PRAYER & FAITH
O Lord, teach me to pray!
PRAYER and FAITH
Psalms 65:2 O Thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come.
Matthew 7:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
While growing from infancy to childhood, adolescence and into adulthood, we develop physically, emotionally and mentally. We learn to use our muscles, senses and brains.
Our skills improve continuously and we are getting better in the things we do. We are forever learning and practicing. So it is in a healthy spiritual life.
I will discuss the 6 levels of prayer, which are called: Introduction, Initiation, Imitation, Intercession, Investigation and Invasion, as suggested in "Power House", by Glen Martin and Dian Ginter. Scriptures used are taken from the New King James Version.
Level #1: INTRODUCTION
The first cry of a baby is a sign of life, so is our first prayer. It is our call upon the Lord in time of need. Usually one has come to the end of his rope, desperately seeking help. A sense of uncleanliness, worthlessness, unfulfilment, emptiness may drive a person to call upon the Lord. The knowledge of sin, disappointment, disillusion and despair in one's life, may want him to search for salvation.
"Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your loving-kindness; according to the multitude of your tender mercies. Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin". Psalm 51:1,2
"Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near". Isaiah 55:6
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved". Romans 10:13
I recall from my personal experience, when I was so desperate that I contemplated suicide. God allowed me to come into very tight corners. There was no way out and I was with my back against the wall. It was then, when I remembered my childhood prayer and it was the only prayer I knew how to pray. I added one line from my heart, which was, "Please, God help me". That was all what was needed to make the Lord reach out and touch my life. From that moment on, I started to see my life as God saw it, sinful, wicked and unworthy.
The more I prayed, the cleaner I became, the happier I was. He made me a new creation, through Jesus Christ.
"In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears". Psalm 18:6
Level #2: INITIATION
The scriptures are now becoming our daily food, our eyes are opened to the truth of His word. We start to see a bit further than our nose and notice the need of others. We will start to use scriptures in our prayers and applying them wherever appropriate. We realize more the "lost" condition where many others are in, of them around us. We want to see them saved, thus we pray for them.
His word opens a whole new world for us and we get a glimpse of His glory, which encourages us for intimate communication with the Lord, through prayer.
One may start to pray like this: "Lord have Your way in my life, make me after Your image".
"For the Lord God is a sun and a shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly". Psalm 84:11
"Commit your ways to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday". Psalm 37:5-6
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you". Matthew 7:7
Level #3: IMITATION
As we draw closer to the Lord we would like to fellowship with His children. While attending prayer meetings, we can learn from more mature believers. We admire their prayers of faith and the way the scriptures are used. We become motivated and will agree with prayers of others, by saying: "Amen Lord, yes, answer this prayer". Lord, teach us how to pray, becomes our cry.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Together, with our brothers and sisters, we can praise His wonderful name, while we lift up our hands in adoration. We learn to become more free in our expressions, we loosen up a bit more as we imitate our role models.
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you". 1 Thessalonians 5 :16-18.
I still can recall these first prayer meetings. I loved listening to all these wonderful prayers and praises and soaked it all up, like a sponge. I desired to pray like them.
Level #4: INTERCESSION
At this point, we have grown in our prayer life and are becoming burdened by the Holy Spirit about specific issues in the life of others and even our own life. The Holy Spirit guides us in what we must pray and how.
" For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered". Romans 8:26b
"For I, the Lord Your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, "Fear not, I will help you." Isaiah 41:13
"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ". Galatians 6:2
"You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. " I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye." Psalm 32:7-8
Our youngest daughter nearly drowned one day, while white water rafting.
I was not with her at that time, I didn't even know about her activity. But the Lord drew my attention to her and I started to pray fervently, while I was on my way to work. Suddenly I knew her life was at stake.
A week later, she called me and told me about her experience when their raft turned over. She had been caught beneath it, being pushed up against it by her floating life jacket, while the strong current took both downstream.
She said that she knew she was going to drown, because she had no way of getting out from underneath. She could hear her buddies calling out... they were missing her.
Then through a miracle she was successfully pushed out for the second time from beneath the raft, further down stream.
When she called me, I asked: "When did this take place"?
Surprisingly, she answered: "Last Saturday morning, I felt someone must have been praying for me". "It was a miracle" , she continued.
It was exactly that morning while I was on my way to work at the hospital, when the Lord urged me to pray for her. I kept on putting His protection over her. I fought in the spirit for her life and took the authority in Jesus name. He then saved her life.
This could have been a very tragic accident, had I not been sensitive to the Spirit of God and responded to His urging.
I know, He uses us as His instruments. He works through willing vessels.
"Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge". Psalm 91:2,3
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling". Psalm 46:1-3
Level #5: INVESTIGATION
Since we have familiarized ourselves with His word, we have learned through many examples that The Lord can be trusted, that we can believe His word and that we must walk by faith, not by sight, as written in 2 Corinthians 5:7
Faith is not passive, it is action.
It is a matter of trust. It starts with little things first. For example: A little girl jumps off the table in her father's arms, because he tells her to jump. She does not think: "I hope daddy does not let me fall flat on my face".....no.....she jumps. Faith of a child.
Faith comes by hearing of the Word. Faith is active, it is not acquired by wishing, but through practice: by acting upon God's Word. For example: a pianist has to practice to develop her skills, just looking at the piano does not do her any good.
We can practice our faith in our prayer life by standing on His promises.
" If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you". John 15:7
"By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us". Psalm 65:5
It is even better if we can pray in agreement with others.
Jesus says: "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them". Matthew 18:20
Level #6: INVASION
At this level we are recognizing who we are in Jesus Christ. We are handling the authority in His name. We are in warfare.
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places". Ephesians 6:12
"Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them". Mark 11:24
Now, we start to take our ground, as we recognize the enemy of our soul and that of others. In Jesus name we rebuke evil spirits, who keep souls captive, in bondage and in sin. Jesus even said that we shall do greater things than He did. That is not a sign of getting bigger, more important or more knowledgable. It is only when we are humble, committed, dedicated and surrendered, that we are able to handle and act on His authority.
The Lord's prayer states: Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, NOT ours.
"Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you". Luke 10:19.
Pat was again in a deep depression, suicidal and at the point of admitting herself to a mental institution, when I met her through a prayerboard.
I did start providing guidance and instruction to Pat in order to find out how and where satan had entered into her life. Through revelations of the Lord and Pat's co-operation, it became very clear to me how to handle the bondage that satan had put on Pat for some 23 years.
For several days I felt a great urgency in my spirit and my husband and I prayed continuously in Tongues and in English. I instructed Pat and her husband, to search their hearts and lives and bring everything to the Lord which was not brought before Him, and to cleanse themselves in the Blood of Jesus.
I told Pat to prepare herself to receive DELIVERANCE.
I knew that DELIVERANCE was just around the corner. On Friday, March 26th, 1999, I approached dedicated prayer warriors, via email, providing instructions how to pray and how I was going about to cast out demons in Jesus authority. The time was set and we were determined to conquer. I cannot estimate how many believers were involved in prayer, nor where they were located. I kept in close contact with Pat and her husband in these final hours, via the InterNet.
On that set hour, March 27th, 1999, Pat's husband layed his hands on her, prayed and rebuked satan, while we were connected via the Internet. The power of the Lord was very tangible here, behind my computer and I'm sure any place else where this prayer and claim went up. The battle was won, HALLELUJAH !! AMEN !
"And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover". Mark 16:17,18
In conclusion, as we are walking closer to the Lord, abiding in Him, we will also have closer communication with Him, and even on a continuous basis, in prayer. This may be spoken or in silence, conscious or subconscious, while awake or in our sleep, with our soul completely saturated by Him. Any "level" of prayer will start fading away and homogeneously flows into invisibility as we allow Him to totally encompass and engulf our being through praise and worship. May the name of the Lord be glorified in our lives, I pray.
Copyright © Dr.Trudy Veerman, 2006.
All Rights Reserved.
James 1:3 "Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience."
Galatians 3:26 "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."
2Corinthians 5:7 "For we walk by faith, not by sight..."
James 1:6 "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed."