Some time ago, I felt a strong need to pray for someone and I was not certain of the individual’s identity. However, I was aware of his physical presence. How so? He tried to play a dumb prank that hearkens to a scene in a Spiderman comic book.
He would utter strange comments about getting revenge and other strange statements. At first, I though overheard someone seeking to do harm. I did report it, to a friend in charge of security.
Funny thing is, no one seemed to hear the guy’s voice and I heard it, twice. For me, I’d rather be wrong and nothing happens. In the natural, there was not much else that I could do; except prayer.
There is just one problem. It was Sunday and worship was just beginning to start. As I sat down, the Holy Spirit prompted me to pray for the person. As I silently pray for the individual, a curious scene appeared in my mind. The scene is that of a stealth fighter going to town with the enemy and they didn’t see the fighter coming at them.
At this point, you probably have a few questions; especially if you are not used to praying in a silent manner. Prayer is truly that powerful and it can wreck all kinds of havoc on the kingdom of darkness. I’d like to share some insights on this topic; as it may be of value to you.
First of all, no one got hurt and it only occurred on that one Sunday. Later, I came to suspect that someone was playing a prank and he really didn’t know me. For me, prayer is not something that I do, in a church building. Truth is, you can pray anywhere and you don’t need the government’s permission. I will explain the sarcasm, later.
For Christians, it is a way of life and it is strongly encouraged in 1 Thess 5:17, Ephesians 6:18 and Jesus spoke of the importance of prayer in the life of the believers. However, prayer is not limited to a set time and date. If you checked the one verse, then you will discover that prayer happens at all time.
Don’t you have a loud voice that easily carries? I find it hard to believe that you can pray silently. Where did you learn that on? I thought you were Pentecostal or something.
I learned the art of silent prayer from the Catholic tradition. Though I never got deeply involved in it, I do recall the practice of silently praying. This practice was seen at church and it probably has something to do with Matt 6:6
6 But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
At home, I’d pray in my bedroom and spoke in my normal voice. No, I did not do any Hail Mary. I simply talked to God, about what I read in Scripture. Years later, I started going to a Pentecostal church and learned of the value of praying with passion. the fundamental of my Christian identity from the Baptist and the value of incorporating Scripture into my prayers came from the Vineyard.
That explains a few things. Over time, you learned when to pray silently and with a normal voice or in your case, yelling.
Oh funny! There is a time and a place, for everything. By the way, I do see a question written on your face. Guess what? I did not start off praying for two hours, straight. At first, I could only manage 2 measly minutes.
What? Are you kidding me?
It is true. Prayer is a muscle that one develops, over time. With practice and the exercising of your faith, it can become stronger. However, there are a few things that you should know. For one, prayer is not set of rituals or incantations designed to get something. Prayer is simply a conversation with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Why are you being specific? How does this relate to your earlier comment about prayer being like a stealth fighter?
For one, it really does matter who you’re talking to. How can I ask God for something, if I don’t know anything about God, the Father? I need to have a relationship with God. The best way to learn about God, the Father is through Jesus.
Jesus is the Son and Jesus can reveal the Father, to you. I would encourage you to get to know Jesus, through the four books of the New Testament. As Jesus and the Father are one, you will get to know both of them.
So, I got to read a bunch of books before I can talk with God? I am not a theologian, priest or a pastor. Wasn’t the Bible written for a different time and culture?
Believe it or not, there is a very simple shortcut and you don’t need a special degree. You simply open the Bible and ask God, your questions. God’s Holy Spirit will help you in learning. Did I mention that the Holy Spirit is the central author of the Bible? You will discover that the Holy Spirit is a great help in unraveling the Scriptures.
Reading the Scriptures is just a starting point and it’s only one aspect of prayer. Another aspect of prayer involves the building of your faith muscle. As you continue your spiritual journey, you will discover that prayer is the exercise of your faith muscle.
How can I ask God, if I don’t believe or know that my Father cares? In John 5:19-20, Jesus says the following.
19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.
As you can see, the Father and Jesus are one, in so many ways. If I truly seek to know my Father’s heart then I need to look at Jesus. To talk with the Father, I need to go through Jesus. It’s because of Jesus that I have access to God, the Father.
Did you know that Jesus says something, very interesting and it relates to prayer? It’s in John 15:16
16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.
There is one caveat to the above quote. It needs to be done in love and not out of wrong motives. Yes, I can talk with God about my frustrations and anger towards someone; however, there is one problem. The Holy Spirit will help me to see the need to let go and forgive the person. If I ask for anything then it needs to be done in love, compassion, and mercy.
Is that why you prayed for that guy? I’d have thought the person to be creepy and want to get rid of him. I am not strong like you and I don’t know how to pray like that.
First, my strength did not come from me; it came from God, the Father. Plus, I was not alone in my prayer. I had help from the Holy Spirit. As Paul points out in Romans 8:26
6 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;
I can attest to the Spirit’s help in helping me. I’m certain that the Holy Spirit will help you. By the way, you do not need a loud booming voice to pray for others. For God sees the heart and God can hear the quietest of voices. Heck, God can hear a prayer in a person’s heart. Go read 1 Samuel 1:9-18.
Because Hannah was overwhelmed by stress, she could not utter an audible word. However, God heard this woman’s prayer through her heart. In faith, this woman prayed for a son. Do you see why I can readily believe that God, the Father can hear my prayer, though I’m relatively quiet?
I’m guessing that he didn’t know you were praying for him.
That is the beauty of silent prayer and it’s why I made the comparison to a stealth fighter. Did you know that you can change the atmosphere of a place through prayer? However, it takes time and perserverence. Sometimes, it may require a change of behavior in you. Jesus is quite capagle of letting you know what to do.
I am hearing you. However, I get the feeling that it is a lot harder than it looks. Am I right?
You are on the right track. Do you know there is a spiritual warfare happening around you? In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Paul puts it this way:
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,
Don’t worry. You’re not defenseless. The blood of the Lamb covers the believer and you have access to other tools. Have you ever heard of the full armor of God? In Ephesians 6:14-18, Paul has this to say:
14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
Do you see the last verse? Prayer is an essential tool and it’s a powerful one. I would definitely encourage you to pray for the people, around you. You don’t need to be elaborate in your prayer and you are allowed to ask for help. In fact, “Help me, God!” is a powerful prayer; especially if it’s sincere.
I think that I’d rather ask the pastor to pray for me. He’s probably more holier than I am. Wait a second. Didn’t you pray to Mary and ask her to talk to Jesus?
In truth, I didn’t know that I could talk to the dear lady. You don’t have to live an exemplary life or have your act together before God will hear you. In Psalms 51:17, David declares “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”
Okay, this was a long post and I hope it’s of help. I probably covered a lot of ground and it may be too much for one sitting. Feel free to bookmark this article and come back. I’d like to be writing one prayer related article per month. Thank you for your time and please share this articles on your social media platform of choice.