Four Principles of Prayer
Prayer is a privilege, not a ritualistic compulsion. For those called into the ministry, it is necessary to understand prayer. In a place that remains unknown to us today, one of Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1, NIV). As spiritual leaders, we must be aware of important components of prayer so that we can minister these principles to others. I met with Pastor Carol Jones to discuss a few of these, as I believe it has never been more important for us to confidently speak to our Father.
The Importance of Forming a Relationship
God is your Father, your Friend. As a result, you must refrain from the temptation of empty prayers that seek to entertain or manipulate others. Prayer must be intimate and authentic, even if it is done in front of a congregation. This will be difficult to accomplish if you do not have a consistent relationship with God. For example, no one would expect you to enter a warm conversation with someone you hardly know; that exchange would be awkward and unproductive.
Approaching Intercessory Prayer
Pastor Carol articulated the importance of confidence when praying on behalf of others. When you pray, recognize you have already received what you’re asking for. Never falter, as you have a blood-bought right to enter God’s presence and ask Him anything according to His will. However, you might find it difficult to have confidence or know what is within God’s will if you do not meditate in His Word. Do not neglect praying with your Bible open and seek comfort within it.
Be open to the urge to pray whenever your spirit calls for it. You might discover that the time you woke up in the middle of the night to pray, a member of your church had gotten in a car accident and needed that godly interception. Additionally, you are not a cheerleader, but a shepherd. Put the mic down when necessary.
Light and darkness have no fellowship at all. How can you enter God’s presence with unforgiveness in your heart? As ministers and spiritual leaders, if we believe in Christ Jesus, we can walk boldly to the throne and ask for what we will. Keep in mind that when we approach God in prayer, it means we are giving Him permission to do what He must. Allow the Greater One to accomplish His desires in you.
Praying in Tongues
The Holy Spirit is our instructor and helps us to pray for healing, pray against weaknesses, pray for family, etc. We are limited in our finite languages, but we do not have to be bound by them. Allow God to take over your tongue and be amazed at what follows. You will find your ministry is able to give more to your local community; lost sheep will return to the fold. When we pray in tongues, God is given more room to perform the miraculous on our behalf.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus entreated His disciples to pray; when they fell asleep, He admonished them, saying, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41, NIV). God gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit; let us reap the benefits of this gift by forming a relationship with God in His Word, praying on behalf of others, living godly, and praying in tongues. As spiritual leaders, it is important we strictly follow these principles to fulfill our calling and encourage those who follow our example.