Mumbai Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) | PERSONAL PRAYER


16th May, 2015
Mr.Trevor Lewis Personal Prayer

Personal Prayer

Prayer is like the air that we breathe. If we do not breathe in air, even for a few minutes, you know what the consequence is. Prayer is also communication with God. It is having a relationship with God. There are different types of prayer like: intercession, petition, prayer meeting, family prayer, personal prayer and so on. What is Personal Prayer.? As the title indicates, it is something personal between you and God. 

Jesus said to His Disciples in Mt.6:6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Choose a fixed time and an appropriate place for prayer. When you pray, you are going to God and when you go to God, you always receive from Him healing, peace, comfort, strength, power, etc. But there is one person who does not like you receiving these things from God and he will put obstacles to distract you and take you away from God. This person is none other than our enemy Satan. He brings different types of distractions for different people. Some of these distractions during prayer are sleepiness, yawning, wandering of the mind, and many others. There is evil everywhere and this evil will influence you and distract you at the time of prayer, taking you away from God. You need to prepare four things before you start prayer.

1) Place
2) Heart 
3) Mind 
4) Body 

5) Worship

The four steps are the preparations to take you into worship. Just as, when you run a race, you need to warm up your body or you will get a catch, so also, when you worship the Lord, you need to prepare the above four things or else you will find it difficult to worship the Lord.

1) Place: The Blood of Jesus sanctifies, makes everything Holy. Take the Blood of Jesus upon yourself and the place where you are sitting for prayer. Picture Jesus on the Cross, look at His hands and His feet bleeding, and take the Blood of Jesus by faith, as you say with your mouth, "Jesus, I take your precious Blood upon myself and upon this place." The power is not in the words that you say, but, it is in the faith that is expressed. One way of expressing your faith is, as you say the words with your mouth, imagine in your mind that the Blood of Jesus is coming upon you and the place where you are and believe that it will happen.

Jesus has given every believer authority over evil. By faith in the name of Jesus, take authority over the evil which are in the form of distractions. You take authority as follows, "In the name of Jesus, I bind you every evil of distraction (mention the name if you know) and I command you to go to the feet of Jesus." This is not a formula. The power is not in the words that you say, but is in the faith that is expressed. As you say with your mouth, believe in your heart that it will happen and it will happen. The demons are subject to you in the name of Jesus. Do not request the demons, but command them to leave and do it in the name of Jesus. All the time do not blame the devil if you are not able to pray, sometimes, the place or time may not be really appropriate or suitable for prayer.

2) Heart: Preparation of the heart is two fold, we need to prepare our heart with God and with our brothers and sisters. We prepare our heart with God through repentance.

Is 59:1-2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you so that He does not hear.

Is 1:15 When you spread forth your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.

Ps 66:18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

We prepare our hearts with our brothers and sisters through forgiveness. We need to forgive every person who has hurt us, cheated us, slandered against us and we need to forgive both the living and the dead.

Mt 5:23-24 So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Mk 11:25-26 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any one; so that your Father also who is in heaven, may forgive you your trespasses.

Forgiveness is two ways: You forgiving your brother when your brother has hurt you and your brother forgiving you when you have hurt your brother, and the Word of God clearly says, that if you do not forgive your brother then your Heavenly Father will not forgive you.

Mt 6:14-15 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Heavenly Father forgive your trespasses.

3) Mind: Our mind is preoccupied with so many things of this life; these things will come as distraction during the time of prayer. You need to take these things out of your mind and place it at the feet of Jesus, which simply means to surrender. To surrender means, to stop worrying and start trusting in Jesus. When I ask people, "Have you surrendered your problem?" They answer me, "Yes." I ask them, "How?" and they reply that everyday they say, "Jesus I surrender my problem to you." Now this is not surrender, this is only the expression with your mouth, after you express with your mouth, you need to do it. We do it, when we stop worrying and thinking of the problem; because we have given it to Jesus. If you are still worrying and thinking about your problem, then you have not yet surrendered your problem to Jesus.

Phil 4:6 Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Mt 11: 28 Come to Me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

I Pet 5:7 Cast your cares on Him for He cares for you.

4) Body: Sometimes your body may be tired or having some pain or feeling sleepy and not in the mood of prayer. You need to refresh your body.

Ps 22:3 But Thou art Holy, O Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

Our God is a Holy God and He cannot dwell in an unholy place. When you praise Him, the place becomes fitting and Holy for God to dwell, and when God comes in that place, then something must happen healing and deliverance must take place.

Is 61:3 To grant to those who mourn in Zion, to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. (RSV).

The Revised Standard Version says, "The mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit."

The New International Version says, "A garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."
The King James Version says, "The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness."

The New English Bible says, "A garment of splendour for the heavy heart."

The Jerusalem Bible says, "For despondency, praise."

The Good News Bible says, “A song of praise instead of sorrow."

The New American Bible says, "A glorious mantle instead of a listless spirit."

Praise brings you into the presence of God and it is also a weapon which dispels all sorts of spirits. So praise the Lord spontaneously in words or in songs and if you have the gift of tongues, then, in tongues. In doing so you will receive healing for your tiredness, pain etc. and thus prepare your body and make it ready for prayer.

5) Worship: Ps. 46:10 Be still and know I am God.

After praising the Lord for sometime, be calm and quiet. Become aware of God's presence around you. Believe He is there, because you have praised Him. If Jesus would come in flesh and blood and stand in front of you, what would you do? Your answer could be, “I want to touch Him, hold His hand, fall at His feet, kiss Him, come into His arms". Now Jesus is there before you, only you cannot see Him, so how are you going to touch Him, hold His hand, fall at His feet, kiss Him, come into His arms? What I am teaching you now is contemplation or meditation, where you use your mind in prayer. Now imagine, Jesus is before you and that you are at His feet touching Him, holding Him. In this manner, you are touching Jesus by faith and the power of Jesus will flow to you through the point of your contact, your faith. Spend considerable time like this in His presence. It is not necessary to keep talking to Him all the time. Keep silent in His presence and express your love for Him and yield to Him. You may also gaze into His eyes and express your love for Him. In this way, you will communicate with Him and receive His power everyday and you can use this power for your Christian living. The power that you will receive from the Lord, will be directly proportional to the time you spend in His presence. In the latter part of your worship, listen to His voice, He will speak to you. He speaks in different ways, you may hear a still voice in your heart, or an audible voice in your ear, or get an inspiration in your mind, or may be led to open your Bible through which He may speak to you. Learn to recognise His voice and do what He says. If you do not hear His voice, do not be discouraged, you will start hearing Him soon and recognise His voice. End the worship with songs and fix your next appointment with the Lord.

St. Francis of Assisi prayed in this manner for five hours everyday in a cave. Whenever St. Francis went into the cave, the sick people sat outside the cave trying to listen to what St. Francis was God, but they would not hear a word. After a long silence, they would hear St. Francis calling out to God saying, " My GOD" and again there would be a long silence and St. Francis would have an encounter with God in the cave and the power of God would flow out of the cave and heal all the sick people sitting outside the cave.

Spend maximum time in worship. If you are going to spend 30 minutes in personal prayer, then about 10 minutes would be the time for preparation and about 20 minutes would be the time for worship. If you are going to spend 1 hour in personal prayer, then about 15 minutes would be the time for preparation and about 45 minutes would be the time for worship. Now as you keep increasing your personal prayer time, your worship time will keep increasing and your preparation time will remain constant.

After your worship, praise Him and thank Him again in songs or spontaneously in your language or in tongues.

By: Trevor Lewis
Jeevan Jal Ministries