.HOW TO PRAY.
I want to start this post by being as blunt as possible. Ready? Here goes…YOU HAVE TO PRAY. Point, blank period. There is no way around this. Just like there is no way around actually reading your Bible. There’s no way of me sugar coating it. Sorry, but there’s no “God knows my heart”, “Don’t worry, things will work out”, etc. (all the things we say to comfort and/or deceive ourselves temporarily to thwart us from doing what we know we have to do as Christians).
You can want your friends on social media to lie to you all day long telling you how snatched you look when your outfit is too tight, or how beat your face is, when it’s not blended all the way, but no. Not me. I’m the friend who will tell you that you caked on too much makeup, and in this same way I’m also the friend who will tell you that you need to stop saying “I need to read my Bible” and actually read it, or “I need to pray” and actually pray.
I always revert to the analogy of trying to lose weight. No matter how many health books you read, how many smoothie recipes you look up, or how much you KNOW about weight loss, you eventually just HAVE to eat right and exercise and there is no going around that. That’s what prayer is. You can love God and believe in Him all you want, but if you’re not praying, you’re powerless.
As a Spirit filled Christian prayer is ALL you have. Literally. By His Spirit we received salvation, so yes we have the Holy Spirit inside of us, but that’s where it stops for people. Some people are filled with the Spirit, but they are not full of any power. When Jesus was fasting and led to the wilderness to be tempted, the Bible says He went there FILLED with the Spirit, BUT He RETURNED in the POWER of the Spirit. This change happened because he fasted (a subject we’ll get to another time) and prayed!
Every year everyone says “I want to grow in the Lord” or “I want to grow spiritually.” Well you do this by praying. You pray when things are good and you pray when things are bad. How do you check if you are spiritually strong? Your trials and tribulations in life are your meter.
Prov 24:10 states, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”
Like I mentioned before, if you are a Spirit filled Christian and operate in no power, then when things come your way, you easily fall. You don’t know how to pray for yourself, how to read the Word for yourself etc., and most importantly, how to use the Word against the things you are facing.
A satanic agenda is pretty much the plans that the devil has for you. God has amazing plans for your life and the devil’s plan is to simply ruin those plans as much as possible. One thing about the devil is that man works! His work ethic is stronger than P Diddy in a late night studio session ripping off some poor boy band Lol. And while you sleep, the devil comes. (Matthew 13:25). Jesus wasn’t lying when He said, “pray without ceasing.”
It connects you to God at any time. Jesus legit died so you could go straight to God and not have to go through some heavy ritual or a priest like back in the day, so why not take advantage of that privilege. Prayer supplies your spirit. The more you pray the more your spirit rises over your flesh. “The absence of prayer is the presence of carnality” [and remember that the things we wrestle with are not carnal].
It connects you to the spiritual realm and opens your eyes to see things beyond the natural. [Heb 2:14]
Now let’s get to the practical side of things…
When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray He told them “Pray to the Father in my name” and in His example He started with “Our Father.” Therefore you pray to the Father. Not Jesus. You can certainly use Jesus’ name because that is what sends your prayer or validates it. He said do it in His name. The name of Jesus is above all other names, holds authority, and He sits at the right hand of God interceding for us. I’ve made the mistake in the past of starting my prayers with “Lord Jesus.” Yes He’s our Lord and Savior, but he said pray TO the Father, in the name of Jesus. You may be like “what’s the big deal, they’re all the same, they’re the Trinity, etc.” but the Scripture is very specific. Don’t add your own stuff or take stuff out. If it says it a specific way, I guarantee you that it makes a HUGE difference.
WHAT. DO. YOU. WANT?!
Whenever someone asks me to pray for them, I ask what for? A lot of the times they say “just for anything” but again, that doesn’t work. I don’t know if they don’t want to share out of embarrassment or pride or whatever, but if you have an issue that you NEED changed, this isn’t the time to be embarrassed. What’s more important? Having peace and a solution or saving face? Ain’t no shame in my game because I know what prayer can do! So decide what it is you are praying about and find a few scriptures that promise that thing to you. Write them down. And use them as prayers by personalizing them.
For example: If you want spiritual wisdom
In Ephesians 1:17-18 Paul states that he prays “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory ,may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints…”
You personalize this to first person by saying something like “Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. You are the God of my Lord Jesus Christ and the Father of glory. Father, give me the spirit of wisdom and revelation. Increase my knowledge in you. Open the eyes of my understanding, and enlighten me so that I may know the hope of Your calling and the riches of the glory of Your inheritance.”
Lets do one more. Let’s say, you have something coming up and you’re feeling anxious about it. Well Phillipians 4:6 says “do not be anxious about anything, but with prayer and supplication let your request be known to God” 2nd Timothy 1:7 also says “God hasn’t given you a spirit of fear but of a sound mind.” Lastly, 2nd Cor 2:16 says “…you have the mind of Christ.”
So you’ve found three promises in the scripture that addresses this.
You personalize it: “Father, Your word says not to be anxious. You haven’t given mee a spirit of fear or anxiety. You’ve given me the spirit of a sound mind. I overcome the spirit of fear and anxiety by the blood of Jesus, in Jesus name. Amen”
As a proclamation, anytime you feel that anxiety coming on you say to yourself “I have the mind of Christ. I overcome the spirit of fear and anxiety by the blood of Jesus.”
It’s not enough to just think it or believe it, but you have to proclaim it. When the devil was tempting Jesus in the wilderness He didn’t just say the scriptures in his mind, He said it out loud before the devil left. SPEAKING the word gives you victory. (Jesus only “lost” during his crucifixion because if you notice, that’s literally the only time He kept his mouth shut the whole time.”) Had He spoken, being that He was the Word in flesh, He would’ve overcome like he did any other situation, but not this time. He shut up so that you could have the same power to speak over the devil one day. He didn’t just die so you could “live.” He literally gave you so much. Just find it in His Word. God created the world by SPEAKING. You don’t think demons away, you don’t just think issues away, you don’t just think things to life. You SPEAK them to life.
You may have heard some of the most eloquent prayers but remember that its not the size of the words or amount of words you use, but all about the size of your faith. If you say “God gives me the power to get wealth (Deut 8:18) or God WILL supply all of my needs and believe that with ALL your heart, and not only believe it, but show that trust by practicing things dealing with money such as tithing, giving offering, saving, etc without wavering, then that is better than saying something super long and eloquent, but you’re low key doubtful. At the end of the day you have to actually believe what is written in the Bible. You believe it just BECAUSE GOD SAID IT. To Him, that’s a good enough reason. Lol. Not because He has shown anything to you YET. You can’t approach God carnally. In the natural world it’s all about “show me first then I’ll believe you” In divinity God says “believe me first then I’ll show you.” That’s how you build true trust in Him that’s not based on something you just got. A lot of people comment on my level of faith and say I have such “high faith” but honestly to me its just as simple as “I just believe Him” DASSIT!
The same way your friend says “I’ll be there at 8” and you expect them at 8 JUST BECAUSE they said it. When someone says “Im coming to work on Monday” you don’t walk around worrying about if they will ACTUALLY come on Monday. You expect them to be there just because they said it. It’s the same thing. Stop complicating it.
Remember its not you doing it. It’s not your job to answer prayer. Say your prayer in faith and MOVE ON. Lol. IF your coworker came up to you and said “Hey why don’t you go home early, I’ll do all your paper work for you, don’t worry about it.” You’d be like “umm OKAY! You don’t have to tell me twice.
You don’t walk around worrying if they will really finish up the work and lose sleep over it. That’s what God says. GIVE IT TO ME. I’ll LITERALLY take care of it if you will let me. Ummm I don’t know about you, but if you’re offering to take care of it them ummm THANK You! Im out! I’m giving up on trying to fix this myself. All I have to do on my end is stay consistent in prayer? BET. I’m not God and I’m not about to help Him be God. lol
One of the key things about prayer that I recently learned from a man highly established in the Lord is that sometimes our prayers aren’t effective because we don’t use the right name of God. He knows this from years of studying the word (the man is a walking Bible) and prayer. Of course it all made sense once it was pointed out. But something that I recently realized while studying the Bible is that in Psalm 91:14, God says “I will set him oh high because he knows My name“ That man David REALLY knew God. I cant even stress that enough. Many people would probably read that and skip but that is such a major key.
Again, you go to the Father in the name of Jesus, but there are different names of God that have an effect on what your specific needs are.
For example if you need God to fight for you against any situation and any spiritual battles you stand in the power of the name of the Lord of Host, just like David did when he was fighting Goliath. “you come against me you’re your spear, but I come against you in he name of the Lord of Host” When you personalize that you say, “Father, I stand in the power of the name of the Lord of Host, to fight against any … [fill in the blank] in my life.”
When you want something taken away from you. Maybe there is something that keeps you up and night, something that makes you cry in secret, something about yourself that you want away with. Only God knows. You use the Lamb of God to take that anguish away.
When you need direction you use Shepard, etc. Click here for my post about the different names.
If you don’t know how to pray the only way you learn is by praying. When you don’t know how to swim, do you start your swimming lessons on the stair master to “build up your legs so you can swim” No, you start in the pool and you just start swimming. It may look funky initially, but it gets better. You start in the shallow end and over time you end up doing Olympic style diving.
We need to get away from this time frame thing that we’ve given God. If you prayed for a week and nothing happened then your solution isn’t to give up it’s to pray more. A lot of people say things like “well I prayed and nothing happened so God must want it this way.” It always depends on the situation, but IF YOU KNOW, that whatever the situation may be goes AGAINST the Word of God, then it’s impossible that God “wants it that way.” Perhaps your battle is just a lot harder to fight and takes longer. “God must want it that way” really means you’re tired of praying about it. I’ll end this by sharing a story that I read in a book by Mahesh Chavda called “The Hidden Power of Praying and Fasting.”
He’s a pastor that was doing a healing service and everyday an old blind woman came up for prayer to see again. Everyday he prayed and everyday she went home still blind. But she came back. This lasted for a whole week. Now most people would’ve given up after maybe 2 o 3 days and said “God must want it this way.” But God never says in the Bible that he wants people to be sick and blind. This lady kept coming for whatever reason. On the 7th day after he prayed for her, she finally received her sight. What God showed Mahesh in the spiritual realm was that this poor woman had a creature covering her eyes in the spiritual realm. The creature resembled an octopus with 7 tentacles. God showed him that everyday when he prayed one of them came off, and that’s why it took 7 days. For you it might be 12 days, one month or a year (who knows) For Daniel it was 21 days and if it took 28 days for his prayer to be answered then believe me the ever popular Daniel fast today would be a 28 day fast; for the Israelites it took 400 years. I want to encourage you by saying that try to remember that your prayers aren’t in vain (I know it’s hard), BUT something is always happening. You just have to commit yourself to keep praying. Stay encouraged!