Before getting started, let me first go to Roger’s Thesaurus in Dictionary Form and look at the word RULE: “a principle, regulation, law, prescript, dictum, prescription, regimen, precept, canon, maxim, formula, convention, punctilio; axiom, theorem, postulate, fundamental, basis, keynote, keystone…” the words go on and on! So if you don’t like the idea of “rules” in prayer, pick out one of the other words listed above. If you did that, do you feel more comfortable? GOOD.
Is there really “basic rules” when it comes to prayer? There seems to be basic rules for everything else in our lives, so basic rules of prayer is no exception. Before I begin my detective investigation of what God’s word says on this matter, let me throw out a personal question: “How is your prayer life working for you?” Are you getting expected answers? Does your answers always seem to be NO? Is there nothing but silence from the other end of your conversation? God’s spirit once whispered to my spirit, thinking God was silent in response to my prayers, “If you would stop doing all the talking and give Me a chance to speak, I will!” Your prayers should be a dialogue, not a monologue. If those are some of your answers to my questions earlier, then just maybe, you might need to read what I have uncovered in my Word search.
The “Basic Rules” of Prayer.
Do you find yourself at times only praying over food or when you’re in a jam? Maybe when someone ask you to pray for them or for someone else and you say to them, “As the Lord leads me, I’ll pray.” I have found myself in those circumstances many times and thus I decided to begin searching God’s Word for answers. I hope what I have uncovered about prayer will help you, as much as it has help me.
Why should we “pray”?
I once heard of a man who went into a roadside diner off of a major thoroughfare. The waitress behind the counter told him to find a seat and she would soon take his order. He sat down next to a man reading his newspaper intently, not noticing him at all on the stool.
“Have you had a chance to decide from the menu what you are going to have?” the waitress asked. The man looked up and answered, “Yeah, just a piece of that apple pie I saw when sitting down and a cup of coffee while you’re at it.”
In a few minutes, the waitress brought him his pie and hot steaming coffee. He placed a napkin on his lap, bowed his head and said out loud, “Thank you Father for this pie and coffee. In Jesus Name, AMEN.” The man with the newspaper, sitting next to him turned his head, looking at the pie plate and coffee and said, “I don’t pray before I eat!”. There was a quietness that settled over the restaurant. Then putting his fork down on the pie plate and his coffee on the counter the man spoke, “That’s okay sir. My dog doesn’t pray before he eats either.” That is “detective” humor folks. If someone makes that same statement, after you prayed at supper, don’t repeat the other man’s response. You won’t win any friends or influence any people.
Luke 18:1 says, “ALSO [Jesus] told them (His disciples) a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not to turn coward (faint, lose heart, and give up).”
Men (women too) are to always pray according to what Jesus is saying here in Luke 18. He is telling us that God is limited here on earth unless we pray. Jesus also says in verses 2-8, that God will defend and protect and avenge His chosen ones who cry out to Him day and night. Like the judge in verse 5, “wearing out and continually coming..” When you’ve prayed to God, have you ever felt like you prayed so much about something, that you have worn out God? Jesus asks in verse 7, “Will He defer them and delay help on their behalf?” Here is the point of “rules” in our prayer lives, if we even have a “prayer life.” Look at Luke 18:8:
“I tell you, He will defend and protect and avenge them SPEEDILY. However, when the Son of man comes, will he find [PERSISTENCE IN] FAITH on the earth?”
I capitalized words in verse 18 for emphasis. Spend some time meditating on God “speedily” answering prayers. God’s “speedily” response is dependent on those who show “persistence in faith“. When you find yourself in doubt while praying, try to”wear out” your Heavenly Father by praying verse 18.
“Father, I am being surrounded and attacked by people who are around me. Your Word says that You will defend me, protect me and avenge the wrong doings speedily. I pray for this with confidence and without doubt because Your Word says so. In Jesus Name I ask it!”
The Heavenly Grant in John 16:23-24
Verse 23 states, “…My Father will grant you whatever you ask in My Name [as presenting all that I AM].”
RULE #1. Pray to the Father in the Name of Jesus. NAME in the Bible is translated “AUTHORITY“.
RULE #2. Believe you receive. Mark 11:24 says, “For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that is granted to you, and you will [get it]”. Are you praying like that? Emotions or fear based prayers “Don’t Work!” POWER is the ability to get results.
Bringing something with us when we pray—
Ephesians 6:13–18 gives a detailed list of what we should bring with us when we pray. See how many you can find in these verses? Verse 18 concludes the list by saying how often we should be in prayer.
Verse 18, “PRAY AT ALL TIMES (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints.”
What you should take with you when you pray:
1. The Word of God.
2. Meditate on the Word until it says something to you.
3. Believe that you receive when you pray; then you will have. [Mark 11:24] “Lack of prayer in life equals failures in life”.
4. Bring confession with you before praying. The Root of Prayer is: ‘I admit it!’ Possess and Confess it in prayer; saying, “I believe that I receive that I possess it and I confess it”.
Rule #3. Forgive when you pray. [Mark 11:25-26] “AND whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, FORGIVE HIM AND LET IT DROP (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop.” Here comes another “BUT” in scripture. “BUT if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings.”
Next in The “Basic Rules” of Prayer, I will continue uncovering three more rules I found in my searching out prayer. “Developing an Effective Prayer Life”.