[Power and Importance]
Be careful [anxious or distracted] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.† -- Philippians 4: 6
I thought that this would be an excellent opening Scripture pertaining to the power and importance of prayer.† Prayer is often overlooked by many believers.† The literal translation of the word Ďcarefulí is to be anxious or distracted.† Most often, we do not pray because we are distracted by everything that is in the world.† This is the result of the adversary and his many deceptions.
Almost every single morning when my wife and I get up, one of the first things that we do is that we sit down and we pray together to God for all the things of that day.† There are two ways to pray.† One is with your understanding and the other one, which is much more effective, is to pray in the spirit.† When my wife and I pray in the morning, we are praying with our understanding because the Word of God tells us to pray with the understanding and by the spirit.†
For if I pray in an unknown† tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. -- I Corinthians 14: 14
This verse focuses on praying in the spirit.† The word Ďunknowní is in italics and has been added by the translators.† You should scratch it out of your Bible.† As I Corinthians 13: 1 states, speaking by the spirit is either a language of men or of angels.† So the word unknown must have been added by the translators.† Notice that at the end of verse 14, it says that your understanding is unfruitful.† When I speak in tongues, I do not understand the language that I am speaking, but it is a perfect language either of men or of angels as is clearly stated in I Corinthians 13: 1
THOUGH I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I have become as† sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. -- I Corinthians 13: 1
Notice how God mentions charity (which is the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation).† God exhorts us to do everything with the love of God or else it profits us nothing.† But the point that we want to stress here is that speaking in tongues is either the tongues of men or of angels.
There have been many occasions where a believer will speak in tongues and someone in the audience or church would be able to understand that tongue completely.† This is known as phenomenon and does not happen very often at all.† I knew someone very closely who had this experience in a fellowship.† The mechanics of speaking in tongues is as follows.† God speaks to your spirit and your spirit teaches your mind and you utter forth a completely perfect language.† There are 12 benefits to speaking in tongues.† The benefits are stated specifically in the teaching called:
The Benefits And Purpose Of True Worship
[ in the Advanced Studies category ]
You should absolutely make a point to reading this teaching.† It will help you a great deal to understand speaking in tongues, itís purpose and its power.
What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. -- I Corinthians 14: 15
What does it mean to pray in the spirit?† Many people have come up with their own conclusions about praying in the spirit, which is to speak in tongues.† Instead of going to what the Bible teaches us about praying in the spirit, they listen to what man has to say about the subject.† Which source are you going to turn to?† I believe that our opening Scripture says a lot about the renewed mind which is the believers key to power.† We are to be anxious or distracted for absolutely nothing.† We need to stay our mind on what we are praying about.† Most importantly, we need to believe that God is answering our prayers.† The fact of the matter is that God knows with His foreknowledge what we are going to pray for and He has already answered those prayers before we even pray them.† The secret things belong unto God so do not try to figure them out.† But one of the simple principles that you should understand is that God can see the past, present, and future all at one time.† Quite amazing, isnít it?
God also says in the Philippians 4: 6 in the first Scripture of our teaching that we are to pray for everything with Ďsupplicationí.† This means we need to be specific in our prayers.† Let me give you an example that may be difficult for you to digest.† If you are praying to find a new apartment and you want drapes on the windows, you can actually pray for the color of the drapes to be red.† I know of a situation where this actually took place.† A woman prayed for a new apartment and she prayed to God that it would have red drapes.† She had no doubt when she prayed as she was not anxious or distracted, but she was specific and believed that God would answer her prayer.† Guess what color were the drapes?
There is so much in the above first and second Scriptures.† God not only wants you to be specific when you pray, but He also stresses that you give thanks to Him as you make your requests made known unto God.† All of this requires one type of mental thought and that is that you will believe.† No one ever receives anything from the true God unless he or she believes.† I am going to give you a literal and more simple translation of Philippians 4: 6.
Never allow yourself to be anxious or distracted for anything at all.† It is important that you bring up details in your life by specific prayer and that you be thankful as you make your requests known unto God.
Letís review praying with the understanding with another example from the New Testament.† This has been one of my favorite Scriptures that I learned by heart and I say it many times in my life.
Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. -- I Timothy 4: 15
God is saying to meditate upon these things.† If you read the context of the chapter, you will see that God is saying to think on His Word.† Most likely, if you are meditating upon Godís Word, you are in a posture of prayer in your mind.† And where do we benefit from this posture of prayer?† When you pray with your understanding or in the spirit, you shine bright amongst other people and they see youíre† profit. †Your continence will be brighter and any person who is around will simply feel better that you are in their presence.† The problem with this principle for many believers or unbelieving believers is that they donít truly believe that prayer has so much power.† Whether you are praying with youíre understanding or in the spirit by speaking in tongues, you yourself will feel much better and able to handle things in your life with greater success.† You will have less worry and start to feel more than a conqueror as the Word says.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that [who] loved us. -- Romans 8: 37
How do you think that you become more than a conqueror?† [Many Greek and Aramaic texts use the word super conqueror.]† Believe it or not, we can become this way by developing the habit of prayer.† If your mind is trying to tell you that this is too good to be true, let me warn you that you have a personal adversary who is trying to steal from you and is trying to destroy you and if he can, he will kill you.† You may feel disgusted because you have been tricked in this category, but you should not.† If you start the habit of prayer today, it is never too late.† Situations such as I am describing have happened to me and one day I just got fed up with it.† The enemy can trick the very best and smartest person in the world.† Donít let him trick you. I started to pray more often and saw positive results.
Letís go over some more Scriptures in the Bible that pertain to the subject of prayer.† There are almost countless Scriptures covering this area.† I will make an attempt to find the most simplest of Scriptures so that you can readily understand what God is trying to say and exhort you to do.
The book of Acts was written by Luke and it is the book of transition from the Old Testament to the New Testament.† There are many examples of prayer in the book of Acts.
On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour [our 12 noon]. -- Acts 10: 9
Many of us need to follow the example of the apostles.† Why did Peter go upon the housetop to pray?† Because he wanted to get to a place that was peaceful and not full of distractions.† That is why he went upon the housetop to pray.† When we pray, we are to imitate this principle and make sure that we pray in a quiet atmosphere.† That way, we could concentrate and focus on God Almighty as we make our prayers to him.† That is just one example of prayer in the book of Acts.† There are many more, but we are going to move around to the Church epistles so that you could see many more examples of prayer in the Bible.
In the book of Colossians, Paul was extorting and praying for the city of Colosse.† Letís go to the actual verse so that you could see how important prayer is in a believers everyday life.† This was the apostle Paul who said the following.
We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you. -- Colossians 1: 3
It becomes obvious that the principle of prayer was absolutely essential in a believers life.† Here Paul was saying to the Colossians that he was praying always for them.† Feel free to read the context of each one of these examples and you will understand the Word of God even more so.† Letís stay in the same chapter, but examine a different verse.
For this cause we also, since the day we heard [scratch Ďití] do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; -- Colossians 1: 9
If you study verse seven, you will see that there was a great faithful minister of Christ by the name of Epaphras.† Paul was so blessed by this faithful minister of Jesus Christ that he also says again that he will not cease to pray for this great believer.† He also added in his prayer that this believer will be filled with the knowledge of Godís Will and Godís wisdom and Godís understanding.† We should be able to see clearly that prayer is a major renewed mind principle of any believer.† Just take a look at two different apostles and how much they prayed and believed in prayer.† They didnít question God or have doubts about the importance and power of God.† They just carried out the principles and God blessed them every time.† We need to do the same thing.
Many of us need to understand and imitate what Jesus Christ did when he was upon this earth.† I sometimes feel that we donít make enough effort to study the leadership principles of Jesus Christ.† I mentioned the fact that Peter went upon a housetop to prayer and we discussed why he did this.† Itís just a fantastic and simple principle of looking for a place to be quiet so that he could concentrate on his prayer to God.† Well, in the next verse that we are going to study, we will see that Jesus Christ did the same thing or almost the same thing.† In the following verse we will see that Jesus Christ actually sent his apostles away from him so that he can have peace to pray.† The verse will tell us everything that we need to know pertaining to what I just told you.
And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. -- Mark 6: 46
Can you imagine?† Iím sure Jesus Christ said to them in a kind manner.† ďHey guys, I need some quiet time to pray to the Father.† Would you mind finding something else to do?Ē† But there is the principle speaking loudly to you from Godís Word.† It is not wrong by any means to get by yourself when you want to pray.† In fact, it is the right thing to do.† Okay, letís go all the way back to the Old Testament and to the book of Genesis.
One of the most important principles pertaining to the power of prayer is in the area of healing.† I have heard many times of a person that was healed of a very serious life-threatening disease overnight.† But that prior night, a believer ministered healing to that person.† It is quite an astounding thing and maybe some of you donít believe, but it has happened.
I will tell you something very personal in my life.† I shared Godís Word with a congregation in Australia.† They waited openly in their heart for my teaching that came to them once a week.† This congregation had so much believing, you are going to have a hard time believing this.† One time in a prayer meeting that they were having in their congregation, a person fell down to the floor dead.† The whole congregation got around this person and prayed like a house on fire and this person came back from the dead.† Thatís the power that we have in prayer.† Amazed?† Donít believe it?† Youíve got your own free will and I cannot overstep it and God will never overstep it.
First of all, it would be good, almost essential that you read the context of chapter 20 in the book of Genesis.† I am only going to go to one Scripture that talks about the massive power of prayer.
So Abraham prayed unto God:† and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bear children. -- Genesis 20: 17
You see, when the true God moves, He doesnít mess around.† He healed Abimelech and He healed Abimelechís wife and He went above what they can ask or even think, by healing Abimelechís maidservants.† Then what does it say at the end of the verse.† Many women can become barren -- which means they cannot bear children.† But God took care of all of that because the last part of the verse says Ďand they bear childrení.† You should really read the context of this chapter.† By now you should have no doubt as to the power of prayer.† But letís keep going.
This next verse is most dynamic and has a great way to bring this teaching to a conclusion because I think you are convinced by now that prayer is the most important principle if you are going to remain a believing Christian.† This next verse has always been one of my favorites.
Confess your †faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. †The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. -- James 5: 16
We are to go to God and confide in one another and look for help from each other.† We are all part of the body of Christ.† When one part of the body is hurting, all of the body hurts to a certain extent.† When we pray for one another, thatís when we experience healing in our life.† That sincere and effectual prayer of any righteous Christian has great power and influence.† Only God can say it in such a manner.† Iím going to conclude this teaching with the simplest Scripture that I have found that lines up exactly with what I am teaching.† God bless you for your interest and understanding and that you constantly read these teachings.† They were put together one word at a time for your profit and understanding.
Pray without ceasing.
I Thessalonians 5: 17