by Dan Goddard
Good theology and practical teaching on prayer is valuable, even important; but, prayer is a spiritual transaction between my spirit, and The Spirit of God!
I could teach you the principals of prayer for weeks: it would never make you a prayer warrior.
“Prayer is caught, not taught”! This is what my prayer mentor always told me. I caught the “Spirit of prayer” from spending many hours in his presence while he prayed; an honor that I will always treasure.
I understand prayer to have a protocol; much like meeting with an elder/leader/chief, Etc.
I don’t just rush in loudly laying out my demands, but I “walk softly”, bringing my gifts and listening to God’s heart.
I greet God as my Family; Father, Brother, Friend.
I declare my love and ask them if there is anything in my life that is hindering our relationship.
I listen to their response, always expecting to hear their hearts at some moment.
I take time to protocol my King; with worship and repentance.
I open my spirit to hear from their hearts, through the written word, the voice of Holy Spirit, a vision, Etc.
I begin to respond to what Holy Spirit shows/speaks to me, and a two way conversation begins with God.
Corporate prayer is only as real and effective as the prayer life of the individuals present!
Corporate prayer requires unity, self control/patience, humility and a deep revelation of God’s heart.
Scripture gives us several models/examples of corporate prayer.
We will look at a couple together, but; Holy Spirit must always have the control, and not be put into a box!
There are many aspects of prayer; all are valid and important: petition prayer, repentance prayer, thanksgiving prayer, questioning prayer, listening prayer and declaration prayer.
(Psalms 100) says that we enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.
1- I believe that worship is the starting point for prayer that brings our hearts into unity with God and with one another.
(Psalms 139: 23- 24) is an invitation to God, to search our heart motives and attitudes. Our hearts must be pure, to truly pray with authority.
(Psalms 24) declares that God hears us and brings breakthrough as we come before him with “clean hands and a pure heart”.
2- I believe that consecration/repentance is the next step to moving forward in prayer. This is done as we listen to “the still small voice of the Holy Spirit as He speaks to our hearts, through prophecy, scripture Etc.
(Ephesians 6:18) tells us to bring our concerns to God in prayer, and pray under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
3- I believe that the next step is be guided by the Holy Spirit, to begin crying out for God to show us His heart in our situation, that is to know His will, purpose, strategy, destiny, Etc. for our lives, families, churches, communities, peoples and Nations.
(Acts 13:1-3) The Holy Spirit gave clear and specific answers to the Church as they prayed. They then obeyed.
(Psalms 46) The author reaches a point in the presence of God that he declares the things that God is about to do. He declares the heart of God, his strength, and his destiny and answer for the Nation of Israel.
4- The next step is to quiet our hearts before God, and then begin to declare the truth about God, about His heart and purposes for us. This is where faith and intimacy with God release authority in our declarations. At this point, we are speaking out of a place of deep rest and assurance that God has heard us, and is answering our cry.
(Psalms 30) David goes through all the steps of crying out weeping, repenting, declaration and hearing God’s answer; then he begins to dance and sing.
5- The final step is celebration: God heard our cry, forgives our sin, brings break through, heals and restores, and gives us direction. Now it is time to shout and dance!
1- Have a small team of leaders who are mature intercessors that can discern the direction that Holy Spirit is going in the prayer gathering.
2- Ask people to give their words, visions, ideas, Etc. to this team, to discern as the meeting goes on.
3- Invite people to pray, share, etc. at an appropriate time, so that everyone has ownership and is equally valued.
4- Follow the Holy Spirit, not a plan or human agenda; even if it is uncomfortable. God sees our hearts, and will teach us as we go.