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Prayer Discussion:

How Do You Pray

Be still, and know that I am God: Psalm 46:10

O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. Psalm 47:1

Yeesss???  So what is your favorite way of praying?  Do you pray lists daily or only pray in emergencies; pray for your family, friends, church, pastors?  Do you pray scripture, worship music, as the Spirit leads, or just repetition?  Have you seen definite answers to your prayer?

It is not really a question of how, but rather do you pray!

But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. Deuteronomy 4:29

 

Give us your thoughts!

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Hi Paul,
I have prayed in all the ways you've mentioned. I usually pray as the Lord prompts and leads, throughout the day - sort of a "pray without ceasing" kind of mindset. However, I am trying to be more disciplined with my prayer time by using, "The 29:59 Plan" by Peter M. Lord and Daniel Henderson, which I am really enjoying.

It's hard to say which is my favorite way to pray. I love Scripture-fed, Spirit-led praying. We use it all the time in our corporate prayer times at church. For personal time, I love to sit and just listen to the heart of God. He will sometimes take me to a Scripture or song to pray out of, or He'll burden my heart, and the words just pour out of me. Other times, I just sit, unable to speak, but just being still and knowing He is God. As an intercessor, it's hard to do that last one. I sometimes feel like I'm not "doing my job" if I'm not praying for somebody specifically, but God shows me that He knows my heart, and as I quiet myself before Him, He lifts those desires and requests gently from my heart, to work them according to His will, and He speaks to me of His Sovereignty over every person and situation that is on my heart. I think those times are some of my favorites.

I have definitely had the joy and privilege of seeing specific prayers answered. In my family, I have seen both of my brothers turn from a life of total rebellion to a life of total dedication to God. In our church, we have seen God lining people and things up according to His will. Our church staff has seen a lot of changes in the last year, but they were all good changes, and all of it was in answer to some prayers about desiring God's order for our church. We've also seen some amazing changes in our city as intercessors have been crying out to the Lord for this city. I am so in awe of God's sovereign power, and that He chooses to use us and our prayers to move in the Earth! Praise His holy name!!!
Jennifer: Thank you for joining in. The following is something (broad outline), the wife and I have prayed almost every evening at bedtime for years

A Bedtime Prayer for Spiritual Warriors
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the blessings of this day.

Father, if we have sinned against you or others today, we ask you to forgive us. Cleanse us by the blood of your son that we may be righteous and holy before you. Let us be vessels of honor for your use.

In the name of Jesus Christ, we renounce every curse, hex, vex, incantation, spell, and foul or negative word spoken over us today. We declare that we are righteous and holy, worthy to receive kingdom blessings and provision from you.

We come against every foul evil spirit that may have attached its self to us, entered our dwelling, our transportation or hindered our finances today. We bind you and tell you to leave in the name of Jesus Christ.

Lord, we ask you to give us sleep and rest tonight that we may be refreshed and ready to do your will on the morrow.

Amen

The rest of the day, it is sort of as the Spirit leads or the situation asks for.
I like that! I think I will start using that prayer as well. I try to cover those things before I go to bed at night, but I sometimes leave out something - and can feel the consequences of it. So this will be a great help. Thanks!

Paul Haden said:
Jennifer: Thank you for joining in. The following is something (broad outline), the wife and I have prayed almost every evening at bedtime for years

A Bedtime Prayer for Spiritual Warriors
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the blessings of this day.

Father, if we have sinned against you or others today, we ask you to forgive us. Cleanse us by the blood of your son that we may be righteous and holy before you. Let us be vessels of honor for your use.

In the name of Jesus Christ, we renounce every curse, hex, vex, incantation, spell, and foul or negative word spoken over us today. We declare that we are righteous and holy, worthy to receive kingdom blessings and provision from you.

We come against every foul evil spirit that may have attached its self to us, entered our dwelling, our transportation or hindered our finances today. We bind you and tell you to leave in the name of Jesus Christ.

Lord, we ask you to give us sleep and rest tonight that we may be refreshed and ready to do your will on the morrow.

Amen

The rest of the day, it is sort of as the Spirit leads or the situation asks for.
Jennifer, I'm interested in what you said about - Scripture-fed, Spirit-led praying in corporate prayer times at church.
Would you expand on that for me? Thanks. Lowell Snow

Jennifer Weed said:
Hi Paul,
I have prayed in all the ways you've mentioned. I usually pray as the Lord prompts and leads, throughout the day - sort of a "pray without ceasing" kind of mindset. However, I am trying to be more disciplined with my prayer time by using, "The 29:59 Plan" by Peter M. Lord and Daniel Henderson, which I am really enjoying.

It's hard to say which is my favorite way to pray. I love Scripture-fed, Spirit-led praying. We use it all the time in our corporate prayer times at church. For personal time, I love to sit and just listen to the heart of God. He will sometimes take me to a Scripture or song to pray out of, or He'll burden my heart, and the words just pour out of me. Other times, I just sit, unable to speak, but just being still and knowing He is God. As an intercessor, it's hard to do that last one. I sometimes feel like I'm not "doing my job" if I'm not praying for somebody specifically, but God shows me that He knows my heart, and as I quiet myself before Him, He lifts those desires and requests gently from my heart, to work them according to His will, and He speaks to me of His Sovereignty over every person and situation that is on my heart. I think those times are some of my favorites.

I have definitely had the joy and privilege of seeing specific prayers answered. In my family, I have seen both of my brothers turn from a life of total rebellion to a life of total dedication to God. In our church, we have seen God lining people and things up according to His will. Our church staff has seen a lot of changes in the last year, but they were all good changes, and all of it was in answer to some prayers about desiring God's order for our church. We've also seen some amazing changes in our city as intercessors have been crying out to the Lord for this city. I am so in awe of God's sovereign power, and that He chooses to use us and our prayers to move in the Earth! Praise His holy name!!!
Sure, Lowell. We would meet weekly on Sunday nights and take a portion of Scripture to pray through. One or two of our pastors would facilitate a time of praying out of that portion of Scripture. Sometimes it was from the pastor's sermon that morning, and sometimes it was just whatever passage the Lord had laid on the facilitator's heart. And then, we would pray out of that passage using the 4/4 pattern of prayer from the Lord's Prayer, which is:
1) Upward - adoration, worship of who God is as revealed through this passage (Heavenly Father, hallowed be Your name);
2) Downward - Because of who God is in this passage, how do I need to respond? (Your kingdom come; Your will be done)
3) Inward - Our requests. What does the passage prompt me to ask God for - for myself, and for others near me. (Give us this day, our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.)
4) Outward - Using the passage to pray for one another, and to commit ourselves to living out what the Lord is calling us to. (And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.)

For each of the 4 "strokes", we would pray in a different format. The first one was what I call "popcorn prayers", where people one by one would pray whatever prayer of adoration the Lord prompted them to out loud. Those were my favorite times because it was obvious the Holy Spirit was prompting the prayers, because I would have a thought on my heart, and then someone from across the room would pray exactly what I was thinking, or I would have someone come to me afterward and say that I had prayed what they were thinking.

For the downward stroke, it was usually silent reflection. For the inward stroke, we would divide into small groups and share our Scripture-fed requests in prayer with one another. For the outward stroke, we would sometimes do more popcorn prayers, or stay with our small group, or sometimes we would do what we started calling "the Father's lap", where we would have a chair in the middle of our gathering, and someone who was especially burdened about something, could come and sit "in the Father's lap" while the rest of us gathered around, laid hands on them, and prayed for them.

We still do this, but now we meet every 8 weeks for this corporate prayer time. On a weekly basis we are now implementing the same pattern of praying into small groups (anywhere from 6 - 12 people) so that we can truly become a prayer saturated church.

Much more info on the 4/4 praying can be found in that book I mentioned in my first reply, "The 29:59 Plan". Daniel Henderson, who revised the book originally written by Peter M. Lord, is on Pray! Network. When I find the link to his web site, I'll post it on here or to your page, if you like.

Lowell Snow said:
Jennifer, I'm interested in what you said about - Scripture-fed, Spirit-led praying in corporate prayer times at church.
Would you expand on that for me? Thanks. Lowell Snow

Jennifer Weed said:
Hi Paul,
I have prayed in all the ways you've mentioned. I usually pray as the Lord prompts and leads, throughout the day - sort of a "pray without ceasing" kind of mindset. However, I am trying to be more disciplined with my prayer time by using, "The 29:59 Plan" by Peter M. Lord and Daniel Henderson, which I am really enjoying.

It's hard to say which is my favorite way to pray. I love Scripture-fed, Spirit-led praying. We use it all the time in our corporate prayer times at church. For personal time, I love to sit and just listen to the heart of God. He will sometimes take me to a Scripture or song to pray out of, or He'll burden my heart, and the words just pour out of me. Other times, I just sit, unable to speak, but just being still and knowing He is God. As an intercessor, it's hard to do that last one. I sometimes feel like I'm not "doing my job" if I'm not praying for somebody specifically, but God shows me that He knows my heart, and as I quiet myself before Him, He lifts those desires and requests gently from my heart, to work them according to His will, and He speaks to me of His Sovereignty over every person and situation that is on my heart. I think those times are some of my favorites.

I have definitely had the joy and privilege of seeing specific prayers answered. In my family, I have seen both of my brothers turn from a life of total rebellion to a life of total dedication to God. In our church, we have seen God lining people and things up according to His will. Our church staff has seen a lot of changes in the last year, but they were all good changes, and all of it was in answer to some prayers about desiring God's order for our church. We've also seen some amazing changes in our city as intercessors have been crying out to the Lord for this city. I am so in awe of God's sovereign power, and that He chooses to use us and our prayers to move in the Earth! Praise His holy name!!!
Thanks a lot. I really appreciate your time.
Lowell Snow


Jennifer Weed said:
Sure, Lowell. We would meet weekly on Sunday nights and take a portion of Scripture to pray through. One or two of our pastors would facilitate a time of praying out of that portion of Scripture. Sometimes it was from the pastor's sermon that morning, and sometimes it was just whatever passage the Lord had laid on the facilitator's heart. And then, we would pray out of that passage using the 4/4 pattern of prayer from the Lord's Prayer, which is:
1) Upward - adoration, worship of who God is as revealed through this passage (Heavenly Father, hallowed be Your name);
2) Downward - Because of who God is in this passage, how do I need to respond? (Your kingdom come; Your will be done)
3) Inward - Our requests. What does the passage prompt me to ask God for - for myself, and for others near me. (Give us this day, our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.)
4) Outward - Using the passage to pray for one another, and to commit ourselves to living out what the Lord is calling us to. (And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.)

For each of the 4 "strokes", we would pray in a different format. The first one was what I call "popcorn prayers", where people one by one would pray whatever prayer of adoration the Lord prompted them to out loud. Those were my favorite times because it was obvious the Holy Spirit was prompting the prayers, because I would have a thought on my heart, and then someone from across the room would pray exactly what I was thinking, or I would have someone come to me afterward and say that I had prayed what they were thinking.

For the downward stroke, it was usually silent reflection. For the inward stroke, we would divide into small groups and share our Scripture-fed requests in prayer with one another. For the outward stroke, we would sometimes do more popcorn prayers, or stay with our small group, or sometimes we would do what we started calling "the Father's lap", where we would have a chair in the middle of our gathering, and someone who was especially burdened about something, could come and sit "in the Father's lap" while the rest of us gathered around, laid hands on them, and prayed for them.

We still do this, but now we meet every 8 weeks for this corporate prayer time. On a weekly basis we are now implementing the same pattern of praying into small groups (anywhere from 6 - 12 people) so that we can truly become a prayer saturated church.

Much more info on the 4/4 praying can be found in that book I mentioned in my first reply, "The 29:59 Plan". Daniel Henderson, who revised the book originally written by Peter M. Lord, is on Pray! Network. When I find the link to his web site, I'll post it on here or to your page, if you like.

Lowell Snow said:
Jennifer, I'm interested in what you said about - Scripture-fed, Spirit-led praying in corporate prayer times at church.
Would you expand on that for me? Thanks. Lowell Snow

Jennifer Weed said:
Hi Paul,
I have prayed in all the ways you've mentioned. I usually pray as the Lord prompts and leads, throughout the day - sort of a "pray without ceasing" kind of mindset. However, I am trying to be more disciplined with my prayer time by using, "The 29:59 Plan" by Peter M. Lord and Daniel Henderson, which I am really enjoying.

It's hard to say which is my favorite way to pray. I love Scripture-fed, Spirit-led praying. We use it all the time in our corporate prayer times at church. For personal time, I love to sit and just listen to the heart of God. He will sometimes take me to a Scripture or song to pray out of, or He'll burden my heart, and the words just pour out of me. Other times, I just sit, unable to speak, but just being still and knowing He is God. As an intercessor, it's hard to do that last one. I sometimes feel like I'm not "doing my job" if I'm not praying for somebody specifically, but God shows me that He knows my heart, and as I quiet myself before Him, He lifts those desires and requests gently from my heart, to work them according to His will, and He speaks to me of His Sovereignty over every person and situation that is on my heart. I think those times are some of my favorites.

I have definitely had the joy and privilege of seeing specific prayers answered. In my family, I have seen both of my brothers turn from a life of total rebellion to a life of total dedication to God. In our church, we have seen God lining people and things up according to His will. Our church staff has seen a lot of changes in the last year, but they were all good changes, and all of it was in answer to some prayers about desiring God's order for our church. We've also seen some amazing changes in our city as intercessors have been crying out to the Lord for this city. I am so in awe of God's sovereign power, and that He chooses to use us and our prayers to move in the Earth! Praise His holy name!!!
As one of the pastors who regularly leads the "Scripture-fed, Spirit-led" prayer gatherings at our church, I concur with Jennifer's observation about the value of this type of praying. It's not rocket science or higher math - but very simply letting God speak through His Word to us and then we respond to Him conversationally in prayer - but in a corporate context. The "Spirit-led" aspect of it is evidenced in an "agenda-free" flow that allows for the Spirit to take us down pathways that may or may not be planned based on the prayers of the people in the room. This style of corporate prayer also leads to the utilization of many other types of prayer - contemplation, confession, intercession and worship all become parts of the whole with "Scripture-fed, Spirit-led" being the cohesive backbone.

Many of those in the Pastors' Prayer Summit movement (www.prayersummits.net) utilize this style of prayer. On my website (www.FirstOfAll.org) there is a document that gives a lot of reasons why praying scripture is valuable (a lot of those thoughts came from a John Wimber book on the topic).




Lowell Snow said:
Jennifer, I'm interested in what you said about - Scripture-fed, Spirit-led praying in corporate prayer times at church.
Would you expand on that for me? Thanks. Lowell Snow

Jennifer Weed said:
Hi Paul,
I have prayed in all the ways you've mentioned. I usually pray as the Lord prompts and leads, throughout the day - sort of a "pray without ceasing" kind of mindset. However, I am trying to be more disciplined with my prayer time by using, "The 29:59 Plan" by Peter M. Lord and Daniel Henderson, which I am really enjoying.

It's hard to say which is my favorite way to pray. I love Scripture-fed, Spirit-led praying. We use it all the time in our corporate prayer times at church. For personal time, I love to sit and just listen to the heart of God. He will sometimes take me to a Scripture or song to pray out of, or He'll burden my heart, and the words just pour out of me. Other times, I just sit, unable to speak, but just being still and knowing He is God. As an intercessor, it's hard to do that last one. I sometimes feel like I'm not "doing my job" if I'm not praying for somebody specifically, but God shows me that He knows my heart, and as I quiet myself before Him, He lifts those desires and requests gently from my heart, to work them according to His will, and He speaks to me of His Sovereignty over every person and situation that is on my heart. I think those times are some of my favorites.

I have definitely had the joy and privilege of seeing specific prayers answered. In my family, I have seen both of my brothers turn from a life of total rebellion to a life of total dedication to God. In our church, we have seen God lining people and things up according to His will. Our church staff has seen a lot of changes in the last year, but they were all good changes, and all of it was in answer to some prayers about desiring God's order for our church. We've also seen some amazing changes in our city as intercessors have been crying out to the Lord for this city. I am so in awe of God's sovereign power, and that He chooses to use us and our prayers to move in the Earth! Praise His holy name!!!
This is a great discussion. I am going to follow up on all of these tips and would love to quote some in my blog. Thank you!
by all means, if it promotes the Kingdom and prayer!
Hi Paul (and everyone), Good Morning! What do you pray at the start of the day?
Good morning, Clare. Let's start a new discussion for this, shall we? : ) I'll post my answer in a new discussion topic.

Clare Gambrell said:
Hi Paul (and everyone), Good Morning! What do you pray at the start of the day?
Sorry. I rethought that and decided that it was inappropriate for me to start another discussion, since you were addressing Paul primarily and the rest of us secondarily. So here is my answer to your question, Clare:

My morning prayers are usually based out of the Lord's Prayer. It helps me remember to acknowledge the supremacy and lordship of God, my intimate relationship with Him as my Father, and submitting to His plans and purposes for my day. Dennis Fuqua has an excellent book on the Lord's Prayer call, "Living Prayer: The Lord's Prayer Alive in You".

I also pray the whole armor of God over my family and myself from Eph. 6. After all, every day is a day we are heading into battle against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places.

I would love to hear how others pray to start their day.

Jennifer Weed said:
Good morning, Clare. Let's start a new discussion for this, shall we? : ) I'll post my answer in a new discussion topic.

Clare Gambrell said:
Hi Paul (and everyone), Good Morning! What do you pray at the start of the day?

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