Training Yourself in Prayer ( 1 Tim. 4:7-8)
GOD places so much value on training, Gen. 14:11-16, Prov. 22:6, Ps. 144:1. GOD compares physical athletic training in sports with the value of training yourself spiritually. The value of physical training is little compared to that of spiritual training.
Why should we train ourselves in prayer?
- It’s so that we will not give up or be frustrated in life, Lk. 18:1.
- To avoid temptation and to escape sin, Mk. 14:38. Prayerfulness and sinfulness are inversely related. Prayer sanctifies and washes the mind. It gives the grace to say no to sin. The flesh is not reliable but prayer keeps one going.
- It’s so that one would not lack, James 4:2. This implies that your level of possession as a Christian is traceable to your level of prayer.
- It’s to avoid disaster, even death, Is. 38:1-2. Training comes on the heels of consistency. Hezekiah was already used to prayer; that’s why he could turn to GOD in prayer even though he had been given a Word from GOD, Matt. 13:24-25.
- It’s a sin not to pray, 1Sam. 12:23, 1Thess. 5:17. GOD depends upon you to pray. Take time to pray on issues.
Types of prayers
Just like different games in sports with their different rules that the sportsman must master to win, Eph. 6:18 says we should pray with all prayers. There are 8 types with different rules. They are: prayer of petition/faith; prayer of intercession; prayer of agreement; prayer of worship; prayer of commitment; united prayer; prayer of consecration and praying in the spirit.
Each of them have different rules which should not be terminated else there would be no result.
1. Prayer of petition, Matt. 21:22, Mk. 11:24.
This concerns your individual desires, needs and problems. It’s prayer to change something. Its rules include the following: it should not be accompanied by “if it’s Your will” as this shows ignorance. It should be a prayer of faith. Pray specific promise from the Scripture and believe to receive it. Also, don’t tempt GOD
2. Prayer of intercession, 1Tim. 2:1-4.
This is seeking the presence and hearing of GOD on behalf of another. You identify with the situation of the person. It includes putting yourself in the person’s place like even taking the person’s sin on oneself, Neh. 1:4-11. It involves binding, loosing, travailing, wrestling with forces of darkness. It involves knowledge of facts about the person and the Scriptures. It’s persistent and unyielding.