"Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you."
Hosea 10:12b (NKJV)
We often need reminding of the importance of prayer. If you struggle to pray, why not consider using the prayers of those in the Bible (like Paul) or a daily devotional with prayers, to get you started in “finding the right words” to express yourself to God.
You may have heard of the expression “praying through”. We don’t hear it much these days, but it meant the sense that you get when you’ve achieved a particular victory in prayer. It referred to praying about a matter until you felt within yourself that you had been heard; the prayer was answered, and you knew it within.
This is far different than just ‘saying a prayer’. We are not talking about a religious practice but experiencing God, having an assurance that God is personally there listening to you. Hosea encourages us to “break up the ground” with prayer; seeking God’s face and not just His hand; not missing out on the relationship with God we are all designed for. It is said that prayer is the lungs of a believer. Consider yourself like a diver, deep under the ocean, protected from the pressure by the suit which connects you to the surface with a breathing tube. We need a connection to the oxygen of Heaven or we get into difficulty very quickly.
Never underestimate the power of prayer. Jesus regularly told us to pray. He said in Luke 18:1 “that men always ought to pray and not lose heart”. To not be discouraged, we ought to pray but many of us get discouraged and stop praying perpetuating a cycle of discouragement. Courage comes from time with God through prayer (Zechariah 4:6). Everything that we would want to happen has its birthplace in prayer (Jeremiah 33:3, Matthew 7:7 and 21:22, John 14:13). Paul tells us to pray with ‘all prayer’ and there are different kinds of prayer. There’s:
- Warfare prayer
- The prayer of faith
- Intercessory prayer
- Communion with God prayer
- Speaking in heavenly languages prayer
- Corporate prayer
The disciples did not ask Jesus how to heal, deliver or preach, but how to pray. What He taught them begins shockingly with “Our Father” and continues with “us” (Matthew 6:9-13). Effective corporate prayer is to be in agreement and unity with other believers (Acts 1:14, 2:1, 2:46, 4:24).
- The place of united prayer is the place of anointing (Psalm 133:1-2)
- The place of unity is the place of salvation (Psalm 133:3)
- The place of agreement is the place of power (Matthew 18:19)
- The place of united prayer is the place of national revival (2 Chronicles 7:14)
- The place of prayer is the place of birth into new life (John 3:3)
If you don’t know Jesus yet, prayer is the starting place to know Him and to receive new life. We need to have a ‘vertical’ relationship with God and committing ourselves to pray each day helps us to share our lives with Him. We are also not to neglect our ‘horizontal’ relationships with one another. If you need to repent, you should do so, that your prayers are not hindered (Matthew 5:23-24, 1 Peter 3:7). Sometimes people choose not to forgive us even when we apologize but repenting is like putting out our spiritual rubbish so that it doesn’t pile up. Do what you can do to be in unity with other believers.
SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT
- Have you had any experiences of praying through or of the power of unified prayer, that you can share to encourage the group?
- Spending time alone with God looks different for everyone: What has been working for you?
- Have you ever been to the C3 prayer meetings? Consider attending as a next step on your journey closer to Jesus, and even attending as a connect group.
- There are people that we are praying will come to know Jesus. Perhaps you could ask them: “What can we pray for you at the moment?” and share their answer with your Connect Group.