Footnotes

  1. Power Through Prayer, EM Bounds, paperback edition, Baker Book House, Fifth printing, Oct 1977
  2. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers
    1. Walked = 1980=halak (haw-lak)= “continually”

4 thoughts on “Impacting your World Through Prayer

  1. Thank you Pastor Bob on that teaching of prayer. I felt so drained in my body returning from a hectic hot summer vacation and simply took it for granted that I would be okay but everyday I just felt tired. This lesson taught me that I needed to pray even about the tiredness I was feeling because my prayers are not wasted. Lo and behold, I am coming back into myself. The blast of energy returned without an energy drink. Thanks be to God who honours our prayers and thanks for reminding us through this lesson. God Bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

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