In the School of Prayer
I still have much to learn in the “school of prayer.” What I've found most helpful is studying the models and prayers of Scripture. When my prayers are shaped by Scripture, I am confident that they are in line with God's purposes and will.
I'd like to share with you a few guidelines I follow when I pray:
1) Abiding in Christ:
Offering petitions that are in agreement with His will.
We are given a great promise for answered prayer in John 15:7: “Ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” There is a contingent attached however, the first part of the verse lays out the requirement: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you . . .”
Effective prayer requires that I be in fellowship with Christ. Abiding in Him means that I have nothing blocking my communication with Him. My will is submissive to His, my heart is clean and open before Him.
2) Scripture Praying:
Jesus gives us insight in John 15:7 in how to pray according to God's will, “If . . . My words abide in you . . .” One reason I like to pray Scripture is it's His words, and when I am abiding in Him and in His words–I know it is according to His will.
3) Pattern prayers after models found in Scripture:
The Old Testament is filled with several great models of petitioning prayer. They seem to follow a similar pattern:
- Affirming God's Character–His Sovereignty, Faithfulness, Mercy, Abundant Lovingkindness
- Desiring God's Glory and the Exaltation of His Name
- Acknowledging God's Past Works
Let me encourage you to set aside some time to study these model prayers of the Old Testament on your own:
- Exodus 32:11-13
- Numbers 14:11-19
- Joshua 7:6-9
- 1 Chronicles 29:10-20
- 2 Chronicles 20:5-12
- 1 Kings 8:22-53
- 2 Kings 19:14-19
The New Testament is filled with several great models of intercessory prayer. The focus of intercessory prayer is the glorification of Jesus Christ through the circumstances and life of the individual being prayed for. Consider studying these prayers as a means of influencing your intercession.
- Romans 15:5-6
- 1 Corinthians 1:4-9
- 2 Corinthians 13:7-9
- Ephesians 1:15-23, 3:14-21
- Philippians 1:9-11
- Colossians 1:9-14
- 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13,5:23-24
- 2 Thessalonians 3:2-5
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