What is prayer? When I first started learning how to pray, I didn’t know anything about approaching God’s throne with thanksgiving and praise and worship. But I knew a whole lot about complaining, whining, crying, and begging God to help my family, others, and me because I was full of shame, fear, and insecurity. It is because of a bad relationship I had with my earthly father. As a result, rejection, shame, anxiety, and insecurity consumed me, but not anymore.
I also didn’t know how the “prayer of faith” worked, which is by believing God’s Word in your heart without having any doubt or unforgiveness while confessing it with your mouth; the same way you received salvation. So, I would repeatedly beg God for the same things as He was deaf and couldn’t hear me, or without compassion in His heart towards me.
Today I know that my Daddy God is my loving, caring, sharing heavenly Father who created me in His likeness and image with dominion and authority in Jesus’ name. I know that my Abba Father delights in taking care of me. But back then, I struggled to trust and believe in Him until I allowed Holy Spirit to heal and deliver me. Then I went to work in the Word of God to renew my mind as to how my heavenly Father sees me. I have learned that to pray effectively, you must focus on how Father God sees you so that He can validate you with His love. Ask Holy Spirit to help you resist dwelling on your past sins, failures, and mistakes. You must choose to live in the Word, so you understand who you are in Christ Jesus and who He is in you – the hope of glory. When you spend time with God in prayer, He will validate you like He validated Jesus in Luke 3:21-22.
“When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that
Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven
was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form
like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which
said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
Let us look at two important things that take place in this passage. First, understand that your identity speaks of who God, the Great I Am that I Am, created you to be as His royal child sent to earth to exercise dominion and authority. Read and meditate Genesis 1:26-28.
- God affirmed Jesus when He said, “My beloved Son,” showing His approval of Him. He encouraged Jesus. Do you wrestle with discouragement? Then spend time with your heavenly Father in prayer and His Word. He will affirm what man can only confirm in you, encouraging you to fulfill your purposes and destiny. Not knowing your godly identity weakens the effectiveness of your prayer life. You will also not have an intimate relationship with God.
- God edified Jesus when He said, “In Whom I am well pleased.” When you feel unappreciated, it is easy to quit. But as a son of God, you need to know God loves you as much as He loves Jesus. You are in partnership with Jesus Christ, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. You are His earthly ambassador sent to earth to rule and reign in life through Him. And one of the ways you reign is through prayer. If Jesus prayed daily to fulfill His earthly ministry to die on the cross to forgive our sins and restore us as sons of God, then we too must daily pray to fulfill our divine purposes and destinies to advance God’s kingdom.
What is prayer? It develops an intimate relationship with God built upon a foundation of trust, love, righteousness, and obedience activated by faith in God’s Word. It is communing and communicating with God intimately, spirit to spirit. God is the object of prayer, meaning our focus is not on asking God for what we need like He is a sugar daddy or Santa Claus, but our focus is on worshiping Him.
Prayer is a portal, a gateway, a weapon, and the only access point into the supernatural realm. As you discipline yourself to press beyond the outer court of your flesh and enter into the inner court of your soul, and even deeper into the supernatural realm of the Most Holy Place, where you are entwined spirit to spirit with your loving, caring, sharing heavenly Father. It is in the secret place of communing with God in prayer, where deep calls unto deep and nothing else matters. You will know when you are in the secret place because there are no words, only pure desire.
Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts:
all your waves and your billows are gone over me.
It is in this spiritual realm of prayer where nothing else matters as you lavishly, exuberantly, and passionately thank, praise, adore and worship the Lord. Prayer is the lifeline to behold Father God’s glory. The more you draw nearer to Him, He draws nearer to you, causing you to shine forth with His glory.
Have you ever noticed how a couple that has been married a long time begins to look alike? They even finish each other’s sentences. Well, as you continue to abide in God’s Presence and His Word dwells in you, you will begin to look, think, speak and act just like your heavenly Father, elder brother, Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior, and King, and Holy Spirit resident inside of you. Do you long for a fresh, new intimacy with God? You will find it if you are willing to give God the first fruits of your time and crucify your flesh with prayer.
Webster’s Dictionary defines prayer as “the act of asking for a favor with earnestness.” It means “to speak, make a request, commune, fellowship, to offer petition and supplication.” A petition is a formal, legal request supported by promises in the Word of God like an attorney in the court of law that prepares a legal brief supported with precedents to win their case.
We often use the word prayer as synonymous with intercession. However, intercession is a kind of prayer where you pray on behalf of others in need. Webster’s Dictionary defines intercession as “pleading in favor of another.” Intercession comes from the Latin word “inter,” which means “between” and “cedere” meaning “to go.” So, intercession means “to go between.” It also means to build up a hedge and stand in the gap before a holy God so He can extend mercy instead of wrath. Here are some passages of Scripture that deal with intercession:
Ezekiel 22:30 says:
“So, I sought for a man among them who would
make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on
Behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it;
but I found no one.”
I Sam 12:23 says:
Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin
against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; but I will
teach you the good and the right way.”
1 Tim. 2:1-3 says:
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications,
prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be
made for all men, for kings and all who are in
authority, that we may lead a quiet and
peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of
God our Savior ….”
Eph 6:18 says:
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication
in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all
perseverance and supplication for all saints ….”
True prayer is two-way communication. It is not just asking God for things like a candy man. But instead listening to what is on His heart. You will know you are growing in prayer when the Father asks you, “What do you want?” And you say, “I want more of you.” Then Daddy God will know that He can trust you with more of His innermost secrets to release His prayers into the earth so the ministering spirits (angels of God) can bring them to past, expanding heaven on earth.
For mature believers that have learned how to press beyond the veil of the flesh in prayer, we spend all day communing with Father God by His Spirit. I have learned by experience that prayer means I can come before my Father God’s throne, who is also my Righteous Judge, with all my imperfections and faults at any time to pray.
It is comforting to know that even before you ask, Daddy God has already provided because He knows what you need before you ask Him. Here are several verses of Scripture to read and meditate to increase your faith that God hears and answers your prayers:
Isaiah 65:24 says:
“It will also come to pass that before they call,
I will answer; and while they are still speaking,
I will hear.”
Psalm 91:15 says:
“He shall call upon me, and I will answer him:
I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver
him, and honour him.”
Jeremiah 33:3 says:
“Call unto me and I will answer you and show
you great and mighty things which you know not.”
John 15:7-8 says:
“ If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit,
showing yourselves to be my disciples.
Effective prayer built on intimacy with God comes from spending time in the secret place with Him, the Lover of your soul, reading, meditating, studying God’s Word, and practicing His Presence all day long. Prayer is your heart beating as one with your heavenly Father forever.