Prayer means talking to God while God talks back to you. It is communion with God. Prayer is not unique to Christians only, all religions have prayer because prayer is communication between any person and a god. We see the model of prayer form Jesus, He spent a lot of time in prayer and communication with God. The biggest sign of maturity in a Christian is their ability to pray and spend a lot of time in communication with God because a person you are in a relationship with, you talk to and spend time with them.
There are many different types of prayer:
- Intercessory prayer. This is when we talk to God on behalf of another person or in petition for somebody else. You talk to God and negotiate with God on behalf of another and on behalf of their life. We see this prayer for the first time in the Old Testament when Abraham was negotiating with God for Lot’s family, so that they would not be destroyed when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. In the New Testament the Holy Spirit prays and intercedes for us. Romans 8:26-27.
- Petition prayers. These are request prayers, where we ask God to grant us or someone something. It is asking for something, for example we see this in Mathew 7:7 Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. The petition prayer is predicated on the love of God, to understand that when we ask God for something as His children, He hears us and He is willing to do it for us because we are His children. Just like our physical parents are willing to do for ask what we ask of them, God is willing and able also to do so for us because He is our father. Mathew 7:9-11
- Warfare prayer. It is a prayer that understand that as a Christian you are in a war. You are fighting demonic interferences or conflict in your life to secure your life, family, health, destiny etc. The warfare prayer is an aggressive prayer that requires an attitude of fighting for something, against something and the bible says “we do not fight again flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers and against the rulers of the darkness of this world” Ephesians 6:12. This means that we never pray a warfare prayer against people and we do not pray to people or objects. Flesh and blood must never be involved in this type of prayer.
- It is another type or form of prayer. Whether it is in song or not. Praising and worshipping God is prayer, it is communication with God. It is just as essential as any type of prayer. Worship requires you to take a position of adoration and surrender before God because you can never really worship God if you do not know how to surrender to Him. It means you come to a place where you understand how big and great God is and you allow yourself to not request anything or ask for anything but just before God to tell Him how He is and who He is in your life. This is actually one of the most powerful prayers because through this prayer you prompt God to do things for you without you being there. We find this in the bible where God takes a stance and fight your battles when you can learn how to praise and worship Him. 2 Chronicles 20:21-22
- Praying in the Spirit (In Tongues). The bible says the Holy Spirit uses our utterances and He puts words and meaning to them. This is a powerful prayer because the Holy Spirit Himself puts meaning to your words and as you begin to pray in the spirit, He knows what you need the most and He begins to assign these words towards things that you do not even now are coming in or against your life. So many times some people pray in the spirit while they are sleeping, while they are walking and while they are doing all they do. We are confident that when we pray in the spirit, the Holy Spirit takes these words that do not even understandable meaning to us and gives them power and makes them effective. It is one of the keys things that a Christian should be able to do after they receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The bible says he will give you a sign. The true sign of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in a Christian is their ability to pray in the spirit. Only the Holy Spirit puts words and meaning to tongues, people, the devil and even angles do not understand tongues.
- It is a form of prayer. Meditation is in essence filling your spirit up with the word of God. You are not per say speaking to God in the sense of petition or worship or in the sense of any other form of the above mentioned prayers. You are speaking within what God has given you and the gifts or the power that God has placed over your life to pronounce things. Meditation comes from the word mumbling. It means to murmur, to repeat certain things to yourself. Meditation is more important for yourself than it is for somebody else. The Jewish perspective of meditation is that, it’s expressing your inner will into your outer will, its speaking what is in your spirit out into your desire and your situation. The bible speaks so many times on the importance of daily meditating on the word of God. It is speaking that which is in your spirit out to become what it needs to be. Psalms 1:1-6, Joshua 1:8, Philippians 4:20-22, 1 Timothy 4:13-15
- The anointing prayer. It is the prayer to anoint or appoint a person into a place of power or into a calling.
- The prayer of impartation. This a prayer done to speak something over or into their lives. The Old Testament talks about this type of prayer where a priest was asked to pray over a goat, speaking all the failures and the weakness of the Israel generation and then God would then carry out His wrath over this goat. It is also used when we are speaking strength and victory over people’s lives, when we speak the power of God over them.
Necessity of prayer.
The bible has been very clear that prayer changes things. Prayer prompts the hand of God to move over a situation and it causes God to act over an issue on our behalf.
When we pray we believe that God hears us and we believe that because God loves us and because of our relationship with Him, He is willing and He is able to respond to things that we struggle with and things that we do not have and as result prayer then becomes effective.
We also believe that in prayer nature and angels and even elements around us, they hear what we pray and they respond to our word because God has given us power in our words and even in speaking out we also understand that demonic forces hear us. In the book of Mark, Jesus says we will cast out demons. It is the power that God has given to our words to bring change by praying and by speaking over things.
Prayer is elemental in a Christian’s life and it requires discipline. You have to be disciplined in your prayer life, setting aside prayer time daily, a quiet time between you and God. It is important to be able to pray anywhere, at any time.
How do you become prayerful?
- Set aside time daily to pray
- Pray according to the word of God. Find scriptures that support what you want to pray about. For example if you want provision, find scriptures that speak about provision. Remind God of His word and ask Him to act on His word. 1John 5:14
- Pray without ceasing. This means that the attitude of prayer if is to pray until there is a difference. You do not make a single prayer and wait for something to happen, you continually pray and petition until something happens. Jesus spoke a parable about a woman who went to the king with a petition and daily she went to the king with the same petition until he finally granted it because of her relentless petitions. You must therefore always continually petition before God until He does it.
- Partake in corporate prayers. It helps greatly to learn pray with other people concerning the things you deal with. The early church came together and prayed together about the things they were each dealing with. There is victory when Christians pray together. Getting prayer partners is essential.