Comment from our Readers:
Lately, I have heard that once you pray for something you should not pray for it again, but just thank God for the answer. I’m not sure how to handle this.
There are many formulas on prayer, but I have found that learning to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit is the best way to pray. He never violates God’s will. He is our Prayer Partner and Helper…He knows the will and purposes of the Father in any given situation. He also knows where our prayers are most needed at any time.
In those early days of learning about prayer I heard one of my teachers say, “If you ask for something more than once, you are praying in unbelief.” (At least that’s the way I heard it.) I remember applying that to my prayer for a dear friend’s salvation. I asked once, and from then on I praised God for her salvation. She attended a Bible study with me, and we talked about the things we were learning. One night while we were driving she told me she had received Jesus as her Savior.
Of course, I thought I had found a method to pray, but I would soon learn (still learning) that we are to pray “all manner of prayer.” Soon I was praying for many, and discovered there are different kinds of prayer: intercessory prayer, supplication, prayer of faith, submission, worship and praise. Sometimes while in intercession (prayers for others) I would find myself drawn back to the same Scriptural prayers again and again.
One day as I was reading Nehemiah 6 it was as though the Holy Spirit turned on a light bulb. Nehemiah relates, “Then Sanballat and Geshem sent a message, asking me to meet with them in one of the villages in Ono Valley. I knew they were planning to harm me in some way. So I sent messengers to tell them, “My work is too important to stop now and go there. I can’t afford to slow down the work just to visit with you.” They invited me four times, but each time I refused to go.” He made the choice not to meet with his adversaries. What a great example! No matter how the enemy tempts us, we can always choose to say, “O no, I’m doing a great work and I can’t come down!”
There are a few people for whom I pray that are lured into the Valley of Ono time and time again. (We have to learn how to stand in the gap for our fellow believers, but be aware that God has given them a free will.) They may need someone who will not be moved by their behavior, but will continue to stand before God on their behalf.
Often, I repeat the same scriptural prayers; add other scriptures as the Holy Spirit leads, and/or pray in the spirit until I know my prayer assignment is finished. God calls the church to pray and we are not alone, even though we may feel that we are.
Along with the prayers, I worship God and praise Him for the answers. I do not abort the prayers, but pray until I have an assurance, release or a witness in my spirit that my part of the work has been done. I sincerely believe that the Holy Spirit adds to the prayers that we pray with thanksgiving.
There are times that I see a Christian wander into a strange land, and the Holy Spirit reminds me “All is Well. The Father has started a good work in them and He will complete it.” On the basis of that I thank God for what He has done and what He’s going to do in the life of that individual. From the writings of the Apostle Paul we learn to pray for fellow believers until Christ be formed in them (and us). We are all a work in progress!
I address this in my book, A Global Call to Prayer.
Your Partner in Prayer