Stage 1


"He will call upon me, and I will answer him.and show him my salvation" Psalm 91:15-16.
The time we spend with the Lord in prayer can release the most dynamic, history-changing power this world has ever known. The Bible describes many different kinds of prayer. But the most important kind starts in the hidden place of our homes.

The Secret Place

"But when you pray, go into your most private room, and closing the door, pray to your Father Who is in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret will reward you in the open" Matthew 6:6 (Amp.)
We have been invited into intimate prayer by none other than the Lord Himself. This kind of "secret" prayer presupposes:

Dimensions in Prayer

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests" Ephesians 6:18.
As we express our feelings and burdens in conversation with God, it can be in the form of adoration (Psalm 34:1-4), confession (1 John 1:9), request (Matthew 7:7), thanksgiving (Ephesians 5:4,20) or intercession (1 Timothy 2:1).

An Example of Prayer

Elijah is given to us as an example of a praying man:
"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit" James 5:16-18 (KJV).
Elijah's prayer was:

Effective: Based on God's word (Deuteronomy 11:13-17; 1 Kings 18:36).

Fervent: Based on God's character (1 Kings 18:36-46; Matthew 15:21-28).

Righteous: Based on relationship with God, not on his own worthiness (James 5:17; Proverbs 15:8,29).

Five Commands to Pray

When to Pray

The Bible gives many examples of people who prayed(1 Chronicles 4:10). Many of the heroes of faith had regular times of the day set aside specifically for prayer, often three times a day - at morning, noon and evening.
"As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning, and noon, will I pray and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice" Psalm 55:16-17 (KJV) (see also Daniel 6:10).
The best example of a daily pattern of regular, whole-hearted prayer can be found in the Lord Jesus Himself:

What to Pray For

Aid in Prayer

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express" Romans 8:26.
Part of the Holy Spirit's purpose is to teach us (Luke 12:12), guide us in prayer (Romans 8:27), and to help us in our faith (Ephesians 3:16-17). The Holy Spirit will sometimes anoint a believer's prayer in a special way, and this is called "praying in the Holy Spirit" (Jude 20; Ephesians 6:18). To help us in prayer, the Holy Spirit has also provided a special gift to the believer: the gift of tongues - speaking in an unknown language to the Lord in prayer (see 1 Corinthians 12:4-11).

Praying Together

Whenever Christians pray together in agreement, there is special authority. For example, Jesus gave a special promise for two believers joining together in prayer:
"Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven" Matthew 18:19 (KJV) (see also Eccl.4:12).
If there is tremendous power when two people pray, what about the whole assembly of God's people praying in one accord?
"...they raised their voices together in prayer to God. 'Sovereign Lord,' they said, '...consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus." After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly" Acts 4:24-31.

Joining the Lord

The Bible says that Jesus "always lives to intercede for [us]" (Hebrews 7:25; Romans 8:34). One of His great ministries now is that of prayer. The Holy Spirit is searching for those who will join Jesus in His ministry of prayer for individual people, for the Church and for the nations.
"...Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" Matt.26:40.


Copyright & copy; 1981,1996 Paul, Bunty and David Collins. All rights reserved. This study may be freely used and reproduced, wholly or in part, by the Christian Church for the non-profit purposes of study and training only, provided copyright and contact information is included.

Unless otherwise stated, all scriptures quoted in these studies are from the New International Version of the Bible, & copy; New York International Bible Society, used by permission. Other versions referred to are: KJV (King James Version), NKJB (New King James Bible), TLB (The Living Bible), Amp (The Amplified Bible) and The Message. All versions used by permission.

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