KNOW YOUR GOD – To be effective in prayer we need to know:
WHO we are praying to;
in WHOSE name we pray;
and the AUTHORITY and POSITION we have in CHRIST :
One of the main purposes of prayer is to develop our relationship with God by actively seeking/pursuing HIS FACE through the person of his son, JESUS CHRIST, with the help of the HOLY SPIRIT who will lead us into further revelation of CHRIST and GOD.
Through our fellowship with God and Christ in prayer and meditation on scripture we start to change (REVIVAL) and become more like JESUS. We then reveal Him to others as our characters change (through the fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT in our lives) and by our witness lead them to salvation in CHRIST.
As we get to know God more intimately we become more conscious of His “still small voice” and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Our prayers will be shaped by our revelation of GOD and we will pray with more effectively with understanding, faith, authority & power.
A THE START OF DEVELOPING OUR PRAYER LIFE – WE NEED TO KNOW WHO WE ARE PRAYING TO: BEING GOD FOCUSED
“In the beginning GOD” Genesis 1:1
Jesus’ model prayer in Matthew 6: 9-13 starts “Our FATHER in heaven, Hallowed be Your NAME”
Hallowed means – to revere, sanctify, consecrate, set apart, worship, lift up, exalt HIS HOLY NAME
One way to achieve this is by CONFESSION – This is not to be confused with repentance here but means actively:
1 PROCLAIMING WHO GOD IS;
2 ACKNOWLEDGING WHO GOD IS; and
3 CONTEMPLATING WHO GOD IS:
It is a statement of our faith and understanding of GOD’S Character, His Works, His Wonders, His Glory –as are revealed in scripture and through the Jesus his son and the Holy Spirit working in us to draw us into deeper relationship and intimacy with God
It involves confessing (speaking out) belief in God and His promises and His Word.
Studying the names of God is one way to help us to do this more effectively in prayer as each one of God’s names reveal a part of His Character. Names have great significance in the Bible and in the spiritual realm. A name denotes not only character and identity but authority and power as well. The Hebrew word for name is “onoma” and was used to signify rank or authority, character and reputation.
These are some of the things which the Bible says about the Name of the Lord:
The Name of the Lord is a defence (Psalm 20:1)
A help in time of trouble (Psalm 9:10)
A comfort (Daniel 11:32)
A strong tower (Proverbs 18:10)
A weapon (1 Samuel 17:45; 2 Chronicles 14:11)
An ointment poured forth (Song of Solomon 1:3)
“In the name of our God We will set up our banners: The Lord fulfil all your petitions “ Psalm 20:5
In Exodus 34 when God descended and revealed himself to Moses v5 “The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there AND PROCLAIMED THE NAME OF THE LORD; And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed. “The Lord, the Lord God merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and fourth generation”
Every name of God in the Bible reveals a characteristic of God but God doesn’t just want us to know His names. In and through prayer, He wants us to experience true fellowship and communion with Him and find out that He is all the things He says He is:
NAMES OF GOD REVEALED IN SCRIPTURE;
1.“ELOHIM” – GOD THE CREATOR – Genesis 1:1 – GOD is revealed as the creator of heaven and earth who has all authority, power, greatness, dominion and glory in the whole of the universe. Elohim is the plural form because Jesus and the Holy Spirit were there at the beginning with God when the world was created.
In prayerful confession we can acknowledge and thank God that He alone is the creator and sustainer of all things and that He is sovereign God. We can acknowledge His glory and power demonstrated in creation.
2. ”EL – SHADDAI” – GOD ALMIGHTY – Genesis 17:4 & Exodus 6:3 – GOD is revealed as the God who is all-powerful, the God of impossibilities. He is mighty, unconquerable, all-sufficient. Able to do anything and supply all needs. He is able to keep all His promises to us.
Declare in prayer that God is all-powerful and that you can trust Him and rely on Him in all situations (even when we don’t know what is happening and it’s a painful place!). Confess that nothing is impossible for God and He can fulfil all his promises in His Word.
3. “EL ELYON” – THE MOST HIGH GOD – Genesis 14:18 God is revealed as the Most High – There is no-one above Him. He occupies the highest position and throne.
Declare that God is the only one who is worthy of praise and to be highly exalted. Take a humble attitude towards Him by kneeling in His presence.
4.“JEHOVAH” – Exodus 3 v 13 “ I AM THE I AM.” – God reveals himself to Moses at the burning bush as the I AM. i.e. God is everything and in everything. He reveals himself as a HOLY GOD and tells Moses to take off his shoes because he is standing on holy ground.
Acknowledge that God is everything you need. That God is a Holy God and that He desires a Holy people. When meditating on God’s holiness take time to let God search your heart and reveal any sin which needs to be repented over. Receive God’s forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ.
5.JEHOVAH JIREH – Genesis 22:8-14. God revealed himself to Abraham on Mount Moriah that he is the GOD of PROVISION. God provided a ram for the sacrifice instead of Isaac. Abraham saw the provision of God. God later provided Jesus as the sacrifice in our place (on the same mountain) so that we could be redeemed. Jesus tells us to take our needs to the Father and ask for what we need so that God can provide.
Acknowledge God’s provision to us. Ask God to help us rely on His provision rather than trusting in ourselves. Acknowledge Christ’s sacrifice on the cross which provided the ransom for us so that we are now redeemed and righteous in God’s sight.
6.JEHOVAH ROPHE – Exodus 15:26 – God reveals himself as the GOD WHO HEALS. God is a healer and a restorer– It is His nature.
Acknowledge that God alone brings healing and restoration. Thank God that He is the God who heals physical illness & diseases, emotional hurts, spiritual brokenness. Ask Him to move in specific areas where healing or restoration needs to take place. Read and meditate on Isaiah 53 4/5 & Isaiah 61
7.JEHOVAH NISSI – Exodus 17:15 – God is revealed as “The LORD is my BANNER”. He revealed his protection of Israel by defeating their enemies the Amalekites. He is also EL GIBBOR –Mighty God (Champion/hero) Isaiah 9: 6,7
Acknowledge and thank God for His protection and the He is victorious in battle. He is undefeated. Acknowledge that the battle belongs to Him and we wage war against our enemy Satan under His banner. Acknowledge Christ’s victory over Satan at the Cross over sin and death when He took the keys of death and hell from Satan and that we are victorious in Him. Christ is our champion. We fight a defeated enemy and final victory will happen.
8.JEHOVAH SHALOM – Judges 6:24 – the Lord is PEACE.
Acknowledge that in God alone perfect peace is found. Thank him for His peace that passes all understanding. Shalom Peace means rest, harmony, wholeness, completeness, health, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquillity, and prosperity i.e. total wellbeing.
9.JEHOVAH TSIDKENU – Jeremiah 23:6 – the LORD our RIGHTEOUSNESS
Acknowledge that God is righteousness and that it is only through the blood of Christ that we are righteousness. Ask for righteousness to be maintained in our lives and that we reject sin in our lives.
10.JEHOVAH SHAMMAH – Ezekiel 48:35 – the LORD is THERE. God reveals himself as always being there. He is in the past, present and future. He is omnipresent and eternal in nature.
Acknowledge and thank God that he is always there with us. A very present help in time of trouble. We cannot go anywhere as the Psalmist said and not find Him. He is everywhere. He is the Alpha (beginning) and the Omega (end). He is there when we get up and when we go to bed. He is not surprised by anything!! Even when we are.
11.JEHOVAH SABAOTH – 1 Samuel 17:45 – “The LORD of HOSTS”. God is the captain of all the hosts (angelic) of Heaven.
Acknowledge & thank God that angels are sent forth by Him to be ministers to those who will inherit salvation. Ask God to release and send angels into specific situations to help others and us.
12.JEHOVAH – ROI (Ra-ah)– God is revealed as our SHEPHERD – Psalm 23: 1
13.ABBA FATHER – Matthew 6 9-13 – Jesus reveals God as our Father for the first time in scripture. It reveals a new more intimate level of relationship.
14.The whole Bible reveals that God is LOVE (AGAPE)– His Character is LOVE – 1 John 4:8 “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.”
AGAPE means “undefeatable benevolence and unconquerable good will that always seeks the highest good of the other person”. It describes the unconditional love which God has for the world.
Practice some prayerful confession and pray through a portion of Psalm 23 which reveals God as our shepherd – JEHOVAH ROI (Ra-ah)
Read PSALM 23: verses 1-4
Example PRAYER; –
“ Lord, your word says that you are my shepherd. I choose to believe your word and declare in faith that you are my shepherd . Thank you God that you are Jehovah Roi – My Shepherd. I declare that I belong to you and you alone and you are Lord of my life. Thank you God that you are the one true shepherd who tends, cares and provides for me. Thank you that you make me lie down in green pastures where I can rest and be refreshed in you. Thank you Lord that you lead me every day. Help me to follow in your footsteps and to be obedient to your voice. Thank you God that you are JEHOVAH JIREH – the God who provides for me and that I shall not want. Lord, your word declares that you will provide all my needs according to your riches in glory. Help me to see Lord that these are not my wants but my needs.
Thank you Lord that you are JEHOVAH TSIDKENU the God of righteousness who leads me in paths of righteousness. Lord keep me from temptation and sin and keep my feet on the rights paths of your presence. Thank you God for Jesus who your word declares is the good shepherd who by his death on the cross has opened up the way for me to come before your throne. I thank you for the blood of Christ that cleanses me and the robes of righteousness which cover me.
God, help me to share the love of Christ with those who don’t know you so that they can see and know Christ as their Shepherd. Lord give me compassion for those who don’t know you.
Thank you God for [name people] in this church who you have put in positions to be shepherds of this flock. God bless them and help them to be good shepherds filled with your wisdom as they love us, lead us and care for us.
Lord, help me to feed on good food – building up myself and strengthening myself in you and your Word. Lord, renew my appetite and thirst for you because I know that you are the only one who can satisfy. You alone are the bread of life.
God finally, I acknowledge that your word says that “Know that the Lord, He is God. It is He who has made us and not we ourselves. We are His People and the Sheep of His pasture”. Lord, let me have a true revelation of who you are so that I will not boast in me but in you alone. That I will walk humbly before you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I encourage you to continue to practice some prayerful confession using the names of God. Choose one of God’s revealed names and in your own words pray making confessions of that name – it may be that you need more revelation of that aspect of God’s name/ or there is someone you know in a particular situation who needs a revelation of that name. Let the Lord lead you as you pray and be open to what He will reveal to you.