“The greatest thing anyone can do for God or man is pray.” – S.D. Gordon
The intended use of Prayer4awakening is to honor and glorify Jesus Christ. It is an encouragement and guide to pray. Specifically it is a guide to pray for Christian spiritual awakening. It’s dimensions include personal, congregational, national, and international.
Where and When to pray:
This prayer guide can be used anywhere 24-7.
- Dorm room
- Coffee shop
- Office desk
- 18 wheeler
- Fishing boat
- Couch at home
- Hospital bed
- Bible study
- Virtual prayer group
- Church worship service
- Any place there is internet service
It can be used as a guide for personal spiritual transformation. This could take place over days or years. After all, transformation is a journey for life.
The preferred method is to use Prayer4Awakening often. Some prayer rooms are longer than others and may require more time. Sections may be chosen according to how the Spirit guides.
Dorothy Williams was a Welsh missionary to Africa and a prayer warrior for the Billy Graham Association. She was once asked by a young preacher what the secret was to her prayer life. She responded, “I practice a lot.”
How to pray:
The Sermon on the Mount
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This, then, is how you should pray:
” ‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Jesus, Matthew 6: 5-8
Guides to prayer:
- Praying Scripture
- Lectio Divina
- Visio Divina
- Jesus Prayer
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12-13
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:8-11
Praying God’s word allows us to be in his presence. We are praying with him, in his character.
In the two passages above we see that God’s word is powerful and that it accomplishes its purpose. Therefore to use Scripture as prayer is the same, powerful and productive. It is a guide. It provides thoughts and words that express our deepest longings.
Lectio Divina is a meditative way of praying the Scriptures. It allows us to hear with our heart. Some call it “holy listening.”
It helps us to come to an awareness and conviction of faith that we are about to listen to the Living Word of God, intimately present to us. Prayer is always a gifted response to the loving initiative of the Holy Spirit. We should ask what to seek. This is already the beginning of our response to The One who calls us to open our mind and heart to him.
- Select a place where you meet God every day. Get comfortable, take some deep breaths.
- Pay attention. Be still. Be silent. Focus on Jesus.
- Choose a text. Some will use their daily Bible readings, others may focus on a certain passage.
- Read the passage slowly. Think about what it is saying. What were the writers trying to convey? God is inviting you to listen.
- Read the passage again noticing any word or phrase that speaks to you. Meditate on it. Repeat it aloud. Notice what comes to your mind and body. Give to God what you have discovered.
- Rest in His presence. Rejoice in His written word and in His spirit.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” Romans 8:26
By permission: Ruth Palmer www.ruthpalmerfineart.com
While Lectio Divina is praying with the scripture, Visio Divina is praying with images or other media. It means “divine seeing.”
Protestants are not very familiar or comfortable with this manner of praying. But as culture grows more visual and many faithful Christians are visual learners, Visio Divina becomes a welcome way to pray.
- Select a scripture that represents the painting, photograph or image. (Scripture is above painting)
- Mediate on Word and the image.
- Notice your responses. How is God speaking to you?
- Allow your prayers to come from this “divine seeing and hearing.” Paul pray a beautiful prayer for the church at Ephesus, “
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1:18
The Jesus Prayer
Jesus tells a story of a Pharisee and a sinner in Luke 18. Both were praying. The Pharisee was quite arrogant in his prayer. The sinner, however, cried out “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me a sinner.”
It is from this parable that the “Jesus Prayer” began.
In the 19th century an unknown Russian writer wrote “The Way of the Pilgrim and a Pilgrim Continues the Journey.” Written in the style of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, the book centers around a pilgrim on a journey to find out how to pray. He encounters a man of God who tells him to repeat the Jesus Prayer until it becomes part of him. The old pilgrim does this and it brings great delight to his soul.
“Lord Jesus Christ have mercy” is a meaningful way to pray a scriptural prayer continually. It is praying without ceasing.
This prayer is timely for situations where one does not know how to pray. It is especially pertinent in times of great anguish such as massive tragedies. But it is also significant in times of decision and personal hardships of grief, depression, and chronic pain.
It was a prayer that Jesus affirmed.
Be encouraged to make it a part of your prayer life.
Use the quotes for prayer through or meditation. Most are written by people of prayer.
THE PRAYER OF CYRUS BROWN
“The proper way for a man to pray,”
Said Deacon Lemuel Keyes,
“And the only proper attitude
Is down upon his knees.”
“No, I should say the way to pray,”
Said Reverend Doctor Wise,
“Is standing straight with outstretched arms
And rapt and upturned eyes.”
“Oh, no, no, no,”
said Elder Slow,
Such posture is too proud.
“A man should pray with eyes fast-closed
And head contritely bowed.”
“It seems to me his hands should be
Austerely clasped in front
With both thumbs pointing toward the ground,”
Said Reverend Doctor Blunt.
“Last year I fell in Hidgekin’s well
Headfirst,” said Cyrus Brown,
“With both my heels a-stickin’ up
And my head a-pointin’ down.
“And I made a prayer right then and there,
The best prayer I ever said,
The prayingest prayer I ever prayed,
A-standin’ on my head.”
–Sam Walter Foss