If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. ~ 2 Chronicles 7:14
If you ain’t a regular visitor on this blog, let me invite you to read the Part 1 of this post by clicking here. Prayer and Revival has been one of the most discussed and preached on topics in the recent history of the church. The reason is obvious. God is about to pour out a mighty revival on the whole earth. And a praying generation always precedes a revival generation. I am no different, I would like to share what I’ve been learning and what’s been going on in my heart.
Let us travel through the scriptures and check out a few people who have been role models in their attitude towards prayer and walk with God. We have a lot of people who have a humble attitude but not a prayerful one, and also a lot of others who have a prayerful heart but lack the right attitude of humility towards God and people. Most of the revivals in the old testament were preceded with or accompanied by corporate fasting dressed in sackcloth. It signified the extent to which they were ready to go to achieve favor from God. I am sharing brief examples of 7 kinds of bible based prayer. Doesn’t mean that they aren’t interrelated or linked, please don’t look at all of them as distinct.
1. Communing Prayer
This is the kind of prayer that we usually do in our personal prayer times, where we share our hearts with God and God shares his heart with us. It says Enoch walked with God for 300 years and he was no more. That is what happens in this kind of prayer. We walk, talk and commune with God to the extent that we are no more and He is all that people can see in us and through us. Here, your heart and its desires are refined. This is where intimacy is, this is where you surrender yourself, and all you have at the feet of God. This is where you crucify yourself and where God releases the resurrection power into your inner man. This is where you get the strength to move on with purity in your life, and holiness in your heart. A Praying Christian does not Sin, and a Sinning Christian does not Pray!
2. Undignified Praying
The prayer of Hannah interests me a lot because of the reaction it aroused from Eli the priest, who actually rebuked her, thinking she was drunk. Yea, she was drunk after all. Not with wine, but with the Holy Spirit. Paul says, When we don’t know how to or what to pray, just get filled/drunk in the Holy Spirit. He will pray on your behalf with cries and groaning that cannot be uttered or expressed. I have observed people who have gotten drunk with alcohol. Of course it is an embarrassing experience to share or listen later on! Often the same, when you are drunk, controlled and praying in the Spirit. I have had so many experiences esp in public places when the Holy Spirit will overwhelm me to such an extent that at times it gets embarrassing. Oh but how I enjoy praying in the Spirit. “If only my people will humble themselves and pray”, says the Lord.
3. Intercessory Prayer
This prayer is often missed and ignored by the church today. But it is very much essential. Only eternity will reveal how many people would have been saved, how many prostitutes rescued, children rescued from abortion, orphans fed, wars avoided and suicides failed had more Christians been on their knees to intercede on behalf of this lost world and the often backsliding church. I really can’t imagine what was going on in Moses’ heart or head when he dared to come in the way of God! When he prayed prayers like, please hold me accountable for their sin! Take my name out of your book of life! But please forgive their sin! (Exo 32:32) We need people like Esther, who will say, if I perish I perish! But I want to see my nation delivered! Often intercession is kept off for corporate gathering and prayer meetings. But it should be a part and parcel of our daily walk with God, every time you see a suffering person, a broken family or a backsliding church, reach out to God with a humble intercessory prayer.
4. Persisting Prayer
Not always does the answer of prayer come overnight. At times, it requires years of persistent praying like the one exemplified by the prophetess Anna in Luke 2. She stayed in the temple for more than half a century in worshiping and fasting and praying. There is great power that accompanies the answers of prayers that don’t get answered for a long time. All the revivals in the history of the church stand as a loud reminder of this fact. The more the answer is delayed the greater is the intensity with which the answer comes. But as human beings, when it gets tiring to wait, we might get discouraged and give up the faith or perhaps even try to make out our own solutions, like what Abraham did when he slept with Hagar to bear a child. Our calling is not to create revivals, but to pray and wait for one! Let us not give up, nor create artificial fires! In His divine time, He will pour out His glory.
5. Warfare Praying
This is less of praying and more of fighting. Fighting in the Spirit. Many people misunderstand this battle concept. You don’t win or lose in this battle. Jesus has already won it on the cross. Spiritual Warfare is just applying that giant victory into the small and tiny battles of life. It is not scary or intimidating as some think. Yes, at times it does get very graphic and loud but there is nothing to worry about, as long as you are not fighting in your strength or with your own righteousness (which is a fatal mistake many Christians do) Jesus’ bloody and lonely death on the cross is all the price that had to be paid for the victory. No more losses or sacrifices are required, today we, the bride of Christ, who are more than conquerors, go from victory to victory in the authority of Jesus’ name and blood! I am still a student and infant in matters of spiritual warfare. I would want to write in detail when God fills me with more.
6. Prophetic Prayer
Do you remember what God asked Ezekiel to do when in the middle of the valley which was full of bones? (Ezekiel 47:4) God asked him to prophesy over those dead bones. Most times, when we go through valleys or when we face dead situations we comfort ourselves saying, ‘even when we go through the valley of shadow of death, We will fear no evil for God is with us!‘ But have you wondered who put you there in the first place and why? You and I are ordained and sent by God into dead situations to raise some dead, and manifest the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit. This happens when we start prophesying over the atmosphere, when we start speaking with faith of what we want to see happen in that situation. Doesn’t really matter if we see the results immediately or not! I pray that we as a generation will walk the streets, enter the pubs and march into the red light areas, those darkest areas of our land and start to prophesy over the atmosphere in faith. Prophesy life, prophesy the word of God!
7. Heaven Opening Prayer
This is the most exciting kind of prayer, one that requires and reveals the true and bold prophets of God. 1 Kings 17, describes how Elijah boldly stands before King Ahab and shuts the door of heaven with his word, and the subsequent chapters tell how he opens the heavens. God sends His Heaven Opening Elijahs at crucial times and seasons. Since, we are in this revival season, we can expect a lot of them today. Not everyone can pray a heaven opening prayer and be answered! The qualification of praying this prayer is mentioned in 1 Kings 17:1. Only a person who has been standing in the presence of God is eligible to make bold claims like that before the world. Do you want to be an Elijah whom God would use to unleash an end time revival on this land? Be the one who will continually stand in the presence of God! That’s your qualification to pray and thus bring down an open heaven revival!
I am so much excited spectating what God is doing around the globe, and waiting in earnest expectation of the mighty wave of revival that is about to be unleashed! Let us be the ones to HUMBLE OURSELVES AND PRAY