There are lot of different ways to look at the function of prayer, but please allow me to share one more with you. Perhaps this prayer cycle will help you see the value of each aspect of prayer.
(To download a PDF of this file, click here → Prayer cycle)
Each step in this cycle helps facilitate the next step. If any step breaks down, the whole cycle of prayer can grind to a halt. But as any part of the cycle is strengthened, the whole cycle expands and grows in potency!
- We need to be be assured that God’s Word is true when it says to come to Him in prayer.
- Once we are assured that God’s Word is true, then the Holy Spirit will illuminate His Word to our present circumstance, giving us the mind of Our Lord. This is called discernment.
- Having discernment will bring us the peace that knows God hears us, and that God is working on our behalf and for His glory.
- All of these steps flowing together allow us to pray and live in greater boldness, which fuels the whole cycle again.
- At the heart of this cycle is the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, who helps us at each step along the cycle of prayer.
Here are some Scriptures that correspond with the various steps in the cycle:
Assurance—If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. (John 15:7)
Discernment—But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you. (John 14:26)
Peace—Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)
Boldness—After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. (Acts 4:31)
Holy Spirit Empowerment—In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:26-28)
The only way I know of to learn how to pray better is to pray more! Don’t wait for a better opportunity to begin to pray … Start right now!
Next Sunday I am continuing our series on prayer. If you are near Cedar Springs, please join us!