For the last few weeks Pastor Miles' has delivered a message series entitled "Bubbles," through which he has highlighted how to pray and how God answers prayer.
What is prayer?
Prayer is faith-based communication with God. Through prayer, God gives us information and insight and shapes our hearts and character. We are all diamonds in the rough; a lot of work and time are required to make a diamond of brilliance and clarity, and a lot of prayer and counsel with God are required to transform us into the image of Jesus.
How do I pray?
Miles provided this acronym to illustrate the steps of praying as Jesus prayed:
Admire - Admire and thank God for all that He has done for you
Wait - Wait on the Lord, be quite and listen
Confess - Confess your sins (we all have them)
Intercede - Intercede for other people or pray for the benefit of others
Petition - Petition God to bless you
Admire - Admire again for all that God has given you.
By using the AWCIPA model, we can focus our prayer rather than praying for things at the spur of the moment. God has a purpose for us, but we have to communicate clearly in order to know His intentions and realize His goals for us.
Got Bubbles?-Prayers Answered!
Answered prayer glorifies God! God wants what is best for us and He wants to show us how great things can be. When He answers a prayer, we should be ecstatic! Our joy and thanksgiving may increase the faith of other believers, and inspire unbelievers to honor God, for when they realize what has happened, they will know that only God could have done such things.
8 Types of Bubbles
God gives us eight basic answers when we pray:
This is rather straight-forward. God has reasons for saying "no" to us; and His reasons are usually to protect and bless us.
This is not an answer we like either, but remember God sees things we don't. For example, you may discover two years later why God said to wait before buying a house: your source of income is depleted, the market crashed, you can't sell, and now you're stuck.
Like a loving parent, God wants to say "yes" to His children. Whenever the circumstances are right, He will.
4) Wrong prayer
"God, I want a car." You should be praying for a driver's license first!
5) Keep praying
Praying intensely for ten minutes does not exactly qualify as a long-suffering prayer. Sometimes, prayers must be fervent over several years before God reveals another answer. Remember, prayer is communication with God-He wants us to communicate with Him continually.
There are times when God not only says "yes," but tells us that the answer is already being delivered.
7) Why are you asking me that?
Some things we shouldn't pray for at all, such as revenge for something done to us.
8) Get your life right
"God I want the perfect husband." God responds, "Stop doing cocaine." Why would God bless someone who is blatantly unworthy? Fix your life to honor Him and then He can honor you.
When we close a prayer "in Jesus' name," we tell God that we are praying for something, but we accept whatever God is going to give us. In the same way, Jesus prayed in the garden before his brutal crucifixion. He asked God to spare him from all that was about to happen, but He also said, "Your will, not mine, be done." Praying gives us access to God, but He still sets the rules. God knows what is best for all of us, though we may not like it, it is still what is best.
If you have a rebellious heart or selfish motives, this will negatively effect your prayers. It is one thing to ask for a good price on a home, but another to ask for someone to lose their house so that you can buy it cheaply.
Praying in the Spirit means allowing the Spirit to guide what we should pray and how we pray. We need to pray to the Spirit of God for His will in our lives, for truth, and for impossible things so that we can show the world that God is a great God who does miracles.
We need to pray often, with power and with passion, and we need to do it now.