In your prayer life, do you “pull out all the stops?” Do you use every possible spiritual resource at your disposal? Does your intensity level rise when facing tough situations?
What I’m advocating here is intentionality — not anxiety or histrionics. I believe Scripture promises that The LORD hears our every utterance directed toward Him. But the Word also makes it clear that our Father especially notices and responds when we bear down in prayer.
To me, that realization makes a case for us to use every prayer possible.
The World Situation
Today, I just read a disturbing headline. Along with the worldwide spread of the coronavirus, there is a rampant, unchecked outbreak of the disease taking place in Chinese prisons.
(You will realize from what I have just cited that I write these letters well ahead of their release and distribution. As we are all aware, the coronavirus remains at the forefront of the news and of our attention.)
The point in citing this headline is that every day, we face new world dilemmas that are drastic and frightening. How do we respond to such constant barrages of upsetting information?
We pray — employing every possible manner of prayer at our disposal.
In addition to the world headlines, United States citizens are in the midst of a major election year. Seldom has the political climate in America been more charged or divided than it is this year.
How do we respond? We press in, using every prayer possible.
A Variety of Approaches
Fittingly, the Scripture passage that has been on my mind as I have considered this theme has been Paul the Apostle’s encouragement in 1 Timothy 2:1–4. It begins:
“Therefore I exhort first of all (a clear priority) that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority….”
Paul, advocating prayer for government officials and other authority figures, lists four different types of prayer for us to utilize in doing so. You might say he is urging us to “pull out all the stops” as we bear down in prayer for the world around us.
(Later in this letter, we will direct you to a link for a pattern prayer Derek Prince regularly recommended and used himself regarding the election of government officials. I think you’ll find it helpful.)
Here is the basic point: we have a variety of intercessory tools available to us. When we are facing challenging, perplexing situations, isn’t it wise to use every prayer possible?
Whatever It Takes
The encouragement from Paul to pray wasn’t just a good idea on his part. In the Timothy passage, he concluded that this approach was actually a distinct expression of God’s will for each of us: “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”
Not only did Paul believe it — he also lived it. We read about Paul’s decision of how to address matters of prayer in 1 Corinthians 14:15 (NIV):
“So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding.”
In essence, every means possible — whatever it takes.
We see the same thought in Philippians 4:6: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
There, Paul cites three of the four methods he had given in his encouragement to Timothy.
What is the result of using every prayer possible?
In verse 7 of the Philippians 4 passage, Paul says we will get the opposite of anxiety: “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
All Kinds of Prayer
In a marvelous teaching, “The Prayer Orchestra,” dealing with the various ways we can approach the throne of God, Derek Prince made the comparison to the variety of instruments in an orchestra.
Those who knew Derek would testify that although he loved music, he was not a musician by any stretch of the imagination. Even so, his analogy used in this teaching provides a platform for some wonderful insights on every prayer possible.
This morning I’m going to speak about twelve different types of instruments in the prayer orchestra.
I’m not a musician. I can’t really make much use of musical types and pictures, but in an orchestra, there are many different types of instruments.
Who knows how many? I haven’t the faintest idea. There is what we call the percussion, the woodwind, the strings, and amongst all those, there are many different divisions and sub-groups.
I would like you to think about praying as the body of Christ — as the people of God — as taking your place in the orchestra and playing your instrument.
I don’t want to suggest that you are confined merely to one instrument. But as I go through this list, you’ll find yourself saying, “Well, that’s really the instrument that I play.”
Let’s begin with just a general statement in Ephesians chapter 6, verse 18. I’ll read it in the NIV, which makes it, I think, a little clearer: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests.”
I wanted to read that version because of the “all kinds of prayers.” This is what I’ll be talking about: all kinds of prayers.
An Open Heart and Mind
I hope you will take us up on our offer later for a free copy of the message by Derek which is referenced above.
Unlike many of Derek’s messages, it doesn’t end with a specific prayer — so I would like to suggest a response for you and me right now.
I believe The LORD’s desire is that we open up to all the possibilities. Will you join me in that now?
Father, I stand in awe of the many ways You have provided for us to come before Your throne. I readily admit that I haven’t been using all the resources available to me, and I want that to change today.
With this prayer, I open my entire spiritual life and being to new and better ways by which I can approach You. LORD, I ask You to show me the various instruments You want me to utilize in my relationship with You.
Most of all, Father, I want to be Your instrument, doing Your will by my prayers. Please show me how, LORD. I open myself now in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
I have found that The LORD’s gracious heart responds to every step we take toward Him. We can be confident that He will answer our prayer, and He will lead us into deeper and fuller expressions of our prayer lives. Much of that comes with added teaching.
As you know, we have quite a treasure chest of Derek’s excellent Bible teaching to share with you—messages similar to “The Prayer Orchestra” from which we drew Derek’s quote.
Please download this message and explore many other teaching resources by Derek available on our website or listen online here:
Also, please use the link below to access the pattern prayer by Derek for elections referred to earlier. We encourage you to stay in contact about other DPM materials to help you grow in your relationship with Jesus.
It is our great honor and privilege to be stewards of Derek’s teaching legacy, which God is using worldwide to bring many into greater spiritual maturity.
Your partnership in this process is such a blessing to us, as you join with us in your prayers and your contributions to this ministry. Thank you again for being such a vital part of all we do.
Encouraging One Another
In line with the theme of this letter, one area I have enlarged in my own spiritual life is prayer in the Spirit.
An elderly friend recently told me that he had heard me share about this new resolve. As a result of my testimony, he has increased this area of prayer as well, and he let me know what a great blessing this has been to his walk with The LORD.
That’s the key, isn’t it?
Encouraging one another to get closer to Jesus — step by step. We don’t know all that is accomplished by the small steps we take.
But we know The LORD uses them. So, what do we do? We keep moving ahead, using every prayer possible.
All the best,
P.S. Once again, we send you our love and thanks for your partnership with us. We deeply appreciate your prayers and your gifts. Please don’t forget to download week one of “How to Be Led by the Holy Spirit.” We know it will encourage you.
Materials used by kind permission of Derek Prince Ministries.