Paul wrote, “first of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men” (I Timothy 2:1). We see from this verse that there is a sense in which our prayers must include the whole world. They must go beyond our own families, our churches, our friends, and our country. What a great and awesome responsibility we have. And at the same time what a great privilege and honor God has given to us to be able to touch a soul on the other side of the world.
I have laid out for you what I have found from my study to be the main groups of people we should pray and intercede for. Here are those groups, eight in all.
1.Secular leaders (1 Timothy 2:2). Under the heading of “all men,” the first group that Paul instructs…
M. Bounds has said, “It is the ardor created by desire that burns its way to the throne of mercy and gains its plea.” Again, Bounds said of desire, “This holy and fervid flame in the soul awakens the interests of heaven, attracts the attention of God, and places at the disposal of those who exercise it, the exhaustless riches of Divine grace.” Thus desire not only helps me pray, but it helps my prayers reach God.
But we must not think that what Bounds is suggesting is that we can manipulate God by our desire. No, God is in no way surprised by our desire or feels manipulated. In fact, He waits for us to come to Him with desire—that desire that He has already planted within our heart.
Moreover, when we come to Him with holy desire for certain things, we have the promises of God assuring…
“Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. 8 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened.
Here is an absolute promise made by the Son of God. It tells us very directly and strongly that God wants to and will answer our prayers. But there is a right way to ask and a wrong way.
How Not to Ask
1. I think, generally speaking, we should not ask Him to remove our problems from us or take us out of a bad situation. It is always better to ask Him to help us deal with our problems where we are.
2. Never use these verses as a psychological treatment or a way to comfort ourselves. The Lord has given us an absolute promise. If we ask correctly, He will answer us—give us what we need.
3. We must not take verses 7 and 8 out of context. They have a connection to verses 9-11. Verses 7 through 11 all go together.
What to Ask for and How to Ask
1. we should always try to ask for what we think is His will in any given situation. Ask for His wisdom.
2. Ask with persistence. The words ask, seek, and knock indicate persistence and importunity. And if we are truly praying with persistence this attitude will also be a part of our life—we will be persistent and diligent in our work and in our holiness.
3. Ask realizing that God is our Father and that He wants to give us only what is good (verses 9-11).
4. Ask for the Holy Spirit. In the parallel passage in Luke 11:9-13, Luke adds the Holy Spirit (in verse 13). So, whatever we are asking for we ought to include the Holy Spirit. He is the ultimate good thing that the Father offers us. And the Father will never deny us the Holy Spirt.
Here are some wonderful reason why we should want to receive answers to prayer—and I got a lot of help here from E. M. Bounds, a great author.
1. God’s answers to prayer shows evidence of the existence of God and give us proof of our right relationship with Him. Anyone who comes to God in prayer must believe, at least a little, that He exists (Heb. 11:6). But when He rewards us with an answer, we have unmistakable evidence of His existence. Says E. M. Bounds in his Possibilities of Prayer, “There is no proof so clear and demonstrative that God exists than prayer and its answers.”
Furthermore, when we receive answers from Him, it not only strengthens our own faith, but it plants the seed of faith in others around us who have witnessed His answers. This was Elijah’s expectation for the people of Israel—that when…
There is only one prayer that anyone can pray with the assurance that God will hear him. It is the prayer for mercy—mercy that possesses God’s forgiveness, restoration, and salvation. It is the prayer of a humble heart that sincerely has decided to go God’s way. Any other prayers that people utter, if they have not prayed this prayer (above), are an abomination to God and are not heard. Why? Well, it is not because God is not good. He is good (Matt. 5:43-45). It is because He cannot grant any other request of the unsaved, because they naturally do not do what is right or seek after God (Rom. 3:10-11). Isaiah 64:6 tells us that all the unsaved are unclean and all their righteousness are like filthy rags to God. Therefore, God will not listen to their prayers because all their requests are made with selfish, ungodly motives.
The following article is an excerpt from this book.
Here are three possible reasons why your prayers aren’t answered–from my e-book Prayer A to Z.
1. You really aren’t abiding in Jesus and His Word as you think you are. A good test of whether you are abiding or not is whether you bear fruit. Jesus said, “He who abides in Me, and I in him bears much fruit (Jn. 15:5). Fruit is that evidence that you are a Christian—a true Christian that abides in Christ and grows to be like Him.
Are you becoming like Christ? Do you love others as He did? Do you reach out to others and share the love of God with them? Do you have the faith that Jesus had? When you pray do you expect God to answer you? If you can’t say yes to any of these questions I suggest that…
The following article is an excerpt from this book.
Prayer was never meant to be an end in itself—not an exercise to glory in, to impress someone, or even merely for communion and enjoyment of God (though that is part of prayer). Rather, the main purpose of prayer is to glorify God when we receive from Him the things we ask for (Jn. 14:13). And that is what we should expect when we pray—that He will give us exactly what we ask for, nothing else, nothing different. Here are three reasons why we can know that we can recieve answers to prayer—taken from my book Prayer A to Z.
1. In all of Jesus’ teachings on prayer He has emphasized strongly that we can receive answers. In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 7:7-11, Jesus instructed His disciples on asking and receiving. He told them that if…
When I began thinking of what I wanted the book to be like, my thoughts were drawn to some of the classic books on prayer I have read, books by E. M. Bounds, Andrew Murray, Hudson Taylor, R. A. Torrey, and Charles Spurgeon. I considered these authors to be powerful and holy men of God, and so I wanted to follow in their steps.
What would I do? How would I form its content? The first thing I did was to look through all the books I had (about 30 book) to get ideas. I wrote down all the possible topics or chapter titles. I came up with about 80 topics; and I also decided that I would take some time to read through the bible to find all the prayers of the bible. It took me over a year; and during that time, I also worked on the formation of the chapters. Eighty chapters was way too many. I eventually narrowed it down to 52 chapters, including five chapters on the prayers of the bible.
Then I had a brilliant idea. If a person would read and study one chapter a week, that would make a good year-long study. I also got the idea of trying to put all the chapters in alphabetical order. That took some doing, but it came together. Well, after I was done patting myself on the back for my brilliance, I suddenly got the thought that maybe God had something to do with it. And the more I realized how everything came together, I was sure of it. It was all His doing!
Okay, here are the fifty-two chapters, with just a short comment on each chapter.
Answers to Prayer. Seventeen pages on this topic. A great start.
Aroma of Prayer. This is a favorite to many readers.
Authority of Prayer. All our authority is in Christ.
Burden in Prayer. In this chapter you realize God’s heart of compassion.
Confidence in Prayer. Discover God-confidence in prayer.
Definition of Prayer. Discover here what prayer is.
Desire in Prayer. It is important to pray with desire.
Earnestness in Prayer. Earnest prayer grows out of desire.
Evangelism in Prayer. How to pray for the lost.
Failure in Prayer. Why we fail in prayer.
Faith and Prayer. Why faith is necessary in prayer.
Fasting and Prayer. Instruction and guidelines for Fasting.
Forgiveness and Prayer. Why forgiveness is so necessary for prayer.
God’s Idea. Prayer is God’s idea.
Holiness and Prayer. Holiness always goes with prayer.
Holy Spirit and Prayer. Prayer and the Holy Spirit work together.
How to Pray – Part 1. Eight of Jesus’ Teachings on Prayer.
How to Pray – Part 2. A study of the Lord’s Prayer.
Importunity in Prayer. Persistent and urgent prayer.
Intercession – Part 1. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit’s Intercession.
Intercession – Part 2. The definition of intercession.
Intercession – Part 3. How we intercede for others.
Jesus’ Name. Prayer in Jesus’ name.
Kneeling in Prayer. Prayer posture.
Length of Prayer. How long should we pray for.
Ministry of Prayer. Practical help on how to have a prayer ministry.
Necessity of Prayer. Nine reasons why prayer is necessary.
Obedience and Prayer. Being obedient to God is so necessary in prayer.
Possibilities of Prayer. Praying for big things.
Power in Prayer. How to have power in your prayers.
Praise and Prayer – Part 1. Praise as a vital part of prayer.
Praise and Prayer – Part 2. Biblical examples of praise.
Prayerlessness. The sin of prayerlessness.
Quietness in Prayer – Part 1. Hearing God’s voice.
Quietness in Prayer – Part 2. Our quiet time with God.
Quietness in Prayer – Part 3. The importance of solitude.
Quietness in Prayer – Part 4. How the Devil perverts our prayers.
Revival and Prayer. What part prayer has in revival.
Specific Praying. How to pray specifically.
Survey of Prayer – Part 1. Prayers of the Bible, Abraham through Moses.
Survey of Prayer – Part 2. Prayers of the Bible, Joshua through Samuel.
Survey of Prayer – Part 3. Prayers of the Bible, David through Jehoshaphat.
Survey of Prayer – Part 4. Prayers of the Bible, Elijah through Daniel.
Survey of Prayer – Part 5. Prayers of the Bible, Ezra through John.
Travail in Prayer. Why we need to travail in prayer.
United Prayer. Praying together in agreement.
Vigilance in Prayer – Part 1. Why vigilance is necessary.
Vigilance in Prayer – Part 2. Overcoming the enemy through vigilance.
Word and Prayer. The use of the word in Prayer.
Xanadu. Experiencing the beauty of prayer.
Yielding in Prayer. Why we must yield to God when we pray.
Zenith of Prayer. This last chapter of 93 pages summarizes the entire book.