Friday, April 13, 2012

What is Prayer ? Worship, Petition, Intercession


 The first basic form of prayer is worship. It is a spontaneous result from the conscious awareness of God. As I realize the greatness of God and His nearness to me and His love for me, I naturally respond with deep, inner worship of Him. One day I watched a little gnat flying around.I was amazed at how small it was, and yet so wonderfully designed. He was able to defy the laws of gravity, suspending himself in the air and then darting around rapidly. I thought,“God you are so wise in the design of even small forms of life.”

 Worshipping God for His creative genius is a form of prayer—that consciousness of who He is and what He has done inspires worship. When I recognize the wisdom and power of God, I stand in awe of Him. Thanksgiving and praise arise spontaneously as I become conscious of the goodness of God to me that I know I do not deserve. 

Christians should engage in this form of communion and prayer constantly. We should become more conscious of Him as He speaks to us through nature. We see His power in the storm and lightning. We smell His loveliness in a rose. We see His design in a daisy. “In the rustling grass, I hear Him pass, He speaks to me everywhere.” Sometimes we verbalize our worship; often we don’t. It’s simply an overwhelming feeling within our hearts as God manifests Himself to us in a thousand different ways. We just say, “Ohhh, God is so good!” We worship Him and commune with Him in the recognition of His love and grace.


The second form of prayer is petition, as I bring my personal needs before God and ask Him for the help that I need so desperately. Day by day I cry out to the Lord for His wisdom, guidance, strength, and provision. There are some people who dismiss personal petition prayer as selfish. They say that it’s wrong to pray for anything for yourself because you ought to be thinking more of others.

The Bible says, “The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits” (2 Timothy 2:6). In other words, you can’t give what you don’t have. Like measles, you can’t give ‘em unless you got ‘em. Therefore, I must first be a partaker of God’s grace, love, strength, and power. Then, as I partake, I have something to share with others. 

One of Jesus’ disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” Jesus then taught that model prayer: “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven so in earth” (Luke 11:1–2). The first part of the prayer is addressed to God— worshipping God for what He is: “Hallowed be thy name.” Then comes the prayer for the kingdom of God: “Thy kingdom come.” We are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

The very next petition is “Give us day by day our daily bread…and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Luke 11:3–4). These are personal petitions for my own needs. I do have needs, and God wants me to bring those needs before Him. There’s nothing wrong with praying and asking God to supply my rent money or whatever else I might need

The third form of prayer, intercession, is the type of prayer that can be considered work. Worshipping God is not work—that’s glorious! It’s spontaneous, beautiful communion and fellowship with God. Petition isn’t too much work because I’m so interested in what I need that I can become involved in it very easily. But when I begin to tercede, then I must labor. 

Paul, in his closing remarks to the church at Colosse, makes mention of one of his fellow borers, Epaphras. “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers” (Colossians 4:12). Here prayer is described as work. 

Through intercessory prayer I reach out beyond myself and pray, not for my own needs, but for the needs of those around me. I pray for my family, friends, and neighbors who don’t yet know Jesus Christ. I pray for the needs of those in the Body of Christ. I bring before God all the various needs of others that have come to my attention. It is during intercessory prayer that I become aware of what prayer actually is: a spiritual battle.

What is Prayer ? Worship, Petition, Intercession
 Thanks To Chuck Smith - Effective Prayer  Life