Take time to Pray

Prayer is powerful!  In this teaching we will look at:

The importance of prayer
The types of prayer in the Bible
Getting peaceful when we pray
Asking a fellow believer to pray with you
Having confidence in God to bring our prayers to pass

Let’s begin in I Thessalonians:

I Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray without ceasing.

This means we should pray at every opportunity we get. Prayer can be a continuing practice.  Not that we pray every waking minute, but that we lift things to the Father every chance we get.

We have been taught much on the topic of “perfect prayer” and it’s importance, however, one of the most beneficial aspects of our spiritual life is “prayer with our understanding.” We can pray specifically for things and see God bring them to pass.

There are 4 aspects of prayer with our understanding:

Supplication, Prayer, Intercession, and Thanksgiving. Each has a specific function and purpose:

Supplication is a specific prayer for a specific need.

Prayer is a general request, such as asking God to bless our country or our family

Intercession is making a request of God on the behalf of someone else or a situation we can affect. It is by our believing in God’s providence and ability to answer our requests that prayers are answered.

Thanksgiving is thanking God for all He has done for you.  It is also thanking Him for things yet to come to pass.

I Timothy 2:1-6 – I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; [the context is “for all”] For kings, [leaders] and for all that are in authority; that [for the purpose that] we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

We are exhorted to pray for ALL, especially those in authority. This is why we pray for the leadership of our country as well as the leadership of our ministries.  Those who are in positions of authority have the ability to affect a lot of people with their decisions, both negative and positive.  God wants us to pray for these people so they are able to make sound decisions.

God does not want us to be anxious or fearful about any situation we may find ourselves in.

Philippians 4:6: Be careful [anxious, afraid] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

“It is never God’s will for us to be anxious or to worry. Instead, we can pray to God knowing He is capable of handling our needs. “

“Three words in this verse show tremendous aspects of prayer.”

First of all—“prayer.” The Greek word translated “prayer” here is not only used of prayer addressed to God, but it is also used regarding a specific place of prayer where the Judeans were known to pray such as a mountain or a riverbank.  Getting into nature or a quiet place helps us focus and meditate on God’s will and promises.

Having a place to pray could be a great practical aid in incorporating more prayer into our day. Some of us may have a special room in our home or a garden or a nearby park. Some people love to take walks outside and talk to God then. I grew up hunting in the wilderness and some of the most enjoyable times I have spent with the Father were in the woods where it was just He and I.  We want to utilize whatever resources will help us take the time to pray.

The second important word in this verse is “supplication.” This has to do with specific requests, like petitions. Even if we don’t know all the details of a situation, getting as specific with God as we can helps us to believe for that answer to prayer we are seeking.  It’s important to pray for the need itself and not the resource needed to acquire it.  Such as believing God and praying to meet the need of a safer car for your family rather than the money itself with which to purchase it.  God will bring things to pass in ways we can’t always predict.  The key is recognizing that He is our sufficiency.

And the third word, “thanksgiving,” implies gratefulness to God. As we are thankful to God we will naturally be more thankful for people.

prayer

Jesus Christ definitely understood the concept of taking time to pray. When his days were busy and full, he just got up earlier!

Mark 1:35: And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

Jesus Christ got up early!  That means we may also need to get up early if we want to get things done.  We all have the same 24 hours in a day, how we use it is completely up to us.

When we are praying for a need, it helps to have another person to pray with.  In fact, our prayer is confirmed when we share it with another believer:

 Matthew 18:19: Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

God Promises to answer our prayer, especially when it is shared!  Bringing another believer into your prayers to God establishes them and now you have doubled the believing toward the situation.

Jesus Christ taught that when we pray, we should have full confidence that God will back up His Word and do what he promises.  Mark 11 shows the record of Jesus Christ using the illustration of a mountain to show what God can do.  Mountains in our lives may seem “unmovable” but God is greater than any mountain in our way.

Matthew 17:20 – And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

The key to receiving anything from God is believing (“faith” in the above verse)  It’s more than just hoping that someday, perhaps, maybe it might happen.  It is a full confidence that God is able and willing to perform the promises in His Word.

Mark 11:24: Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Jesus Christ knew that God does mighty things through prayer. To this very day, God continues to fulfill His promise that whatever things we desire, when we pray and believe to receive them, we shall have them.

I got up early in the morning
And rushed right into the day.
I had so much to accomplish
That I didn’t have time to pray.

Problems just tumbled around me
And heavier came each task.
I whined, “Why doesn’t God help me?”
He said, “You didn’t ask.”

I groaned and shouted and grumbled,
I tried every key in the lock.
I cried, “Why doesn’t He open?”
He said, “Son, you didn’t knock.”

So I got up early this morning
And paused before entering the day.
I had so much to accomplish
I had to take time to pray.

— Author Unknown

I encourage you to begin to pray more. Not something you do later, but continually look for opportunities to pray for yourself, to pray for those around you, and to give thanks to God for the blessings in your life. It will become a habit.

To review, we looked at these topics:

The importance of prayer
The types of prayer in the Bible
Getting peaceful when we pray
Asking a fellow believer to pray with you
Having confidence in God to bring our prayers to pass

Remember to take time to pray!

God Bless You!