Prayer – what is prayer?
I love the definition in “My Orthodox Prayer Book.”
Prayer is doxology, praise, thanksgiving, confession, supplication and intercession to God. “When I prayed I was new,” wrote a great theologian of Christian antiquity, “but when I stopped praying I became old.” Prayer is the way to renewal and spiritual life. Prayer is aliveness to God. Prayer is strength, refreshment, and joy. Through the grace of God and our disciplined efforts prayer lifts us up from our isolation to a conscious, loving communion with God in which everything is experienced in a new light. Prayer becomes a personal dialogue with God, a spiritual breathing of the soul, a foretaste of the bliss of God’s kingdom.
In short, prayer is not just asking and receiving from God it is life with God, intricate, deep, living, a thing not only to enjoy – but also understood.
There are all kinds of prayer in the Bible, but for our purpose today I would like to leave you with 7 of them from the book of James chapter 5:
- The Prayer of Praise. Verse 13… “you should sing praises” Somebody once said, “praise is the plow that prepares the heart for the planting of the promises of God.” In Acts 16:18-30, Paul and Silas experienced its power when they decided to life up a praise in their midnight hour of chains and pain.
2 The Prayer of Authority. Verse 14… “You should call for the elders in the church to pray over you.” Somebody once said that “God gives authority to those who think the way He thinks and wants what He wants.” Luke 10:19 tells us that God has given us authority over all the power of the enemy.
- The Anointing Prayer. Verse 14… “Anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord.” There is a balm in Gilead (Jeremiah 8:22) to heal the sick, an anointing that breaks the yoke of oppression. See Mark 6:13
The Prayer of faith. Verse 15… “Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick.” Someone said that “faith begins when the will of God is known.” Both Hebrews 10:1, 6 and Romans 10:17 speak about the role faith plays in pleasing God and receiving from Him.
The Prayer of Confession. Verse 16… “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” It is also said that “open confession is good for the soul.” Psalm 32:5-7
The Prayer of Labor. Verse 16… “The fervent prayer.” Thomas B. Brooks once said that “the best prayers often have more groans than words.” 2 Corinthians 11:27; Isaiah 66:7, 8.
The Prayer of the Righteous. Verse 16… “The prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” A. B. Simpson once said, “if we walk in righteousness He (Jesus) will carry us through.” Zachariah 12:10; Romans 8:26, 27.
He who finds prayer finds a perfect thing – a foretaste of the bliss of God’s kingdom.
I have linked this wonderful article with my doingjourneytogether blog with the heading of Team Prayer. You are a scholar and I used only your James 5:13-16 reference as the Lord spoke into my conscience, ‘dimension of prayer’ which is what I googled. Your article was listed first. I am a biblical journalist and I follow the leader into sharing my slice of life. Thank you for your service as a team prayer. CB3
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Wow! Such kind words! Thank you my brother for your passion for God’s Word. It is all for His glory. Stay blessed!
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Wow! Praise God.
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Thanks for sharing Walter! Prayer is indeed our live connection to God!
May you be blessed with peace, love, joy and the abundances of the Lord’s fruits of prosperity this Christmas Season. We love you and appreciate you for all that you do in helping to build and promote the Kingdom of God here on this earth.
Thank you so much Man Of God! I pray the very same and more over your life. Thank you as well for all the challenging and inspirational messages you’ve shared – my life has been richly blessed. Merry Christmas.
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Wow! Amen Amen