Ephesians

Ephesians 6:18 The 7 Kinds of Prayer

“Praying (at all times) with all (kinds of) prayer and supplication in the Spirit”  (Ephesians 6:18).

At all times, whatever kind of prayer we pray, we are to pray ‘in the Spirit’ (calling upon His help). A successful Christian life is based on prayer. We are to pray with all kinds of prayer. There are different kinds of prayer ALL of which are necessary. You can’t get by on one or two kinds. Each kind has different objectives and rules, as with different sports. If you try and play tennis according to soccer rules you end up confused - it does not work as it should. E.g: some pray: ‘Lord, heal me if it is your will’, but that’s not biblical (it’s unbelief) because God has revealed His will to heal. “But Jesus prayed ‘if it is your will”. Yes - but never in connection with healing’. It is using the wrong kind of prayer for that situation. There are times to pray:‘if it be Thy will’ - when we are not sure of His will and we’re seeking it. Clearly knowledge is required to pray right. We need to know HOW TO PRAY, how to pray accurately, using all the different kinds of prayer.

This is what the disciples asked Jesus for in Luke 11:1: “As he was praying, when he ceased, a disciple said to him, Lord, teach us (how) to pray” 

THE LORD’S PRAYER.  Jesus gave the answer in the Lord’s Prayer - the model for our prayer life (Matthew 6:9-15)containing all the different kinds of prayer: "In this manner, therefore, pray.” It is correctly named because this is how the Lord prayed, for they had asked: ‘teach us how you pray’ and He did what He taught. If Jesus, the perfect man, needed to pray how much more us. Prayer isn’t to change God but it is fellowship with God, resulting in us being changed so that our lives are aligned with God’s will and covered with His Presence (“Your will be done, Your kingdom come”). God does not need us to persuade Him to move but He is waiting for us to be positioned as His channel. Prayer adjusts us to His will, making us fit to live our life in this world. This Prayer is so designed that as we pray through it, every area of our life is brought into God’s Will and thus under His Presence.

KIND OF PRAYER 1: THANKSGIVING, PRAISE and WORSHIP.
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name.”

1. ‘Our Father’ speaks of intimacy andreverence. This is a family prayer. A sinner can’t call God ‘Father’. This expresses who God is to us and who we are to Him: ‘You are my Father, I am your son’. He is the Father of our spirits. Prayer starts by renewing our mind that we are new creations, reborn, beloved children of God, who belong in His Presence, with the right and privilege to come to God through the blood of Jesus and that as our Father He will hear us! Jesus saying: ‘our Father’ was dramatic, for as God’s Son He was the only One who could pray ‘Father’, but when He said ‘our Father’ He signified the bringing of all believers into this same relationship of sonship. Calling God ‘Father’ also means we are acknowledging Him as the Source of all our life and every good thing. This brings us into THANKSGIVING for all His blessings and provisions. We are dependant on God for everything.

2. “In Heaven” reminds us that although He is intimately involved in our lives, He is also far above, the Transcendent, Almighty, All-Knowing, Sovereign One. We must not to take Him for granted or treat Him like just another person or buddy. He is on the Throne in Heaven and rules the universe. Thus our attitude before Him is submission and worship.

3. “Hallowed be Your Name.” In PRAISE and WORSHIP we sanctify, exalt and declare His holy Name (character) above all. As our Father His Name is also upon us. So as we declare His Name, we declare also who He is to us through the Blood. So we declare His Name over us: “Lord, You are Righteous and my Righteousness, You are Almighty and my Strength and Strong-Tower, All-Wise and my Wisdom, You are Faithful and my Rock in Whom I trust.” 

So in this prayer we adjust ourselves to the truth of Who God is to us and who we are in Him. How long do we pray this way? Until it’s established in our hearts.

KIND OF PRAYER 2: DEDICATION: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as in heaven.” We pray this first over our own life. The Kingdom (the answers to prayer that we want - righteousness, joy, peace, healing, wisdom etc) comes through the active presence and working of the Spirit (Romans 14:17).   

The Kingdom comes according as God’s will is done. ‘On earth as in heaven’ signifies wholehearted and complete believing obedience from the heart allowing heaven’s power and presence to come. Finding and doing God’s will in our lives is based on this prayer in which we adjust and set our will to God’s will. This leads to knowing God’s will: "If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the teaching, whether it is from God or not” (John 7:17).

Then when we do His revealed will, the Kingdom comes, as with Jesus. He prayed this 3 times in the Garden "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup (the suffering of the cross) away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done" (Luke 22:42). Having dedicated to God and confirmed His will, He did it and as a result the Kingdom of God came through His sacrificial death.

KIND OF PRAYER 3: SUPPLICATION - INTERCESSION
 (see John 16:23-27).
“Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as in heaven.”  
Next we extend this prayer to others, to our family, church, nation, and world. God’s will is that our prayer life is not just about ourselves. We pray first that their eyes would be opened to see and know God’s will (Ephes 1:17-23, 3:14-21) because it is through this the Kingdom comes in their lives. We become correctly adjusted to people,church & society by praying for them in this way: “I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence”(1Timothy 2:1-4).

KIND OF PRAYER 4: THE PRAYER OF FAITH
: ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ God’s will is that we walk in His daily provision of health, wisdom, joy etc, so it is not selfish to pray this. It is better to walk in daily health than getting healed. "Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24). This applies to all things promised in the New Covenant, when we know it is God’s will from the Word but not to situations where other people’s wills are involved (e.g: believing for a specific marriage-partner) or 
if God’s will is not known (in this case pray the prayer of DEDICATION until you do know). 


KIND OF PRAYER 5: CONFESSION OF SINS: “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive 
those who sin against us.” 
He added: ‘If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." This adjusts us in our fellowship with God and one other. We are legally forgiven and justified children of God and don’t lose that position if we sin but we suffer loss of fellowship with Father, not because He moves from us but because we have moved from Him because our heart convicts us.

We need to ask for Family Forgiveness: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all (sense of) unrighteousness”  (1John 1:9). Jesus emphasised one sin (unforgiveness) we can be blind to, that is especially serious. Christians so easily get offended, hold resentments, grudges, bitterness against others for not measuring up, yet their sin of judgement is far greater (as a log is greater than a speck- Matt 7:1-5). We too must forgive others or we go to spiritual prison and torment (Matt 18:21-35). The curse of all our sins comes back on us. In this prayer we start by forgiving past sins, and then go onto the higher level of establishing our hearts, making the quality decision in advance, to walk in love and forgiveness towards everyone. 

KIND OF PRAYER 6: OVERCOMING EVIL POWERS
:

“(1) Do not lead us into temptation but (2) deliver us from the evil one.” This prayer adjusts us correctly to the powers of evil working in the world. 

First, pray to be kept from evil. This protects us from unnecessary trials and temptations (some are unavoidable in doing God’s will - Luke 4:1). Jesus said: "Pray that you may not enter into temptation" (Luke 22:40). This prayer makes us alert to evil, helping us avoid it.

Secondly, we command deliverance, by taking authority in Jesus’ Name over any evil power working against us, binding it and commanding it to be removed (John 14:12-14, Mark 11:23).

KIND OF PRAYER 7: CASTING our CARES
 on the LORD.

“For Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever. Amen (that settles it).”   This adjusts us correctly to the problems of life. 

“Casting all your care upon Him (once and for all) for He cares for you” (1Peter 5:7)  

“Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5).

“Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22).

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7).

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