Kraft on types of prayer

I have been reading Charles Krafts excellent book, I Give You Authority. In chapter two he describes six types of prayer. Most Christians will be familiar with, and probably exercise, the first four which are described below.

When we are speaking to God, we usually call what we are doing  prayer. Jesus believed in prayer and practiced it frequently. But prayer, at least in the usual sense of the word, was not His central activity when He washealing people or delivering them from demons.

There are at least six kinds of activity we may call prayer. The mostcommon of these, the one we usually think of first, is what I will call asking  prayer. In this kind of prayer, we ask for what we would like or need, as Jesus has invited us to do. As He said in John 16:24: “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your happiness may be complete.”

Another familiar kind of praying is confession praying. We are told that “if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will for- give us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing” (1John 1:9). So we pray to confess and receive forgiveness.

A third kind of prayer that may be performed as either prayer or worship is thanksgiving prayer, in which we express our gratitude to God without requesting any- thing from Him.

Then there is intercession, an intense kind of praying in which we lay hold of God concerning something we feel especially troubled about. Some with the gift of intercession agonize over a given situation, much like a woman going through labor to bring a child into the world.

For years I have taught students to pray along these lines using the ACTS acrostic:

A – adoration

C – confession

T – thanksgiving

S – supplication (intercession)

I think these are fundamental to any disciples life, love of God, and worship in prayer. If you don’t already try to discipline your prayer life so that it includes some time spent in each activity. Using a journal of some kind can help in this discipline as it keeps track of who you pray for, what you ask, your own prayers of adoration and confession of sin and failings.

Tomorrow I shall post more from Krafts book looking at two further areas of prayer.

Do not forget

It is easy to forget that in India Christians suffer much persecution for their faith.  Whilst I rejoice that I can worship openly here I cannot, and should not, forget that my brothers and sisters are being treated harshly in other parts of this nation (which is 31st on the list). Added to that my heart aches at the thought of so many who love Jesus suffering amazing hardship for his name in other nations around the world. Do not forget to pray for them!

Below is the Open Doors list of countries where Christians are most likely to suffer persecution followed by a video explaining how the list is compiled – for the original and more information go here.

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The way opens

My former mentor Bob Gordon used to regularly quote this poem by John Oxenham (who is pictured here).

“To every man there openeth

A Way, and Ways, and a Way,

And the High Soul climbs the High Way,

And the Low Soul gropes the Low,

And in between on the misty flats,

The rest drift to and fro.

But to every man there openeth

A High Way and a Low,

And every man decideth

The Way his soul shall go.”

 

Such truth is simple and yet profound full of healthy biblical realism.

“Choose this day whom you will serve…”

God in the toilet

One of my pet subjects at the moment is the idea of being aware of the presence of God in the whole of our lives, in all our daily living. God, who lives in us, goes with us sees and experiences every thing we do or say or think – even in the toilet / bathroom.

You don’t have to live in the peaks and valleys – both of which have much to commend them not least for the awareness of God they bring in very different way – but you do have to live in the conscious presence of God each moment of every day.

You choose – do you invite the presence and Lordship of God into every area of your life, such an invitation might result in some sinful habits being at least challenged or at best changed? Or do you like the mediocrity of not needing to be aware of Jesus, you want to be like everyone else – just one of the gang – with nothing in your coffee drinking or casual conversation or workplace habits to show the glory of the Living God?

Are you alive or just living?

Giving conviction its due

Following on from yesterdays post Oswald Chambers offers some insight into why we fail the morality test – we don’t give conviction its due place in our lives.

Never discard a conviction. If it is important enough for the Spirit of God to have brought it to your mind, it is that thing He is detecting. You were looking for a great thing to give up. God is telling you of some tiny thing. At the back of it, there lies the central citadel of obstinacy: I will not give up my right to myself–the thing God intends you to give up if ever you are going to be a disciple of Jesus.”