Prayer is uniquely designed by the triune God based on His attribute for human to be able to communicate with Him. It is created in every human’s nature in order for everyone to know Him and to know the world through Him. Because of the fall of man, people who do not have a personal relationship with God tend to pray to the wrong god or deny the existence of prayer. A true and heartfelt prayer happens when a genuine relationship between God and man established. It brings out repentance, forgiveness, freedom and life. It is not idle, ritual or ceremonial, though it can be used in ritual and ceremonies. Prayer brings out the action that the Lord has communicated with the individual in full obedience. It should not be limited as only a punctual activity but more of a lifestyle. It is worship, spiritual breathing, continuous life sustaining, walking with the Lord. It involves both opening hearts to the Lord and listening to Him as well. It is both a channel for transformation, and a process to transform lives.
Characteristics of prayers:
Lifelong (Lk.5:16, 6:12)
With a loving heart (Lk.6:28)
Early in the morning (Mk.1:35)
With a forgiving heart (Mk.11:25)
With a righteous heart (Mt.23:14, Mk.12:40)
Pray for everyone (1Tim.2:1)
Not giving up (Lk.18:1)
Always (Lk.18:1; Rm1:10)
Spirit prays for us (Rm.8:26)
Do not keep on babbling (Mt.6:7)
Not on the street(Mt.6:6)
With faith (Mt.21:22, Mk.11:24)
Pray with obedience(Mt.26:39, 42, 44)
Watchful (Lk.22:46; Col.4:3)
With a humble heart
Faithful in prayer (Rm 12:12)
At all times (Rm1:10)
With all kinds of prayers (Eph.6:18)
Pray for Saints (Eph. 6:18)
Pray for everything (Phi.4:6)
Result of prayers:
Casting out demons (Mt.17:21, Mk.9:29)
Appearance changed (Lk.9:29)
Filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts. 4:31)
Prevent from falling into temptation (Mt.26:41)
Raise dead (Acts.9:40)
God reveal His will through prayer (Acts.10:9)
God calls through prayer
Appoint people (Acts 1:14)
Set free from prison(praise) (Acts.12:5; 16:25)
Ways of prayer:
Join together constantly pray (Acts.1:14)
Lay hands to bless people (Mt.19:13)
Lay hands to appoint people (Acts.6:6; 14:23)
Ointment (Jam 5:14)
Spirit prays for us (Rm 8:26)
- Pastor should have a strong passion for a life of prayer, and willing to devote himself/herself into prayer, and can demonstrate a life of prayer.
- Pastor should be able to have the healthy and accurate understanding about prayer.
- Pastor should be able to distinguish and explain the difference between a biblical prayer and a prayer from other religion, such as Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and folk religions, etc.
- Pastor should have read and have understanding about prayers throughout church history. For example, from ancient time to modern time, different spiritual leaders’ insights on prayer.
- Pastor should be able to respond in a proper way regard to the issue of speaking/praying in tongue.
- Pastor should be able to explain the origin of prayer through biblical perspective.
- Pastor has the understanding about different types of prayers and knows how to respond to life situation with different kinds of prayers. For example: prayer on wedding, funeral, hospital visit, dedication, etc.
- Pastor should know how to teach and to influence his/her congregation to have a strong passion of prayer.
- Pastor should be able to explain what is punctual period time of prayer and what is unceasing prayer.
- Pastor should know how to encourage his people to pray.
- Pastor should be sensitive to the need of his/her congregation, and knows how to form a prayer meeting in a contextualized suitable way for his/her church.
- Pastor should be able to use OT and NT examples to teach the church how to pray.