“When we praise God, He inhabits or enters our praises, and His power overwhelms the power of the enemy. He is a mighty God, and Satan cannot match His strength. Light will dispel darkness through God’s entering into our praise. Through praise, the Lord Himself begins to do warfare on our behalf to silence our enemy, as we shall see.” -Cindy Jacobs
Wouldn’t you like a more successful prayer life? Wouldn’t you like to mentor others in victorious prayer? If there were a pattern for successful prayer, would you not want to know what that is? I know I would!
When I was growing up I took a sewing class at school. I remember how my home economics teacher gave us careful instructions on how to make a dress. We first had to pick a pattern and then buy the right amount of material for that particular dress. Without the pattern it would be impossible to sew the dress – especially our class of eleven-year-old girls! I remember obediently going to the store with my mother and picking out the pattern and material. Throughout that course, I made the dress and even got a good grade for the class.
There was only one problem – I never wore the dress!
What was the reason? By the time I finished the dress, I had realized something very important. I didn’t like the pattern that I had originally picked out. And the color of the material was an ugly tan – I still remember it clearly – I had picked out the wrong pattern and the wrong material. As you can probably imagine, I never did become a seamstress – I never applied what I learned – and I definitely was not successful in that area of my life.
But I want to tell you about someone who was extremely successful in prayer. He had the right pattern for successful prayer. It was a perfect pattern that strategically empowered others. The Bible gives us an example of a victorious answer to prayer that affected multitudes of people. In one sense what happened in this situation is a pattern for successful prayer that is repeated all throughout the Bible. We can find an amazing picture of prayer in 2 Chronicles 20:1-30.
Let’s learn how we can mentor others in successful prayer by looking at the pattern of King Jehoshaphat. He was a great example for us to follow. His pattern worked!
The first thing to realize about this King is that he was desperate. A vast army was coming against him! He was alarmed but resolved to inquire of the Lord. He proclaimed a fast for all Judah, and all the people came together to seek the Lord. The King was desperate – a good place to be – and His eyes were on the Lord. Instead of trying to figure everything out first – what we often do – He looked straight to the lord and said,“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”
The Pattern for Victory Judah must go first. Judah actually means “Praise Yahweh”. This is truly the pattern for ultimate victory. Praise must go first. Let’s look at Jehoshaphat’s pattern for successful prayer.
- Praise God – In 2 Chronicles 20:6-9he prayed, “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. O our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us’”
- Describe the situation – In 2 Chronicles 20:10-11 he prayed, “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance.”
- Ask God to intervene – In2 Chronicles 10:12 he prayed, “O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”
Jehoshaphat spent a lot of time praising God. Instead of spending most of the time trying to figure everything out, he turned his eyes upon God first and praised Him for who He is and what He has promised. This is the major part of his prayer. Then he described the situation (the problem) to God. Finally he asked God to intervene and help.
So often we reverse our priorities in prayer. So often we complain and advise God what He should do.
So often we spend very little time praising Him for what He can do.
But look at this pattern – the majority of his prayer was praising God and the least amount of his prayer was asking God to intervene. If we were to consider the seriousness of this problem in our own lives, we would say it was pretty major. The army was vast, and it was coming against him. It was an immediate emergency!
The Empowerment for Victory
But when Jehoshaphat used this pattern for successful prayer, a prophetic word came forth that empowered the people to go into battle with the singers leading. This encouragement was directly from God. He certainly took immediate notice of this type of prayer, and He strengthened their hearts with this word:
- Do not be afraid or discouraged – “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army” (2 Chronicles 20:15-18).
- The battle is God’s – “For the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15).
- Take up your positions and stand firm – “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm” 2 Chronicles 20:17).
- See God’s deliverance – “…see the deliverance the Lord will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem” (2 Chronicles 20:18).
- The Lord will be with you – “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:17).
Jehoshaphat’s army was led by praise. They faced the enemy singing. As I already mentioned, Judah means “Praise Yahweh”. They had thanked God for the victory by faith even before seeing it. We read in2 Chronicles 20:19, “Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord.”
The Lord set up ambushes, and the enemy was defeated. But when the praising army arrived, the enemy was already dead. God had given them a tremendous victory. They returned joyfully and with great plunder because the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. See 2 Chronicles 20:24-26.
Are you presently in spiritual warfare?
Do you know others who are in battle who need to learn this pattern of successful prayer?
You may feel that you are in a battle that seems absolutely enormous and you may see no way through. Think about it – whose battle is it really? Who is going to fight this battle for you? Why not try this pattern for successful prayer right in the midst of your situation? Why not mentor and empower others in this method of strategic prayer? Here’s how you can help yourself and others align themselves with God in prayer. And this is what you can teach the younger generation, even children. God invites you to enter into the strategic empowering of others in this type of prayer. Start with praying, “Lord, I don’t know what to do but my eyes are on you.”
Then spend most of your time praising God. Describe your situation to Him, but do not allow yourself to be afraid or discouraged. If you are, simply confess it to the Lord. Then ask Him to intervene for you. After you have prayed in this fashion, stand firm and take up your position (do what He says) and watch the deliverance of the Lord. Remember, He is with you – This is His battle – He is aligning Himself with you to lead you forth in victory.
“Praise causes the presence of the Lord to come into our midst. Even though God is omniscient, He manifests His authority and rule in our environment when we praise Him. When we praise, God comes in and leads us forth… He does not just visit us, but He abides and aligns Himself with us to walk with us into the path that He has chosen for us.” -Chuck Pierce
Together in the Harvest,
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff
Publication date: July 11, 2012
by Carmi (Philippines)
Lord, thank you for giving me a loving man in my life… After months of searching and asking with You, you gave me someone i deserve to be with. Lord, I love him very much, since we are far from each other, guide our relationship that we will keep and love each other. That in time we meet physically, we are ready for each other. Prepare our selves that all trials met along the way may serve as a tool for us to understand each other and that also results to more stronger bond of love. Keep the trust, respect, patience, our faith in You and a good communication so that everything will be fine.
It is our faith and trust in you that keeps me going and remains positive no matter what worries and doubts whatever there is. And so with him Lord, keep the love with him for me that it will be forever, guide him in his happiness and in his career, health and moods. Lord, with these petitions with You, i remain positive that we will meet and be partners in real life, and a successful and eternal one with Your unending guidance to us. Lord, bless our family also that in time we level up with marriage, they will be most happy to say yes and support us.
Thank you also for the people You’re giving as an instrumental in making our relationship work. Most especially Lord, i THANK YOU for such abundance of love and unending bridges You are giving to us… Guide it that we may end successfully according to Your will…
Thank you very much again Lord and i ask all these petitions in Jesus Name… Amen
A successful prayer
Prayer is the most universal spiritual practice. It connects the spirit of human beings to the Divine, thus preventing them from forgetting Him. But it also enables one to revert back to oneself, to one’s true dimension, which is spiritual in nature.
Ostad Elahi practiced prayer in various forms since childhood and referred to the essential conditions of prayer many times in his works. Some of his recommendations regarding prayer can be found in Words of Faith: Prayers of Ostad Elahi, which was published on the occasion of the centennial of his birth.
Here are some excerpts from this book:
- Intention is the main thing in praying. No matter what your religion or what language you speak, as soon as your attention is focused on God, your prayer is accepted.
- To be effective, prayer must combine action, attention and recollection.
- The act of prayer is not limited to a particular time and place: wherever and whenever you are with God, God is with you.
- The effect of prayer depends on the time, the intention, the sincerity and the feelings of the person who is praying.
- Praying must not be motivated by fear, hypocrisy, or greed; it should spring from pure intention, aiming at nothing but God’s satisfaction.
- Why are there repetitions in prayers? Because repetition eventually results in concentrated attention which in turn strengthens the capacity for attention.
- Do not let yourself be deceived by the imperious self when it says “Now that you can’t pray as you should, you’d better not pray at all!” This is typical of the imperious self; it shouldn’t be listened to.
- Every intimate discourse with God is registered in the spiritual world and stays there forever. Likewise, every time your thoughts wander, it is reflected there.
- Praying for one’s parents and for people of faith is a service rendered to society, for it is like sowing the seeds of goodness.
- While praying, in order to achieve attention to God, think that you are addressing a large assembly: you must feel every word before you speak it, and concerning humility and submission, imagine that you stand before God and He is listening to you.
- Praying, even reluctantly, is better than not praying at all.
- You should all reach the level where praying, far from being an obligation, gives you joy and elation.
- A heartfelt prayer leaves a trace that lasts for a thousand years.
- Wherever you hear the Name of God, respect it, welcome it, and be blessed by it—never mind who speaks it or where it is spoken. Do not set yourself apart.
- The conditions of prayer
- Words for prayer
- Intention matters in why we do what we do
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