Prayer is one of the Believers most important parts of their walk with the Lord. It is the means of communication with their Heavenly Father. As important as prayer is, many Believers do not have the right concept of how to communicate with the Father. This is simply because they have not been taught how to pray. The Bible gives us specific instructions on how to pray.
John 16:23-24 (KJV)
23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
1. Prayer is always addressed to the Father, in the name of Jesus.
Jesus pointedly instructs us to directly ask “the Father” in His name, which is Jesus. Up until that point, from Genesis to the time that Jesus gave this instruction, no one had prayed “In the Name of Jesus”.
In Matthews Gospel, He instructed the Disciples to pray to the “Father”.
Matthew 6:9 (KJV)
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Jesus directed the Disciples to pray to the Father, “Our Father…”
Side Note: Mathew 6:9-13 is typically known as the “Lord’s prayer”, but technically, this would be classified as the “Disciples prayer”. The New Testament prayer always has the Name of Jesus as a part of prayer; in this prayer from the Gospel of Matthew, you see nothing of praying in the NAME of Jesus.
This is classified as an Old Covenant prayer. Although Mathew, Mark, Luke and John are all classified as New Testament books, they are technically Old Testament books. We know this simply because Jesus had not died as yet, so to enforce the New Covenant or New Testament, the death of the Testator must first take place, and Jesus had not died as yet.
When we pray in faith in the Name of Jesus, there is no question as to whether you would receive from God or not, Jesus simply states that “whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, He will give it you”.
Any prayer that is prayed by faith in the Name of Jesus according to the Word of God, or the Will of God, will be answered.
Verse 24 gives us the reason for the answer to our prayer, which is, that our joy would be full. Our Father is a loving Father and desires for His children to be fulfilled and full of joy.
Always address the Father, in Jesus Name!
2. Believe that you receive
Mark 11:24 (KJV)
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Our responsibility is to believe what God has promised us in His word and receive it. Faith will only operate to the extent that the revealed will of God is known. God listens to the prayer of faith and the prayer of faith only!
You do not receive first, and then believe. You must first believe, and then receive.
You cannot ask for something in prayer, and then ask again, thinking that that is faith.
The first time you pray in faith is faith, but asking the second time for the same thing, is based on fear, doubt and unbelief.
We have to choose to believe God, in spite of the storms.
3. Answers to prayer come when you forgive
Mark 11:25-26 (KJV)
25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
Your prayer will not be effective when there is no forgiveness in your heart.
For example, the Bible addresses the husbands’ heart toward his wife and how his attitude of forgiveness or not forgiving his wife could hinder his prayers.
Colossians 3:19 (KJV)
19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
1 Peter 3:7 (KJV)
7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
Forgiveness keeps your mind open to receive from God. If you cannot receive your brother or sister in Christ, then your mental disposition will be set to not be able to receive from God.
4. Depend upon the Holy Spirit by praying in the Spirit
I like to call praying in the spirit the “head softener”. Praying in tongues keeps you in the place of constantly yielding to the Holy Spirit.
Praying in tongues develops a mental strength for you to control your emotions in the heat of a battle.
Romans 8:26-27 (KJV)
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
When we pray in tongues, our spirit prays.
The word “infirmities” means weaknesses, moral frailty, which we could apply generically to the emotional aspect of our lives.
Once we pray in the Spirit, we will allow for our human spirit to bring control over the mental attacks, as well as any physical attacks.
5. Praying in tongues gives direction for your confession.
Romans 8:26 (KJV)
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. This would come under the category of intercession.
When you intercede on behalf of another, there will be specific things that will rise within you.
The Holy Spirit now engages with this type of prayer because there is a need for the release of a confession on the behalf of another.
Intercession is usually on behalf of another person, but not limited to the exclusion of you. You also may personally receive from the Holy Spirit.
6. Praying in tongues edifies you or builds you up, or recharges you.
1 Corinthians 14:2 (KJV)
2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
1 Corinthians 14:4 (KJV)
4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
Jude 1:20 (KJV)
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
I like what these three verses state to us concerning praying in tongues: 1. You are speaking to God 2. You are edified or built up or charged up.
This is pretty awesome to know that by simply praying in the Spirit this gives me the power to control my life.
This type of prayer is personal. It is designed to give you strength emotionally, and to not lose control emotionally.
These are some basic principles to adapt to your prayer life to increase your spiritual walk.