Prayers of the Bible | A guide to cultivating a spirit of prayer
"Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us."
Have you ever been in a place in your prayer life where you didn’t feel equipped in your walk with the Lord to turn to Him, or maybe you didn't think you had the “right” words? Maybe prayer is not your go to? With that, I want to challenge you and ask you why? Prayer is one of the powerful tools that the Lord gives us to connect with Him. It is a way for us to experience His fullness and know that He is at work in our lives. To cultivate the spirit of prayer lets define cultivate first- to prepare and use, to develop. In order for our prayers to transform our lives, the relationship, the faith in Christ has to be put to use, and we do that by talking to Him, calling upon Him, thanking Him, praising Him. Do you hold back from the Lord, I pray that in learning to cultivate a spirit of praying and talk to our Savior all the time that your relationship with Him will open you up even more to how powerful He is. Our Lord knows everything, even before we show up to Him, so let us not shy away from Him for any reason at all. Let’s show up before Him, and thru this we are His vessel for the world to experience His abounding love.
How did people of the Bible pray? What can we learn from the ways people prayed in the Bible?
The blessings that we read about in the Bible fall nothing short of being connected to obedience, perseverance, and willingness. It is important to mention that when we talk about blessings, that also included times of frustration and confusion, yet their posture to abide in the Lord remained. They positioned themselves to understand how He might reveal Himself to them. As we look a people in the bible, people such as Elijah, Hannah, Moses, Hezekiah, Jabez, and David. We saw that each were in a different place in their lives yet all calling on the Lord. All of them were seeking the overall presence of the Lord. Exactly what we seek as well don’t we?
When we really break down the purpose behind prayer and the connection, it is Him. We so badly want to know, feel, hear, the Lord. Prayer gives us His presence. He tells us that His presence will go with us. Prayer allows us to know our Savior, it connects us in such a way that we are transformed by His abounding love for us. When we cultivate a spirit of prayer in our lives asking, proclaiming, rejoicing, thanking, fully trusting, we grow spiritually in such a way that we might not know or understand the work He is doing in our lives, but we know that fully laying it all down for Him and for His glory His goodness is abundant. We cease to be hungry when we are only filled with Him, moment after moment.
As we look at how people of the Bible prayed we can dig into three areas:
- A spirit of obedience
- They partnered with Jesus, there was not a lot of room for argument when they spoke and prayed with Him-- we see many times in the Bible, “they followed”.
- They let Jesus take a hold of their lives when they prayed
- Although there were times in the bible where they might have shown some frustration, they ultimately knew that Jesus would bless them for what His ultimate purpose was.
- They listened to the word, He was/is the Word!
- A spirit of surrender
- We see people who came open-handed to the Lord, with hearts ready to be taken over by Him
- They were open to Jesus taking them to the harder, lower places of their lives so that He would be glorified.
- They poured out their bodies to make Him known
- A spirit of trust
- So many times in their prayers they mention words like known, presence, to know-- all situations where they put all their trust in their faith that He would make himself known.
- We see Jesus actively present in their prayers.
- They placed it all in Him, in the end.
- They believed that He was always a good Father, even when their circumstances were not changed.
How can we apply that to our own lives?
- Prayer is our undoubting faith in Him. We must not put limits or boundaries on it-- Obedience, surrender, and trust need to be placed in the Lord as we seek Him in prayer to have a posture to abide.
- We are going to go into the deep end of the pool many times in our lives, and we will not know what He is doing there until we are fully obedient, surrendered, and trusting.
- We must shift our hearts and minds to be fully aware of the Lord, who He is, the power that He is capable of.
- We need to be open to the unlikely circumstances where He might be at work.
- Our faith is built with prayer, which then draws us closer to the Lord.
- Our thoughts need to move towards a God that seeks to use us as a vessel to be glorified-- the Word gets into the world this way-- through all that Jesus journeys with us.
- To apply prayer is also to make Him know-- living in Christ, as we die to the flesh.
- There are times when we need to be still in prayer and there are other times when we need to move in prayer!
- The more acquainted we are with prayer, the more we are attuned to hear His whispers
- He reserves so much of His glory in the broken areas of our lives.
- We shall practice being aware of ourselves and WHO and WHERE He is in our lives.
- He accepts us as we are, He will not love us any more than He has today, and will tomorrow. God is showing up, He is always there, are we always showing up to Him?
“My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for[My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me. 10 So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength].”2 Corinthians 12:9-10
What He gives us in prayer is still really His to use, for Him to work thru in our lives. Prayer is the way to the word, the word that is God. Prayer is infinite, there are no boundaries to the Lord, and therefore no boundaries in praying-- our faith in Him, our relationship has no limitations. We have to know WHO our God is, who WE are in Him, and then live in Him. When we are inclined to box our prayer life in, we are closing Him off, we are in fact saying that we got this, when in fact that only way possible is thru Him. What would it look like if you connected with Him in a way where you walked thru each day allowing Him to overtake you, live inside of you? If your prayers were not “what more could I get out of God”, but instead were “to get more God”, we then acknowledge Him. We fail to give Him the credit for who He is when we only go to the Father for the more we can get out of Him, instead of a hunger and a thirst for more of Him. Jesus can do such deep work within us, that pours out onto others for them to see His abundance, His victory, that He paid for us.