Ephesians 6:18 says: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying, for all the saints.”
A. A time of personal devotion without prayer, is unthinkable, because
1. Prayer is God’s appointed way to receive from God what we need. The main reason why we lack God’s complete provision, is the neglect of prayer.
2. The holy men and women in the Bible regarded prayer as the most important activity of their lives. Give a prominent place to prayer during your Quiet Times or any other time when you when you need to speak to God.
3. Prayer occupied a very prominent place and played a very important role in the earthly life of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Follow his example.
4. Praying is now the most important part of the ministry of our risen Lord in heaven. Ask Jesus to pray for you.
5. Prayer is the means that God has appointed for us to receive mercy, and obtaining grace to help us in time of need. Remember to ask for mercy – “In your mercy, Lord, hear my prayer.”
6. Prayer in the Name of Jesus Christ is the way he has appointed for his disciples to obtain fullness of joy.
7. Prayer is the means that God has appointed that we may receive freedom from anxiety and the peace of God, which passes all understanding. Just tell him what scares you, makes you anxious and is the challenge you face.
8. Prayer is the means that Christ has appointed whereby we will not be overcome by the cares of this life. Tell God about your worries and concerns.
9. Prayer promotes our spiritual growth. It is fellowship with God. Also share with God what makes you happy and excited – thanking him for it.
10. Prayer brings power into our work for him. Ask for the guidance and the power of the Holy Spirit.
11. Prayer benefits the needs of others. Name the needs of those who's troubles and challenges are on your heart.
12. Prayer brings blessings to the church. Pray for the congregation you attend, the current agenda points you are aware of, the minister, the elders, all the leaders, members who asked for prayer - by name, for the children and youth ministries and for the outreach where the church is involved.
B. Pray in the Name of Jesus:
Jesus said: “And I will do whatever you ask in my Name so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my Name and I will do it.”
But what do we mean when we say we pray in the Name of Jesus? It is like going to the bank of heaven when I go to God in prayer. I have nothing deposited there; I have absolutely no credit there, and if I go in my own name, I will get absolutely nothing; but Jesus Christ has unlimited credit in heaven, and he has granted me the privilege of going to the bank in heaven with his Name on my cheques; and when I go, believing I may draw on his credit, not relying on my own goodness, my prayers will be honoured.
Remember Hebrew 10:19 “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the most holy place by the blood of Jesus….” God is pleased with his Son, Jesus Christ. He always listens to him, and therefore listens to us, if we approach him in the Name of his Son. Our prayers become the prayers of Jesus before the Father, when we pray in his Name.
Powerful prayer means praying in the Spirit.
We will only experience powerful prayer in the Name of Jesus, if we pray “in the Spirit”.
Ephesians 6:18 :”And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Jude 20: “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.” When we pray in the Name of Jesus, his Holy Spirit inspires and leads us in prayer that God the Father answers.
1) True prayer is prayer in the Spirit, that is, the prayer the Spirit inspires and directs. When we come into God’s presence, we should recognise our ignorance of what we should pray for or how we should pray for it, and in accepting our inability to pray according to God’s will, we should look up to the Holy Spirit, depending on him to direct our prayers, to lead our desires, and to guide our words.
2) When we first come into God’s presence, we should be silent before him. We should look up to him to send his Holy Spirit to teach us how to pray. We must wait for the Holy Spirit and surrender ourselves to the Spirit, then we shall pray according to God’s will. Christ, our Head, in whose Name we pray, will teach us how to pray, as he taught the disciples. This happens through the work of the Spirit he sent to guide and inspire us.
3) When we feel least like praying, it is the time when we most need to pray. We should wait quietly before God and tell him how cold and without prayer our hearts are, and look up to him for help, trusting him and expecting him to give the Holy Spirit to warm our hearts, inspiring us to pray.
4) When we wait upon the Spirit to guide us, we will pray with faith, and praying with faith, will make us bold. In Mark 11:24 Jesus said: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.” Prayer that believes that we received what we prayed follows our consideration of the Scriptures. We believe that we received, because we ask what the Bible already promises and proclaims.
5) Praying boldly in the Spirit requires first of all that we in faith acknowledge our union with Christ. Those who live in the Body of Christ are able to pray in the Spirit – the Spirit that unites us with Jesus and each other. John 15:7: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you”.
To remain in Christ, to live in the Body of Christ, is to:
• renounce every thought, every purpose, every desire of our own, looking day by day for Jesus Christ to shape his thoughts, purposes and desires in us through his Spirit;
• listen to his Word to know and understand his thoughts, purposes and desires;
• pray what we hear to be his thoughts, purposes and desires.
Praying in the Name of Jesus enables us to pray in the Spirit. Our union with Christ, our living in his Body and our relationship with him, ensures that his Spirit that dwells in us, inspires and leads our understanding of his Word, and therefore teaches us to pray.