Prayer is powerful. We can’t have a close relationship with God without it. We must spend time with our heavenly Father if we are to become like Him. And, just like any other relationship, it takes time to build intimacy.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 Paul says,
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Many of us have heard of the ACTS prayer.
C – confession
T – thanksgiving
S – supplication
For me, I have found this way of praying nominally helpful, which is sufficient if I am content with a nominal Christian life.
However, I want a powerful Christian life. And this type of life requires powerful prayer. If true holy power is what I desire, I must take my prayers to another level.
Prayer is not simply ‘pray for what I need’, or shall I say, ‘pray for what I want’. Often, though, our prayers tend to get reduced to . . . .
- be with the doctors as this person has surgery
- please heal ‘so-and-so’ from their disease
- give them safe travel
- help me find a job
- help me sell my house
- keep our kids safe from harm
I am not saying that there is anything wrong with prayer requests. Jesus clearly tells us that we have every right to ask for these things.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
However, requests can’t be the extent of our prayers.
When we pray, the focus needs to be on Him. Requests should take a backseat, not be the star of the show. Yet, for many of us, our prayers are exclusively about requests.
God doesn’t need our prayers to do anything. It isn’t part of the equation that makes things happen. God doesn’t need . . . period. He wants us to pray because He wants us to know Him and receive His power. And, because He loves us and wants to be in relationship with us.
I used to be mostly a ‘casual prayer’. Most of my days were spent in and out of casual conversation with God. At home, in the car, and basically wherever I was, I could feel, and continue to feel His Spirit with me.
“The Lord is near to all who call on him” Psalm 145:18
Casual prayer is a good thing. It usually means that one is ‘walking in the Spirit’.
However, I started adding a time of prayer on my knees; a time of prayer that is more formal and focused. I’m not perfect and it isn’t everyday, but when I am physically and bodily in a posture of worship, I can really feel His power rain down on me.
When I focus on His holiness and His greatness and am on my knees before Him, it changes me from the inside out.
We have a God who is . . . .
. . . . high and lifted up! Isaiah 6:1
. . . . greatly to be praised! Psalm 145:3
. . . . mighty in power! Psalm 147:5
. . . . the God of gods, and the Lord of lords! Deuteronomy 10:17
And about Him, the four living creatures will say, day and night, ” . . . holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!” Revelation 4:8
Jesus showed us how to pray. If we break down The Lord’s Prayer, this is essentially what it looks like:
hallowed be your name. – exaltation
Your kingdom come, – expectation
your will be done, – submission
on earth as it is in heaven. – sovereignty
Give us this day our daily bread, – needs
and forgive us our debts, – confession
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, – requests
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, – sovereignty
the power and the glory forever. – exaltation
It begins with respect, exaltation, expectation, submission, and acknowledging His sovereignty. These five parts have the place of the greatest importance. They come before our needs and our requests.
I always start with praising Him, talking about Him and His many attributes, or thanking Him for who He is. I don’t let myself pray about anything else until I have spent sufficient time focusing on Him and His glory.
Sometimes I find myself so focused on Him, that I never get around to praying for myself or anyone else.
My acronym for prayer is REESS.
E – exaltation
E – expectation
S – submission
S – sovereignty
Focusing on respect, exaltation, expectation, submission, and acknowledging His sovereignty is the key to having a powerful prayer life.
If you want to become a powerful being, as an heir of the King, than you may need to change how you are praying.
Praying the REESS way, has allowed me to exalt God, and humble myself. And, I definitely feel more powerful because of it.
Prayer is for us, it is a gift, but it should be about Him. He is the source of all power and authority. It’s always all about His Glory.