Forms of Prayer
I have a question for you. What is prayer? It seems like a question that doesn’t even need to be asked because the answer is so simple. But, is it simple? Where do we find the answer to this question? In the Bible of course.
Let us begin by looking at the many forms of prayer. There is conversational prayer. Conversational prayer is simply talking to God as a child would talk to their father, not necessarily with any objective or goal in mind. Maybe we could call it informal or casual prayer.
Galatians 4:6 – “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
We have a great privilege. We can go to the Father at any time and chat with Him. We don’t have to go through another person. We don’t have to get dressed up or be all formal. When was the last time you chatted with God.
Another form of prayer we see in God’s word is called petition. Petition is asking or making a request.
I Chronicles 4:10 – “Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request”. (See John 16:23,24)
This is the kind of prayer most offered to God. Many Christians remain at this level of prayer. Nothing is wrong with this kind of prayer, but there are greater levels of prayer as we will see.
Another form of prayer is what the Bible calls supplication, which means entreat. It is similar to the prayer of petition, but more intense. It could be called a prayer of longing or a plea.
Hebrews 5:7 – “In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.” (See I Kings 8:33)
There is one form of prayer that is often neglected by believers. It is the prayer of intercession. Intercessory prayer is when we pray on another behalf.
I Timothy 2:1 – “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone” (See Colossians 4:12)
This is a very important aspect of prayer. I believe one who has a mature prayer life will spend more time praying for others than themselves. A believer who spends most of their time praying for themselves is probably a self-centered Christian.
Another form of prayer which I like to call the prayer of agreement can be very powerful tool in our prayer life.
Matthew 18:19_ “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.”
This is more than believers coming together for prayer, but it when believers pray together for the same things.
Another kind of prayer is what some would call the prayer of warfare.
Ephesians 6:12 – “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Ephesians 6:18 – “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
There are times that we need to do warfare with the powers of darkness by God’s Spirit and through prayer. There is a spiritual battle waging and one way to be actively involved in this battle is through prayer. Through prayer we can bring down the strongholds of the enemy.
I challenge you to develop your prayer life and use all these forms of prayer that are at our disposal.