The Ministry Of Prayer

This coming Thursday, on May 4, we celebrate the National Day of Prayer. I love that we can have a day set aside to not only focus on prayer but to actually PRAY.

Prayer is the foundation of MORE Mentoring. It makes all the difference in a mentoring relationship when two people can agree and believe together in prayer. Encouragement flows out of praying together because God is included and He is the best Encourager there is. He brings Hope, Joy and Peace.

Throughout the Bible, there are 4 principles of prayer that seem to stand out above the rest: Praise, Confession, Thanksgiving and Asking. Through prayer, we can have a relationship with God. If we want to grow in our relationship with God, we need to grow in these four areas of prayer. Does your prayer time mainly consist of asking God? Then maybe you could look a little more closely at praising Him, confessing to Him and thanking Him.

There is not a right or wrong way to pray. God looks at your heart. Saying the right words is not so important.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you. . . Ephesians 1:17-18a

In prayer, we use our eyes to . . .

1.     Look up Look at God. Praise Him for who He is. Look at His attributes and His character. When we start with a focus on God, He becomes greater and our circumstances become much smaller. Praise defeats the enemy.

As they began to sing and praise . . . the enemy was defeated.  2 Chronicles 20:22 (adapted)

2.     Look within – Look at my sin and confess it. The only way to be filled with the Spirit is to empty myself of me. There is something powerful about confessing your sins out loud. As we see in James 5:16, it brings healing.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16

3.     Look around – Look at all the things around you to be thankful for (past, present, future). We can’t physically be anxious and thankful at the same time. Look back at the specific things you prayed for and thank God for answering in His perfect way.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:18

4.     Look out – Look at Jesus standing before you saying, “What do you want me to do for you?” He wants us to ask Him. Use Scripture. Put a name right into the verse. Be specific. Believe Him. Your faith is what pleases God and moves Him to action.

When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.”  Luke 18:40b-42

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:1,6

Conversational prayer is when the two of you go back and forth, keeping your prayers short and simple and in agreement. In a great conversation, one person doesn’t go on and on. Both people join in. Listening is a very important part of prayer. God is right there with you in your prayer time. Make sure you take time to listen to Him. Ask Him to show you how to pray. Ask Him what He wants you to know or do.

Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. Matthew 18:19-20

In your mentoring relationship, be sensitive to your mentee. She may not be at a place where she is comfortable praying out loud. That’s OK. You can start by praying for her. I encourage you to not just tell her you will pray for her but to actually do it out loud in front of her. It will bring great encouragement to her heart!

(Excerpt from MORE Mentoring: A 12-Session Mentoring Guide for Mentors and Mentees)

I challenge you to find someone to pray with on Thursday and use this wonderful gift – the ministry of prayer – to bring great encouragement to someone’s life. It just might be yours!