Ephesians 6:18 makes it clear that there are different kinds of prayer that God has provided to obtain the results we need to see God’s will established in the earth. Each ‘manner’ or kind of prayer has different rules, which when applied bring promised results. In this session we will again look at some general principles, and then at specific truths concerning particular kinds of praying.
“Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).” (Eph 6:18 AMP)
“It seems that God is limited by our prayer life – that He can do nothing for humanity unless someone asks Him.” John Wesley
If you have been following this Bible Course through, you will have read in previous Modules (Module 3: Genesis and Module 4:Spiritual Realities) about the tragic rebellion of Adam, and the awful consequences of his high treason.
When God created the world he placed his man in charge of all that He had created. Effectively, Adam was the ruler of the created universe.
“What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet,” (Psalm 8:4-6 NKJV)
Adam was instructed to take dominion, an under-lord over creation to ensure that the benevolent purposes of God were carried out. He was also told to ‘subdue’ any resistance to God’s rule. Not one atom of creation was contrary to God or His purposes; all were made for His pleasure, and the pleasure of mankind. The only force or personality requiring subjugation were the rebellious fallen angels under the rulership of the corrupted archangel Lucifer.
Instead of fulfilling his clear commission however, Adam handed the authority that had been delegated to him into the hands of his archenemy, satan (Lucifer’s new title). Immediately the created order came under a new authority, that of satan. Effectively, this malevolent spirit became the ‘god’ of this world (2 Cor 4:4). Until Adam’s lease expires, satan remains the primary ruler of the world order (1 John 5:19).
Through the cross, satan’s legal authority was stripped from him, and his power defeated. However, until mankind accepts this deliverance by an act of their free will, they remain under the illegitimate rule of satan. The war has been won, satan is vanquished, yet continues a guerrilla warfare, refusing to release his precious ‘kingdom’.
Having been restored to a place of authority in the spiritual realm, just as Adam prior to his sin, believers are now entrusted with the task of subduing satan and his hordes, and ensuring that God’s Kingdom and will are established. Just as God placed authority in the hands of his chosen created man in Eden, so He now places authority in the hands of the new man, re-created in Christ Jesus. Because of this, all spiritual activity in the earth realm is a direct result of permission being given by a human being. Prayer is a partnering with God to accomplish His purposes in the earth, and is essential to the fulfilment of God’s plans.
He is looking for men and women to partner in His purposes:
“So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.” (Ezek 22:30 NKJV)
God still seeks for those who will take His part in the history of the world and its kingdoms. This work is accomplished primarily through prayer and the preaching of the Word. God has placed in our hands all the weapons and tools necessary for the accomplishment of this vital work in our generation; all manner of prayer.
Different Kinds of Prayer
- The prayer of commitment (casting cares upon the Lord) 1 Peter 5:7
- The prayer of faith (prayer that changes things) Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24
- The prayer of consecration (dedicating to God’s use) Luke 22:42
- The prayer of praise and worship. Luke 24:52-53; Acts 13:1-4
- Soaking/waiting on God (Practicing His presence) Matthew 11:28-30; Psalm 27:14
- Prayer in the Spirit (Praying in tongues) 1 Corinthians 14:14-15
- United prayer. Acts 4:23-31
- The prayer of supplication. Philippians 4:6; Ephesians 6:18
- The prayer of confession and repentance. 1 John 1:9
- Intercessory prayer. Ezekiel 22:30; 1Timothy 2:1
- Warfare prayer and authority. Exodus 15:13; Isaiah 42:13; Matthew 11:12
- Binding and loosing. Matthew 16:19; 18:18
- Groanings & travail. Isaiah 42:14; Galatians 4:19; Romans 8:22-27
- The prayer of agreement Matthew 18:19-20
other tracks or methods of prayer include:
- The Lord’s prayer Matthew 6:9-13
- Tabernacle prayer
- Ripple prayer
Without wanting to categorise too strictly, to aid our study we will nevertheless take the different kinds of prayer and group them according to general similarities of purpose, principle or practice. Each kind of prayer honestly deserves a deeper study than we are able to present here, and every student is strongly encouraged to obtain as many of the resources suggested throughout this module for their own exploration and development in prayer.
In studying we also must be careful to realise that the key factor in a successful prayer life is not the right ‘technique’ but the spirit of prayer.
Lynne Hammond in ‘The Master is Calling’ speaks of this when she says in chapter one of her book:
“He (God) is restoring to us not just the principles nor the mechanics, but the very spirit of prayer. It is that spirit we most desperately need. For although principles and formulas are valuable teaching tools, many times we have focused on them to the exclusion of God Himself. We have unwittingly grieved His tender Spirit almost as if He were a machine instead of a Person. We’ve followed step-by-step formulas as though systematically pushing scriptural buttons and pulling spiritual levers, we could get Him to produce the results we desire.
Many of us have even recognised the truth that it takes faith to receive from God, so we’ve studied the Bible, confessed particular verses over and over, and memorised every key to spiritual success. Yet many times, instead of causing us to flourish in faith and prayer, our endeavours have left us dry and spiritless. Why is that? It is because we can’t have real faith just by knowing principles. Real faith comes from knowing the Person behind the Principles.”
We must be quick to understand that prayer is a relationship, and that honest fellowship with God is the basis and foundation for powerful prayer. Paul says in Philippians 3:10:
“[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]” (Phil 3:10 AMPLIFIED)
Lynne Hammond says of this:
“That attitude and purpose is the very foundation of vibrant, powerful prayer. Without it, even the most mechanically correct, properly principled prayers will be little more than straws in the wind. For it is not just the mouth and mind that prays. It is our life that prays.”