The Necessity of Developing a Prayer Life – A Resource from Ihop
We must offer specific prayers, not just think about our needs. God requires that we ask because it causes us to interact with His heart. He requires that we verbalize our prayers not just think on them. This also helps us to control our thoughts in prayer. Here’s some biblical starters on prayer. Scripture contains the blessings God wants to give, guaranteed to be answered if we stay persistance, it’s what we were created to need and be fulfilled with. Print this out and keep with your devotional material.
2 You do not have because you do not ask. (Jas 4:2)
6 In everything by prayer…let your requests be made known to God… (Phil. 4:6)
God’s resources are withheld to “starve us out of prayerlessness”. He jealously protects His relationship with us by not answering our need until we ask for them. There are blessings that God has chosen to give, but only as His people ask Him in faith (confidence with focus).
18 The Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you…19 He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you. (Isa. 30:18-19)
If we invest the effort to draw near to God, He will draw near to us by manifesting His presence.
8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (Jas 4:8)
Do not grow weary when the answer to our prayer is delayed.
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 He who sows to his flesh will…reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will…reap life.
9 Let us not grow weary…in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. (Gal. 6:7-9)
We encounter His glory in various ways and measures including our heart being tenderized by the Word. We must not despise the small measures in which God releases His glory in us.
10 For who has despised the day of small things? (Zech. 4:10)
We focus our mind on the Father who sits on His Throne (Rev. 4) or on the Spirit who lives in our spirit (2 Cor. 13:14). We are not speaking to the air but to a real Person.
Take time to repeat the request often and slowly; and occasionally express your affection and thanksgiving to God. We are speaking to a Person that we love and who loves us. Take time for moments of silence with spontaneous sighs or groans (Rom. 8:26) and praying in the spirit. Do not think praying fast and loud is proof of being passionate. Being engaged is to be attentive.
Pray much in the spirit: seek to pray in the spirit for 1 hour a day focusing on the Throne. Paul prayed in the spirit more than all (1 Cor. 14:18). We edify our spirit and receive mysteries (revelation) when praying in the spirit (1 Cor. 14:2, 4). In corporate prayer meetings, show consideration to others by praying in tongues quietly to avoid distracting others (1 Cor. 14:28).
2 He who speaks in a tongue…speaks mysteries…4 He edifies himself…28 Let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. (1 Cor. 14:2, 4, 28)
II. WHAT TO DO IN THE PRAYER ROOM
What to do in the Prayer Room: engage with what is happening on the platform by ‘repeating’ some of the ‘prayer phrases’ heard on the mic as we focus on God.
When not engaged with what is happening on the platform, we pray, read Scripture or study. I strongly encourage all to have an action plan to provide focus for their prayer and study time.
Personal Bible study action plan: read 10 chapters of the NT per day (6 days a week in order to read through the NT once a month). Read biographies of people who lived in the Spirit, study the individual books of the Bible (use FSM courses and commentaries) and read godly books.
Personal prayer action plan: establish a simple prayer list to provide focus to your prayer time.
We want the optimum benefit from our prayer time thus, we need to be focused in these times. I select and omit different parts of my prayer list each day and I leave it whenever I feel led to.
Three main prayer categories: my personal life, for people and places then for social issues
1. Prayer for personal life: inner man, ministry and circumstances (finance, health and relationships) along with prayer-reading the Word (turning it to conversation with Jesus)
2. Prayer for people and places: individuals, ministries, marketplace and governmental authorities and the destiny of cities or nations (Israel, Egypt, etc.)
3. Prayer for strategic social issues: justice (abortion, human trafficking), civil unrest (riots) or calamities (hurricane, drought, famine), or social crisis (Sept. 11, genocide, etc.)
Three main prayer requests: the gifts of the Spirit (God’s manifest power or favor), the fruit of the Spirit (godly character) and the wisdom of the Spirit (insight, revelation)
1. The gifts of the Spirit (God’s manifest power or favor)
7 The manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one…8 for to one is given the word of wisdom…to another the word of knowledge…9 to another faith…gifts of healings…10 working of miracles…prophecy…discerning of spirits… (1 Cor. 12:7-10)
2. The fruit of the Spirit (godly character)
22 The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. (Gal. 5:22-23)
3. The wisdom of the Spirit (insight, revelation)
17 The Father of glory may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him… (Eph. 1:17)
III. PERSONAL LIFE: RELEASE OF GOD’S GLORY ON MY INNER MAN
A. GIFTS: supernatural encounters with God: visitations, dreams, visions, manifestations (fire, etc.)
17 I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. (Acts 2:17)
51 You shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending… (Jn. 1:51)
B. FRUIT: (heart and speech): love for God and people with purity and humility
- 37 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul… (Mt. 22:37)
Pray: Holy Spirit Release God’s love into my heart. The anointing to walk in love is our greatest reward (Jn. 17:26; Phil. 1:9; 2 Thes. 3:5; Rom. 5:5; 1 Thes. 3:12).
- 5 The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit… (Rom. 5:5)
- 26 That the love with which You loved Me may be in them… (Jn. 17:26)
2. Grace to set my heart to love to God by fully obeying His Word (Ps. 19:12; 139:23)
3. Tenderize my heart with the power and fire of God’s Word (Lk. 24:32; Jer. 20:9)
4. Impart God’s zeal to my heart (Jn. 2:17; Num. 25:11)
5. Guard my lips from loose speech (Ps. 19:14; Ps. 141:3; Ps. 17:3; Ps. 39:1). Sustained communion with the Spirit requires restrained communication with man (Eph. 4:29; 5:4).
6. Release the fear of God in my heart (Jer. 32:40; Ps. 86:11; Isa. 11:3; 66:2)
7. Fill me with perseverance in godliness, labors in ministry and persecution (Col. 1:11)
8. Fill me with joy, peace and comfort (2 Thes. 2:16-17; Rom. 15:33)
C. WISDOM: revelation of God’s personality and Word with wisdom to walk out the practicality of love and humility (Eph. 1:17). Knowledge of God’s love for me (Eph. 3:17-19; 1 Jn. 3:1).
Revelation of God’s will for my life (Col. 1:9). Revelation of God’s End-Time purposes (Dan. 11:35; 12:10). Reveal to me eternity (Ps. 39:4-6, 90:12), the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21), the Judgment Seat (1 Cor 3:11-15), the resurrected body (1 Cor. 15) and hell (Rev. 20:11-15).
- 17 The Father of glory give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation of Him… (Eph. 1:17)
- 9 Do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding… (Col. 1:9)
IV. PERSONAL LIFE: RELEASE OF GOD’S GLORY THROUGH MY MINISTRY
A. GIFTS: the full release of the gifts of the Spirit in my life (1 Cor. 12:7-10)
1. Power on my hands: Spirit released on those we lay hands on (Acts 8:18; 19:11-12)
2. Power on my eyes: prophetic insight to see God’s secrets for others (1 Cor. 14:25)
3. Power of my mouth: power of conviction on my words (speaking or singing)
- 8 He will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment… (Jn. 16:8)
4. Spirit of prayer: release God’s burdens in me (Ezek. 9:4; Zech 12:10; Rom. 8:26)
5. Spirit of boldness: fearlessly and fully proclaim God’s word (Acts 4:29-31; Eph. 6:19)
B. FRUIT: that those I impact walk in sustained godliness and reach others (multiplied impact)
- 16 I appointed you that you…bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain… (Jn. 15:16)
- 19 The wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. (Mt. 13:19)
C. WISDOM: inquire of the Lord to know the who, what, when, where in my ministry (Col. 1:9)
- 12 Epaphras…always laboring fervently for you in prayers that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. (Col. 4:12)
V. PERSONAL LIFE: CIRCUMSTANCES (PHYSICAL, FINANCIAL AND RELATIONAL)
- 2 I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 Jn. 2)
A. GIFTS: God’s power and favor on all my circumstances (Ps. 91, Deut. 28:1-14)
1. Physically: on my body for heath, protection, strength to fulfill my assignment in life
2. Financially: abundant blessing that I may help others
3. Relationally: for unity (remove all division) and favor (strategic connections)
B. FRUIT: that God’s blessing on my life results in righteousness and joy increasing in others instead of resulting in oppression or harm. We are blessed so that we may be a blessing to others.
- 10 That you…being fruitful in every good work… (Col. 1:10)
C. WISDOM: inquire of the Lord to know who, what, when, where related to my circumstances. To have paradigm shifts as I receive creative wisdom for my family, relationships, marketplace, etc.