There are some different types of prayer and many styles of praying. Like many other Christians, I started Christian life knowing some things about what prayer is, but was confused about the rest because I didn't really understand the formulas that Christians around me considered to be prayer and praying. I settled with prayer being a conversation between God and me, and things improved from there as He began to teach me what is real in the many aspects of what prayer is, as opposed to what we call prayer but is just religious or selfish words without power or connection with Him.
Scripture has helpful statements about what prayer is and what the results of effective prayer are. The ways of prayer shown are different which can seem confusing until we realise that there are different applications, depending on the situation. Prayer is shown in how Jesus lived on earth to be based on a dynamic relationship with our heavenly Father, and from that, Jesus taught the following very useful prayer guideline. If we can see it as a prayer guide, we can see that it can intersect with some aspects of every day life that we talk to our Father about all through the day. There are other situations where we need to know how to approach prayer because we cannot see the picture clearly and we need specific information and guidance from the Holy Spirit in order to pray effectively. This guide can give a starting point for those.
When Jesus' disciples realised by watching Him that there were aspects of prayer and talking with our Father that they were lacking, they asked Him to teach them to pray. They saw that Jesus was modelling a prayer filled way of life that was quite different from what they were used to, and seemed to always be on top of every situation and conversation that came along. There is no record of Jesus "saying a prayer", instead we see conversation with His Father, command prayer and proclamation prayer.
Because we generally find it difficult to discern our Father's thoughts and voice in the noise of thoughts and voices of life, we tend to look for some prayer formulas that will always work to help us along the way. Because I had been taught that Jesus prayer structure, commonly called "the Lord's prayer" was a prayer that you just spouted off in parrot fashion, I thought little of this way, or in Jesus words, “manner” of prayer for too many years of Christian life. I just did not see how valuable this is until our gracious Father began to show by inspiration the value of each of the parts of it. Then it all came together and I found encouragement in the completeness and power of this practical, simple way of prayer that is also full of principles and teaching on how to go about prayer.
A TOOLBOX FOR CHRISTIAN SURVIVAL
The disciples asked Him "Lord teach us to pray"
Jesus starts teaching by explaining a bit about what prayer is not, and how to go about setting ourselves up to pray effectively.
Matthew 6:5 - 15 And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, They have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, enter into your room. And shutting your door, pray to your Father in secret; and your Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly. 7 But when you pray, do not babble vain words, as the nations. For they think that in their much speaking they shall be heard. 8 Therefore do not be like them, for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask Him.
Matthew 6:9 Therefore pray in this manner: Our Father, who is in Heaven, Hallowed be Your name
Jesus' teaching here is like a useful toolbox for daily Christian survival. He is not telling us to copy and pray this prayer word for word, like a ritual. He is giving us a prayer structure - "Therefore pray in this manner ". I Have discovered that His prayer structure is a vital way (or tool) to bring about God’s sovereignty in my life. You could say that this manner of prayer progressively shifts focus through quite different aspects of life. This structure can be used for short or long prayer times depending on the needs we are praying into. It might even be appropriate to spend quite a long time on any particular part of it.
Our Father who art in Heaven
We pray to our Dad in Jesus' name (John 16:26 ). We pray (or talk) to Him AS our Father.
And in that day you shall ask Me nothing. Truly, truly, I say to you, Whatever you shall ask the Father in My name, He will give you.
Before now you have asked nothing in My name; ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full. I have spoken these things to you in parables, but the time is coming when I shall no more speak to you in parables, but I will show you plainly of the Father. At that day you will ask in My name; and I do not say to you that I will pray to the Father for you,
for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came out from God.
In other words we are told to charge up what we need to Jesus' account with our Father. You could say in today's language that this is on Jesus' account or tab. What are some of the things that are on Jesus account balance? Righteousness, Peace with God, Holiness, justification, authority, blessed of the Father, forgiveness, Grace and peace etc.
Being given His account balance with our Father is a parable of our being given His righteousness and place to stand in before Father God, along with His Life full of resource - living in our spirit because Jesus does. He is pleased when we function from and in harmony with His life. This harmony or oneness with Him is prayed about by Jesus in John 17:21 (but look at the whole prayer.)
John 17:20-23 And I do not pray for these alone, but for those also who shall believe on Me through their word, that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. And I have given them the glory which You have given Me, that they may be one, even as We are one, I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made complete in one; and that the world may know that You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.
We need this working oneness with Him to be able to do anything in His kingdom just as He says in John 15:5 I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who continues in Me, and I in him, that person brings forth much pluckable fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
What is our position?
We are brought into the royal family of God through Jesus taking up residence inside. Rev 1:5-6. We are royal Kings and priests. 1 John 4:17 As He is so are we in this world. [Ref Elect, Chosen notes.]
The enemy is camped about many of us - their agenda is to slow us down and blind us to what is real. This may be with distractions or doubt, discouragement or even envy. Those who see spiritually are bombarded with apparent distractions that have little meaning, to make them doubt that what they see is real.
To understand a lot of this we grasp two things
1) The spiritual is real, and we overcome it by speaking His truth, (Ephesians 6) relying on the fact that He paid for our freedom in His blood, and that we don’t love what is physical life more that we love Him, and
2) Prayer is a way of life that never ceases. God never leaves us nor forsakes us and neither do His ministering spirits, the Angels who are all about us, so we can chat with Him and them all day long if we want to.
When we believe and live like that, we start to get involved with being supernaturally natural. In other words, life becomes multidimensional and we live in the physical and the spirit together. In the Kingdom of Heaven everything then meshes as we cause the manifestation and control of the Kingdom of God, and we discover our true place as members of His Royal Family.
Dad’s agendas for us are real and will always clarify what is spirit and what is physical. His agendas for you will always give clear perspective on how to handle both the issues of soul-and-spirit and the issues of soul-and-physical-reality.
Understand who you are in the war of darkness and in each battle. Some have trouble with seeing themselves as a member of God’s royal family, shutting down their authority. Meditate on these scriptures and related ones Revelation 1:5,6; John 1:12; Hebrews 1:10-14; Perhaps use a felt tip to write a relevant scripture on your mirror and speak it to yourself when you use the mirror.
Hallowed (Holy and revered)(awesome) is Your Name
This is praise and worship. One way to come quickly in tune with the Holy Spirit is to worship our Father. As we focus on Him, all of our problems, fears, concerns and reservations fade as we surrender to the influence of His life flowing through us from our spirit outward through our soul as we worship Him in spirit and in truth. As we yield into Him in true praise and worship, we are letting our trust of Him take over and we enter into resting in Him.
Day to day life causes us to put up temporary barriers and protections around our heart. As we surrender to Him in any kind of praise and worship, these barriers (and feeling discouraged) melt away before His great love and peace that begins to refill us from the wells and fountains of our spirit within where He dwells.
This happens as we focus on who He really is and on His greatness in a heartfelt way. The barriers and protections in us spring up from all sorts of causes. But they are gone in an instant of His Life touch as we reopen the internal connections between our soul and spirit (and He who dwells in our innermost being - our spirit).
He knows our frailties. This way of beginning to pray meets our need, because He knows that focus on who He is in praise and worship will help us to focus on Him and then be able to receive from Him.
He doesn't need our worship but He knows that we need to worship Him.
John 17:14-26 I have given them Your Word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not pray for You to take them out of the world, but for You to keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through Your truth. Your Word is truth.
As You have sent Me into the world, even so I have sent them into the world. And I sanctify Myself for their sakes, so that they also might be sanctified in truth. And I do not pray for these alone, but for those also who shall believe on Me through their word, that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.
And I have given them the glory which You have given Me, that they may be one, even as We are one, I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that those whom You have given Me, that they may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me, for You have loved Me before the foundation of the world.
O righteous Father, indeed the world has not known You; but I have known You, and these have known that You have sent me. And I made known to them Your name, and will make it known, so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them.
His Name is Him as each of us personally knows Him. We focus on and worship the friend who is Almighty God who we know by revelation in our heart. We focus on the beautiful loving person that He has personally revealed to each one of us. If we feel that we don’t know Him enough in this way, or need more, this is a good place to ask to know Him more.
Read John 17:6-8: I have revealed Your name to the men whom You gave to Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things, whatever You have given Me, are from You. For I have given to them the Words which You gave Me, and they have received them and have known surely that I came out from You. And they have believed that You sent Me.
Read John 17:6-8 and link “Your name ” in verse 6 with “the Words which You gave me;” to see that our Father's name was in the words that Jesus gave the disciples, as inspired by our Father. Not just in how Jesus was with them or in the miracles.
John 17:11 And now I am in the world no longer, but these are in the world, and I come to You, Holy Father. Keep them in Your name, those whom You have given Me, so that they may be one as We are.
Just as with Jesus and His disciples, the power of what He has revealed to you personally keeps you. Jesus, our Father and Holy Spirit as you know Him can be revisited any time you wish, simply in attitude of heart or as you praise and worship Him in songs, or by dwelling or meditating on those revelations, reminding yourself of who He really is. The bridges between your spirit and soul can be opened to His life flow any time you wish, and this gets easier the more we practise living like this. (See Habits of Godliness.)
Thy kingdom come
Revelation 22:1-5 And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the midst of the street thereof. And on this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, bearing twelve manner of fruits, yielding its fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no curse any more: and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be therein: and his servants shall serve him; and they shall see his face; and his name shall be on their foreheads. And there shall be night no more; and they need no light of lamp, neither light of sun; for the Lord God shall give them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
Matthew 3:1-2 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent! For the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
Mark 1:14 And after John was delivered up, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God draws near. Repent, and believe the gospel .
Luke 12:32 Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom .
What do you think the kingdom of God is? What do you think the kingdom of heaven is? Is there a difference?
The Kingdom of God is just that – the kingdom of theos. The Kingdom of heaven is literally – the kingdom of the air. There is the difference which is more clearly laid out in Matthew’s gospel than anywhere else. (A clue is in one of the statements about satan being the prince of the power of the air. )
The air refers to the atmosphere and whatever is in or under it, so that gives some limitations to the reach and scope of the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of God goes far beyond this and includes all of creation and beyond. The Kingdom of God is centred in the Family of God. Wherever we are, there is the Kingdom of God. Our job is to represent the Kingdom of God. We are the Kingdom because the King lives in us and we stand in Him. We bring about the Kingdom of heaven as we influence and enforce in prayer the will and ways of our Father. This flows naturally out of your relationship with Him, so do whatever you can to keep your relationship space in good shape.
You can pray for:-
Some pray for the arrival of Jesus’ millennium world kingdom at the end of the age, which we can look forward to. But “Your kingdom come and be where I am every moment of the day” is another way to read this. Also “Your kingdom be manifested through me where I am right now”. Jesus practised this and would escape to be alone with the Father when being too busy threatened their oneness. So should we, even if it is just an escape into our private inner place (closet) with Him.
Where do we keep in touch with Dad? (Prayer that works) - We can either use a place of peace or our private inner place (closet) with Him.
The secret place of the most high is inside you. Sometimes it gets too busy and we have to withdraw so we can commune with Dad in the secret place.
Jesus practised this and would escape to be alone with the Father when being too busy threatened their oneness.Luke 10:8-11 And into whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick that are in it, and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near you! And into whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, going out into the streets say, Even the dust of your city which clings to us, we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.
This statement Jesus made is powerful. The declaration here implies anointed power to leave a statement in the streets as the dust is wiped off that keeps working in the town village etc. This is a sonship action and decree of royal sons of God.
How and why does God limit Himself? – This question bothers some people. (ie -why doesn’t God do something about the evil in the world?). Any answer to that question is about the ways He does not interfere directly with free will.
The outworking of God's Kingdom is where His people are. God Himself is omnipresent but within the limits He has set up we bring His Kingdom to others who are looking for His help.
God Himself is omnipresent but within the limits He has set up is where His kingdom is. (If He didn’t limit the Kingdom, people would be confronted day and night by the ever present power of the Mighty God, and His purposes of providing free choice would be circumvented just like they will be in the millennial reign of Jesus on earth after His return.)
As an expression of Jesus with skin on we are His Kingdom and bring His kingdom to others who are looking for His help. (He walked this planet with skin on. Now this happens through us and exclusively through His royal empowered Family.)
Luke 17:20 And being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered and said, The kingdom of God does not come with observation. Nor shall they say, Lo here! or, behold, there! For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst .
(Wherever we are in their midst, the kingdom is. Jesus was talking to people who definitely did not have the Kingdom in them. He was talking about “if the King is here with you then the Kingdom is in your midst”)
Thy will be done
What do you think will is? (Will is expressed as - going to, disposed to, supposed to, determined to,)
What do you think God’s will is? (He speaks His dynamic will to us and scripture contains His overall will)
Made a will. Where do we find Jesus will? That to be carried out at His death. Isaiah 53:6; Jeremiah 31:31-34; John 17:1-11; John 1:12; Matthew 5:1-12. (The words in red)
Jesus will is to be manifested in sons on the earth, the Kingdom of God making the Kingdom of heaven (the Kingdom of the Air) reoriented and real around us.
Psalm 115:16 The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth has been given to the sons of men.
Who has dominion over the earth? Do we live like it? – What would that look like? Who do you actually want to have dominion over the earth?
Matthew 26:39 And He went a little further and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.
Matthew 16:24 -25 Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it, and whoever desires to lose his life for My sake shall find it.
“I want Your kingdom where I am, and also I want Your will to be done in this small area of Your kingdom in and around me, not my will.” “Help me turn from corruption and do Your will”. “I am poor in spirit, You are richly everything. Rise up Holy Spirit within me - Fill me.” It's about exercising our dominion on the earth to give Him all the permissions and reasons He waits for to be able to act in man’s realm.
In Genesis 1:26–30 dominion is given to us over the earth, so speaking blessing clouds in around people makes changes in the spiritual that He can work with.
So then we are praying for His kingdom to come and His will to be done in:-
a) Personal space. In our personal space it can sound like this -
“I desire Your kingdom to manifest where I am. I desire Your will to be done in this area of Your kingdom in and around me, not my will.” “Help me turn from my ways and do Your will”. “I am small, but You are great. Rise up Holy Spirit within me - Fill me.”
b) Other's space. (Speak in a blessing zone around them then pray His Kingdom / Will in there)
c) Environment around us. (Speak fire and blessing then His will be done)
d) Through our influence everywhere. (This is happening around us in the spiritual whether we are aware of it or not)
e) City and country. ( Also Wherever we are travelling to and through.)
Who are you here on earth? (Royal family, rulers in the spirit)
1 John 4:17; Revelation 5:9-10
We gain an inheritance earned by God Himself. The key to that inheritance that unlocks it is personal relationship with our Father. He shows you what you personally can access and He shows you what you personally have authority over. He changes and expands these areas as we grow in spiritual muscle and integrity (just as you change these things for your own children as they grow).
On earth as in Heaven
What do you think God’s Kingdom and His will being done looks like in His eternal heaven?
Is He a dictator? Not really, He believes in free will choices. Our time on earth is preparation time for living in the rest of creation and not damaging it. Free will exists in the rest of creation as well, that’s why the other races and beings of the Hosts of Heaven could choose to fall with satan.
He sees us as royal sons of authority, power and privilege. By what we speak we inform our reality from our position.
What do you think we are really asking for?
What does this intervention of the Kingdom of God really look like? It looks like Him working with our intentional involvement, not always rescuing us but bringing about the rule of the Kingdom of God in this atmosphere with our partnership and co-operation. That produces the Kingdom of heaven which is ours to rule in partnership with Him. Some of us need to grow up a bit to do that.
Give us this day our daily bread
The bread of God is Jesus Christ. On a daily basis, we need the Life of Jesus that comes with being fed revelation by the Holy Spirit which happens in communing with Him or by Worship and praise. We can also experience life from what has been revealed. Keeping notes of what what has been revealed and referring to them helps.
Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Moses did not give you that bread from Heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from Heaven.
33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from Heaven and gives life to the world.
34 Then they said to him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
35 And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes on Me shall never thirst.
This is continuing in the surrender of personal and real worship that we started with. Worship must be in spirit and in truth
-the word “truth
” in John 4:23
means reality. We have asked that our Father’s kingdom come and be where we are. Then that His will be done over ours because in the spiritual, we are the poor and His are the riches and the resource of Life that wells up within and through us.
Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit! For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
We are declaring our dependence on Him. Then for this to happen we must have daily bread - or if the truth is really told, more than daily, especially at times. This bread is revelation and His guiding, polarising Life, so that His will IS done as our attitudes and thoughts become aligned with His. Aligned by His Life - the Living Bread being there changing our hearts to be like His heart.
Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Death to our self life comes from His Life not the other way around.
Forgive us our trespasses, for we also (try to) forgive.
Jesus said if we don’t forgive, we will not be forgiven. The reason is to do with our heart state. Holding anything against another stops us from being able to joyfully receive forgiveness ourselves. We are forgiven but cant receive it. This has nothing to do with God holding back forgiveness, only our ability to receive it. Forgive yourself also. Self condemnation (judging ourselves) expressed as we berate ourselves and beat ourselves up about things doesn't just cut us off from receiving forgiveness, it stops us from hearing God talking to us.
Judge not, that you may not be judged.
2 For with whatever judgment you judge, you shall be judged; and with whatever measure you measure out, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why do you look on the splinter that is in your brother's eye, but do not consider the beam that is in your own eye?
4 Or how will you say to your brother, Let me pull the splinter out of your eye; and, behold, a beam is in your own eye?
5 Hypocrite! First cast the beam out of your own eye, and then you shall see clearly to cast the splinter out of your brother's eye.
The word "judge"in the original Greek means condemn. In the end, if we do not reach out to Father for ability to let go of these wrongs to us, we will live in the shadow of our own condemnation as we condemn others. Jesus redeemed us with His blood - that means He bought us back from satan's hand. Forgiveness goes with this redemption so now post redemption we can pray instead - Thank you for forgiving me. Please open my wells of forgiveness and Life to pour out to others.
Lead us not into temptation
Temptation is allowed by Father God because rebellious hearts must be tempted to be broken. It is all about the heart permissions we carry and have towards Him. Rebellious hearts desire temptation. Our Spirit heart does not, but desires deliverance and healing with restoration of relationship with our heavenly Father. This is a heart surrendered to Father God, seeing and looking at revelations of Jesus Christ within us. A heart that is surrendered to our Father will fight against distraction doubt and fear to stay in His life flow.
God's ability to rewrite our hearts is what we seek in this. He will rewrite hearts and minds when given permission but will not change our real and originally created personality. Who you were created to be will never be changed by Him. That is set. Some people think that He will morph them into a carbon copy of Jesus but that's not what He wants. He loves diversity, however He did not write rebellion into people. That comes from the influence of either darkness or selfishness. Agreement with it builds mind fortresses that take some shifting. Jesus is up to the task whenever called on. (Self out of control - see Living after the Spirit). Because we desire rewriting of heart by Him, we can ask not to be tempted but to be delivered from evil instead. Give Him permission to rewrite your heart in every area you are aware of and everything you are not conscious of as well and He will begin the work.
Deliver us from evil.
Our Father’s will is to deliver us from evil, not to see evil to win over us or give us a hard time. He would rather we stayed in his Life flow so we will be of maximum effect to encourage ourselves and others, and to save lives. (Evil as God defines it is anything that is polarised opposite to Him). That deliverance includes rewriting and healing what is misaligned within us.
I do not pray for You to take them out of the world, but for You to keep them from the evil.
John 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
He would rather have us give evil a hard time. He will make us Holy Lifeguards and Holy Ambos for others by doing and saying what He shows us to, as others cross our paths.
John 12:46 I have come as a Light into the world, so that whoever believes on Me should not remain in darkness.
47 And if any one hears My Words and does not believe, I do not judge him, for I do not come to judge the world, but to save the world.
48 He who rejects Me and does not receive My Words has one who judges him; the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
49 For I have not spoken of Myself, but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say, and what I should speak.
Father God showed Jesus what to say (in conversation) and what to speak (teach / preach), and He will show each of his children if we are listening.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory.
Worship at beginning and the end of praying. We have a need to worship our Father. He is complete and doesn’t need our worship, but we need to worship Him, and He permits us to for our sake. For many of us, this is because worship aligns our hearts with His heart faster than anything else we could do and allows us to be reconnected with His Life and His heart attitudes when we have gone into a selfish attitude. Also as we praise Him and thank Him for all He has done or is doing, giving Him honour for deliverance from evil and for salvation, a joy comes that is great strength.
I believe that Jesus gave us this prayer toolbox as a lifeline to our Father, and to enable us to be a lifeline to others as we disciple them to depend on Him. In my experience, sincerely praying this prayer guide through every department of it while reaching out to Father God almost immediately brings a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit because our internal soul to spirit pathways open up. A lot of my successful just being with Him times begin with adapting this prayer structure to living as it is at that moment. Each part of this structure covers a huge area of all those problems and things that we need to talk with our Father about and to pray through. Adapting each part to suit the circumstances we find ourselves in can bring a fresh release of the Holy Spirit’s care and this structure gives us the way to do so. Really, there is no area left out. Don’t be surprised when you hear His thoughts in your shared thought space to you more and more as you do so.
Our Father in heaven
Your Name is awesome
Let Your kingdom be manifested wherever I am today
Let Your will be done not mine
Grant us today our food from You, which is You, both spiritual and physical
and thank you for your forgiveness. Please open my wells of forgiveness and Life to flow to others.
I surrender my heart for rewriting in every area, so do not bring me to testing, but deliver me from all evil, leading me away from temptation
For the kingdom is yours, the power is yours, and the credit for all of this is yours, always was and always will be.
In Jesus powerful Name Amen.
Use the toolbox for a few days, then write your own version in language that would be helpful to those who listen to you most and send me a copy.