Table of Contents
- 1. Praise
- 2. Sing to the Lord
- 3. Surrender yourself to the Lord
- 4. Repentance
- 5. Forgiveness of others
- 6. Pray for Filling of the Holy Spirit
- 7. Read Scripture
- 8. Wait Upon The Lord
- 9. Spiritual Warfare
- 10. Intercession
- 11. Petitions
- 12. Thanksgiving
- About the Author
Do you have difficulty praying for extended periods of time? Do you have trouble with making prayer a daily habit? Do you run out of things for which to thank and praise God? If your answer is “Yes” to these questions, then you are not alone. Even the apostles struggled with prayer in the early days of their ministry. No doubt, they felt like failures when they saw that Jesus could pray all night long (Luke 6:12) and yet they couldn’t even pray for one hour (Matt. 26:40). The heart cry of the apostles to Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1), is a cry that many Christians continue to have to this day. The way we learn to pray is the same way that those apostles learned to pray:
- By receiving the Holy Spirit from Jesus (John 20:22; Acts 1:8; 4:31; Rom. 8:26) so that we can “pray in the Spirit” (Eph. 6:18; Jude 20). If prayer is to get past the ceiling, we must have the Spirit praying from within us in an intercessory work that makes our prayers acceptable to the Father (Rom. 8:13-17,23,26-27). It is the Holy Spirit who links our prayers with the prayers of Christ (Rev. 8:4) in ways that move heaven and earth (vv. 5-7). It is His intercession that gives power to our intercession.
- By hanging around those who can pray with power and imitating them in prayer (Matt. 11:25-26; John 11:41-42; 17:1-26; etc.). There is no better way to learn how to pray than by going to prayer meetings where others who are more mature are praying powerfully.
- By reading the prayers of others and adopting them as your own heart cry. Reading prayers is not unspiritual. Jesus not only taught on prayer, but He also gave them prayers to recite on more than one occasion (Matt. 6:9-15; Luke 11:1-4). In doing this, He was continuing the long tradition of the church praying prayers composed by others – especially the Psalms.
Though this book is very inadequate in many ways, I offer it with the hope that it will accomplish four things:
- I pray that this book will give our congregation some creative ideas on how to improve their prayer life. While it is no substitute for your own prayers, hopefully it can be a stepping-stone to a fuller and richer prayer walk.
- I hope to expose our congregation to more kinds of prayers than the four involved in ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).
- I hope to model how to ground your prayers in Scripture. Like our other prayer books, this one seeks to ground prayer in the ideas, promises, theology, and commands of Scripture, and to make our prayers consistent with God’s character and purposes for us.
- I hope to demonstrate that it is quite easy to pray for an hour. If you spend 5 minutes on each type of prayer that is outlined in this booklet, you will have spent an entire hour in meaningful prayer.
If you have any suggestions for making this inadequate booklet better, feel free to share your ideas. It is my heart’s desire that our church become a church that is saturated in prayer, and that each family become a praying family. May it be so, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, praise His holy name.
— Psalm 103:1
Offering the sacrifice of praise - doing it even when we don’t feel like it - draws us into the presence of the Lord. Praise acknowledges our weakness and God’s sufficiency. Praise makes room in our hearts for God’s will to be done, and takes away any motivations we might have to manipulate God. Praise puts us into a proper frame of mind to approach God. It increases our faith to bring petitions to God. Praise should be central to our prayer life. You might want to try a litany of praise one time and another time have spontaneous offerings of praise concerning aspects of God’s character, being, or works that the Spirit brings to your mind. On another occasion you might want to praise God for the things that His names or attributes bring to mind, both of which help to encourage our faith.
Here is a list of a few of God’s names. As you address God by each name, offer up one to three sentences of the things you appreciate about God that are implied in that name.
- Elohim, the Almighty Creator
- El Elon, The God Most High
- El Roi, The God Who Sees
- El Shaddai, The All-Sufficient One
- Adonai, The Lord
- Jehovah (or Yahweh), The Self-Existent One
- Jehovah Jireh, Yahweh Will Provide
- Jehovah-Rapha, Yahweh Who Heals
- Jehovah-Nissi, Yahweh My Banner
- Jehovah-Mekeddishem, Yahweh Who Sanctifies You
- Jehovah-Shalom, Yahweh is Peace
- Jehovah-Sabaoth, Yahweh of Armies (or Hosts)
- Jehovah-Raah, Yahweh My Shepherd (Psalm 23)
- Jehovah-Tsidkenu, Yahweh our Righteousness
- Jehovah-Shammah, Yahweh is There
(There are many other names of God that can be the foundation for hours of praise and adoration.)
Here is a list of God’s attributes. As you think about the implications of each attribute, it will stimulate many reasons to adore and praise God. During one time of praise you can focus on the implications of one attribute. During another time of praise you can go through each attribute. During another time of praise you can adore God for how one attribute impacts and gives meaning to every other attribute. During another time of praise you can use various attributes to thank and praise God that this makes Him sufficient for all the needs that you will be offering up to Him in a few minutes.
- Aseity1 - God is self-sufficient (Acts 17:25).
- Goodness (Rom. 11:22)
- Graciousness (Ex. 34:5-6)
- Holiness (Is. 6:3)2
- Immanence – God is close (Acts 17:28)3.
- Immutability – God never changes (James 1:17).
- Impeccability – It is impossible for God to sin (Heb. 6:18).
- Incorporeality – God is spirit (John 4:24).
- Incomprehensibility – God cannot be fully known (Is. 40:28).
- Infinity – Eternity and immensity (Is. 40:28; 1 Kings 8:27).
- Jealousy – He has zeal to protect His love relationship (Ex. 20:5-6).
- Love (1 John 4:16)
- Omnipotence – God is all powerful (Matt 19:26).
- Omnipresence – God is present everywhere (Psalm 139:8).
- Omniscience – God is all knowing (1 Jn 3:20; Rom. 16:27).
- Oneness – monotheism: God is oneness of being (Deut. 6:4; Eph. 4:6).
- Simplicity – God’s unity of singularity4 (not composed of parts and pieces); no dualism.
- Sovereignty/Lordship – God alone is fully free and He alone controls and directs all things; nothing can hinder Him from accomplishing His full pleasure (Is. 46:10).
- Transcendence – God is outside of time and space and unable to be controlled or limited by any forces in the universe (1 Kings 8:27). See comments on Immanence. Is. 57:15 brings both together.
- Trinity – God is three in one; three Persons but one God (Matt. 28:19).
- Veracity – God is truthful in all He says (Tit. 1:2) and therefore can be completely trusted (2 Sam. 22:3).
- Wrath – God’s hatred and anger against all that is opposed to His moral character (Ex. 15:7; Deut. 9:19; Ps. 69:24; John 3:36).5
Sample Prayer of Praise
I praise You, Father, that You are the Lord God Almighty.
I praise You for Your perfect plan from eternity past.
I praise You that You are the Great I AM.
I praise You that You are a jealous God, desiring us for Yourself.
God of hosts, I praise You for the hosts of angels at Your command.
Mighty God, I thank You that nothing is too hard for You.
Heavenly Father, I praise You that we can call You Abba Father, and that we can run into the very holy of holies to meet with You.
I praise you that You are the King eternal and that You hold all the nations in Your hands.
I praise You that You are the Father of lights and that in Your light we see light.
You are immortal, invisible, the God who alone is wise.
I praise You for Your infinite being.
I praise You that You are the Judge of the whole earth and that your eyes run to and fro upon the face of all the earth.
I praise You that no one can hold back Your hand or Your predestined purposes for this earth.
I praise You that You preserve us and hold us in the hollow of Your hand.
I praise You that nothing can separate us from Your love, which is in Christ Jesus.
I lift up Your name and bless You.
I praise You, Jesus, for You have a name above all names.
I praise You, Jesus, because You are Emmanuel, God with us.
I praise You as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
I praise You as the Creator of all and the King of the universe.
I praise You, Jesus, because You are the Lamb of God who takes away my sins. Thank You for Your sacrifice and Your loving atonement.
I praise You that You are the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
You are the Champion and Shield of Your people.
I praise You for being my Strength and my Song.
You alone are the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and I praise You.
Thank You for being my Shepherd. I praise You for Your tender care.
You are my Strong Tower and I flee to You.
You are my Hiding Place and the Mountain of Refuge.
Bread of Life, I praise You for sustaining me.
I praise You that You are my Fortress and Deliverer, My Victory and Salvation.
In You I find all my Righteousness, Wisdom, and Sanctification.
I praise You that You are the Door to the Father and to Heaven.
Praise be to Your name for Your work as my High Priest.
You are my Joy, my Portion, and my Cup.
I find in You all that I need for Healing and Wholeness.
You are God Most High and I praise You and love You.
I praise You that though You are a fearful Warrior, You are also a tender Bridegroom.
Praise You Jesus, You are all that I need or want.
Praise You Jesus, for You are the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.
Praise You Jesus, for You are worthy of all praise!
To Holy Spirit
I praise You Holy Spirit for being with me.
I praise You that You are the Comforter.
I praise You that You convict the world of sin.
I praise You that You lead Your people into truth, and that You gift and empower us to serve You.
I praise Your holiness, O Spirit, and thank You that You produce holiness in us.
I praise You for Your intercession within us.
I praise You Holy Spirit for being a Spirit of truth and grace and holiness.
Spirit of adoption, make my praises and my prayers be filled with grace. Draw out my heart to the Father to be able to say Abba and find an intimate communion with Him.
Draw my heart out with love to You.
Anoint my lips, fill my mind, take my will.
May every fiber of my being flow in praise to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Praise be to You Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for all that You are and all that You have done.
May not only my lips, but my very being, my thoughts, and my motives all flow in ceaseless praise to You, my God and my Salvation.
2. Sing to the Lord
O Come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
— Psalm 95:1-2
Singing Psalms is a powerful way of learning how to worship. Many hymns and songs are able to draw the heart out to worship God as well. My favorite Psalter is The Book of Psalms for Worship, published by Crown & Covenant Publications. My favorite Hymnal is the Trinity Hymnal, by Great Commission Publications. My favorite compilation of contemporary songs is Songs of Fellowship by Kingsway Music, of Eastbourne, E. Sussex, England.
When you sing, ask God to enable you to sing in the Spirit (1 Cor. 14:15) “with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16). Then sing a capella to the Lord. Try devotional hymns like “Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting” (Trinity Hymnal 188), or pure praise hymns like “Hallelujah! Hallelujah! In His Temple God Be Praised (TH 10), or sing along with a praise tape of one of your favorite artists. Let your heart be drawn out to God in music. Here is a starter:
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
Holy, Holy, Holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!
Holy, Holy, Holy! all the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
who wert, and art, and evermore shall be.
Holy, Holy, Holy! though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see;
only thou art holy, there is none beside thee
perfect in pow’r, in love, and purity.
Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy Name, in earth and sky and sea;
Holy, Holy, Holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!6
3. Surrender yourself to the Lord
Throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.
— Josh. 24:23
Do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were; submit to the LORD. — 2 Chron. 30:8
Submit to the Father. — Heb. 12:9
Submit yourselves, then, to God.
— James 4:7
Not as I will, but as You will.
— Matt. 26:39
I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
— John 5:30
If you desire God to guide you and use you, you must be willing to follow Him even before you know what He might ask. God does not answer the prayers of double-minded people who hold mental reservations or are fickle with Him (James 1:6-8). To surrender to God assumes that you trust Him to love you and to do right; it assumes that you believe that His will for you is good, acceptable, and perfect (Rom. 12:1-2). Tell the Lord that you will not seek your own will in this day, but will surrender entirely to Him. The following prayer can be used:
Sample Prayer of Surrender
Father, I surrender to You today with all my heart and soul. Lord Jesus, You are the Lord of my whole life. Dear Holy Spirit, I open all the secret places of my heart to You.
Oh God, I will hold nothing back. I offer up my body as a living sacrifice to be used entirely for You today. All that I have is Yours: my health, my time, my family, my successes, my failures, my relationships, my occupation, my times of relaxation and of work. I release these things and let them go. I surrender my fears, my insecurities, my sexuality, my strengths, and my weaknesses. I especially surrender _______________, ___________________, and _____________________. I surrender my understanding of how these things ought to be, my choices, and my will. I want to relate to these things as a steward, receiving my strength and my direction from You. Take me and use me. Amen.
Alternatively, you could read or sing softly, “I Surrender All,” “All For Jesus,” or some other hymn of surrender.
Alternatively, you could pray the following prayer of St Ignatius: “Take, Lord, and receive, all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. You have given all to me. To You, O Lord, I return it. All is Yours. Dispose of it wholly according to Your will. Give me Your love and Your grace, for this is sufficient for me.”
Search me, O God, and know my heart… And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
— Psalm 139:23-24
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
— 1 John 1:9
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
— 1 John 1:7
Having opened yourself in surrender, ask God’s Holy Spirit to search your heart and to show you of anything that needs to be changed. As He convicts you of sin, do not rationalize. No matter how trivial it may appear to you, immediately confess it, receive the cleansing of Christ’s blood, and determine to make any confessions or restitution to others that are needed. The following prayer could get you started:
Sample Prayer of Repentance
Heavenly Father, I ask Your forgiveness for all the ways I have offended You, knowingly or unknowingly. I have sinned in thought, motive, word, and deed. I have sinned in what I have done and in what I have failed to do. I come before You to ask You to give me a repentant heart. You know my inmost secrets. I open my heart to You and ask that You would search it, and show me all that You want me to confess today…[wait for the Lord to do His searching. Then confess them as they are revealed. If nothing immediately comes to mind, begin praying what parts of the following are relevant:]
… I ask forgiveness for sins against purity: roving eyes, sexual fantasies, and especially _____________________. I turn away from all those activities and turn to You. I deeply repent of having ____________________________ _________________.
I repent of any compulsive behavior: over-drinking, drugs, gambling, over-preoccupation with sex, food, and especially ______________________. Thank you, Father, for setting me free.
I repent of not taking care of my physical and emotional health; for lack of balance in nutrition, rest, and exercise. I make a commitment to take care of myself today.
I repent of the times that I have hurt other people. I ask You to forgive me for my lack of affirming of others, brushing people off, coldness, unloving and inconsiderate behavior. I repent of having lied by stretching the truth, defrauding or deliberately deceiving. I repent of stealing. I repent of envy, hatred, resentment, jealousy, bitterness, coldness toward others, and especially for _____________________.
I bring before You the things that I have been most ashamed of and have covered up for so long. I no longer want to hide them from You or from myself.
I accept Your forgiveness, liberation, and healing, believing that You are “faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). In Jesus’ name I ask this, Amen.
Another important exercise in repentance is covenantally repenting on behalf of your family, or your church, or your nation. Though we may not be personally guilty of the sins of our nation, like Daniel and Nehemiah, we can confess the sins of our nation since we are covenantally a part of that nation. The following prayer from the Coalition on Revival was drafted and prayed by leaders from 70 different churches. It is well thought through. It is appropriate to confess the bride’s sins as one who is connected with her.
Prayer of Repentance on Behalf of the Church
(From The Coalition on Revival)
- We have failed to care adequately for the souls of men who will spend eternity in the fires of hell if they fail to receive for themselves the atoning blood of Christ, bowing their knees before Him as Lord of their lives and King of the universe;
- We have disobeyed God’s clear commands in Scripture;
- We have built our own egos rather than advancing the Kingdom of Christ;
- We have all too often fallen short of the integrity, faithfulness, and total honesty with each other that God requires of us before the watching world;
- We have failed to confront falsehood and unrighteousness consistently in the Church or in the world because of our fear of man and of losing prestige or security;
- We have been content to reduce the power of the transcendent gospel to mere creedal form devoid of spiritual content or present reality by our harlotry with the idols of personal peace and affluence;
- We have neglected our God-ordained duties to be the world’s salt, light, teacher, and example; as a result, the world is in desperate trouble and western civilization stands on the brink of self-destruction;
- We and our fathers have settled for a sub-standard, false version of Christianity in our local churches and denominations;
- We have tolerated sin within our ranks when we should have administered church discipline and excommunication;
- We have allowed heresies to creep into our churches and institutions of higher learning, failing to demand of our teachers that they teach and stand upon the faithful and inerrant written Word of God;
- We have heaped to ourselves teachers and pastors to tickle our ears with pleasant falsehoods and entertaining fables rather than convicting us of sin and demanding that we live righteous lives of obedience to the Bible;
- We sold our children’s minds and souls to the godless influence of secularized education and the media;
- We have allowed our churches to become irrelevant, powerless ghettos while those who hate or neglect God and His righteous standards for society have stolen the America of our founding fathers out from under our slumbering eyes;
- We have allowed misguided policies, flagrant sins, and hideous atrocities to be enacted by our elected and appointed officials – legislative, executive, and judicial without rising up en masse, and demanding that they be corrected in the name of God and for the sake of justice;
- We have permitted both Christian and non-Christian men of our society to fail in leadership, becoming emasculated, tamed, dependent, self-centered, and soft; and, in the opposite extreme, we have allowed some men to abuse their authority by their lack of sacrificial love for their families;
- We have lived beyond our means by misusing credit, so trading our liberty for financial bondage;
- We have adopted the covetousness and materialism of our surrounding culture, seeking the approval of men and neglecting the fear of the Lord;
- We have been caught up in a self-centered, false version of Christianity, focusing on our own needs and desires rather than on God’s glory and on sacrificing ourselves for the needs of our Christian brothers and fellow humans;
- We have concerned ourselves more with Heaven, the future, and escaping this world at Christ’s Second Coming, than with preparing His Bride to be spotless, beautiful, glorious, and pleasing to Him when He comes;
- We foolishly have allowed Satan to divide us from other members in His Body through pride, jealousy, and competition, through a lack of humble serving of one another, and by concentrating on divisive minor issues rather than the clear Biblical articles of faith upon which we agree;
- We have rested, idle and uncaring, while Satanically inspired Marxist Communism and a revival of pagan religions has enslaved two-thirds of our planet, causing massive, needless suffering to the peoples under their sway;
- We have failed to conduct our lives or manage our affairs in the conscious certainty that God’s eternal standards for personal and social righteousness are unchanging and inexorable in their absolute cause-and-effect relationships, thus dishonoring God and playing the fool in our personal lives and social policies;
- In brokenness and humility, we cast ourselves before the throne of Almighty God beseeching Him to forgive these sins of ours and our fathers that we have so grievously and callously committed against Him, against each other and against the dying world. We call upon our Father in Heaven to apply to these our sins the purifying, atoning blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
- In repentance, shame, and sorrow we ask our fellow Christians (all whom we have offended, ignored, and despised; before whom we have not been honest, open, vulnerable and tender; and whose ministries we have falsely believed we could do well without) to forgive us in the name of Jesus and for the sake of His glory and the unity of His Body. We hereby declare that we forgive all Christian brothers and sisters who have so treated us.
- In shame and sorrow, we ask forgiveness of those fellow humans who have not bowed their knee to Jesus as King of the universe or yet come under the saving power of His shed Blood.
Forgive us for caring so little for your souls that we have not ministered more aggressively and lovingly to you about your eternal destiny and your fear of death. Forgive us for our attempts to evangelize you that have been impersonal, mechanical, or insensitive.
Forgive us for displaying before you ugly, uninspiring lives devoid of God’s integrity, compassion, and power.
Forgive us for being such poor examples of Christ’s love by our disunity, that you have rejected both Him and us, to your own spiritual impoverishment.
Forgive us for our failure to demonstrate to you biblical answers for your difficulties and problems in life.
Forgive us for failing to occupy our proper position as servants in the affairs of law, government, economics, business, education, media, the arts, medicine, and science as the Creator’s salt and light to the world, so that these spheres of life might offer you more help, justice, hope, peace, and joy.
We have failed you miserably and we beg you to forgive us in the name of the great God who created us all for His glory.
And now, O God, forgive our willful disobedience, hardness of heart, and selfish indulgence. Hear our prayers, forgive our sin, and heal our land, O Lord; thus fulfilling the merciful promise of your Word.
“O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Thine own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Thy people are called by Thy name.” (Daniel 9: 19)
5. Forgiveness of others
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
— Mark 11:25
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.
— Eph. 4:31-32
…bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
— Col. 3:13
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
— Matt. 6:14-15
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?
— Matt. 5:44-47
But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Highest. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
— Luke 6:35-36
…to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing humility to all men.
— Tit. 3:2
The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield.
— James 3:17
We cannot walk in the Spirit (next point) if we are not reconciled to others. He will not let us off the hook if we have broken relationships. Make a decision to be reconciled with the people in your life against whom you are bitter, angry, resentful or on whom you have given up, or whom you have deliberately avoided. Use your own prayer, or use the following samples as guides:
Sample Prayer Forgiving Others
I forgive my SPOUSE for depriving me of ___________ and determine to act toward him/her in love irrespective of his/her actions towards me. I forgive my spouse for any negativity and lack of love extended throughout our time together, and especially for ___________________. I recognize that You have purchased me and all that I am and have, and that I no longer belong to myself. Therefore I let go of my rights which have been stepped on and leave those for You to protect or take away. Help me to respond and interact with my spouse by the power of Your Holy Spirit. I relinquish my bitterness and anger and turn those areas that cause these emotions over to you.
I forgive my MOTHER for her sins against me, and no longer want to be controlled by her past actions. I especially turn over to You the grudge that I hold in __________________. I forgive her for any abuse she may have committed knowingly or unknowingly, especially _____________________________. By the power of Your Holy Spirit I make peace with her today and commit myself to love her in the Lord and to treat her with the respect that You call for.
Etc. Continue to release any negative feelings and thoughts that you have towards father, children, brothers, sisters, other relatives, ancestors, friends, school teachers, pastors, or perhaps that unnamed person who has hurt you most. Turn them over to the Lord and ask Him to replace those feelings and thoughts with forgiveness and love.
6. Pray for Filling of the Holy Spirit
And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
— Acts 4:31
…men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom…
— Acts 6:3
And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
— Acts 15:32
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
— Rom. 15:13
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.
— Eph. 5:18
Sample Prayer For Filling Of The Spirit
Father, Your word has promised that if we ask for the Spirit, You will give of the Spirit far more readily than parents give the necessities of life to their children. I lay claim to the “how much more” of Luke 11:13 and ask that You would give to me an extra portion of the Spirit’s presence for today. I need the Spirit because You have commanded me to “walk in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16) in everything that I do. Help me to “sing in the Spirit” (1 Cor. 14:15), to “worship God in the Spirit” (Phil. 3:3) and to “rejoice in the Holy Spirit” (1 Thess. 1:6; Rom. 14:17). Please help me to “pray in the Spirit” (Jude 20; Eph. 6:18) since I do not know what I should pray for as I ought (Rom. 8:26). Help me to “love in the Spirit” (Col. 1:18), be “led by the Spirit” (Matt. 4:1; Rom. 8:14; Gal. 5:18), be “moved by the Spirit” (Luke 2:27), be “compelled by the Spirit” (Acts 20:22 NIV), and to have my “mind controlled by the Spirit” (Rom. 8:6). May every part of me be controlled by the Spirit (Rom. 8:6,9) so that I might “live in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25; Rom. 8:13). I want to be taught by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:13), to speak by the Spirit since “no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:3). Wash and sanctify me by the Spirit (1 Cor. 6:11).
I know that Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:17-20 is according to Your will, and I ask that the reality of Your transforming power would work in my life today:
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.
I do not ask this because I deserve it, but because I am united to Christ and He has purchased everything that is necessary to my full enjoyment of the Spirit. I ask it simply because You have promised the Spirit to those who come in faith (Gal. 3:1-5; Luke 11:13). Thank You for Your gracious gift, Father. I love You and praise You. May the Spirit cause me to glorify You today.
Lord Jesus, You are the vine and we are the branches (John 15:1-8). I acknowledge that my life flows from You, and that without You I can do nothing (v. 5). I know that You were given the Holy Spirit “without measure.” I ask that You would release Your life into my life that I might bear fruit. Release Your strength, wisdom, healing [etc.] to meet the needs of this day. You have said that all who drink of you will never thirst since they will have within them a fountain of living water that never grows dry (John 4:14). I need that for my dryness. I lay claim to Your promise in John 7:37-39:
If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Lord, since You have been glorified, and everything necessary has been done that we might receive the Spirit, I pray that the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon me today. This passage says that “anyone” who thirsts may come to drink and will receive. Lord, I come to You and I now drink of You. Thank You for Your gift of the Spirit. Thank You for Your life giving waters.
Holy Spirit, I invite You now to baptize me afresh with the fire of Your love. I want to know you, not just know about You. I want to experience your presence in my life. I give myself to You and ask that You would give Yourself to me. I need Your power in my life. Please come, and fill me now. Come into my life as the “Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD” (Is. 11:2). I need those things in my life. I am Your bondservant and I come humbly to be controlled and moved by You. Whatever giftings you want to pour out in my life today (1 Cor. 12-14; Eph. 4:7ff; Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Pet. 4:9-11), I gladly receive and determine now to use to the glory of the Father. I will not limit Your gifts by my perceptions of what I can handle, or what I need. I receive Your sovereign will to give as You please. Work in me mightily to the glory of God.
Fill me with your gracious fruit. Help me to walk in the Spirit that I might not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. I lay claim to Your supernatural love that can love the unlovable. I lay claim to Your joy of the Lord which is my strength. I lay claim to Your peace that passes all understanding; Your longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Help me to do everything today by Your working, that You would replace my evil thinking with the mind of Christ, my rebellious will with the will of Christ, my unruly emotions with the compassion of Christ.
Flow through me to minister to others. Please flood the deepest places of my life, washing away the filth and replacing it with the righteousness of Christ. Cleanse my wounds that still tend to dominate my thoughts and are keeping me from emotional freedom. Help me to know Christ and the power of His resurrection.
I want to learn more and more what it means to walk in the Spirit. May I not lift so much as a straw from the ground without Your presence, love, and approval. By faith, I thank You even now that You have answered this prayer and have poured out Your Spirit in my life. Praise be to Your name! Praise be to Your name! I love You and thank You.
7. Read Scripture
He shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes.
— Deut. 17:19
I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren.
— 1 Thess. 5:27
Give attention to reading.
— 1 Tim. 4:13
Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it.
— Rev. 1:3
As you read, you may say with the Psalmist, “Open my eyes that I may see wondrous things from Your law” (Ps. 119:18). We need the Spirit’s illumination if we are to understand and apply the Scripture (Eph. 1:17-20) since “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14).
When the Holy Spirit applies Scripture to our hearts, the Bible becomes “powerful” (Heb. 4:12) as an agency for healing (Ps. 107:20), for making us free (John 8:31-32), giving understanding (Ps. 119:130), producing faith (Rom. 10:17), bringing joy (Jer. 15:16; Ps. 119:162), restraining us from sin (Ps. 119:9,11), guiding us (Ps. 119:133), nourishing us (1 Pet. 2:2), sanctifying us (John 17:17), and transforming us into His likeness (2 Cor. 3:14-18). Remember that this is God Himself speaking to us. Interact with Him as you read.
8. Wait Upon The Lord
This is a time to quietly listen for God. This can be impressions, leading, manifestation of God’s love, holiness, etc. It is a time when you wait for God to manifest His personal presence in any way that He chooses. Alternatively, you can spend time at the end of each of the other 11 sections to wait for the Lord.
The basis for this:
Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him.
— Ps. 37:7
The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way… The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.
— Ps. 25:9,14
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
— Rev. 3:20
The fellowship of the Holy Spirit
— 2 Cor. 13:14; cf. Phil. 2:1
O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliff, let me see your countenance, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your countenance is lovely.
— Song 2:14
The sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out… the sheep follow him, for they know his voice… And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd… My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
— John 10:3,4,16,27
Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.
— Is. 30:21
He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him…If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
— John 14:21,23
9. Spiritual Warfare
Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
— Luke 10:19
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places… praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
— Eph. 6:10-20
Having prepared our hearts before the Lord, this section calls upon us to exercise the authority we have in binding the power of Satan. As those who are seated with Christ in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:6) and who share in wielding Christ’s rod of iron (Rev. 2:7), we have the great privilege of engaging in a Christ-empowered fight against spiritual demonic forces (Eph. 6:10-20). Since Christ authorized all believers to tread down these demonic forces (Luke 10:19), there is no power of the enemy that can stand against your prayers of faith.
God may lead you to pray that Jesus break the demonic bondage that a friend is experiencing, or it may mean praying against demonic forces seeking to divide a church, or it may mean praying for protection of a Christian politicians from demonic attack. Whether tearing down the strongholds of Satan in the nation, church, family, or an individual’s life, spiritual warfare is a critical component of prayer. In fact, it is so important that we have compiled a book of all the imprecatory prayers of the Psalms (titled War Psalms) and a collection of prayers by Mark Bubeck and Phillip Kayser (titled Prayers for Spiritual Warfare) as tools to help improve this aspect of your prayer life. The following Prayer for Revival is a sample of Mark Bubeck’s prayers:
Heavenly Father, I praise Your name for the grace that has come to me through the Lord Jesus Christ. I rejoice in the victory which You have provided for me to live above sin and failure. I come before You in confession and to plead Your mercy over my own sins, the sins of other believers, and the sins of our nation. Our nation stands before You, deserving Your wrath and judgment. I confess the sins of lukewarmness, apathy, and worldliness on the part of believers. I acknowledge before You the wickedness of our society and that it deserves judgment. I stand in to confess the awful affront to You which is represented in the drug epidemic, the drunkenness, the moral rottenness in the entertainment field, the crime increases of our land, and the lack of moral character in national leadership. I ask forgiveness and mercy for the religious sins of liberalism and the too-often harsh, bitter criticism and contentious spirit of fundamentalism. I grieve with You over the awful rise of interest in the occult and the open worship of Satan by wicked, deceived people. May You judge not this nation with wrath and fury as upon Sodom, but judge it with a mighty outpouring of conviction of sin. May sinners groan under the burden of their guilt until the people cry out as did those at Pentecost. “What shall we do?”
I praise Your holy name that there is sufficient measure of grace through the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ to answer this cry. I plead the blood of the cross and the power of the resurrection against the wretched sins and rebellion of the hearts of men against God. I wait for the Holy Spirit to lead and prepare and bring us all to revival.
I recognize that Satan and the kingdom of darkness over which he rules have plotted and strategized against revival with relentless effort. Satan has built carefully his kingdom to oppose all that is holy and good.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I smash and pull down all of the strongholds that Satan has erected to hinder revival. I pray the focus of the mighty victory of the cross and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ directly against Satan’s plans to hinder revival. I pull down his strongholds of religious loyalties that blind and bind so many. I pull down his strongholds of prayerlessness and carelessness with the Word of God. I claim back for the Lord Jesus Christ the ground Satan is claiming as a means of hindering revival, and I affirm that Satan’s plans were fully defeated through the cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I pull down all of Satan’s plans to divert revival when it comes. I call for the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and discernment to the leaders of revival chosen by You to lead. May this revival for which I pray be greater than any that has ever come before. May it serve to purify the church and prepare it for the coming of our Lord. May it bring multitudes into the fold all over the world.
Loving Lord Jesus Christ, You invited us to come and buy of You that which we need for revival. Give us the gold tried in the fires of testing brought by Your sovereign power. Give us the white raiment of Your purity as You live Your life in us. Grant us the eye salve of the Holy Spirit’s anointing to see spiritual truth, to retain it, and to apply it in practice. I open the door to Your Lordship, dear Savior. I invite You to come in to me personally and into Your church with a fresh visit and to be the sovereign Lord You are, that we all might fellowship with you in the deepness of Your love. I ask this all and bring it before You with praise in the merit and worthiness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.7
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
— Rom. 8:26
Therefore I exhort first of all that … intercessions … be made for all men.
— 1 Tim. 2:1
This section is for any prayer needs that others may have. Pray for the pastor, elders, deacons, members in the church, family, friends, government officials, the homeless, those in jail, the persecuted Christians, and any others that God may lay upon your heart. Keep notes of needs and answered prayers. Here is a sample prayer that can be made on behalf of your pastors/elders:
Father, I lift up my pastors before Your throne in the strong name of Jesus and ask that You would preserve them (Ps. 31:23) and make them to “abound with blessings” (Prov. 28:20). They are currently burdened with a lot of responsibilities, and I pray that they would not grow weary in doing good (Gal. 6:9), but that You would continue the good work that You have begun in them (Phil. 1:6). They are Your workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works (Eph 2:10), and I pray that those good works ordained before the foundation of the world would powerfully flow through their lives. May each one have all sufficiency in all things (2 Cor. 9:8) so that he in turn would abound in the work of the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58). We know that Satan is doing all that he can to resist their efforts, but I ask that You would send Your warrior angels to protect them and that no weapon formed against them would prosper (Is. 54:17). As they seek to minister to Your flock, I pray that they would do so willingly, eagerly, and as examples to the flock (1 Pet. 5:2). May You crucify all pride in their lives (Gal. 2:20; James 4:6) and enable them to seek Your glory above everything (1 Cor. 10:31). May none of our elders do any ministry in his own strength, but may he wait on You so that You would strengthen him for his work (Ps. 27:14). Please instruct each one in the way that he should go (Ps. 32:8) and reveal the deeper things of the Spirit to him (1 Cor. 2:10) so that he would diffuse the wonderful fragrance of Your knowledge in every place (2 Cor. 2:14). Help the elders to set in order the things that are lacking in the church (Tit. 1:5). In the strong name of Jesus I tear down any strongholds that are over their ministry in the church or in their ministry at home (2 Cor. 10:4). I come against any sickness or curses of Satan (Deut. 28) and plead the cross since You have redeemed them from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13). Father, may the gifts and anointings of Your Holy Spirit flow strongly in their lives (1 Cor. 12:11). Prosper their work as they devote themselves to the ministry of word and prayer (Acts 6:4). I pray all of this in the strong name of Jesus, Amen.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
— Heb. 4:16
And all things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.
— Matt. 21:22
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
— John 15:7
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
— Matt. 7:7-12
This section is for any prayer needs that you may have in your own life. If we do not petition God for our needs, we should not be surprised if He does not meet our needs. As James says, “You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2). Here is a sample prayer to get you going:
Father, what a privilege it is to be able to pray in freedom and to know that You are a generous God who delights in delighting Your people. And The first thing that I pray for this morning is eyes to see life as You see it. Take away any blindness that hinders us from seeing how good You are and how full and blessed we are. Take away any bitterness that keeps us from appreciating both the good and the difficult that You trust us with – and we do acknowledge that even difficulties are a stewardship trust that You have put into our lives. May we use these to grow in You.
I pray secondly for hearts of worship. Father, it is so easy for us to become apathetic and to go through the motions. But Father, we want hearts that burn for You. We desire to be God-chasers; to catch the uncatchable and to be like children caught by their father. Lord, we want You. We want to know You. We want to grow in You. I pray that You would fill our hearts with such love for You that worship would be easy and worship would be a delight.
I pray third for hearts that overflow in blessing into the lives of others. As we taste and see that You are good, may those living waters flow out of our innermost being and bring blessing to our family members, other church members, neighbors that we see during the week and work associates. Yes, Father, may this flow of Your Spirit from within us move us against all obstacles and against all excuses to serve.
I pray for expanded ministry opportunities and expanded resources and finances to be able to achieve those opportunities. As I am faithful with what You have given, I pray that You would trust me with more. I lay claim to John’s prayer when he prayed on our behalf: “that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2).
I pray for Your protection of my family and of our property. Thank You for Your promise that Your covenant mercies flow to a thousand generations of those who love You (Deut. 7:9). We plead your mercies and provisions for this day. May You protect our family from the arrow that flies by day and the pestilence that stalks at night. You have said that You are able to keep us from stumbling (Jude 2), and I pray that you would keep our family from stumbling into sin this day. May we finish this day with You being delighted that we have done all by Your Spirit and through the merits of Jesus, because we want to receive Your “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21).
I ask all of these petitions in the strong name of Jesus, and with thanksgiving for Your perfect answers. Amen.
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! … Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!
— Ps. 107:1,8
It is always appropriate to end every prayer time with a period of thanksgiving for all that God has done and for all that He will do. Thank Him by faith for future answered prayers. But be sure to thank Him for all of the prayers that He has already answered. Here is a sample prayer of thanksgiving:
We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks!
For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near.8
Blessed are You, LORD God of Israel,
our Father, forever and ever.
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness,
The power and the glory,
The victory and the majesty;
For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours;
Yours is the kingdom, O LORD,
And You are exalted as head over all.
Both riches and honor come from You,
And You reign over all.
In Your hand is power and might;
In Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.
Now therefore, our God, We thank You
And praise Your glorious name… For all things come from You,
And of Your own we have given You.9
Therefore I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name.10
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.11
Lord, with the Psalmist we give thanks to You for Your wondrous works.
We thank You for Your works of Providence that sustain and keep us; that discipline and reward us.
We thank You for our life and breath and health.
We thank You for our families, homes, and jobs.
We thank You for the friends You have blessed us with.
We acknowledge that You are the provider of all these things.
We thank You for your power and we rest in it.
Thank You Lord for Your forgiveness that is so full and so free.
Thank You for Your patience and kindness to us.
Thank You for having declared war on sin and that Your grace and holiness will prevail.
Thank You for Your sovereign control of all things that guarantees that all things work together for our good.
We thank You Father, Son and Holy Spirit for all that You have done for us, in us, and through us.
To You be all glory.
In Jesus name, Amen.
About the Author
When Jesus asked (with apparent disappointment), “What! Could you not watch with Me for one hour?” (Matt. 26:40), the disciples were no doubt disappointed in themselves. Perhaps you can relate. If you have struggled with the idea of praying for extended periods of time, it may simply be that you have never had extended prayer modeled to you. Just as John the Baptist and Jesus modeled to others on how to pray (Luke 11:1), hopefully this booklet will spark some ideas for your own prayer life. It is designed to expose you to twelve quite distinct kinds of prayer, and to show how easy it is to spend an hour in prayer.
Founder and President of Biblical Blueprints, Phillip Kayser has degrees in education, theology, and philosophy. Ordained in 1987, he pastors Dominion Covenant Church, a Bible-believing Presbyterian (CPC) church in Omaha, Nebraska. He also serves as Professor of Ethics at Whitefield Theological Seminary and on the board of the Pickering Foundation of Biblical Preservation. He and his wife Kathy have 5 children and 17 grandchildren.
1This is one of the most fundamental of all God’s attributes. The attribute of Aseity means that God has no needs (Acts 17:25) and since God is completely self-sufficient, it is impossible for Him to be selfish or self-centered. Instead, the Father loves and gives of Himself entirely to Son and Spirit, and the Son loves and gives of Himself entirely to Father and Spirit, and the Spirit gives of Himself entirely to Father and Son. It is God’s aseity that leads to God’s self-giving to us. It is also why each Person of the Godhead delights in praising the other members of the Godhead, and calls us to praise and adore them.↩
2On the fundamental importance of this attribute, and on how it colors every other attribute, consider the fact that it is the only one that is repeated three times – “holy, holy, holy” (Is. 6:3; Rev. 4:8). Sproul says, “only once in sacred Scripture is an attribute of God elevated to the third degree… The Bible never says that God is love, love, love” (R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God (Scripture Press Foundation, 1986), 38).↩
3God’s immanence and transcendence help us to avoid heresy. To hold to immanence and not transcendence can lead to pantheism. To hold to transcendence and not immanence can lead to Deism.↩
4This means that God’s attributes are not parts of God that can be divided. God is a unity that is indivisible and each Person is all of God and each attribute characterizes all of God. Theologians speak of this as a “unity of singularity.”↩
5Wayne Grudem correctly notes that “if God loves all that is right and good, and all that conforms to his moral character, then it should not be surprising that he would hate everything that is opposed to his moral character.” (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, 205).↩
6Words: Reginald Heber, 1826, Public Domain.↩
7Mark Bubeck, “Warfare Prayer for Revival,” in Phillip Kayser and Mark Bubeck, Prayers For Spiritual Warfare (Omaha, NE: Biblical Blueprints, 2009).↩
91 Chronicles 29:10-14↩