"Praying always with all prayer and supplications in the spirit" Ephesians 6:18
The Bible talks about different types of prayer. Knowing what type of prayer to pray and when to pray is very important to our prayer life.
1. Prayer of praise and thanksgiving
Psalm 100, Acts 16:16-34; Psalm 149:4-9; 1Thessalonians 5:15-19
A. What effect can praise and thanksgiving have on negative situations?
B. How can praise and worship take the place of prayer and bring about answered prayers?
C. What hinders us from praising God as much as we should?
Praise and worship brings us into the presence of God. When we praise God in the mist of seemingly negative situations we are affirming our faith in Him. This pleases God and helps our faith. Praise and thanksgiving are powerful weapons to the believer. It destroys the hold of Satan and unbelief over our life. Praise and thanksgiving in effect disarm the two most deadly weapons to our Christian walk; namely, unbelief and satanic attacks. These two things can manifest in many different ways. No wonder why the scriptures call praise a two edged sword (Psalm 149:4-9).
2. Prayer of intercession
Genesis 18:22-33 (Abraham); 1 Kings 18:41-46 (Elijah); 2 Kings 4:32-36 (Elisha); Acts 12:1-18 (The early church)
A. What is the prayer of intercession?
B. Who can get involved in the prayer of intercession?
C. What effects do the prayers of intercession have?
D. What is the difference between the prayer of supplication and intercession?
To intercede means to plead or mediate on behalf of another person. Jesus is interceding for us (Hebrews 7:25) so is the Holy Spirit praying for us and through us as we pray in the spirit (Romans 8:26-27).
When we take it upon ourselves to pray earnestly for other people, we enter into the realm of intercession. To enter into intercession we must have a heart that really loves the Lord and cares about the things God cares about.
3. Prayer of faith
Mark 11:12-14; Mark 11:20-25; Luke 7:1-10; James 5:13-18; Matthew 9:18-26
A. What does the prayer of faith involve?
B. How much faith do we need to receive from God?
C. What are the hindrances to the prayer of faith?
D. What is the relationship between the Word of God and the prayer of faith?
E. What is the difference between the prayer of faith and supplication?
The prayer of faith is rooted in our confidence on God's Word. The woman with the issue of blood (Matthew 9) knew that touching Jesus would get her healed. Her faith gave her the strength to press through the crowd. When you are sure that what you are praying for is God's will for you, the prayer of faith can be employed. Unforgiveness (Mark 11:25) and doubt (James 1:5-8) are the two greatest hindrances to the prayer of faith. Where the prayer of supplication is seeking God's will, the prayer of faith knows God's will, praying it and receiving it from Him.
4. Prayer of agreement
Genesis 11:1-9; Matthew 18:19-20; Exodus 17:8-13, Psalm 133:1-3; Acts 4:23; Hebrews 10:24-25
A. What is the prayer of agreement?
B. Why is the prayer of agreement so powerful?
C. How can we get involved in the prayer of agreement?
D. Do we have to be together to stand in agreement?
E. How can couples take advantage of the prayer of agreement?
The prayer of agreement is when two or more people come together and agree with one another and with the Word of God that something specific will be done. People that do not worship God or indeed worship Satan, can also stand in agreement and see power released (Genesis 11:1-9).
God has given power and authority to the Church and when we stand together in unity we can see more of God's power released (Matthew 28:16-20). Unity is standing together with one purpose, sharing a joint vision and trusting God's Word to be fulfilled. We need to appreciate the power of unity if we are to see God's power released.
5. Prayer of supplication
Luke 11:9-13, James 5:17-18, 1 kings 8:37-40, 54-55
A. What does the prayer of supplication involve?
B. What adjustments do we need to make in our life if we are to take up the prayer of supplication?
Supplication means to petition or entreat someone for something. A passionate zeal and hunger fuels the prayer of supplication. Jesus wants us to seek his riches. This is where the prayer of supplication comes in. It is a prayer that all Christians should regularly engage in. Ask God to give you a hunger to seek his face. Notice that in the above three scriptures people were seeking (or asked to seek) for something specific which meant a lot to them. Do you desire to know God's will for your life? The prayer of supplication can sometimes lead us into fasting (Nehemiah 1:1-6).
1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4 NKJV)
In practice, we all use different types of prayer during our prayer times. What may start as a prayer of faith can soon develop into a supplication and then to thanksgiving.
If any of the above types of prayers are not present in your life, then you should seek God's face about it. Ask Him to fill you with more of His love and make your prayer life richer.