“THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE RIGHT JOB”
10TH MARCH 2019
SCRIPTURE: PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7, EPHESIANS 6:18, ECCLESIASTES 10:10-11
A tool is a device or implement used to perform a particular function. A tool’s effectiveness, largely depends on how it is applied to the task at hand.
One of the most useful tools given for our Christian walk is prayer. It is of paramount importance that we not only learn how to pray but also learn what type of prayer to use for different occasions and needs. For our prayer lives to be effective, we need to apply the right tool for the right job. Using a tool for the wrong job leads to frustration, waste of time and effort with no results to show. This also applies to prayers.
From scripture, we can categorize prayers into the following seven types:
- Prayer of Supplication: MARK5:22-23 & JAMES 5:16
This is a fervent earnest cry from the heart. It is coming before the Lord in humility and earnestly appealing for an answer.It is pleading for a truly heartfelt matter and may be accompanied by a posture of humility. Do you have a deep, heartfelt need? Use the prayer of supplication.
- Prayer of Intercession: EZEKIEL 22:30
This is prayer made on behalf another person(s). It is what God calls ‘Standing in the gap”. It is often offered to avert a looming calamity or punishment from the Lord due to the wrongdoing of the one(s) needing prayer. Moses often offered intercession for the Israelites, pleading their cause before the Lord. The prayer is often preceded by a confession of the sins. It can also be offered for the well-being or salvation of another person. It is a prayer that is ‘others-focused’. Who could benefit from your standing in the gap on their behalf? Offer a prayer of intercession.
- Prayer of Agreement: MATTHEW 18:19
Jesus intimates that whenever two agree on anything they ask for, it will be done. The keywords here are AGREE and ANYTHING. This kind of prayer covers about everything we pray for, but it is hinged on agreement. This is not an individual prayer but a prayer done by two or more believers (corporate prayers) with an agreement on the desired outcome. It can also involve going to someone of higher spiritual authority, expressing the need and praying together in agreement.
- Prayer of Warfare: MATTHEW 18:18 & EPHESIANS 6:12
This prayer tackles the dark forces in the spiritual realms, waging war against powers and principalities. It addresses the devil directly, from a position of authority in Jesus Christ. It needs to be in a human language – the devil does not understand tongues.Remember to put on the ‘full armor of God’ before stepping into this battle. In which areas do you need to fight the devil? Get into the warfare in prayer.
- Prayer of Thanksgiving: JOHN 11:41 & PSALM 100:4
This prayer is made from a standpoint of gratitude, recalling all the Lord has done and offering a sacrifice of praise and worship. It can turn into songs or tongues. By faith, you can also thank God for things He is yet to do. What has the Lord done for you? Come to Him with thanksgiving.
- Prayer of Faith/Petition: MATTHEW 21:22 & MARK 11:24
This is a prayer between you and God, deeply anchored in faith, believing that God will answer. Jesus said that if you believe, whatever you ask for, you will receive. This takes God’s Word and promises and offering them as prayer in faith. There is no room for ‘if” or doubt. Believe and receive.
- Prayer of Consecration and Dedication: LUKE 22:41-42
This is a prayer of surrender. It is yielding to God’s will and sovereignty. It has statements like“Father if it is Your will….” God’swill is always to our advantage; do not be afraid to yield to Him.
While we have considered the 7 types of prayer individually, we will often combine multiple types to be effective.
There are also techniques we can apply when we engage in prayer. Two of these are:
- Prayer Walk – Offered onsite especially when the prayer is concerning a particular geographical zone for example when interceding or waging warfare for a particular neighborhood.
- Prayer Chain – this is where a body of believers agree to have continuous prayers (1THESSALONIANS 5:17) over a period of time with individuals or groups taking a specific time when they will be on prayer duty. This creates an unbroken chain of prayer during this period of time, making prayer a communal obligation.
Whatever type of prayer or technique we choose, let us use this God-given tool and make prayer our business.