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Meditation Preparing To Pray

By Rev Angela C Bosfield Palacious

As we continue to lay a firm prayer foundation, there are scriptures that are very helpful in priming the pump of our prayers. Let us consider a few:

  1. Prayers of petition and praise are found throughout the Bible. Psalm 67 is one of the shorter psalms that remind us of the great God we have: “God, be merciful to us and bless us; look on us with kindness, so that the whole world may know your will; so that all nations may know your salvation.”

  2. Communal prayer may be found in several locations. Solomon’s prayer is long and the latter part speaks to the sins of the people and their exile as punishment, asking God to forgive them when they repent: “When your people sin against you — and there is no one who does not sin — and in your anger you let their enemies defeat them and take them as prisoners to some other land, even if that land is far away, listen to your people’s prayers. If there in that land they repent and pray to you, confessing how sinful and wicked they have been, hear their prayers, O LORD. (1 Kings 8:46-47, GNT)

  3. Prophetic prayer speaks of what is to come as relayed by God: “Then God said, ‘Mortal man, go to the people of Israel and say to them whatever I tell you to say…none of the people of Israel will be willing to listen; they will not even listen to me. All of them are stubborn and defiant. Now I will make you as stubborn and as tough as they are. I will make you as firm as a rock, as hard as a diamond; don’t be afraid of those rebels.’ “ (Ezekiel 3: 4, 8-9 GNT)

  4. Healing prayers are found in many books of the Bible. One such example is in Mark 9:25, 28-29 GNT: “Jesus noticed that the crowd was closing in on them, so he gave a command to the evil spirit. ‘Deaf and dumb spirit,’ he said, ‘I order you to come out of the boy and never go into him again...After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, ‘Why couldn’t we drive the spirit out?’ ‘Only prayer can drive this kind out,’ answered Jesus; ‘nothing else can.’ “

  5. Preaching that results in an outpouring of prayer and praise is recorded in Acts 10:44-45 GNT: “While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit came down on all those who were listening to his message. The Jewish believers who had come from Joppa with Peter were amazed that God had poured out his gift of the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles also.”

  6. Empowering prayer is used to send off the disciples or other special moments in the life of the church. Acts 13:2-3 GNT provides us with one such example: “While they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said to them, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul, to do the work to which I have called them.’ They fasted and prayed, placed their hands on them, and sent them off.”

  7. Agonising prayer is graphically described in the scene from the Garden of Gethsemane serving as a model for us as we struggle to embrace God’s will in our lives: “He went a little farther on, threw himself face downward on the ground, and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, take this cup of suffering from me! Yet not what I want, but what you want.’” (Mt 26: 39 GNT)

  8. Family prayer takes the form of the “Our Father” prayer which is usually memorised from early childhood when raised in a christian family.

  9. Pastoral prayers are offered for the people of God and unbelievers: “For this reason I fall on my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth receives its true name. I ask God from the wealth of his glory to give you power through his Spirit to be strong in your inner selves, and I pray that Christ will make his home in your hearts through faith. I pray that you may have your roots and foundation in love, so that you, together with all God’s people, may have the power to understand how broad and long, how high and deep, is Christ’s love. Yes, may you come to know his love—although it can never be fully known—and so be completely filled with the very nature of God.” (Ephesians 3: 14-19 GNT)

  10. Intercessory prayer is our gift to any and everyone to be used anywhere at any time: “Do all this in prayer, asking for God’s help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God’s people. And pray also for me, that God will give me a message when I am ready to speak, so that I may speak boldly and make known the gospel’s secret. Paul asks the Ephesians to pray for him as well.” (Ephesians 6:18-19).

May you find yourself willing and able to pray in every situation. Allow the Bible to teach you what to say.

• Rev Angela Palacious, a motivational speaker and author of several devotional books, is an Anglican priest. She may be contacted at 393-9000 or by e-mail at angelapalacious@gmail.com.

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