A Praying Life

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Posted 3/14/10 at 1:02 AM | Yvonne Perkins

TYPES OF PRAYER - PART TWO

The discussion of the last post was about the different types of prayer. I referenced authors Kenneth Hagin (The Art of Prayer) and Elizabeth Alves (Becoming a Prayer Warrior). Hagin identified the following types of prayers: The prayer of faith, consecration, commitment, worship, agreement, in the spirit, united, supplication and Intercessory prayer. Alves identified the following types: Praise and thanksgiving, confession and forgiveness, intercession and petition. Again, I emphasized that the opinions I offer are that of my own. However you will find that their are many overlapping views/opinions on this subject. My intent is just to broaden your thinking and increase your awareness of the weapons at your disposal.

The Prayer of Worship I believe overlap with the prayer of Praise and thanksgiving. In other words, the schools of thought about these two types of prayers are that they are essentially the same. This type of prayer is very POWERFUL BUT OFTEN NEGLECTED. We are often so intent in presenting our petitions to God that we neglect to just come before him in praise and worship. In the natural realm you can understand how you feel about someone who relationship with you seems to be one of always in need, always asking can you do this, will you do this, help me do this etc. While you may now mind granting their requests you do wish sometimes they would come and just say "Thanks".
I believe that our heavenly father sometimes feel the same way. In the last post I challenged you to take one hour, one day to offer up nothing but Praise and Worship to the father. No petitions, no complaints - just a heart filled with gratitude and an attitude of thanksgiving. An awareness of how unworthy we are of the goodness, kindness, mercy and faithfulness that God showers down upon us. When we give God what he wants he will meet our needs in an abundant way, far exceeding all that we could think or imagine to ask him.

 
The Prayer of Agreement and United Prayer. Genesis 11:1-9, Exodus 17:8-13, Psalms 133:1-3, Matt 18:19-20 and Acts 4:23. You can have a large number of people in one place and not accomplish anything if they can not agree upon a direction, decision etc. The key is to come into agreement and be united as in having a single purpose, intent, one mind, one thought, and one action/behavior. When the people marched around the walls of Jericho they moved as one in one direction having a single purpose, intent and mind (Joshua 6). In Genesis 11:6 and the Lord said behold the people is one, they have one language and now NOTHING WILL BE RESTRAINED FROM THEM WHICH THEY HAVE IMAGINED TO DO. However it does not take a lot of people to get the job done. Whatsoever you bind/loose I will bind/loose. If two shall agree ...it shall be done, if two or three gathered together in my name (Matt 18:19-20). One can chase a thousand - that's good but two can put 10 thousands to flight - that's better (Deut 32:30) I encourage you to join with others that are like-minded and pray corporately and you will be blessed corporately and see results. FULL POST

Posted 2/2/10 at 12:40 AM | Yvonne Perkins

Types of Prayers

As we continue this series on Intercession I encourage you to review the previous blogs i.e. What is an Intercessor, Profile of an Intercessor, Intercessor Toolkit and the Purpose of Prayer.  Kenneth Hagin in his book titled "The Art of Prayer" pages 7 and 8 list the following types of prayer:  The Prayer of Faith, the Prayer of consecration, The Prayer of Commitment, The Prayer of Worship, The Prayer of Agreement, Prayer in the Spirit, United Prayer, The Prayer of Supplication and Intercessory Prayer. Elizabeth Alves in her book "Becoming a Prayer Warrior" describes the following types of prayer:  Praise and thanksgiving, Confession and forgiveness, Intercession and Petition. I have listed the various types of prayers to enlighten you to what they are.  However, as I discussed them the opinions I offer are those of my own and not necessary how they wrote about them although our thoughts are very similar. 

The Prayer of Faith is always based on the word of God.  You don't have to add "if it be your will" because you know according to his word it is his will.  Nothing can be accomplished without faith.  There is no need to pray if you don't believe that God will hear, he is able and he will perform it.  To pray this type of prayer you must know what the will of God is - that means to search the word of God to see what he says about this situation, what authority are you operating in, do you meet the conditions for this word to be true in your life etc.  This type of prayer is relying on Hebrews 11:1 " Now Faith Is" Apostle Richard D. Henton (Monument of Faith) recently preached a sermon "Now My Faith Is"  you must take the word of God and make it personal.  Now My faith is bringing to me every righteous request, it is manifesting the promises of God in my life and for those that I bring to the throne of God, my faith causes me to receive the things of God, it is making available to me the promises of God.  This type of prayer requires total obedience to Mark 11:22-23 "and Jesus answering saith unto them, Have Faith In God.  James 5:15 and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. This prayer says to the enemy as Paul said "Sirs I believe God, and may I add that is my final answer.

The Prayer of Consecration - this is an old concept and often forgotten in our modern world of Christianity.  You seldom hear anyone say consecrate me Oh Lord to do your will.  This type of prayer is an urgent and fervent request that says I want to do what you want me to do, I want to desire what you want me to desire, to go where you tell me, to hear your voice clearly and always obey you. John 2:7 his mother saith unto the servants, WHATEVER HE SAITH UNTO YOU, DO IT.  This prayer is one of dedication to the service of the Lord - a plea to make me a yielded vessel fit for your use and for your glory.  It is a denial of your flesh, your will, your desires, what you think is right or wrong and seeking the truth of God for your life.  Oh, that the Body of Christ would cry out to God in this prayer - then I'm sure we would witness the raw power of God, miracles and wonders untold. FULL POST

Posted 12/25/09 at 9:05 AM | Yvonne Perkins

THE PURPOSE OF PRAYER

In the previous post we have discussed the following topics:
What is an intercessor? A person who has answered the high calling of God accordingly to II Chronicles 7:14 "if my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land. A person who has answered the want ad according to Ezekiel 22:30 "and I sought for a man that should stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

The profile of an intercessor is a person who has an intimate relationship with God, studies, mediate, hear, receive and believe 100% the word of God. A person who is not self-righteous or judgmental and does not operate independently of God in their own strength, knowledge and abilities but is TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON THE LEADING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. They do not operate outside of the word of God but pray accordingly to the word of God. They have dedicated themselves to live holy and righteous and to intercede regularly on behalf of others, pastors, family, the lost, sick, forsaken and bereaved, neighborhoods, communities, leaders, Presidents and those in authority. They are quick to repent of any sin, shortcoming or downfalls and daily come to wash in the fountain filled with. the precious cleaning BLOOD OF THE LAMB

INTERCESSOR'S TOOL KIT: Every profession has a training manual that outlines the basic guideline and identifies necessary tools to carry out that function. I want to share with you some of the things I have found to be very necessary tools on my journey as an intercessor. First and foremost is the Holy Bible. It is the guide from this life to the next and must be believed 100% and recognized as the true word of God, the blueprint of God. You can not be a true intercessor and doubt the authenticy of God's word.

Today we are exploring the subject "The Purpose of Prayer". Prayer has many purposes but the most important one is that it allows us to be in communion with our heavenly father. When you are in love with a person you want to talk to them often, to be with them in their presence because it builds intimacy. Daily communion with God increase our ability to know the mind of God, his character, his desires and plans for our lives. FULL POST

Posted 11/23/09 at 9:26 AM | Yvonne Perkins

THE INTERCESSOR TOOL KIT

What is an intercessor? A person who has answered the high calling of God accordingly to II Chronicles 7:14 "if my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land. A person who has answered the want ad according to Ezekiel 22:30 "and I sought for a man that should stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

The profile of an intercessor is a person who has an intimate relationship with God, studies, mediate, hear, receive and believe 100% the word of God. A person who is not self-righteous or judgmental and does not operate independently of God in their own strength, knowledge and abilities but is TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON THE LEADING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. They do not operate outside of the word of God but pray accordingly to the word of God. They have dedicated themselves to live holy and righteous and to intercede regularly on behalf of others, pastors, family, the lost, sick, forsaken and bereaved, neighborhoods, communities, leaders, Presidents and those in authority. They are quick to repent of any sin, shortcoming or downfalls and daily come to wash in the fountain filled with. the precious cleaning BLOOD OF THE LAMB

Every profession has a training manual that outlines the basic guideline and identifies necessary tools to carry out that function. I want to share with you some of the things I have found to be very necessary tools on my journey as an intercessor. First and foremost is the Holy Bible. It is the guide from this life to the next and must be believed 100% and recognized as the true word of God, the blueprint of God. You can not be a true intercessor and doubt the authentic of God's word.

I am going to share with you some books that have been instrumental in developing my knowledge of God, revealing the weapons of prayers, increasing the power of my prayer life and sharpening my abilities to properly use the weapons of warfare.  FULL POST

Posted 10/11/09 at 5:01 AM | Yvonne Perkins

PROFILE OF AN INTERCESSOR

Intercession is the act of interceding on behalf of someone else or a situation or circumstances that you are asking God to change. An intercessor is one who practices the art of intercession and has dedicated themselves to regularly interceding on behalf of others.

The profile of an intercessor is one who has an established intimate relationship with God. A person who life lines up with the word of God "ye shall be holy for I the Lord your God am holy" Lev. 19:2, "come out from among them and be ye separate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you" 11 Cor 6:17. A person, who studies the word of God, knows and meditates on the word of God. A person determined to live righteous and to call upon the name of God. A person who has crazy faith and believes that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD (Luke 1:37)

Intercessors live close to God to be able to hear his voice through the word of God, the ministers and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Intercessors are not just hearers but doers of the word of God. They do not engage in gossip nor surround themselves around negative people. Intercessors can be trusted and do not reveal what they have been told to others. God hold us accountable for our behavior. They are self conscious about the things they read, look at, listen to and how they conduct themselves in their daily walk with God. Intercessors are not SELF-RIGHTEOUS NOR JUDGEMENTAL. FULL POST

Posted 9/20/09 at 8:42 AM | Yvonne Perkins |

5 comments

WHAT IS AN INTERCESSOR?

Webster defines an intercessor as: - interceding: the action of pleading on somebody's behalf
- attempt to resolve conflict: the action of attempting to settle a dispute
- prayer or petition: a prayer to God, a god, or a saint on behalf of somebody or something. Simply put an intercessor is a person who goes before God in prayer on behalf of another person, situation or circumstance.

Every Christian has probably at some point in their life interceded on behalf of a love one, family member, friend, their church and pastor. We do it when there is a crisis or immediate situation that we need a response to. Does that make you an intercessor? On the simplest level, yes.

However, to be a true intercessor you MUST MEET OTHER QUALIFICATIONS. First, you must be a born again Christian who is willing to be separated, consecrated and committed to a holy lifestyle. Sounds pretty basic? You will be surprised how many people live a casual Christian lifestyle that embrace many of the secular things of this world and then believe that they can pray to God and expect an answer. For example you have been out drinking and partying all night but on the next day learn that a friend has been hurt or has some special need and you begin to "intercede" for that person. FULL POST

Posted 6/10/09 at 11:17 AM | Paul Miller

Bending Your Heart to Your Father

Several months ago I was on a flight, sitting next to a drug rep for a major pharmaceutical company. I mentioned to her that from listening to people talk, I suspected that one-third of suburban American women were on antidepressants. The drug rep shook her head. "You're wrong. It's at least two-thirds."

Most of us simply want to get rid of anxiety. Some hunt for a magic pill that will relieve the stress. Others pursue therapy. While antidepressants and counseling have helped many people, including me, the search for a "happy pill" or "happy thoughts" will not stop our restless anxiety. It runs too deep.

Instead of fighting anxiety, we can use it as a springboard to bending our hearts to God. Instead of trying to suppress anxiety, manage it, or smother it with pleasure, we can turn our anxiety toward God. When we do that, we'll discover that we've slipped into continuous praying.

Here's an example of how anxiety creates an opening for prayer. When I was a kid, I didn't like answering the phone, possibly because I am not quick with words. I can get tongue-tied in new situations, and I used to have a stuttering problem. Jill would joke that she wanted to name one of our kids Lillian because the letter L was a particular problem for me. So was H. Saying "hello" could really set me back. Sometimes when the phone rings, I still feel a twinge of anxiety. As I reach to pick up the phone, I almost always pray a quick, wordless prayer. I just lean in the direction of God. My anxiety becomes a prayer.

The connection between anxiety and continuous praying goes back to Eden, where Adam and Eve were in unbroken fellowship with God and continuous prayer was normal. When they sought independence from God, they stopped walking with God in the cool of the day and their prayer link was broken.

What does an unused prayer link look like? Anxiety. Instead of connecting with God, our spirits fly around like severed power lines, destroying everything they touch. Anxiety wants to be God but lacks God's wisdom, power, or knowledge. A godlike stance without godlike character and ability is pure tension. Because anxiety is self-on-its-own, it tries to get control. It is unable to relax in the face of chaos. Once one problem is solved, the next in line steps up. The new one looms so large, we forget the last deliverance.

Oddly enough, it took God to show us how not to be godlike. Jesus was the first person who didn't seek independence. He wanted to be in continuous contact with his heavenly Father. In fact, he humbled himself to death on the cross, becoming anxious so we could be free from anxiety. Now the Spirit brings the humility of Jesus into our hearts. No longer do we have to be little gods, controlling everything. Instead, we cling to our Father in the face of chaos by continuously praying. Because we know we don't have control, we cry out for grace. Instead of flailing around, our praying spirits can bless everything we touch.

--This blog post is adapted from Paul Miller's latest book, A Praying Life. Watch for more posts from Paul on the topic of prayer.

 

Posted 6/10/09 at 11:16 AM | Paul Miller

Crying Abba -- Continuously

I was listening to the discussion at a staff meeting when our consultant said, "Paul is so quiet. He doesn't seem to be passionate about anything, except maybe the person of Jesus." I smiled, partly because it was funny and partly because on the inside I am like Barney Fife, the nervous deputy on the old Andy Griffith Show. My mind churns with ideas, and my mouth is eager to assist.

So why did I appear so calm? Because I was praying, quietly to myself, over and over again: Father, Father, Father. At other times I will pray the name of Jesus or the name Christ. Sometimes I find myself praying a short phrase, such as Come, Spirit.

This is not a mindless chant I practice in order to reach some higher spiritual plain. Just the opposite. I realize I'm on a low spiritual plain, and I am crying out for help like a little child who runs to his mother saying, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy." My heart is hunting for its true home. David captured the feel of the praying soul in Psalm 63:
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
My flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (verse 1)

Why am I quietly crying out for help? My tendency to interrupt in staff meetings is a "dry and weary land." When I feel my inner Barney Fife crying out for attention, I pray quietly, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Like Augustine, my heart is restless, and I need to find my rest in God. FULL POST

Posted 6/10/09 at 11:12 AM | Paul Miller

The Real You Learns to Pray

Jesus gives us a secret to real prayer when he invites us to come to him "weary and heavy laden." Jesus does not say, "Come to me all you who have learned how to concentrate in prayer, whose minds no longer wander, and I will give you rest." No, Jesus opens his arms to his needy children and says, "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28 NIV). The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness. Come overwhelmed with life. Come with a wandering mind. Come messy.

What does it feel like to be weary? You have trouble concentrating. The problems of the day are like a claw in your brain. You feel pummeled by life.
What does "heavy laden" feel like? Same thing. You have so many problems you don't even know where to start. You can't do life on your own any more. Jesus wants you to come that way! Your weariness drives you to him.

Why is it so important to come "just as you are"? The real you has to meet the real God. He is a person. If you don't, then you are artificial and unreal, like the Pharisees. The only way to come to God is by taking off any spiritual mask.
So, instead of being frozen by your self-preoccupation, begin with what you are preoccupied about. Tell God where you are weary. If you don't begin with where you are, then "where you are" will sneak in the back door. Your mind will wander to where you are weary.

When we slow down to pray, we are often so busy and overwhelmed we often don't even know where our hearts are. We don't even know what troubles us. So oddly enough, you might have to worry before you pray. Then your prayers will make sense. They will be about your real life. Your heart could be, and often is, askew. But you have to begin with what is real. Jesus didn't come for the righteous. He came for sinners. All of us qualify. The very thing we try to get rid of-our weariness, our distractedness, our messiness-is what gets us in the front door! That's how the gospel works!

In bringing your real self to Jesus, you give him the opportunity to work on the real you, and you will slowly change. The kingdom will come. You'll end up less selfish.

The kingdom comes when Jesus becomes king of your life. But it has to be your life. You can't create a kingdom that doesn't exist, where you try to be better than you really are. Jesus calls that hypocrisy-putting on a mask to cover the real you.

Ironically, many attempts to teach people to pray encourage the creation of a split personality. They teach you to do it right. Instead of the real, messy you meeting God, you try to recreate yourself by becoming spiritual.
No wonder prayer is so unsatisfying.

So instead of being frozen by yourself, begin with yourself.. That's how the gospel works. God begins with you. It's a little scary because "you" is messed up.

God would much rather deal with the real thing. Jesus repeatedly said that he came for sinners, for messed up people who keep messing up (Luke 15:1,2). Come dirty. That is the heart of the gospel. That's why Jesus came--we are incapable of beginning with God.

The whole point of the gospel is that we incapable of beginning with God and his kingdom. Many Christians pray mechanically for God's kingdom (for missionaries, the church, and so on), but all the while their desire life is wrapped up in their own kingdom. You can't add God's kingdom as an overlay over your own.

If you get this simple truth, then, like Kim, you have taken your first wobbly step. In fact, you might want to take a wobbly step now, by pausing to pray, like a little child.

--This blog post is adapted from Paul Miller's latest book, A Praying Life. Watch for more posts from Paul on the topic of prayer.

Posted 6/10/09 at 11:01 AM | Paul Miller

The Secret to Prayer

On more than one occasion, Jesus tells his disciples to become like a little child.. How does becoming like a little child help us to pray? To answer, let's recall how difficult just a five minute prayer time is.

When we pray, our mind wanders off in a dozen different directions. The problems of the day push out our well-intentioned resolve to be spiritual. We give ourselves a spiritual kick in the pants and try again. Then the same thing happens all over again. Life crowds out prayer. We know that prayer isn't supposed to be like this so we give up in despair. We might as well get something done. Nothing confronts our selfishness and spiritual powerlessness like prayer.

Little children never get frozen by their selfishness. Like the disciples, they just come as they are, totally self-absorbed. They seldom get it right. As parents or friends, we know all that. In fact, we are delighted (most of the time!) to find out what is on their little hearts. We don't scold them for being self-absorbed or fearful. That is just who they are.

This isn't just a random observation about little children. This is the gospel, the welcoming heart of God. God cheers when we come to him with our wobbling, unsteady prayers.

We were uncertain whether Kim would ever be able to walk, so when she took her first step at three years old we didn't say, "Kim, that was all very well and good, but you are two years late. You have a lot of catching up to do, including long range walking, not to mention, running, skipping, and jumping."
What did we do? We screamed; we yelled; we jumped up and down. The family came rushing in to find out what had happened. Cameras came out, and Kim repeated her triumph. It was awesome.

Don't try to get the prayer right, just tell God where you are and what's on your mind. Little children never fix themselves up. They just come as they are, runny noses and all. Like the disciples, they just say what is on their mind.

We know that to become a Christian we shouldn't try to fix ourselves up, but when it comes to praying we completely forget that. We'll sing the old gospel hymn, "Just as I am," but when it comes to praying, we don't come just as we are. We try, like adults, to fix ourselves up. Private personal prayer is one of the last, great bastions of legalism. In order to pray like a child, you might need to unlearn the non-personal, non-real praying that you've been taught.

--This blog post is adapted from Paul Miller's latest book, A Praying Life. Check for more posts from Paul on the topic of prayer.

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