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Preparing Yourself for a Prayer Partner

 Lesson 5

Preparing Yourself for a Prayer Partner

We should desire to be prepared to be a prayer partner.   When we are, we can encourage someone else because the Love of God constrains us. II Cor 5:14.

Purpose:

A key purpose of having a prayer partner is:  To encourage your prayer partner in the Lord.  Heb 3:13 (KJV) “But exhort one another daily…” 

We need to understand there are factors that affect relationships and praying together is a form of relationship.

Let’s start by examining what roles affect our Christian relationship.  In building a prayer relationship with others, we should focus on the role of God’s Holy Spirit:

  • The role of the Holy Spirit role is to be a comforter, coming alongside of us, to guide us and to bring comfort to us.  If God, through His Holy Spirit, comes alongside of us, it is the example to us that we should also come alongside of prayer partners and encourage them.   Therefore our role should be to do what God is doing for us.   In essence we should partner with God, reflecting God’s love and compassion in encouraging others..  There is a song we may have learned as children that goes hand in hand with what we are talking about:

When we all pull together, together, together

When we all pull together, how happy we’ll be.

For Your work is my work

And our work is God’s work.

When we all pull together, how happy we’ll be.

(note:  Pulling together is very important)

With this approach in mind, we should ask ourselves a question about our motives in praying with someone else, because if the motives are not in line with God’s Word, they can block our following God’s example. A question in looking at motives that we should consider -- Is having a prayer partner about ourselves—our “personal needs”, or do we really want to join together with others in a way that can encourage them?  If we do want to join together with others in prayer, then why not ask the Lord’s help in following His example of encouragement? See: Phil 2:1-5:  If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies.  Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.

Now let’s move forward and look at personal preparation for praying with others.  There are two steps: 

  • First we should invite God’s presence and His Holy Spirit to identify to us personal issues that have prevented us from effectively praying for others.  Then, seek His wisdom how to overcome them. 
  • Secondly, we need insure that our heart lines up with God’s word.  This is best done by spending regular time reading and studying God’s word. 

Moving forward in preparation in praying with others, let’s look at some common issues frequently faced about prayer, and look at what God’s word says:

  • When you pray with others, are you afraid to be open?

Is our fear of being open rooted in our struggle to keep our feelings private?   Are you afraid to share problems, such as ones that are very personal?    

God’s word does say: “confess your faults one to another, and pray for another that you may be healed.”  James 5: 16  It is easy to say that verse, and many of us have encountered issues from other people when we have opened up about faults.  If God says to do it, then God will find a way to help us obey his word.   .

  • Do you feel responsible for answers to prayer, as though they depend on you?

God’s word tells us that God’s job is to hear and answer.  I John 5:14-15 It is difficult to do that when we have learned to control our destiny, or at least try to.

  • Do you feel you can’t pray good enough in front of others?    We should not be praying “to be seen”.  We should be praying out of a heart concern for others.  I Sam 16:7 says God looks on the heart. He is the one we want to hear our prayers. 

Getting into God’s Word and putting it into practice; and asking God’s help helps us to open our hearts to the Lord.  Most likely, when you look at yourself on various issue points, listed above, you may find they actually apply to each of us in one way or another.  What we are focusing on here is a personal look at the fears and issues that we may have.  Then once we know where we stand in relation to what God’s word says, we can ask God’s help to align our hearts with His word.  There are the real issues in our heart that affect our reaching out to others—the Bible encourages us to reach out to others—a brother, sister, or friend in the Lord; and God can and will help us.  That help comes when we obey God’s word and brings His blessings. 

Unfortunately, so many of us are caught up in self focus for various reasons, which hinder our encouraging someone else—However with God’s help, we can overcome a self-focus; and reach out to someone.  It does take a commitment to do so.

After you have taken time to prepare yourself, there are a few other important issues that may relate to standards, should also need to be considered, which will affect our relationship in praying with others.  You might call these “basic standards for being a prayer partner”.  Consider the list below -- are these issues true of yourself?  

  • Trust worthiness—Confidentiality
  • Safe haven—Sensitivity, Confidentiality
  • Are you a mature believer—understanding prayer and God’s Word? 

A word about confidentiality:  The nature of concerns shared in prayer, is often extremely confidential. Confidentiality must be protected.  The protection of confidentiality encourages trust and offers a safe haven. 

It is important to realize that if we make a judgment or criticize what is shared, those judgments and criticism can hinder another person’s sense of trust and ultimately destroy the safe haven, confidentiality, which had been built on trust.  It can create a situation where we put up guards and are not free to receive what God has for us.  Judgment and criticism will block the work of God’s mercy and purpose and can grieve the Holy Spirit.  (See Rom 14 vs 13).

Friends, as God enables you to pray with others, you will discover that you are praying with greater direction and purpose, which will help you encourage your prayer partner as well.  You may also see your Christian walk grow closer to the Lord in the process, especially as you focus to encourage others through prayer; whether directly praying with them; or during your personal time with the Lord, carrying their burden to the Lord on their behalf.  It will help you grow spiritually.  A result in praying-together, would be seen in people growing in their relationship to the Lord.

In conclusion, we encourage you to make a commitment to pray with others, and let God’s Word help you. 

Reflection on this lesson:   

*Why would understanding God’s word be important in praying with someone else?

*Why is it important to look at our personal attitudes before we pray with someone?

*What harm may happen, if we allow gossip to occur?  How does this affect other’s sense of confidentiality? See Prov 11:13 

*What happens to a relationship if prayer is all about ME? 

*Why is it important that we understand God’s truths that are in the Word of God, and have them in our heart?

*Does it help to base our prayer requests on God’s Word?

*Spell the word Joy out.  What could the letters stand for?

J stands for_______

O stands for_______

Y stands for _______

Keeping that order in focus can help us in prayer with others. 

(Answer to Joy:  Jesus, Others, You.  Take note: the third letter of JOY represents You, which comes last.)

 

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Replies to This Discussion

Knowing Gods word and having it active and hidden in your heart is very important in praying for others as well as ourselves.

Taking in Gods word each day feeds us and gives us direction in our walk with the Lord.

I have always felt drawn to pray for others especially unsaved family members and friends. At times I would even describe it as a burden to pray for them, not in a bad way, but in a urgency form. It has been a true blessing to me to watch a loved ones soul finds its way to Jesus Christ! I prayed for my father for over ten years to find the peace that only Jesus could give him in life. After several God encounters, a loss of a son, "my brother who i also had a burden to pray for" and a very severe stroke, he asked me to pray with him and for him on a Easter Sunday. That day my burden for him was lifted. 

Pray is a amazing gift and a tool God has given to us to use for His glory! I gives thanks for each one of these lessons, they have taught me so much more about prayer and Gods awesome word!! 

Beth,

 

Your words are encouraging, not only to myself but to others.  Many of us have family whom we want to see follow the Lord and that the family circle will not be broken in heaven's eternity.  Indeed letting God's work guide our heart and prayers will make a difference in our families.  

 

Thanks so much for sharing. 

Thank you Beth for your heartfelt reply. As I read your words I thought about my dad's journey in finding his way back to Christ and I too was an instrument in his turning back, and for him asking Christ into his life. My father lost his faith at the end of WW11. He was institutionalized in a mental institution for a year. The doctors told my mother to forget about my dad and to make a new life for herself. He was diagnosed as skitophernic, paranoid, and depressed. He was in very bad shape, and it was thought that he would not ever be able to come out of the institution. My mother told them that she did not believe that God had this in mind for her husband. She continued to visit him as much as possible and wrote him daily letters. After 17 shock treatments and thearpy she signed my dad out on her name. That meant that she was responsible for him in what he did. My mother's faith helped her to bring him home and be able to maintain a home life for him. My sister and I were part of the thearpy my mother provided for him. Many years later I became a born again Christian, which was different from what I had learned in my mother's church. I began praying for my dad and my mother had been praying all the time for his return to his faith. As fate would have it I broke a bone in my foot and was laid off of work. Dad had retired and had Parkinson's Disease which made him weak and unable to do some things. He tried to lift a window that fell on his hands. I stopped by to see him and found him there. This made an opportunity for me to share God's amazing love and salvation with him. God is good. He asked Christ into his life that day. I thnk about the four cot barriers that carried their friend to Jesus and He healed them.  I guess that you may call that a burden carrier. God answered their prayers because they were diligent in getting their friend there to Jesus. Sometimes it just takes a longer time. God melts our hearts with His wonderful lovingkindness toward us. I can never understand the fullness of His love for us. Precious, and tenderhearted is He.
It is hard to reflect on one of these questions as they seem to feed into each other. In order to pray with partners is opening ourselves to relationship,therefore is is utterly important for us to check the attitude we have before us when we enter in prayer. We need to check our motives for the prayer, check to see if there is a blockage of sin that would cause injured prayer, and we need consider Christ and his love for us who is praying and His love for whom we pray for. Knowing or searching God's word about these things will help us to bring into the prayer time a right heart. We must be able to check strongholds at the door before we come into the throne room. Sometimes that takes time in that we may have something that we need to deal with and get out of the way. Honestly, that sometimes is difficult, and a heart matter must take place for Jesus purpose for our lives and the lives of others. If we feel that we cannot do that for any reason then we should be able to be honest enough to say that we cannot pray until we take care of that thing. It could mean that you need private time with God for confession, or maybe make amends with someone. I don't know maybe I rambling, but our heart being pure before God first comes from our relationship with Christ. Christ should be the first person on our heart. Then when we come to this place of prayer we should think also of our prayer partner, and be able to communicate with them about what we should pray. Secondly, God's word should be understood in the context it was written, so that we can use it in the way it was intended, and if we need we should encourage our prayer partner about that if that need be.

Francis,

 

You are not rambling---that reply was very well stated  -- possibly better than I could.  Thank you.  I know it will encourage others, and encourage them to share here and when they pray with others.

 

 

Here is a copy of a devotional for today. My question follows. I believe it is important to know and use God's  Word in our prayers to insure that we are praying according to His Will. Devotional follows.

 

At the Center of God's Love

  But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this

most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the

center of God's love, keeping your arms open and outstretched,

ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the

unending life, the real life!

   -- Jude 20-21 msg

THOUGHT:

  Prayer is a gift from God empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Holy

Spirit intercedes for us, and this intercession goes beyond our

words (Rom. 8:26-27). Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, gives us

access to God (Eph. 2:18). The Spirit of God within us joins with

our Spirit and testifies that we are God's children and approach

him as our Abba Father (Rom. 8:14-17). This means we can come to

the Creator and Sustainer of the universe at any time and know we

are valued and heard. So if we want to stay in the "center of God's

love," we must take advantage of this grace of prayer --

intentionally coming into the presence of God, entreating the Holy

Spirit to intercede for us and carry us along in our moments of

prayer as we speak to God, Spirit to Spirit (Rom. 8:27; 1 Cor.

2:10-16). Praying in the Spirit is to center ourselves in grace and

love of God. We, as his dearly loved children, come to him in

dependent trust and confident hope, knowing that we are heard

because of the gift of his Spirit within us.

PRAYER:

  Gracious Father, Almighty God and Creator, the Sovereign Lord,

thank you for inviting me to come to you and call you my Abba

Father. As the Spirit intercedes for me, conveying my thoughts and

yearnings as well as my words, I ask for your help and guidance so

I can live for you and bring you glory. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen.

*****

My question. DOES ANYONE KNOW OF A REFERENCE OR BOOK WHICH CONTAINS A LIST OF SCRIPTURE DIRECTED AT PRAYER, E.G., EPH 3.16-20? TY.

Grover 

Thank You for your thoughtful and complete reflection, and your reference to the Holy Spirit's part in our prayers.

 I'm not sure this is what you mean for prayer reference, but I have a Nave's topical Bible which is a digest of Holy Scriptures and it has a section in it that list directed at prayer. Maybe this can be your answer?? FRAN

 

TY. I will check it out later today. I do believe people do read remarks made!!
Something really hit me in the face a few minutes ago while reviewing Ephesians 6.

There is a strong and powerful relationship between putting on the armor of God and praying. These two things belong together; in fact, one grows out of the other. It is not enough to put on the armor of God; you must also pray. It is not enough to pray; you must also have put on the armor of God. It is impossible to divide these two. Putting on the armor is essentially something that is done in the realm of your thought life. It is an adjustment of the attitude of your heart to reality, to things as they really are. It is thinking through the implications of the fact that revelation discloses. This is always the necessary thing to do in trying to face life. We must consider the implications of our faith (putting on armor} and THEN talk to God about it in the Spirit, NOT pray first.

Thank you Grover

 I wouldn't have thought of that, but it makes perfect sense. Some one once said that when we put on God's armor we cover the front of us and that prayer covers the back. When we go into battle we always think of going face forward that leaves the back of us vulenerable. Prayer is the covering we have in battle. When we pray then it covers our backs as well as it gives an advantage in properly using our weapons of warfare in our daily battles. ??

 

Classmates and teacher,

I am requesting your prayers.  March was such a difficult month and I feel depleted.  Need to be replenished in the spirit, as well as physically. 

It is important that we have God's truth in our hearts because as David said, if we dont, we will sin against Him.  Sin separates us from the Father so a pure heart is important in the relationship with God as we approach Him in prayer.  The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart is a true maxim.  The scripture in the Proverbs about guarding the heart with all diligence, for from it flows the issues of life comes to mind now.   Truth in the inward parts helps us avoid superficiality, both in our relationship with God and those we pray with.

Done. Keep feeding daily your heart with God's precious Word.

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