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The Nature of Prayer



Sometimes the nature of prayer does not take the same dimension. The situation facing the enquirer invariably determine the nature of the prayer request, where there is wisdom and understanding. We may discuss and give some light in accordance with the scriptures. It is essential and important to know the nature of the impending prayer context to enable the person concerned to be versatile in his contention.



PERSEVERING OR PERSISTING

This is a request or prayer made with serious intention to achieve its purpose despite the odds or difficulties confronting the supplicant. Prophet Daniel is our great example in this wise that despite the fact that his prayer request was hindered by the prince of Persia; an evil spirit, for a period of twenty one days yet because of perseverance he got the answer at the end. Daniel 10: 1-21. A persevering prayer is that which must not stop until the answer is received. Gen. 32: 24-32, Lk. 18:1-8.



FERVENT PRAYER

Fervent prayer is that which is made with strong feeling to receive the immediate answer. In this situation the supplicant lifts up his faith to God and expect to receive automatic answer to his prayer. This normally happens in a situation that if the answer does not come, people may question the supremacy of God.

For instance, Elijah on the mount of Carmel, Ikings 18: 21-46. Also another example is that of Jesus at the grave of Lazarus. John 11:33-45.



INTERCESSION PRAYER

The intercession prayer is that kind of prayer that the supplicant is interceding on behalf of another person or persons in Acts 12:5-17, we are told that when Herod arrested St. Peter the Apostle, that the Church interceded for him and as a result, God sent His angel and loosed him. Also in Rom. 10:1-2, Paul prayed for Israel saying,

“Brethren, my heart desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved, for I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge”.

And it is God’s perfect will that we should intercede for one another every day. James 5:16



INTERVENTION PRAYER

Intervention prayer is another serious aspect of prayer. It is a situation where circumstances or enemies seem to prevail and the supplicant invokes God to change the adverse situation. Remember Isaiah 59:19,

“So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like the flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him”.

A specific example happened in the days of Israel when the Philistines came with anger to eliminate the children of Israel, but when Samuel the prophet invoked God, the Lord sent down lightning immediately and discomfited the enemies. ISam 7:7-14, Acts 12:5-24.



COMMANDING OR DECREEING PRAYER

The decreeing or commanding prayer is made in a situation where the supplicant is prompted by the spirit of God to decree something in the Name of the Lord and it must surely come to pass. Remember that in Job 22:28, God says,

“Thou shall also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee and the light shall shine upon thy ways”

In another vein, God spoke through prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 45:11, and said,

“Thus said the Lord the Holy One of Israel, and His maker ask me of things to come concerning my sons and concerning the work of my hands command ye me”

We can also recall that when the children of Israel were coming out of Egypt that Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and the sea was divided.

It is written in Mk. 11:25,

“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any, that your father also which is in -heaven may forgive you your trespasses”.

Prayer from an unforgiving heart will never be accepted at the throne of grace. This is a difficult lesson for some people to learn. Peter was of the opinion that there should be a limit to forgiveness. He had asked,

“Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Mtt. 18:21. Jesus answered, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” Mtt. 18:22.

And before, Peter could recover from the shock; Jesus related the parable of the unforgiving servant. This servant owed ten thousand talents, but was unable to pay. He begged his master for pardon and because the master was compassionate, He granted forgiveness for the entire debt. But this servant found a fellow servant who owed him a hundred Denarii. And he had no mercy on him but took him by the throat, and demanded he pay up, but the man could not, and the evil servant threw him into prison until he had paid all. When the master heard what happened, he gave orders for the servant who showered no mercy to be sent unto the tormentors until when he shall clear his debt. And the Lord concluded,

“So my heavenly father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” Matt. 18:26-35.