A few years ago Chris was pastoring a church and I was leading the prayer groups and prayer teams. I had a very strong training guide. One day I went to the Dollar store and was confronted by an angry woman. She was angry about being told that she MUST share her needs with prayer groups, etc. I was really taken aback by her attitude. It seems there was a certain woman who liked to gossip about the prayer requests. I said, “Are you going to risk your life because os this gossip.”. “See.” She said. “There you go again, over emphasizing prayer.” She had cancer. A week later she was dead.
Now a contrast. I went through an extremely dangerous surgery last October. At one point the pulmonologist gave me five minutes before calling “code blue.” At the fourth minute she suddenly grabbed the respirator and shoved it down my throat, saving my life. The surgery went forward successfully. I had hundreds of people praying for me all over the world.
Another contrast. My doctor told me about a woman who had been in the hospital for four months with the same thing I had. “She isn’t going to make it,” He declared. I told him we would have lots of people praying for the “Nameless Lady.”. Of course he couldn’t divulge her name. This week he told us she is alive and doing well.
The problem is. . .We are NOT taught about prayer.
Many churches and Christians have awakened to the power of prayer in the last few decades. For this article i’m going to deal with who to give your precious request to if you don’t know how this works.
- FIRST – To NOT pray is a SIN – “As for me, I vow that I will not sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you. I will teach you the good and right way.” What happens if we do not pray. In this case will you see a political disaster for the nation. “However, if you continue to do what is evil, both you and your king will be swept away.” 1 Samual 12:24, Be very careful before you quit praying for people or situations. Ask God for wisdom,
SECOND – You are priest, if you have surrendered your life to Jesus. Not only are you a priest but a ROYAL PRIEST. “You yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:9. What are those spiritual sacrifices?
“We are not merely the passive building where God dwells; we are also the active participants in worship. And not just participants, but a special kind of participant, the priests. All of you, as Christians are priests. This is the great teaching about the “priesthood of all believers.” Pastor Rick Warren
In the Old Testament, priests did two things:
1 . They had the right, privilege, and responsibility to go directly to God. They could pray and talk to God, worship, and fellowship with God. Everybody else had to go through a priest. We now have this privilege and responsibility.
2. The priest had the privilege and responsibility of representing God to the people and ministering to the needs of other people (serving).
Those are the very two things that are true of you when you become a believer in Jesus.
You now have direct access to God. You don’t have to pray through anybody else. You don’t have to confess through anybody else. Jesus made this possible. NOT your good works. You don’t have to fellowship with God through anybody else but Jesus. His death, burial and resurrection made a clear path directly to God the Father. Read your Bible, talk with the Lord, and fellowship directly with him.
SIMPLIFIED – We present people and situations to God. Jesus taught us to pray “Our Father Who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This is a terrific bullet prayer. Just substitute a name or situation instead of “earth.”
That’s enough for now.
SUBMITTING YOUR PRAYER REQUEST OF PEOPLE & SITUATIONS
- PRAYER GROUPS – Acts 12, small groups, Sunday School Classes, etc. This chapter is charming as well as educational. You can read it there. Acts 12 I will tell it here. King Herod murdered James, which made the Jews happy. So he arrested Peter, put him in jail with four squads of soldiers to guard him, and two guards outside, planning to lynch him after Passover. The Church was praying fervently for him the whole time in Mary’s house (the mother of John Mark). Meanwhile, back at the jail, Peter is sleeping. Talk about resting in the Lord! An angel of God suddenly appears inside the cell with Peter, breaks the chains and tells Peter to put on his cloak. Peter thinks he’s dreaming until he gets to the second gate, then he says “An angel of the Lord has rescued me. A young girl named Rhoda (Rose) greets him at a the door. But she is so excited she runs to tell the grownups and leaves Peter in the street. The praying adults don’t believe her. They tell her it’s either his ghost or his angel. They’d rather believe myths than answered prayer. They go wild when they see him. Peter goes on off to see other folks.
- PRAYER LISTS – (email, Sunday School classes,) Most churches have email prayer lists that go out to members only. I highly recommend this source. You will get more prayer from this list than most others.
- PRAYER TEAMS – These are usually evangelistic teams. Paul advocated that prayers be offered up “… on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority …” (1 Tim d” (2 Tim 1:2). An obvious need for evangelism Jesus. (“… the harvest is plentiful …” [Matt 9:37, cf. Luke 10:2]). Jesus commanded prayer (“Therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest …” [Matt 9:38]). The idea of petition that gives special importance to the need of evangelism. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands” (evangelists and people to pray). The hands were right there. Amazing! Almighty God uses us and our prayers to reach people and change the world. Scripture is clear that emphasis is on praying for evangelists. Paul prescribed prayer for the harvester. Again, Paul said pray”… that God may open up to us a door for the word” (Col 4:3). His concern was not so much for comfort for his body, but for opportunity to speak to people without Jesus.
- PRAYER WARRIORS – This is NOT for every one! Ephesians 6 makes it plain and clear that these type prayers are spiritual warfare. Jesus and His disciples directly confronted demons. Do not call yourself a prayer warrior unless you are ready to confront the forces of evil. YES! There is a real devil/Satan. He has a whole army of demons ready and waiting to trip you up, deceive you and make you believe that he and his demons are not real, won’t bother you, or deceive you. Of course, today’s Christians flippantly use this term not at all understanding what danger they could be in. My husband and I have been in spiritual warfare years. No time for detail here. If you have any questions, please leave it in the “COMMENTS” box below along your email and/or phone number.
Prayer is one of the most powerful weapons we have. Pray daily!
Please leave a comment in the box below!
Stay tuned to the Holy Spirit.