Please read, I Peter 3:1-8 before continuing with “The Basic Rules of Prayer”.
“Relationships are like bridges that are designed to take us from one level to another. Without the bridges, we would have gaps through which we would fall. God is a relationship God…and there are certain areas in our lives that we will simply not be able to reach without God-connected relationships.” [from “Winning in Troubled Times” by Creflo Dollar]
In any relationship, how you treat one another can and will affect your prayer life. I Peter 3:7 addresses this issue by saying, “In the same way you married men…live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relationship], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker, BUT [realizing that you] are JOINT HEIRS of the grace of life, IN ORDER THAT YOUR PRAYERS MAY NOT BE HINDERED and cut off. [Otherwise you cannot pray effectively.]”
Although Peter is addressing the men in verses 7, and primarily the women in verses 1 thru 6, he reminds us all that we are “joint heirs of the grace of life”; brothers and sisters in the Kingdom of God. Peter is telling us all, we should do our best to accomplish ‘being of one mind’. It can be called…The Marriage of the Souls
FIRST, the Honeymoon. The marriage to the body.
NEXT, the marriage ceremony. The marriage of the spirits.
Things of course, don’t always run smooth in relationships. I like the way the Amplified Version of I Peter 3:7 says, we are to have an “intelligent recognition of the marriage relationship.” To enjoy an “Effective Prayer Life“, we must work on developing our marriage relationship with “intelligent recognition” of who we are in Christ Jesus; “joint heirs”.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good [more satisfying] reward for their labor; For if they fall, the one lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”
If you think that you don’t need relationships to get you where God wants you to be, think again. God uses relationships in your life to put you in a position to succeed. Don’t let broken relationships be a “blessing blocker” in your prayers.
Learning how Jesus wants us to pray
I have uncovered in God’s word, if your relationships aren’t right, you won’t have answered prayer and NO POWER is released. “Power is action released through prayer”. Learning comes through faith in prayer, even when things aren’t comfortable. “Be still and know“.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus gives an outline to us on how we should pray. As we read through Matthew 6:5-13, you might grab a pen and paper and make your own outline alongside of what I found.
Verse 6, “…when you pray, go into your [most] private room, and, closing the door, pray to your Father, Who is in secret; and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open.
The King James Version renders the phrase, “go into your private room” as “closet”. Since they didn’t have “closets”, the Greek word used is tameion. It means, “any private room, secret chamber or inner chamber”. The understanding is, go somewhere where the distractions are limited. Before I retired, I sometimes would go to my car and eat my lunch. With the windows up, the driver’s seat became my “secret chamber” in praying. Specifically about the workplace.
Verse 7, “And when you pray, do not heap up phrases (multiply words, repeating the same ones over and over) as the Gentiles [sinners] do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking.”
Jesus is telling us to pray “sentence prayers”. Keep to the point and listen for God’s spirit to respond. Remember, prayer is a dialogue and not a monologue. If you are doing all the ‘lip movement’, then your relationship will suffer. This is true in the spiritual and the earthly relationships.
In verses 9-13, Jesus gives His outline.
1. verse 9 says, “Our Father…hallowed (kept holy) be Your Name.” Begin by praying with recognition of who you are praying to and Who He is. His Name is Holy, the great I AM. He is your ALL and ALL. Starting your prayers like this will get your mind off of self.
2. verse 10, “Your kingdom come… We know His Kingdom has already come to us. So why did Jesus put this verse in the prayer? Some Bible teachers believe that the Lord’s Prayer is really a “sinner’s prayer”. This verse could be a reminder, to those who are praying that the Father’s will or word has come [John 1:1, 14]. In either case, the words are there for a purpose. FOCUS, FOCUS!
Again, I revealed to you two items for your prayer outline, getting you started with your own list.
Romans 8:26 brings you to Rule #4 of “The Basic Rules of Prayer”.
Rule #4. Supernatural prayers.
“So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, BUT the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.”
Depend on the Holy Spirit in your prayer life. He helps you to pray about the stuff you don’t know about. That is “supernatural prayer“. Have you ever said to someone or thought to yourself, “I just don’t know how to pray for this…” ? Then pray Romans 8:26.
Rule #5. INTERCESSION in prayer.
Intercession is about ‘mercy and kindness’ to another person; with “yearnings and groanings” or tongues that are to deep for our understanding.
Rule #6. Praying in tongues is not for ourselves.
My purpose for bringing up this rule might stir up some unbelief, and that’s okay that we agree to disagree. My reason is only pointing out the “supernatural” in praying for others. That’s called “compassion” when you pray, not for yourself. I recommend that if you do pray in tongues, do it in your” inner chamber”; in secret.
That is the list of “basic rules” I found in my detective investigation on Developing an Effective Prayer Life. I found there is a legal part in our salvation and there is a vital part in our salvation. An effective prayer life is the vital part!